I don't believe it...
April 13, 2000 8:00 AM   Subscribe

I don't believe it... I actually agree with something Network Solutions has done. They've apparently changed their policy to make domain name squatting more difficult. The story sounds sympathetic to the two ladies in question, but I'm not. Ok, maybe they should have been a touch more careful in how they *rolled out* the new policy, but the policy itself is about 5 years overdue.

Now, if we could just get them to *do what we tell them to*...

-- jra
posted by baylink (10 comments total)
That should teach these guys (or women, in the case of the story) a lesson. But the issue of people "scalping" domains still has to be addressed. At least, now with Network Solutions doing this, it makes it a little harder for these guys to squat on domains.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 9:11 AM on April 13, 2000


Understand that I have no personal problem with people registering clever names and then selling them to people.

I also don't mind Ford Plastics registering ford.net, and I don't think they should be *forced* to give it up to Ford Motor Company.

I just don't think that J Random Guy who isn't named Ford and doesn't own a company named Ford something ought to be able to hold Ford Motor Company up for a lot of money for ford.com. That's the *only* scenario I dislike.

-- jra
posted by baylink at 9:26 AM on April 13, 2000

I totally agree with you there. What gets me even more pissed off is the guy who owns the domain I want doesn't even HAVE a page at that domain and it says in the name search database or whatever it's called.. don't nitpick ;) that it's "For Sale". Ugh.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 9:43 AM on April 13, 2000

But how do you patrol it? Do you run background checks on someone to see if they own a company called Ford?

What are the measures currently being taken to avoid cybersquatting? I'm sorta out-of-date on this issue.
posted by Succa at 10:55 AM on April 13, 2000

It would be easy to kill off cybersquatting. Make it illegal to charge more than what you paid for a domain name when you sell it to someone. That way, if someone owns the domain, they can still sell it off later on, but not for a profit. They do this for ticket scalpers, already, right? What do you guys think of that? I'm sure I'm being a little naive, but it sure sounds like a step in the right direction.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 11:29 AM on April 13, 2000

Well... the question here, really, is what constitutes "a good claim" to a name... where "a good claim" means "good enough to be 'entitled' to it"... where "entitled", in turn, means "you shouldn't be able to charge me a premium price for it just because you got there first".

And that sort of thinking bothers me a lot. Domains -- even second level ones, assuming ICANN *ever* get their shit together on extended TLD's -- are not a finite resource (although domains in the .COM gTLD obviously are), so analogies to real estate are a bit weak, but...

But I'm a creative, damnit! I can perfectly appreciate the cleverness in registering a good generic domain name, and I can't see any reason why that sort of cleverness ought *not* to be rewarded.

As far as *I* can see, the real problem is that everyone is fixated on ".COM". As soon as we fix that, the problem will go away.

-- jra
posted by baylink at 12:13 PM on April 13, 2000

I don't know. If I came up with a killer trademark and wanted to make sure it stuck, right now I'd have to do what I could to buy the *.com, *.org and *.net incarnations - all of them. Extending the TLD space seems like a necessary thing, but also a scam in the way it's being discussed. Cause then my company'd have to buy not only those three but 5 or 10 versions - one for each TLD. Sounds expensive to me.
posted by mikel at 12:56 PM on April 13, 2000

Check out bertieahern.com
and the thetaoiseach.com
That's our Prime Minister here in Ireland. It's causing a major shitstorm!

NB "Taoiseach" is pronounced "tee-shock". It means "prime
minsiter" or "leader"

posted by tomcosgrave at 2:19 PM on April 13, 2000

What if you were required by law (State by State in true yankee tradition of experimentation and support of the scientific method) to:
1. hold the domain for 1 year
2. resale for not more than x percent of the original purchase price or x times the current price of domain names--applied to all domains existing and not
3. name.com (only) are reserved for one year--absolutely--by Name company that existed, and was registered, before name.com was taken, are reserved for same (State's reserve it via some Federally subsidized arrangement)
4. no taxation of the sale of domain or registered names or addresses or labels in use for Internet nomenclature/address systems
5. arguments over the ownership of/rights to a domain are brought to some group that makes recommendations to a judicial group or something for a final decision
We should start a movement/organization for ethics and guidelines in the trade of information.
posted by greyscale at 7:27 PM on April 13, 2000

Well, mikel, you've hit exactly my problem.

If people would just *get* the fact that their trademarks are not automatically infringed by domain names that other people have valid reasons to hold, this would all cease.

I think the easiest solution is simply to *outright forbid* anyone from holding the same second level domain in more than one TLD.

Period. End of report.

The lawyers would then have no choice but to stop trying to wrest control of the companies from the managements.

-- jra
posted by baylink at 8:22 AM on April 14, 2000

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