Sunday Morning Thoughts and Updates

18

The Summer is winding down, and I am very happy for that. I have a few large deals in the works, and I thought at least one of them would be finished last week. It wasn’t, but that is life in this business. I feel like things slow down in the Summer, and I am happy that the Fall is almost here. Things should pick up in the next couple of weeks.

Here are some thoughts and updates. You are welcome to share yours as well:

I wish I could share this message with brand owners and their legal representatives: please do not file a UDRP to try and get a domain name that was registered prior to your existence. Houzz tried it with HOUZ.com and they just lost their UDRP. The domain name was owned by the registrant before Houzz existed, so there is really no way they could have proven the name was registered in bad faith. If a company wants a domain name badly enough, they should buy it.

It’s very strange to see a UDRP filed against a domain name that was registered all the way back in 1991. That is the case with Starr.com.

Jamie Zoch is one of the best at sleuthing out deals. I thought George Kirikos was the first (pun intended) to find out First.com sold, but Jamie had called it back in May.

New gTLD domain name in the news – A China-based e-car company called Future Mobility raised $200 million in funding and uses FMC.auto for its website.

There sure are a lot of conspiracy theorists in the domain space. I think it’s healthy to question things, but it seems like there are always people ready to cast aspersions when news is shared or major sales are reported.

The Merge Show is coming up in Orlando in less than two months. I am planning to be there and hope there is a good turnout.

I listed 6 names for auction at DropCatch.com, and the auctions have not been going as well as I hoped. Only two names have bids so far. I was thinking that I typically find names at DropCatch by looking at pending delete lists, and if others do, too, they won’t even see these names besides my writing about them.

It looks like DNX.com is pivoting. I believe the domain name is owned by Andrew Rosener’s company, and it was used to sell domain names. According to its Twitter profile, DNX.com is a “Blockchain Platform for Fractional Domain Investment & Title or Proof of Asset (“PofA”).”

A domain investor won a UDRP to retain ConnectingTheFuture.com. It looks like the domain name was won on GoDaddy Auctions at the end of 2014 or early 2015. The company that previously owned the domain name filed the UDRP. The domain owner did a very good job representing himself in the UDRP. It looks like the domain name is listed for sale at Afternic for $7,500 (a very reasonable price, in my opinion), so we will see if the former owner decides to buy the domain name.

18 COMMENTS

  1. UDRP’s have become the digital lottery ticket. For just a few hundred dollars and a little bit of your time, you could be a winner too! :p – This is what also happened to brick-n-mortar lawsuits. Sad, but a reality we all have to face.

    The bigger a company gets, the bigger that target on their back gets as well.

  2. > “some thoughts and updates. You are welcome to share yours as well”

    Speaking as a once former federal officer of the US government, among other things, 🙂 I would add that use of derogatory phrases like “conspiracy theory” and the equivalent is also a very common habit of those who don’t like what they hear either for themselves or on behalf of their friends, especially friends with shared interests.

    > “There sure are a lot of conspiracy theorists in the domain space. I think it’s healthy to question things, but it seems like there are always people ready to cast aspersions when news is shared or major sales are reported.”

    > “According to John Ayto, the phrase conspiracy theory was originally a neutral term and acquired a pejorative connotation only in the 1960s, with an implication that the theorist is paranoid.[7] Lance deHaven-Smith has similarly suggested that the term was deployed in the 1960s by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to discredit John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories.[8] Robert Blaskiewicz rejects such claims, asserting instead that the term has always been derogatory and pointing to examples demonstrating that this has been so since the nineteenth century.” – (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory#Etymology)

    And on the matter of sharing “Sunday Thoughts,” I was already intending to mention some about the sales of Black.com and OC.com:

    The recent pricing of Black.com and OC.com by Heritage Auctions or Aron Meystedt or both is an example of the kind of thing that is *extremely harmful* to the domain name industry. Just like when some were saying the sale of LA.com for only $1.2 million was a good sale. Black.com is clearly worth millions of dollars and is among the most valuable of domain names, certainly among the most valuable of color-related domain names with an obvious broad applicability. Without knowing the man personally, I would even be bold enough to suggest, for instance, that Rick Schwartz would not even be willing to waste his time defecating on $750,000 for a great domain like Black.com, figuratively speaking, or literally if it was offered in cash, though he might be willing to let someone who works for him defecate on it.

    In my view (and boy do I have a track record of being right, such a burden sometimes 😉 ), the $750,000 pricing of Black.com compared to the target price of $850,000 for OC.com was probably at least in part born of a completely wrong, misguided, ultimately mindless, and above all harmful view that Black.com “could not” be listed for any price as high as OC.com and that OC.com “had to” be listed for a higher price because OC.com is so deliciously shorter, and short-short-short must trump everything when both domains are at good. Additionally I would suggest it may also been in part born of a longer view towards taking OC.com off the hands of the recent former owner on the cheap as well because of such thinking. And no matter how you slice it, the whole “OC.com affair” is nothing but a textbook example of conflict of interest in action regardless of what really happened and regardless of how the former owner may even feel about it or more importantly may have been led and well persuaded to feel about it. As they say, when opportunity knocks…

    What would have been good for the industry, however, is if Black.com were first listed at what it is so clearly really worth, which should be in the millions, not some ridiculous price well below seven figures. Try and buy a domain like Black.com from Rick Schwartz or anyone else with a brain about such domains for such a price and see what happens.

    • John, the current market for high-end domains is simply weak that is why you see these sales happening. You seem to assume if a 7 figure name sells for 6 figures there must be some kind of conspiracy. There is no conspiracy, the market is in a sad state unfortunately.

      You believe because black.com is not selling or because x.com may have sold for low 7 figures that some improper dealings happened.

      Nothing to do with that. Weak market explains all of it.

    • Hans, the “conspiracy” trump card doesn’t fly anymore, especially when people like to place the word in other people’s mouths. But there is also a card referred to in society, at least here in the US, as “the smell test,” and obviously I am very far from alone in considering some of these matters to be failing that particular test quite miserably if you looked at any of the other people’s posts.

      In my observation and so far from what I’ve read, for instance, I do not even find any evidence at all that the domain Black.com, for example, was ever even GOOD FAITH marketed at all to the kind of potential end user customers for which and for whom it is a no-brainer bigger than Texas no less. So far it does seem, however, that it was marketed in a way and to some parties for which it would be laughable if there weren’t so many serious elements involved, especially the interests of the seller. And some other commenters have addressed that very aspect of the matter at some of the links above. I guess you are another person who needs reminding about what “conflict of interest” is when it comes to OC.com as well.

    • John, the sad reality in this market is that even some of the best domains are no longer easy to sell. Why do you think LA.com sold for only $1.2 million?

      Why do you think black.com was not good faith marketed? Why would someone do that?

      Black.com could be worth millions or at least should be worth millions. Good luck finding someone for that price in a few months.

      There is a reason why Rick Schwartz sold only 20 domains in 20 years.

      Domains are highly illiquid. If you want to sell this year or next month you are not going to get much for your assets.

    • Okay Hans, check the news today about what just sold for $500,000 and then tell me more about how “weak market” explains it all.

      While you’re at it, explain it to everyone else who has commented about these things.

      And note that there is a world of difference between commenting on what I have not seen and what I have seen regarding evidence vs. actually declaratively stating someone did or did not act in good faith. Or are you putting more words in my mouth besides the one earlier?

      And while you are contemplating that last question, show me a single shred of evidence that the domain Black.com was good faith marketed to any meaningful quantity of the kind of myriad of no-brainer potential buyers anyone can think of, even a 12 year old you stop to ask on a street corner, instead of to people like the domain investor who hosts this very blog.

      And explain why a domain name as significant as Black.com was not even put up for competitive bidding with ample publicity as well while you’re at it, although that was perhaps just a bad decision on the part of the seller for all I know.

      And as for your question “Why would someone do that?” there is certainly ample speculation one could speculate without actual certain knowledge, but there is certainly no point in doing that here now and it has been amply addressed already before. But God certainly knows what really happened and what everyone’s motivation was lately.

    • Monkey.com is a nice sale but that does not change the fact that the market is not what it used to be. Who knows how long they had to wait for the right buyer to come along.

      Let’s not get too conspirationally minded here.

    • here is my reply.

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-some-people-believe-in-conspiracy-theories/

      “None of the above should indicate that all conspiracy theories are false. Some may indeed turn out to be true. The point is that some individuals may have a tendency to find such theories attractive. The crux of the matter is that conspiracists are not really sure what the true explanation of an event is—they are simply certain that the “official story” is a cover-up.”

    • “according to John Ayto, the phrase conspiracy theory was originally a neutral term and acquired a pejorative connotation only in the 1960s, with an implication that the theorist is paranoid.[7] Lance deHaven-Smith has similarly suggested that the term was deployed in the 1960s by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to discredit John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories…”

      Everything in the world is a cover-up?

      Even the term conspiracy theory was discredited to cover something up.

    • What took you so long to come up with that?

      Hans, I get that you’re trolling me to try to get some kind of rise out of me or something, and I don’t know or care if you get that the only reason I’m even responding to you is for the sake of every other reader who happens to see this thread but you, but I wonder what you make of how so many others have been saying and posting the same things about the OC.com affair, and to some extent some of the other matters, whether at NamePros, DomainNameWire, or any of the other links above. Perhaps you feel we are all suffering from whatever it is you are selling here. Perhaps we all caught it through the Internet I guess.

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