Are cybersquatters and out of control registrars hurting the domain industry?

Good evening folks!!

Let's set the record
straight. Having a generic domain name does NOT make you a cybersquatter. It
makes you a smart investor as prices for these valuable assets just keep going
up in value. Just because you have a domain somebody else wants does not make
you a cybersquatter. However some of those crying 'cybersquatter'
are getting domains they should not win by flawed WIPO decisions and flawed UDRP
rulings. Some call them thieves while others accuse them of 'Reverse domain
hijacking.' Aided by a system with no rhyme or reason and a system that
has no room for setting precedent or following it. In my opinion some of those
rulings will be overturned in the years ahead and those domains will be
returned to the original registrants.

On the other hand, those
that buy domain names with company names and trademarks as part of the domain
name are probably cybersquatters or worse. We are not talking about folks with
portfolios that could have a handful of domains that could be in the 'Gray'
area. We are talking about those that register tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of infringing
domains and everybody is profiting from it from Google and Yahoo to everyone
down stream. I wish Google and Yahoo would take the profit out and stop paying
for that traffic. Ban that traffic!! Ban it TODAY!! The result will be rising payouts for
everyone playing by the rules with quality traffic. So as long as they pay, they are a big part of
the problem. They fuel the problem and the public needs to know.

But they are far from
the worst offenders. The worst offenders are the registrars. Not all, but many.
They are the real whores of the industry and they are harming legitimate domain
investors and developers. Many registrars are out of control and Verisign gave
them the license to do it and ICANN has done little to stop the abuse. Add to
that the $$$$ that Google and Yahoo pay for this traffic and that only fuels
the problem.

Earlier this week Dell
filed suit against some of those registrars. I applaud and support Dell and I
hope they put the fear of God into the other registrars who are abusing their
roles and hurting our industry. The entire story is here. But from what I understand Dell  has gone a little too far and used some tactics that will soon be made public. They themselves have over reached imo. What is in the wind is that Dell is using some counterfeiting law to seize computers and records with no notice.

I think it is incumbent on
the professional domain industry to speak out against these abuses. To separate
themselves from that sector. That sector is largely made up of registrars and
those newer to the domain business. They see it as a way to make a quick buck
and Google and Yahoo and others are also profiting from this practice. They are
confusing the public and it is out of control. So out of control that the
backlash is going to hurt all of us in a significant way. That is why it is
TIME for professional domain investors to speak out loudly and often about the
state of things. We need to make it clear this is not OUR doing. This is the
doing of people and companies much higher up the food chain and it should stop
and stop now. The only way it will stop is to stop paying for that traffic. Make that traffic worthless. Let those with infringing domains collapse and disappear. That's my opinion. Yours may be different. This is a complicated subject. But from where I sit, this all stinks and needs to be corrected.
Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

6 thoughts on “Are cybersquatters and out of control registrars hurting the domain industry?

  1. Partial

    While I agree with what you say I would respect you more based on what you do or should I say stop doing. Stop accepting this” dirty” money and teaming up with these registrar(s) and parking companys who aid in this and in your words may be worth a damn. You made way for those ( we know whom you really speak of ) with” grey area” names but why not try to cover the ass of DS, Moniker and others who help you promote this industry. Before you ask Google and Yahoo to stop perhaps you should. Tell ypur sponsors to drop names that infringe, give up private whois on names and do not allow dirty money to fuel the domain market. Do as I say not as I do ?
    Response by RS:
    Some sponsors don’t take these names anymore. Fabulous for one. If Moniker or DS do, they should stop. My feelings are no secret or I would have never made this post. But the last time I looked the payouts all come from Google and Yahoo. So we can kill one ant at a time or we can clean up the whole mess. So the bottom line is that I went further than you even suggest. When Google and Yahoo! stop paying for this infinging traffic the problem as we know it will be over.
    As for the”Gray” area. I am not referring to registrars or sponsors. This is aimed at domainers that may have a handful (5-10) of domains that COULD be challenged. That could be decided either way. Not folks or companies that have thousands or target these domains.

  2. lawrence

    i’m not a law expert or anything…
    but the trademark offices should work in conjunction with the domain registrars…to ensure any trademarked name or combination thereoff – never gets registered in the first place, unless it’s the owner registering it

  3. Charley

    Why are you excluding this category ? These portfolio owners too know that they are infringing in the first place.

  4. Howard Bowling

    Looking forward to the day when all Domainers are not brushed with the same stroke (cybersquaters). I think most people who see someone own’s a domain name, and it is not used for a”Business” or”personal”
    type site, believes you must be a cybersquater. We need more articles showing what a fantastic and”Legitimate” business, domain name investing is. Like any business or investment opportunity, there is always going to be the fringe element who makes the whole community look bad. Unfortunately we have more than our share of those. I do believe I am seeing more of an effort by
    folk’s like Rick to shine a light on these area’s. Keep up the good work.

  5. Enrico Schaefer

    Rick: I could not agree more. When many legitimate domainers hears the word”cybersquatting” they often overreact. This is because they feel like they are on defense right out of the gate. Because of a few bad eggs, the entire industry feels under attack. The only way this perception will change is when legitimate domainers step up and call out those whose intent is clear, as you have done here and Frank Schilling does regularly.
    They real bad guys are easy to spot (although harder to find). But cybersqutting, and especially typosquatting, is giving everyone a black eye. I posted recently on this issue here…


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