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Digg This! Don't Let Them Take Your Domain Names!

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Please read the following ICA article and then Digg it!
http://digg.com/politics/Snowe_Bill_Threatens_Domain_Name_Registrants
And if you can, please support the ICA.
The beauty of living in the United States is that we can support an organization that will help make sure our collective voice is heard. The ICA will continue to lobby on our behalf to help change the bill to protect our domain assets. If this bill is passed as is, our domain names could be vulnerable like never before. I don’t understand the logic of not supporting them. I don’t see anyone else stepping up to the plate to lobby and get this bill changed.
I’ve said it before and I will reiterate it again. The Anti-Phishing Act is a consumer (voter) friendly bill that no elected official is going to vote against. We need it changed before it is passed because it contains language that will be detrimental to this business. You might not get sued by someone, but you better believe that if a domain owner does get sued and loses his generic domain name, ALL domain names will lose significant value since they will become much more risky assets. Currently, generic domain names are fairly safe from trademark violations, and consequently they are valued greatly. However, if this bill is passed as is, they may no longer be safe, and their value will drop.
I don’t see anyone else stepping up to represent us other than the ICA. Whether you are big time or small time, if you own domain names, I think you need to support the ICA’s efforts to change this bill before it is passed.   I urge you to read the legislation and then please support the ICA.

Email to My Domain Partners

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I am in the process of reaching out to the companies with whom I do the most business. I am thinking about only doing business with companies who are members of the Internet Commerce Association. Is this a drastic measure? Perhaps, but if we don’t stand up for our rights, do you think anyone else will?
This is the email I am sending to my partners:
“Is xxxxxx a member of the Internet Commerce Association? The recent Anti Phishing Act proposal has some scary language for domain investors, and I think the ICA is our best chance at making sure it isn’t passed as is. I am toying with only doing business with members of the ICA. Please let me know if xxxxxxxx is a member of the ICA, and if not, when they might become a member.
Thanks,
Elliot”

Domain Auction for ICA

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I am auctioning PuertoRicanVacation.com on my blog with ALL funds going to the ICA. Highest bid submitted to my blog by this coming Wednesday, March 5th at 3pm EST will get the name. Bidding will start at $1.00 and there will be $10 increments. Buyer will send payment to me and I will send funds to ICA.
Some recent sales:
CanadianVacation.com – $4,126
CaribbeanVacations.com – $130,000
EuropeanVacations.com – $85,000
IrelandVacations.com – $17,250
AustraliaVacations.com – $16,000
AsianVacations.com – $15,000
BudgetVacations.com – $10,300
CanadaVacations.com – $9,600

ICA Response to APCPA

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I am in Florida for an extended weekend and a meeting, but I wanted to post a couple of links for you to see while I am away.
From DNJournal:

There are parties searching for a way to change laws so they can more easily take domain assets they have no right to away from their current owners. The easiest way to do that is to get language favoring their agenda slipped into an otherwise well-intentioned bill like this that would normally sail through the legislative process with little scrutiny. The dangerous language gets inserted in such a bill through lobbying efforts by people who want to remove current barriers that keep them from grabbing domains they are not entitled to. Combating this sort of legislative sleight of hand is exactly why the Internet Commerce Association was formed and why we think it is critical for domain owners to support the organization. Your very livelihood could be at stake in the legal battles over your assets that are just now getting underway.

Also, Mike Berkens posted the ICA response to the proposed Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act of 2008. As stated above, the language in the Act could pose a very serious and very real threat to the health of the domain industry. I am not one for blowing smoke or taking political action, but this is something we should all take seriously.
Whether you have great generic domain names or average domain names it doesn’t matter. If super generic domain names become a target – as many people believe will happen if this bill is passed as is – the value of all domain names will drop significantly due to the risk of owning them. The problem I see is that this language is lumped into a consumer and election-friendly bill that will surely be passed. Who doesn’t want to stop phishing? HOWEVER, we need to make sure this bill is changed before it is passed. We need to protect our assets. If some of the big chips fall, you better believe this will impact your business (assuming you own domain names).
I am a Professional Member of the ICA and I will continue to give what I can. I am still selling my two Australian beach domain names with the $5,000 margin going entirely to the ICA from the buyer (who can get a deduction for it). No matter whether you can contribute $100 or $25,000, you need to join the ICA and help protect your domain ownership rights.

More on Anti-Phishing Legislation

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Thank you to Larry Fischer at DirectNavigation.com for analyzing and posting a link to this CNET article about the proposed new Anti-Phishing legislation. Essentially the CNET article discusses the reasons why this legislation is redundant and unnecessary. It doesn’t touch on the fact that the language in the bill could be detrimental to generic domain owners and could subject them to harsh penalties.
As I said yesterday, the Internet Commerce Association is working on a response to this. As far as I am aware, they are the only group working on behalf of the domain investment community. At first glance, the bill looks like it will be helpful to consumers, but upon close review, the language could and probably will hurt the domain industry. We could be in serious trouble if the bill passes as is.
There is time to make a difference, and I am sure the ICA will lobby hard to amend the bill to eliminate some of the gray area that exists and could hurt us. I don’t like to promote a cause on my blog or use this as a soapbox, but I strongly urge you to join the ICA. Although most of the “big guys” are helping to support them, they need the support of everyone. I joined as a Professional Member and intend to give as much as I can afford.
Domain owners own almost priceless virtual assets. I think this bill could lead to outsiders coming in and threatening (or taking) legal action to secure our valuable assets. If this threat becomes real, which will probably happen if the bill passes as is, our assets could become liabilities, and the values of domain names could go down. We need someone to take the side of domain owners and domain investors, and the ICA is the best organized group to do it.

NYC Domainer Dinner a Success!

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I want to thank everyone for coming out to dinner last night, and I would like to give a special thanks to Domain Capital for surprising us all and picking up the tab. It was very nice of them to “quietly” and unexpectedly sponsor the dinner, and we are all appreciative.
The turnout of 23 was strong despite the poor weather, and we had a good chance to network with others in the industry. We had a diverse group involved in all aspects of the domain industry, which made for good conversation. Even nicer was that I had the chance to network with people I didn’t know before the dinner, and I expect to stay in touch. We work in a small industry, and it’s nice to have an opportunity to socialize with like minded people who live in the same area.
Details about the next get together will be posted soon. If you would like to be added to the list, please let me know. Thank you again to those who came to dinner and to Domain Capital.

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