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Wire: Threats to the Domain Industry

This morning’s article in Domain Name Wire is an important read for anyone who has money invested in domain names. There are many serious threats to our industry, and if we don’t take some sort of action, the threats could be detrimental to the survival of this industry. When significant money is being made in an industry, there will always be outsiders who want to get their hands on some of the money, and if we don’t get together as an industry, it will be much easier for them to do it.
On a personal note, I am a Professional Member of the Internet Commerce Association, and I encourage everyone with the financial means to join at a level that is comfortable. I’ve met Michael Collins, the Director of the ICA, and I know he is working tirelessly to help protect the industry. The sooner we band together and protect our assets, the better it will be for everyone in the industry.

Domain for Sale: All Proceeds Benefit ICA

Extracurriculars.com is for sale with all proceeds going to the ICA. A Buy it Now price has not been set, so please make offers in the comment section of this thread or send me an email. The highest offer received by 8pm EST today will get the name.

The term “extracurriculars” has 343,000 references in Google.

The domain name is registered at Moniker.

CADNA Responds to ICA’s Code

CADNA Responds to ICA’s Adoption of a Member Code of Conduct

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), a non-profit association created to stop various domain name abuses, has responded to the Internet Commerce Association’s (ICA) 8 point member Code of Conduct. The code was created to promote industry best practices to all domain owners in order to maintain ethical business practices. CADNA is most concerned with the points related to infringement upon other companies’ trademarks, as their membership is comprised of some of the largest companies in the world, including, AIG, Dell, Marriott, Yahoo, Verizon, and several others.

CADNA’s response includes three additions to help enhance the code of conduct. Their suggestions include:

“First, ICA members should oppose domain name tasting (not just kiting), and using a third party’s brand, or other trademark misuses, without permission. Such actions should be avoided altogether, even if the name is registered for less than five days.Secondly, ICA members will not monetize (serve ads) on behalf of their third party customers’ domains that infringe upon brand names without explicit permission of the trademark holder. This commitment includes agreeing not to register domains that are confusingly similar to brands.

Lastly, ICA members who are registrars will not taste domain names themselves, and they will not wait for ICANN to establish a policy to uphold their fiduciary obligations to the public.”(Source: CADNA Press Release)

As a Professional Member of the ICA, I agree with all of their points. In the past, I bought non-infringing names before dropping them within the 5 days, but that wasn’t to test traffic. I did it when I first started in the business to try and take a $7 registration to flip it for $25 a couple of days later. I don’t think this is particularly harmful, but since many people use the loophole to quickly test traffic on potential trademark names, I don’t see the harm in closing it.

I don’t believe a domain owner should have the right to own a clear and undisputed trademark domain name. In my opinion, nobody except Verizon has the right to own a domain name like VerizonMobilePhones.com except for Verizon.

The most difficult situation is determining when a domain name clearly infringes upon someone else’s trademark. Just because a domain name happens to have the letters “aig” and “insurance” in them, doesn’t necessarily mean it is infringing on AIG’s brand trademark. For example, AIGInsurance.com would clearly be an infringing domain name; however, PaigeInsurance.com, a NH-based insurance company run by the Paige Family, would not infringe simply because it has “aig” and “insurance” in its domain name.

One point of interest related to this press release is the lack of actual press it seems to have received. When CADNA was created a couple of months ago, I read news articles everywhere. My Google Reader sent me PR notices from tens of news outlets throughout the world. For this press release, I didn’t hear about it until 4 days after the release, and had someone not posted it in one of the forums, I wouldn’t have seen it at all (Thanks to Josh Melamed for posting it on Rick’s Forum!)

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