To sum this up, the first term congressman had his domain name expire (not close to being a generic/defensible name), and someone bought it and has pornographic PPC links up at Sedo. According to the article, everytime the staff called Sedo to attempt to buy it, the price increased. Although the congressman should have renewed his domain name, he is nice enough not to file a UDRP or lawsuit, which would have proliferated the public opinion that all domain investors have bad intentions. Is there any way we can help? How can we help? This is an opportunity to show that there is only a small percentage of people in this business who aren’t ethical, and the rest of us are hard working people not not trying to profit off of an innocent mistake or in tragedy in too many cases (VA Tech, Katrina, Columbine…etc way too many to name).
I have an idea for a private auction service that can combine the efforts of a well-respected company like Moniker with the service of an exclusive domain broker such as Kevin or Alan. My idea is that a company creates a private auction for a single domain name on behalf of a client. The company would reach out to potential end users who would be most interested in purchasing the domain name. For example, if Candy.com was on the block, the company would reach out to Mars, Inc., Hershey’s, or Cadbury.
Similar to Scott Boras’, infamous blue satin binder he creates for every player he represents, the company would put together a formal presentation highlighting the attributes of the domain name and why it is of significant value. This presentation would be mailed to the C-Suite and Marketing Department of interested companies, and it would be followed-up with a call. The more highly the domain name is touted, the greater the interest.
Bidding on the domain name would be similar to the posting system in place for Major Leage Baseball teams to bid on Japanese baseball players. After a specified period of time, the executives would be required to submit a sealed bid for the domain name. On a set date, the auction company would provide the domain owner with the anonymous bids and allow him to review the bids. After 48 hours, the domain owner would decide whether to accept the highest bid or not.
Although there is more risk for the auction company than a standard auction, personally reaching out to end users is a much more lucrative audience than a domain investor conference. This service is also different than a broker’s service as the broker may not have the contacts in his rolodex, and this would be much more formal.
Below are a few unregistered domain names I believe have good potential. Although I am not charging anything for researching these names, I am requesting that the person who registers each makes a donation to a non-profit charity.
A few charities I recommend (with the link to make a donation):
I received word from the person who registered the 6 domain names that a donation was made to http://www.kiva.org to help with this project:
No matter what you personally think of Rick Schwartz, he is on spot with this recent blog post. Domain owners and investors hold valuable pieces of virtual property, and some people who didn’t have the foresight to buy domain names while they were relatively cheap have been attempting to tarnish the image of generic domain owners by publicly labeling this group as “cybersquatters.” What has caused domain names to increase in value has also caused domain owners to be the target of what Rick refers to as “cyber bullies.” Fortunately, I believe domain owners are better equipped to protect our domain names than those who lost large land claims out west, but we need to be vigilant and support organizations such as the Internet Commerce Association. I have pledged to become a member as soon as they take Paypal or AmEx!
“is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.”
The term “cybersquatting” is clearly derived from the word “squatting,” which is loosely defined as people living in a property in which they have no right to live, frequently without the owner’s knowledge, and certainly without his approval. The owner in the case of cybersquatting is the trademark owner. When people refer to generic domain owners as cybersquatters, they are either slandering this group or they are ignorant about the topic they are addressing. Generic domain name owners pay for the right to use their domain name in any way they choose. If they want to develop their domain name into a huge brand like Hotels.com, they have every right to do so. If they wish to place relevant advertising links on their page, they have the right to do that, too! Just because a domain name isn’t developed, doesn’t mean someone else should have the rights to the name. It doesn’t work in the case of physical property, and it doesn’t work for cyber property either.
Domain names such as Devices.com are considered generic because a company can’t claim ownership of that particular word as there are far too many people who would conceivably have the rights to that term as well. Assuming the domain name is generic, nobody has the right to decide whether one particular company or person deserves to own that domain name over somebody with equal rights. “Cyber bullies” attempt to sully the image of generic domain name holders in a slanderous way, and whether it is intentional or just uninformed writing, ignorance is never a valid defense.
Kudos to Rick for writing his post, and kudos to Ron Jackson of DNJournal for including this in The Lowdown section of DNJournal.com.
Looks like another player has entered the live domain name auction arena, and I think this should be good for the domain investment business. Of course I like the lower commission, free bidding without mandatory attendance, and other features that will make this a smooth auction. It seems like an auction with 450 names will take quite some time though. Also of interest is that they will only permit 20 names to have reserve prices of $100k or higher. I am looking forward to watching this live online and possibly participating!