What is the excuse now?

Good Afternoon folks,


Many of you have wondered why I have
remained so silent on the Snowe Bill. What am I supposed to say at this point?
It isn't like I did not see this coming and I stated so very publicly back long before the Snowe Bill even emerged. I really can't say any more so all I can do
is wait for events to unfold and reprint my words from the DNJournal article I contributed to at the
beginning of the year that says it all. Pretty frustrating when you see this stuff
coming years away and then few pay attention until crisis is on the
doorstep and even then most say they will just leave it to others to take care of.







 

“Everyone knows I am about the most optimistic
  person you will ever meet. But my optimism is never divorced from reality. Reality is what IS whether we like it or not. I will probably take some heat for what I have said and even more for what I am about to say, but so be it. The following was a blog post I was going to make this week. I think it would have more value here first.   
 
  The enemy within
 


 

There is no question that 2008 will be the most challenging year ever for domain owners and investors. While domainers are having a grand old time their livelihoods are in peril
 
and few really even want to know about it. Combine that with the abuse that domainers themselves are guilty of and I will tell you that the biggest threat lays within the industry. Apathy, greed, wrong doing will surely put us all in jeopardy. While we do these things, our enemy is organizing and they will change rules and laws that will take YOUR domains and the earnings they currently make for you and
your families and are actively trying to shift those dollars to their pockets for them and their families.   


 


But party on like a ship of fools my
friends. My gift is seeing things before they materialize. But hey, don't pay
attention. Don't believe it. Don't do anything. But I promise you that some day
in the next 3-5 years (Maybe much sooner) I will point to THIS POST and
let you know that there was an opportunity to avoid it but you were too busy
laughing at what I suggest. The laughter no different than the day I
'Wasted' my first $100 and bought a domain name. So I am quite
used to it.







 

The forces are gathering. You have a choice to ignore
  this. But when you do, ask yourself  how you are going to feel when your domains are in jeopardy? When it is too late? When your domains are gone and
  the income along with them?
 


 

Like I said, the biggest threat may be from within. Let's face it - many registrars and others are just outright
whores and their practices are not only raising eyebrows, but rules and laws will be put in place to try and control them and their abuses. While doing so we may get smothered in the process. Some domainers are no better.They
focus on Trademarked domain names and that does not help us either. Some think the problem is small. I will respond to that once I stop laughing. It is out of  control and makes everyone look bad.   
 


 

I see what is going on daily when I
  get emails from the Internet Commerce Association  (ICA). The threats are everywhere.
Forces against us are joining together. If the domain industry does not get  ahead of this we will all see the day in which some unfair ruling will be
used to take your assets away from you. Those assets are worth a  fortune. No matter what silly  appraisal you have had, GREAT domains are worth much more than what they say.
The proof will be obvious when you see the millions they will spend to get what you have at a FRACTION of the fair market value.
 


 

There are storm clouds gathering and it is serious. Choose to ignore and you have only yourself to blame. The choice is easy, start educating yourself now. Get the ICA newsletter. Pay attention to the decisions and why domainers are losing domains. Do whatever you can to  prevent what is IN PROGRESS. Or do nothing and start looking for your next
career
and how to replace your incomes.



   

Some will view this as doom and
gloom. Some will view as the sky is falling. My email will go bonkers. It is quite the opposite. The value of domains are going up faster  than you or I even know and THAT  is the reason we are a target. If the values
were not there, if the importance were not there, these folks would not
care about our assets. They validate the FACT that some of the
assets we own are PRICELESS. Unique assets, investments, collectables, virtual real estate, storefronts, that have gone up in value faster than
any other investment in history. Assets worth fighting for.
Worth changing laws for. They will spend MILLIONS to get what we own. They will spend tens of millions. Just ask yourself one question. “Why would they spend so much to get what we have?”


   

 


   

We have insurance for everything we
own. The house, the boat, the car, the life, the health, the toys, etc. etc. etc. Yet for some unexplainable reason domainers won’t insure their  futures. Won’t insure the very thing that pays for everything else. Won’t insure that they are insulated from predators that want what you own. You folks own “Mona Lisa’s” and these PRICKS want it and  they don’t want to buy it. They want to legislate it away from you. Tax it away from  you.STEAL your assets through legal means and I am telling everyone in the industry that they will WIN if you don’t  step up and pay attention and support efforts to insure our futures.

      


   

Steve Forbes related much of the same message at TRAFFIC as this has been done throughout history. Ask any of the top domain lawyers. Ask the top domainers. They all know what is coming. You will all live to see the day that billions of assets changed hands because some of  the smartest folks on the planet failed  themselves and their families. This  is the one predication I don’t  want to be right on. My job is to ring the bell as loud as I can and get the industry to take this seriously. Consider  the bell rung.'


    

The only thing I can add to this is a public thanks
to Phil Corwin. For folks that don’t know, Phil is the guy standing between you and the screwing of your lives. The industry has a fire department. It has one fire fighter. Phil Corwin. If this industry does not support Phil and his efforts with the Internet Commerce Association, there will be no industry to support. And when this bill goes down to defeat, there will be another right behind it. And another. And another. Then one day in the DEAD OF NIGHT, they will attach some provision somewhere that will change your lives in the most profound way. Please don’t anyone say they did not see it coming. Just say you pissed your futures away because: (Just fill in the BS here)


Rick Schwartz


Update: Read this and it will explain my decision below.
I am not going to blog anymore. People are not paying attention to what is coming. They expect somebody else to take care of it for them. The parking companies have the most to lose so I am
confused as my priority and a lot of other domainers I know priority is
now moving domains away from PPC. They are doing it as quick as
possible and starting with the most valuable domains with the most
traffic. I am going back to taking care of my business. Nothing further
I can or will say publicly. I wonder which PPC company will be the
first to do a Bear Stearns?


   

   


   

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15 thoughts on “What is the excuse now?

  1. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,
    I feel that much of what you have said is history repeating itself. Those who are keen in finding the truth such as yourself will find it.Those who are in severe denial will have a hard time getting their arms around the truth.
    The truth is, All property owners through out history have had to protect their rights to ownership. Ask native Americans and you will get just some of the answers that are available to anyone interested in reality based facts of property ownership. A most helpfull read on this subject is,”A Peoples History of the United States 1492 to present” by Howard Zinn.
    Getting back to the subject at hand, lets face it we need to work together to create a safety net designed to repel greedy masters who want our properties.
    We all should consider supporting the I.C.A. that was birthed to protect all web based businesses from the larger predators up the food chain.
    Anyone who would consider a fund raisng initiative with the URL of” HelpRaiseFunds.com” something worth while let me know of your interest in communally developing it for the I.C.A. I can be reached through a link on my website. Or directly contact http://www.internetcommerce.org/
    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider

    Reply
  2. Jeff Hawkins

    Through all of history there’s been people asking those in power to”fix” whatever problem they have. The more underhanded of these people usually attempt to do this without the knowledge of the other party or attempt to limit the other party’s ability to protest.
    What is happening is people who are inattentive, too lazy to educate themselves or else were lured by the easy money retoric of a scammer and found themselves victimized by that online scammer have now garnered the ear of the”king” and asked for redress. They want the government to fix their foolish problems.
    And the court jesters have added to the folly by adding what they want done and telling the king it is good for the country or his constituents. In reality this legislation is only going to help a few people while launching many more”requests of favors”. These requests will be in the form of more litigation with the government acting as agent.
    What I propose is to disconnect the phishers if that’s what people want via IP blocking. Block the country or whole ISP as far as I care. Get the attention of those people who provide the connections. Undo the connections of those who can’t behave until they learn or go away.
    My way it’s just reject the IPs until they clean their systems of the problems. Five minute job!
    The good senators way is for a government agency to act quickly…..

    Reply
  3. Kelly

    I have pledged 15% of all sales of my domains at the TRAFFIC auction in May to the ICA.
    I challenge all domain owners to meet or beat my challenge!
    You can also donate a domain to be auctioned for the full benefit of ICA.
    We owe it to ourselves to support the only organization fighting for us. Regardless of whether you own one domain or 300,000 your business is at stake. Step up and join the fight.
    I challenge you.

    Reply
  4. Josh

    Long winded. Rambling. But exactly right. I myself have fought off a lawsuit where the other side spent over 2 million dollars. They will stop at nothing to take what yall own. Gotta wake up.

    Reply
  5. Lda

    Your message is loud and clear. The US megalithic predators are going to use US laws to direct US based registrars to do their bidding. When I signed the recent petition it was clear from the associated advice that US citizens were those with the most ‘clout’ on this issue, as US folks are the ‘voters’. For those of us living outside the US, it seems that the next step has to be registrars outside the jurisdiction of US lawmakers and their laws. Probably the same for you guys ?? OK, what’s to stop individuals like Frank Schilling opening up his private Cayman Islands registrar to outsiders and set up his own ‘Godaddy clone’ ? I believe the flood of transfers to a safe and trusted registrar outside the grasp of US laws would be overwhelming.

    Reply
  6. Tim

    LDA…I was thinking the same way…a well known and trusted person could start a non-us registrar WITH better security measures than godaddy (more than an email when giving your name away) and clean up

    Reply
  7. UFO.ORG

    The biggest failure is that there has effectively been no regulation of the industry. ICANN have done absolutely nothing. Self regulation could/may be beneficial, however the domain industry is as diverse as the internet was intended to be.
    What the ICA should do, is work constructively with bill makers to do the work that ICANN should be doing. Namely, provide equity and balance to all interested parties in the net space.

    Reply
  8. Jeff Schneider

    Lets not forget that ICANN has a fiduciary responsibility to protect its lease holders. Why are they silent on this issue? I’m not aware of a response from them. Has anybody requested a stance from them?

    Reply
  9. LDA

    Sad day, first Frank, now you signing off. What next ? The Snowe bill and associated moves is another of those US ‘initiatives’ that inevitably have repercussion for all of us who live outside the US. US lawmakers would be aghast if another country tried to impose its homegrown laws on the US. However, the US lawmakers do just that on a daily basis, using all sorts of Government-based economic and punitive threats to back them up. The Snowe bill gives you a glimpse of what the US lawmakers do to other countries regularly. I agree that PPC will be severely hit if/when these types of statutes become US law. However, prior to that the US based registrars will most certainly take a much harder financial hit as registrants move their domains to other countries. There’s no doubt that domain valuations will also be hit. Is that why you’re selling Widgets.com ? Why EBay ? Love to hear you comment on that one. Cheers and best wishes Rick, so long and thanks for all the fish.

    Reply
  10. Oscar

    Lol at this post, and you consider yourself proffesional? What a bunch of bullshit is that, instead of leading others to face this you rather fly like a biatch.

    Reply
  11. Ms Domainer

    I am a relatively new domainer (since May 2007), and I recognized early that this business was filled with self-serving people and organizations who just took care of #1 and didn’t give two hoots about the questionable practices going on. (TM squatting, typo-squatting, hinky aftermarket auctions, to name a few).
    As a new domainer, I tried to help other newbies by posting my experiences and the pitfalls I have experienced. For my efforts, I was called a name on my own blog, probably from someone who has forgotten what it’s like being a green domainer.
    Whenever I posted about practices that concerned me, I got nothing but a code of silence (with a few exceptions).
    Now, all of sudden, these selfish people want me to join their organization so that they can save their expensive domains; these are the same people who ignored my questions or blew me off just because I was a silly newbie who dared to question the industry or even ask a silly question.
    Well, I’m not buying into it. Those whiners can twist in the wind, for all I care.
    Had anyone in a so-called power position paid a little heed to the newbie population, even those of us who dared to question, I think the ICA would have had support from more of us.
    More importantly, had efforts been made to clean up this industry BEFORE the Snowe bill became a threat, ICA would have had better support. Last summer, I would have lined up to join an organization that promised to clean up the domaining mess. But now, the ICA comes across as being totally self-serving and concerned only because the status quo is threatened, not because there are some very real ethical gaps industry wide that need to be addressed and solved.
    My question, then: why should I (and others like me) help people who were mostly unhelpful as I was learning the industry? Where were ICA members last summer when I posed my”dumb” questions, questions that were serious from a newbie point of view?
    Maybe, Rick, this is why most domainers are apathetic toward ICA and the Snowe bill threat.
    We know that if the bill is rewritten to be friendlier toward big money domainers, it will again be business as usual: the small domainer forgotten and slimy business practices continued.
    Ms Domainer

    Reply
  12. LewR

    There is a need for the”wholesome” to challenge the”less-than-wholesome” – Folks know who they are and where they stand.
    Let’s see where this resolves itself in the short run, so that we can plan – no, I mean enact – a solid strategy for the long run.

    Reply
  13. Jeff Schneider

    ” The Snowe Reverse Hyjacking Bill ”
    In our opinion the Snowe Bill absolutely encourages and facilitates Reverse domain hijacking. In fact the best definition of this Bill is ” The Snowe Reverse Hijacking Bill ”
    ___________
    Jeff Schneider/ The Contact Group
    USeBiz.com or UseBiz.com

    Reply
  14. Bruce

    Rick,
    I see the frustration in your posts. It would be helpful to comment on what the small portfolio manager can do. Perhaps a online petition at dnjournal.com or dnations to a legal fund to fight this bill. I personally have called my representatives. So please, inform the domainers in general and we can pull together. Count me in on getting people notified.

    Reply

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