It would be a bit of an understatement to say that CyanogenMod is the most popular Android modding group on the Internet. It’s more accurate to say that these guys are the face of the Android modding scene. They weren’t always like that though, and their humble beginnings have presented a problem that has taken its original domain down.
The team that would eventually become CyanogenMod got their start by releasing a ROM for the G1 over three years ago. Back then, the team’s public face, CyanogenMod.com, was bought by a third party and donated to them. The person responsible for buying the .com domain remained a member of the team and handled the team’s Web presence.
The team claims that this person began to impersonate another member of the team to make money off of referral deals. The CyanogenMod team confronted the impersonator and asked for the domain back. Unsurprisingly, the answer was no.
Now, this is where things get weird. The person responsible for the .com domain is now demanding $10,000 for control of the domain. Understandably, the CyanogenMod team refused to be extorted. So they took to their social media accounts and removed all permissions that pertained to the guy who owned the .com domain. Unfortunately, he still owns the team’s Google Apps for Business account so all of the team’s email accounts have been deleted. They also warn that any emails from @cyanogenmod.com are to be disregarded until further notice.
To make maters worse, the owner of the .com domain has also taken down all the CyanogenMod Web sites that he could. That means the original .com domain is no longer available for use. The team has moved to their own .org domain, but are now going through ICANN to get their .com domain back.
The team will still be working on quality Android ROMs, but there might be some delays in releases. They obviously have to sort out all the legal matters that have suddenly exploded in their collective faces.