by Rupert Insider
Duncan Oldham, the sole owner of the one-man Koptalk website, harbours dreams of being a cyber mogul.
And not only in matters relating to Liverpool Football Club. He also has designs on “sister sites” for Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspurs and Nottingham Forest .
He refers to all LFC-related sites as “rivals”. He refers to LFC’s own website as “the other side”.
One of the ways he has tried to squash “rivals” was by squatting on their domain names – he bought up names very similar to theirs. In most cases he tried to redirect traffic intended for them to his own site.
Under a hail of criticism from LFC supporters he modified this practice but continued to squat on the domain names thereby preventing his “rivals” from using them.
Visitors to those sites were greeted by a photo of a pie which is his way of promoting himself – kinda like Zorro’s “Z”.
As the few remaining decent members of his site joined in the criticism, Oldham made a song-and-dance about giving back to some of the “rival” sites the traffic he had stolen from them. But not in every case. If any of those sites allowed criticism of his site – he continued to hijack their traffic.
Join the SQUAT WATCH
Here’s a partial list of the other sites he has squatted on. If you know of others please add them in the Comments section below.
http://www.kraptalk.co.uk/ (Rather ironic!)
http://www.koptalk-insider.net (Yes that’s this blog – after someone kindly purchased the .com version for us!)
http://www.est1892.org (also est1892.net and est1892.org.uk) (Bought within days of the launch of est1892.co.uk. in the summer of 2006)
Worthy of special mention is his treatment of the Michael Shields Campaign. Click here to go directly to the official site.
Most of the LFC sites support the Michael Shields campaign by carrying banners, starting threads, publishing articles, organizing appeals and promoting it in editorials. Rick Parry, the Executive Director of LFC makes helpful comments from time to time and the campaign is supported by a broad coalition of civic, religious and political leaders in Liverpool and the UK. All link to the official campaign site.
But Oldham does not promote the campaign and does not allow discussion of it. He says it is “too political” for his site.
To deflect criticism of this stance he set up a new url: http://www.michaelshields.co.uk
That url led to a Koptalk page which provided the bank account for donations to the appeal. But the page was out of date. Visitors were deprived of the latest news of the campaign. And the Michael Shields Official site was deprived of the visitors.
But Oldham profited from it. The Michael Shields traffic added to his ranking with advertisers. And all the visitors to that page were waylaid by the numerous pop-ups from which he made money. And once on the site, the Michael Shields visitors were invited to become members of Koptalk at £30 a shot or place a bet or use the adult date-finder or participate in anyone of his other money-making schemes.
In the summer of 2006, this blog was no sooner up and running than Duncan Oldham attempt to squat on its url. But one of the contributors anticipated his move, registered the dot.com version and donated it to the blog. That did not stop Oldham from registering the dot.net version http://www.koptalk-insider.net
He missed out on the next new site, SixCrazyMinutes , because, warned by an article in the blog, the founders of that site registered all related names three months ago, before they opened their site. Their site promptly attracted perhaps 70% of the former users of the Koptalk free forums which fell into disuse. This is one of factors which caused Oldham to close down his free forums on 5th September.
Oldham’s empire-building is not confined to squatting on the names of rival sites. here is a list of others he figure it was worth buying.
It’s not as though he was short of domain names. Here is a list of those he already owned.
Tottenham Hotspurs Site
Newcastle United Site
Click here, if you are interested in the administrative details of when and under what name and address he registered some of these sites.