Dan.com Prohibits Coronavirus Domain Names

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According to research from DomainTools, reported this morning by Domain Incite, “[M]ore than 68,000 coronavirus-related domain names have been registered so far in 2020.” I would imagine this is a mix of speculative registrations, corporate registrations (like Target buying coronavirus testing domain names), and people registering domain names to build informational websites. Quite a few domain names that were bought speculatively have been listed for sale via Dan.com and other marketplaces.

Dan.com is one of the largest independent domain name marketplaces with an inventory of more than 5 million domain names currently listed for sale. In a pair of tweets this morning, Dan.com announced that the platform will no longer allow sellers to sell coronavirus related domain names:

Dan.com will be actively removing domain names related to the coronavirus. I was told over 1,000 coronavirus related domain names have already been removed from Dan.com or blocked from being listed on the platform.

I reached out to Dan.com CEO and founder Reza Sardeha, and he told me the platform will be blocking keywords such as “corona,” “coronavirus,” “COVID,” and other domain names specifically related to the coronavirus pandemic. Reza told me, “We believe that it’s morally unacceptable and this type of behavior from just a few makes domain investors look bad in general.”

Generic health or medical domain names will not be removed from the platform.

In the second tweet, Dan.com suggested that sellers donate coronavirus domain names to various organizations working to defeat the pandemic or helping people recover from illness. The company offered to facilitate the transfer of these types of domain names at no cost to either party. In my opinion, unless someone has a high traffic domain name, I don’t think domain registrants should spend time reaching out to various organizations to offer to donate domain names. I think that could be a distraction to the people who are working hard at these organizations, and for most newly registered domain names, there is simply no value – financial or otherwise.

If someone registered a coronavirus domain name and wants to do something benevolent with it, I would recommend to simply set up forwarding on the domain name to an organization that is helping fight the pandemic. This would not take any time away from the organization, but it would ensure any traffic ends up on a reputable website.

9 COMMENTS

  1. The decision is OK, but the comment about suggested donations is dangerous for domainers and should not be communicated by a company like DAN.com. Expressions like “astronomical high prices” and “unethical and unacceptable” may be dangerous and harmful for domain industry, because they could create conviction that a domain name might “belong” to someone or that one entity has more “ethical rights” to a domain name, not having a registered trademark.
    We’ve already seen too many abuses of UDRP in such style.
    Such communication of a marketplace should should be considered as negative. They could just do it and don;t try to show how generous they’re, “facilitating those transfers for free.”

  2. Hypocritical witch hunt motivated by a desire not to be criticized, imo. If they’re so moral, why don’t they donate their assets to people who aren’t able to procure basic necessities through no fault of their own? There’s a lot of tragedy due to poverty, oligarchic exploitation and imperialism in this world quite apart from the current pandemic, but very few care until they’re in danger of being criticized.

    • P.S. GoDaddy appears to have done the same, even though they own numerous bird-flu domains which are for sale at NameFind (including AvianFlu.com, which has a minimum $32,500 bid at GoDaddy Auctions). You can argue that bird flu is a not-all-that-serious poultry industry problem, but it’s obvious the real value of the domains is in the event of a bird-flu pandemic.

      If they want to be fair they should take down all bird-flu listings, plus those related to cancer, heart disease, depression, etc. – but I doubt they will do that as I don’t think they care about being fair, only in making sure they are not criticized. That’s fine, as far as I’m concerned, I’m not saying they should be fair, but I hope they won’t issue a sanctimonious statement like Reza Sardeha’s, I’m already nauseous today.

      • [1] GoDaddy And Bird Flu domains

        “You can argue that bird flu is a not-all-that-serious poultry industry problem, but it’s obvious the real value of the domains is in the event of a bird-flu pandemic.”

        By the real value of the domains is in the event of a bird-flu pandemic, are you insinuating that GoDaddy is holding on to these type of domains, so in the event of a pandemic, they can profit from these domains? Just wondering, are we still talking about GoDaddy here, or are we talking about you Jon, and Coronavirus.org / COVID19.org?

        Because, some could argue GoDaddy is safeguarding these domains, and in the event of a PANDEMIC, they will not opt to monetize, rather they will redirect the traffic (which could be argued as the real value) to those working on the front lines.

        While you on the other hand, wait until a virus surfaces, then when it/if it becomes a pandemic, you list the domain for sale, hoping to profit handsomely from it.

        I could tell you I think you’re wrong, but that won’t change anything. I could offer you two (3L.org) for free for you to follow in the steps of GoDaddy, and not try to profit handsomely during these times. Though, you’d probably argue Coronavirus.org is now more valuable than some random 3L.org, nor are they (to my knowledge) related to virus/pandemic, so they might not interest you.

        You might argue, because you don’t know who I am, or what the domains are, that I am crazy, or you’d be crazy to accept such an offer. Crazy would be irrespective of the content. As one can be crazy, yet that fact could be unrelated to the substance of their content. Nonetheless, I am not offering my opinion (or comment) for self-gain. I don’t feel the need to put my name behind my comment. I am not running for office, nor am I some sort of King, where I carry a brand behind my statements. I’m simply a domain peasant, offering an opinion, with not much else to offer, besides maybe some crap domains.

        What may interest you, as you appear to be somebody who likes to profit handsomely during pandemics (or at least as somebody who stated they wish to profit handsomely from Coronavirus.org), is during these times, GoDaddy still allows you to place a minimum bid for domains like SwineFlu.com.

        [2] Dan.com and taking down “Corona” domains.

        You’ll probably be interested to learn Dan.com still lists 7 “Swine Flu” domains… compared to the 4 remaining “Corona” domains that appear to have slipped through.

        https://archive.li/MFlK3

  3. Dan.com just gained my respect. Businesses that are willing to put ethics above money tells me they have a good head on their shoulders.

  4. The decision is OK, but the comment about suggested donations is dangerous for the industry and should not be communicated by a company like DAN.com. Expressions like “astronomical high prices” and “unethical and unacceptable” in regard to domain offerings may be dangerous and harmful for domainer community, because such expressions could create conviction that a domain name might “belong” to someone or that one entity has more “ethical rights” to a domain name, not having a registered trademark, just claiming so based on individual belief. We’ve already seen too many abuses of UDRP in such style.
    Such communication of a marketplace should be considered negatively. Dan.com just could have done it, without trying to show how generous they’re, “facilitating those transfers for free.”

  5. I myself don’t own any of these domain but I think a company that sell porn domains for insane prices are the biggest hypocrites in the world for example at dan.com Here is a few of there listings of the 10s of thousands of sex names
    blowjob.adult
    DMDMV
    Buy
    $150,000 now
    blowjob.porn
    DMDMV
    Buy
    $150,000 now
    blowjob.sex
    DMDMV
    Buy
    $150,000 now
    blowjob.xxx
    DMDMV
    Buy
    $150,000 now
    So don’t believe the bs they are just following the trend,try removing the filth at such high prices no less,Dan.com should be shut don’t

  6. And why does DAN.com still like GUNS in the domain names they sell? Is that morally superior from corona? Being killed by guns?
    And isn’t “corona” just like a hammer which you can choose to use for killing or building?

    I had listed coronavirus.life as I also use now coronavirus.live as a redirection to the dashboard of JH University? So coronavirus.life is morally worse?

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