There were a number of comments critical of Juan Diego Calle in an article I posted this morning as well as an article posted by Rick Schwartz. Although the video Rick and I shared was primarily about LeWeb’s move from LeWeb.net to LeWeb.CO, the founder of LeWeb referred to the owner of LeWeb.com as a “squatter,” despite his having registered the domain name before LeWeb.net existed (and he successfully defended the UDRP – well, not really “defended” since it was a win without filing a response).
In response to some of the critical comments, Calle posted an article on the .CO blog entitled “How I feel about domainers.” You can read the article for yourself and post comments there, but some of the takeaways from his article include:
- Calle is a domain investor, and one of his other companies owns names like ParisHotels.com, NewYorkHotels.com, MiamiHotels.com…etc.
- Cybersquatting makes the domain industry look very bad
- There is a distinction between cybersquatting and domain investing
One issue I take with Calle’s article is the last paragraph: “if you’re a cybersquatter, or even a mass speculator, leveraging technology to register thousands of names, please do so in someone else’s backyard. ”
Some of the biggest companies in the domain investment business could be considered mass speculators. One of the most successful .CO investors stated that he uses technology to buy domain names (“we have 150,000 names many of which a machine registered“).
I am bothered by cybersquatting as much as Calle because it does make us look bad to the general public and to people in the tech space. However, there is a big difference between cybersquatting on someone’s brand and speculating on descriptive domain names. I am sure Juan would be upset if someone filed a UDRP on one of his descriptive domain names and called him a cybersquatter simply because Juan wasn’t using it in the way that a complainant thought it should be used.
I still think the news of LeWeb switching to .CO is very big for the .CO Registry because of its audience. I do think the video backfired though.
** 5/14 Update **
Juan clarified his comments on leveraging technology to register domain names.