Late last month, we brought you a story about an Australian startup Oneflare acquiring a domain name of a well-known site that had expired and repurposed it for spam. Well, the story has a happy ending as Oneflare has told Nieman Journalism Labs that they are donating back the domain to its rightful owners – the University of Southern California.
“We’re extremely apologetic about what happened,” Lim told Nieman. He also elaborated what had happened: Oneflare had hired an external consultant and that the strategy to use expired domain names of well-established sites and use them for spam was the consultants.
Lim also said that he has been trying to give back the domain to USC Annenberg, but was unable to give it back. He then contacted the original author of the story at Nieman, Joshua Benton, to see if he wanted it to give back to USC Annenberg.
In a statement, USC Annenberg told Nieman, “If a donation of the OJR.org domain is made to USC Annenberg, we’d be happy to accept it and reclaim the site…USC Annenberg looks forward to restoring the archives of the site and would like, in the future, to revisit plans for the direction of OJR.org.”