A recent incident involving the domain name for the world’s largest and richest national cricket body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has shown the perils of an organisation not maintaining their own domain names. The BCCI’s domain name for its official website, bcci.tv, went offline for a few days after the renewal fee wasn’t paid. And it ended up on a couple of aftermarket outlets.
It appears from the numerous Indian media reports that the domain name was registered to Lalit Modi who maintains the website for the BCCI despite having been banned for life by the BCCI since 2010 and forced to live in exile in London after a series of financial misappropriation accusations, according to the Times of India.
However the problem with the renewal was that while the domain name was set to auto renew, there was a “payment gateway” issue preventing the registration. The domain name was registered by Modi in February 2006 and was valid until February 2019, however registration renewal was required by 3 February 2018. The official line is there was a problem with processing the credit card details, which makes one think the nominated credit card could have expired.
“Lalit Modi reinvented BCCI in many ways,” Modi’s lawyer Mahmood Abdi said. “Digitalisation was one such sphere. While the then the mindset of BCCI functionaries was archaic vis a vis latest IPR avenues like domain names etc, Lalit Modi himself took the initiative and got host of domain names registered by him. Bcci.tv is one such domain name. Despite having been treated so unjustly by BCCI, Lalit Modi still keeps the domains alive and functional for the good of cricket and its administration.”
“The domain was on auto renewal. Whereas, there was some payment gateway issue which has been resolved and the website is operational. BCCI should have been proactive to get this domain renewed well in time so as to avoid the glitch. Many domain names are relating to cricket are owned by Lalit Modi and some of them are subjudice. Lalit Modi takes care of their updation and upkeep,” he added.
When the domain name wasn’t renewed, it was put up for auction on a couple of aftermarket outlets including NameJet receiving 7 bids and a top bid of $270. The issue even appears to have made it to the Bombay High Court.
It appears to be a good lesson for organisations to maintain their own domain name registrations and keeping contact details up to date.