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Whois limit of three queries per day?

I’m researching some spammers that have been hitting my mail server pretty heavily since March. I’ve got a list of several hundred domains, so I’ve been doing some basic research on them. I’ve used google, the host command to get their IP address, then I grabbed a few at random to check their Whois info. After the third whois lookup (using the whois built into OS X) I got this note: “my.home.ip.address has reached its 24 hour query limit.” All three of the domains I looked up were registered through But I don’t see anything on their site mentioning a whois lookup limit.

Now the funny thing, future lookups seem to be working just fine. Hmmm, very strange.