I suppose it was bound to happen at some point. I just never thought a challenge to my domain name would come from China.
I expected other interest in ScifiAliens might come from other science fiction writers or fans; so I’m a bit suspicious of a ‘trading company’ in China wanting it.
When I got published iUniverse recommended American Authors as a website host. They’re great to work with and it’s nice to have a professional site. They asked whether I had a domain name or wanted one. Since I didn’t already have one they asked what to look for. Their search revealed that ScifiAliens was still available, a bit of early success since a person normally doesn’t get her first choice. I purchased it through them, so any challenge also has to go through them.
My American Authors contact was quite surprised at the email which I had forwarded. My reply was to tell the inquirer from China that scifialiens was taken.
He didn’t want to hear that answer and asked if I had the rights to the various configurations that can be used, such as dot org, etc, in China. I’m still suspicious. Perhaps this fellow is running a scam to ‘sell’ these configurations.
However, I did the kindest thing I can do for him and his supposed ‘clients.’ I pointed out that using any configuration of scifialiens will cause some of their customers to accidentally land on my site where they’ll be exposed to ideas contrary to communism.
This would not only cause their clients to lose face with customers and Chinese officials—who may wonder why they didn’t do their homework before using the domain name—but it could get them into serious trouble.
China is not a democracy. Send your customers to a site that expounds personal freedom and freedom of thought, even by accident, and you can still get into big trouble. Chinese leadership will be particularly alert this year since it’s the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre or the June Fourth Incident as they call it.
Furthermore, I’ve had ScifiAliens as a user name on the Internet for a few years now. Another company may find it hard to establish a separate branding campaign. I could end up with all their customers…maybe that’s not a bad thing. I hope Chinese readers enjoy the subversive science fiction of my Martian Symbiont series.
Thanks for reading. 🙂
Phyllis K Twombly