Ok. This has been long in coming, but I wanted to hold off on telling the full story until things were a bit underway. Now please bear with me, as this is going to be somewhat long, but I'd rather give more detail then less in a matter such as this.
As some of you may know, AnimeWallpapers.Com was started by Philip Mak (pmak) way back in the year 2000. Since that time it has grown to be the largest anime wallpapers site.
Unfortunately on February 13, 2007 pmak passed away. It was very sudden, and the multitude of sites that he was running went down, as the server payments stopped. A server admin (Hongli), who was helping him manage the systems, was able to back up most of his content, and set the sites up on a new server. When pmak's mother contacted Hongli, about her sons' estate, he decided that this was a prime opportunity, and using his access to fake emails from pmak to GoDaddy and moved most of the domain names and sites that pmak was running over to Enom.
Hongli has posted in this forum as "Foo Bar Widget", pretending he had legitimate claim to the sites. Also unfortunately, during this time, pmak and I were not on speaking terms due to the animelyrics situation of a few months prior, so my first knowledge of any of this came with the posts from Hongli. Being the suspicious kind, I reached out to a few business partners of pmaks' whom I knew from our past dealings, and was eventually able to piece together what happened.
Despite our differences of opinion here, he was a friend of mine, and it's also simply not right, for his mother to have to be fighting a legal battle over the work her son spent most of his life on. Princess Minako and I felt we had to reach out to his mother and offer her any help and support we could, to try and correct the situation.
Both GoDaddy and Enom weren't interested in helping us, as the domains were moved from one registrar to the other, and Enom was hiding his identity behind their whois protection service. Each registrar simply pointed us to the other in an attempt to give us the runaround. They were simply not concerned with this issue, claiming that since the emails came from the registrant's account, the transfer was legitimate, even though the emails came almost a month after pmaks' passing. There are still other domains that they are holding, which unfortunately we don't have the means to easily go after.
We spent most of the summer dealing with the registrars. After being contacted by our lawyer, Hongli decided to register "getanimewallpapers.com" and redirect all "animewallpapers.com" traffic there, thus pretty much ruining the status of the domain. In the end, we felt we had at least enough ground to file a motion with ICANN, the central domain authority, to try and recover the animewallpapers.com name.
After taking about a month, the panel, thankfully ruled in our favor on the arbitration, a decision which you can read here: http://domains.adrforum.com/domains/...ns/1043246.htm as all UDRP rulings are public.
After going through all this, and finally recovering the names, Kitty (pmak's mother) was very kind in offering the domains to me, with a very fair offer, in the hopes that we can continue and build the site in the way her son would've wanted it to run, as opposed to going with an ad agency, which could've paid a larger sum, but would've been unlikely to maintain the site correctly.
As Hongli was also running animelyrics.tv, and because we agreed that having two sites with nearly duplicate content was unwieldy, we took control of that domain as well, and it is currently redirecting to the animelyrics.com site.
Right now, I, and all of us here on the anime globe network, are working hard to restore animewallpapers.com and to build it up into the site it should be. The site is about 60% complete right now, and while work on it will continue into the near (and probably far) future, I wanted to make sure that some of the actual story came through as to what really happened.
I would like to ask for your help in rebuilding the sites, both with any comments/suggestions you can give us for what the site should be able to do, and in any content submissions you can make to help us take off and grow further.
Thank you for reading all of this, and I hope that some things are a bit clearer now then they used to be.
- Igor Bass / Kaitou Ace
- Princess Minako