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View Poll Results: How should domain squatters be stopped?
Domains with no content on them should be taken away from the squatter after a set period of time. 13 35.14%
People should be limited to the number of domains they can buy. 1 2.70%
Nothing, domain squatters are clever oppurtunists and they deserve the exortion money. 23 62.16%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jun 4, 2012, 06:39 PM   #26
snberk103
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Originally Posted by jpyc7 View Post
I agree with the various posts that it is quite difficult to come up with a policy for squatting. ....

I haven't really thought this through, but I think the 'renewal' price and the 'first claim' price may have to be adjusted differently. So consider a 'renewal' which always increases faster than the registration price. ... Basically, you provide an economic incentive to 'improve' the domain so that it will make enough money to cover the increased renewal fees as the years go by. ...
But should all domain names be "economic" motivated? What about a family that wants to put up family page? Or a poet who just wants to share their poetry? There are all sorts of reasons that people may want a webpage that have nothing to do with making money.

There is, I think, a good idea (in theory - but crappy in practice) to prevent squatting. It's just a case of collecting a capital gains tax on the value of the domain name on the secondary market. If I buy a name at $25 and sell it at $25 then there is no gain, and no tax. If sell the domain name for $7000 then there is an increase and capital gains kicks in. If the tax was set at 50% that would be a pretty steep disincentive.

However, that would mean tying the national tax agencies into the databases of internet registrars. And how do you enforce that? Commerce of tangible goods on the web is already difficult enough to document, but with something that is done entirely electronically, I suspect the only people who will end up paying are the small players in the market. The ones who don't know how/don't have the facilities for masking their activities.
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Old Jun 4, 2012, 08:40 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by snberk103 View Post
But should all domain names be "economic" motivated? What about a family that wants to put up family page? Or a poet who just wants to share their poetry? There are all sorts of reasons that people may want a webpage that have nothing to do with making money.

There is, I think, a good idea (in theory - but crappy in practice) to prevent squatting. It's just a case of collecting a capital gains tax on the value of the domain name on the secondary market. If I buy a name at $25 and sell it at $25 then there is no gain, and no tax. If sell the domain name for $7000 then there is an increase and capital gains kicks in. If the tax was set at 50% that would be a pretty steep disincentive.

. . .
Well, one should think of the renewal fee as a hobby tax for people who do not want to make money from their domain. That's why I would want it capped relative to the base registration fee. To discourage squatters you are searching for the price point at which they would give up some domains while not dissuading hobby domain owners to give up theirs. Presumably squatters own lots of domains, so they want to only keep lucrative domain names (the ones they think they can sell later on). Depending on the price, one could optimize based on a utility function that values hobby owners vs. squatters 'appropriately'. The problem is that people value these differently. The OP really wants to discourage squatters while other people (say the one that does not have time to develop all projects) would not want a high renewal price.

BTW, I think one is already required to pay capital gains tax (in the USA), but in practice it is hard to enforce. If I understand you correctly, you want to decrease the overall gain so that selling domain names is less lucrative. I agree that would be another avenue.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 01:29 PM   #28
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Another point to consider...
Just because a website isn't located on a particular domain doesn't mean the domain isn't being used. I registered my first and last name purely for email use. I might find the time to put a site there some day, but for now it goes to more or less a blank page.

But I'm still using it.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 07:15 PM   #29
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As others have pointed out, the other person purchased the domain name and maintains the domain name. Thus it belongs to them.

What I see is the OP wants to remove from their ownership the domain for which they purchased and see value in. Why? Because the OP wants to use it and does not want to pay the $$$ the domain owner wants to relinquish their claim.

Private ownership is private ownership be it land or domain names. I'm sure everyone owns something that someone else would like to own but cannot afford. Do we just give it to them because they "want" it more than we do? No, that is not how it works.

and to use the term "squatting" is wrong. Look it up. Squatting usually means owning, possessing or otherwise using something they do not own. The fact the owner of the domain name has paid money for the domain means he is not technically squatting.
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Old Jun 8, 2012, 11:33 PM   #30
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I'm aware that there are quite a few other threads of domain squatting, but I wanted to put it to a poll.

I don't think any of us like domain squatting, but how do you think squatters should be stopped? For example, I wanted jailbreaktime.com for my website, but the guy who was squatting the domain wanted around $7000 for it! Therefore I had to settle with jailbreakzeit.com (zeit being the German word for time). Have a look at jailbreaktime.com there's nothing there. This is sort of like internet pollution.

As web_god61 said, "What pisses me off, 99% are just domain squatters. Then, 0.5% are websites that haven't been updated since 1985 and the other 0.5% are actual sites." on this post.

If you have any other methods of prevention just post your reply below.

It is frustrating when a person owns a domain you like and have an idea for but give me a break punishing that person because they registered a domain before you. Did it ever occur to you that maybe the owner had some ideas for it and this is why his or her price is so high? Maybe it is a better idea then yours. Just because a website isn't up doesn't mean something isn't in the works.

Imagine someone coming up to you about an antique you bought really cheap at a yard sale and saying to you the price you want is too much and you should be punished because you aren't even using it. You know how ridiculous that sounds.

As long as the domain names aren't trademarked or an existing company name used to extort that company then registering domains are fair game. Most domainers are good people that sometimes stumble upon profitable opportunities and there is nothing wrong with that or you just might have a problem with commerce altogether. Where many economies are struggling now is the time to approach domain owners and work out deals, payment plans, and/ or even trades -- you maybe surprised at what you can get an aftermarket domain for nowadays.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 03:55 PM   #31
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Well, I know my one frend desided to punch in (bad gay term)Book.com and the guy is trying to sell the domain for a million bucks.

Something like that is smart.

now the spammy ones, Who cares about them.


I know something none of us can change at all, is dead urls.

make them so they are non clickable please. thats most annoying when im hunting for old sites.
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 05:40 AM   #32
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Locke thought that one who works the land creates a claim to it.

There could be potential for disagreement in the application of such a philosophy, such as if colonists think working the land means farming on it and natives think working the land means hunting on it.

The there may be even more room for interpretation in the landscape of ideas.
Steve, Paul, Johnny, Fiona, et al. may all have reason to claim an interest in domain names containing "Apple".

Humans have been dealing with land rights issues for millennia, and still resort to wars as a way to settle them.

Intellectual property laws, which have generally been rooted in the perception that encouraging innovation creates public good, has had far less time to develop, and its battles are usually fought with lawyers.

Domain names are a relatively new form of intellectual property, the **** has yet to hit the fan
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 04:11 PM   #33
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pizza.com sold for 2.6 million. I am sure F*Gbook.com (a play off of facebook.com isn't going to be nearly as marketable when facebook is in the myspace.com category.

I would think he could bank off that domain, but I am doubting $1,000,000.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Major.Robto View Post
Well, I know my one frend desided to punch in (bad gay term)Book.com and the guy is trying to sell the domain for a million bucks.

Something like that is smart.

now the spammy ones, Who cares about them.


I know something none of us can change at all, is dead urls.

make them so they are non clickable please. thats most annoying when im hunting for old sites.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 10:43 AM   #34
Saladinos
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I know I'm reviving a relatively old thread here, but I've just run across this problem.

A few friends and myself want to start a small company. The problem is that we've found our domain is owned by HugeDomains.com. They advertise owning over 350,000 "premium" domains and WHOIS puts them well over 600,000 domains in total.

The domains themselves aren't doing anything - they're just 'buy' pages with prices that shoot up the moment it seems like somebody might be interested in them. For example, my relatively obscure domain (which I won't mention) is listed at $1500. I can't find a domain they offer that is less than $995.

Googling, it appears I'm certainly not the only one to encounter this. Most people seem to just pay the money. That's too distasteful for me; I'm a big believer in rewarding only what deserves to be. These guys added no value to the domain - "squatting" is the perfect word for it.

This is totally different from land. Land has an intrinsic value because it's a real thing and includes things like mineral rights. Domains like this only have value because of what I'm doing externally.

If I want to start a company XYZ (it's already a company, this is an example), the thing that gains value is the brand XYZ as a result of my hard work in the business. The domain xyz.com only increases in value because it's easily confused with my brand; similarly, these squatters can only charge such sums because I fear customers won't find me otherwise.

To compare this kind of squatting to owning land is just ridiculous. There are huge practical differences. Basically, if your .com domain is taken by a squatter, people won't find your site and it'd be better to change your company name. In reality then, these squatters are doing something more like trademarking every word they can think of.

Besides, it is doing a lot of real economic harm to startups like ours. We couldn't afford that domain, even if we did reluctantly agree to pay for it.

What these people want to do is to turn every not-found address in to an advertising space, and to punish the people who, unlike themselves, are trying to do some productive good for society.

Here's what I think should be done:

Domain squatting should be illegal, or at least taken much more seriously with bigger efforts to counter it. There should be a cap on the number of domains any single entity may own, as well as a maximum domain price (domains don't have to be sold if they're in use; but if they are sold, they may not be sold for more than $X. Otherwise charges will ensue). The registration fees should increase as the number of domains owned by the entity increases.

----------

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Originally Posted by dmi View Post
Domain names are a relatively new form of intellectual property, the **** has yet to hit the fan
This is where I think the fundamental problem is: domain names, when taken by squatters, are not intellectual property.

According to Google (not sure which dictionary it gets this from):
Quote:
Originally Posted by define:intellectual property
in∑tel∑lec∑tu∑al prop∑er∑ty

noun


A work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc
(emphasis added)

Yet they prohibit others from claiming their true intellectual property. That is, to prohibit them from naming their business something that is currently not used by any other business.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 12:26 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Saladinos View Post
Yet they prohibit others from claiming their true intellectual property. That is, to prohibit them from naming their business something that is currently not used by any other business.
While I certainly appreciate your predicament, I believe your solutions are impractical.

How does someone owning the domain you want keep you from naming your business whatever you want? Okay, the XYZ company can't get xyz.com. So get xyz.org, xyz.net, xyz.me, thexyzco.com... whatever. Set up your domain and when your company succeeds and brand recognition is established, you might even have the legal grounds to require that HugeDomains.com release the domain you want.

Bottom line is that domain squatting is a fact of life. The only way it will stop will be when people actually stop paying the exorbitant prices asked by squatters. If no one would buy, the market would dry up. Until then, people are free to buy what they want and do whatever they want with it. Unfortunately what they want to do may be to squat and wait for the right sucker to come along.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 03:26 PM   #36
Saladinos
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Originally Posted by Darth.Titan View Post
While I certainly appreciate your predicament, I believe your solutions are impractical.

How does someone owning the domain you want keep you from naming your business whatever you want? Okay, the XYZ company can't get xyz.com. So get xyz.org, xyz.net, xyz.me, thexyzco.com... whatever. Set up your domain and when your company succeeds and brand recognition is established, you might even have the legal grounds to require that HugeDomains.com release the domain you want.

Bottom line is that domain squatting is a fact of life. The only way it will stop will be when people actually stop paying the exorbitant prices asked by squatters. If no one would buy, the market would dry up. Until then, people are free to buy what they want and do whatever they want with it. Unfortunately what they want to do may be to squat and wait for the right sucker to come along.
People won't stop paying it - you'll always find some people who'll just glumly accept it, instead of fighting these disgusting business practices.

In the mean time, you need to deal with a domain that hardly anybody can find. Nobody's going to find "xyz.me"; some may find "xyz.org" or "xyz.net", but that'll be their second guesses. In the mean time, all the people mistakenly going to "xyz.com" will cause the price to skyrocket.

There are even cases of squatters advertising competitors and writing bad things about the company in order to force them to settle and buy the domain. It's essentially blackmail.

There's no land-like equivalent to that.

Now I'm stuck in an impossible situation. I basically have to rename the company to something more obscure but still easily identifiable and memorable. It's like asking a parent to rename their child.

Because of the squatters. I'm absolutely gutted. All of you people saying "oh, that's life" obviously haven't been in this kind of situation. It's a blatant injustice.

I don't see how the solutions could be impractical - if you own over 600,000 domains (like HugeDomains do), you're interposing yourself in the normal domain registration process where you have no place to do so. In the process you're hindering people with honest uses for those domains.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 04:59 PM   #37
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i don't think there should be a punishment. i also don't think it should be treated like eminent domain, where the person/company that wants it can just take it over just because it's not being used. the domain should be paid for by the person/company wanting it
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 05:22 PM   #38
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In the meantime, you need to deal with a domain that hardly anybody can find. Nobody's going to find "xyz.me"; some may find "xyz.org" or "xyz.net", but that'll be their second guesses. In the mean time, all the people mistakenly going to "xyz.com" will cause the price to skyrocket.
With all due respect, that's where I think you're wrong. Most people don't go to new websites by typing in a URL, they go to websites by searching for the company or product. If your site is up, and has traffic, and has the content a person is looking for people are going to find it regardless of what your domain name is.

For example, if you're looking for information on Nissan autos and go to nissan.com you're going to be disappointed. Nissan.com is owned by a small computer company called Nissan Computers. Do you think people can't find Nissan Automotive's website at nissanusa.com because of that? Of course they can. They just Google "Nissan Frontier" and it's the first hit on the list.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 05:52 PM   #39
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With all due respect, that's where I think you're wrong. Most people don't go to new websites by typing in a URL, they go to websites by searching for the company or product. If your site is up, and has traffic, and has the content a person is looking for people are going to find it regardless of what your domain name is.

For example, if you're looking for information on Nissan autos and go to nissan.com you're going to be disappointed. Nissan.com is owned by a small computer company called Nissan Computers. Do you think people can't find Nissan Automotive's website at nissanusa.com because of that? Of course they can. They just Google "Nissan Frontier" and it's the first hit on the list.
You're right about search engines replacing URLs. Especially these days with integrated URL/search bars becoming the norm. I did actually think of that before, and it's been giving me a bit of solace as I try to think of the best way forward.

Here's some interesting data I found. Top web searches on Google, 2004 - present.

#1 - "Facebook"
#2 - "Youtube"
#3 - "free" (hey, people always like free stuff, right?)
#4 - "Google" (people google Google?).

"Hotmail", "Yahoo" and "Gmail" are all up there, as are shorter terms for those sites ("face", "you").

Obviously, those sites all own their .com domains. People know their URLs. Yet they are the most searched terms on Google (and that's not a small number of people).

On the other hand, there are other behavioural factors to consider. Those sites are all ones that people visit frequently (email, social networking). It could be that people just can't be bothered to bookmark them. The logic might not apply to this case.

Still, as search becomes better I think people are definitely skipping URLs. I'll need to ask some "normal people" how they find a site for new companies and things. It doesn't excuse the scammers though.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:40 AM   #40
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You're right about search engines replacing URLs. Especially these days with integrated URL/search bars becoming the norm. I did actually think of that before, and it's been giving me a bit of solace as I try to think of the best way forward.
...
Still, as search becomes better I think people are definitely skipping URLs. I'll need to ask some "normal people" how they find a site for new companies and things. It doesn't excuse the scammers though.
I can tell you from experience, getting your company name as domain name is not as important as you think. I'm a photographer, and there are several photographers with my name already on the web (for example FNameLName_Photo.com, and various variations.) There's also a famous cartoonist with my name. I tried out my company name - in full - but it was too long to type, so I shortened it. My company name is actually, it turns out, used a lot in a number of different contexts. Who knew? When I named my company it was pre-internet days and name searches were more difficult.

However, no one I know types in even my shortened company name. They do a search on either the company name, or my name. As long as the add the word "photo" or "photograph" etc they are fine.

There are some really good tutorials on the net about how to construct the text on your homepage to help the search engines. That's the part that counts - not the name.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 12:15 PM   #41
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Yes. The death penalty.*

*Depending on whether it is legal in your country/state/province.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 01:35 PM   #42
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How about $100 or $200? Or $1000? The numbers of moderators needed would be huge. Some sort of infrastructure will need to be created to route requests, handle judgements, hear appeals, and then enforce the rulings.

Should the cost be borne by the defender of the domain name, or the person bringing the appeal? In either case, it favours the large companies over the individual.
Here's a very simple one: You pay any price you want, but there's a legally binding contract that you will have to sell for five times that amount if someone is willing to pay it. Plus you have the right to add to the payment later (so if you paid $10 and the site gets _really_ successful you can decide to pay another $10,000 so nobody can take it away unless they give you $50,000). To avoid blackmail, another binding term would be that after it is sold, you can't buy it back for more than half the price that the next buyer paid.

So the guy who said he was willing to pay $500 for his name: He would have got it for 5 times what the previous owner paid for. If he really wants the name and wants to keep it, pay the whole $500. I can then "steal" it for $2500. But I can't steal it and sell it back to him at a profit.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 02:37 PM   #43
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Here's a very simple one: You pay any price you want, but there's a legally binding contract that you will have to sell for five times that amount if someone is willing to pay it. Plus you have the right to add to the payment later (so if you paid $10 and the site gets _really_ successful you can decide to pay another $10,000 so nobody can take it away unless they give you $50,000). To avoid blackmail, another binding term would be that after it is sold, you can't buy it back for more than half the price that the next buyer paid.

So the guy who said he was willing to pay $500 for his name: He would have got it for 5 times what the previous owner paid for. If he really wants the name and wants to keep it, pay the whole $500. I can then "steal" it for $2500. But I can't steal it and sell it back to him at a profit.
Seriously? How would it work for brand names such as, say Apple.com or Ford.com or IBM.com?

How does that work for the Ma & Pa operation that don't have $500 or $2500 to spend on a domain name? How does that prevent someone from blackmailing someone? Pay me in cash $400 or I will pay the 5x asking price and take it away from you?

I'm not sure you have thought through all the angles here.... But it's an interesting idea.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 09:06 AM   #44
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I suppose if I buy a piece of property on a lake somewhere and never use it and someone else decides they want it to build a house there I should have my property taken away.
Actually, if I come and squat on your lakefront property for long enough and you don't stop me, I do have a case. Look up adverse possession laws.

Not saying I like it, just saying it's in the law.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 11:41 AM   #45
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Actually, if I come and squat on your lakefront property for long enough and you don't stop me, I do have a case. Look up adverse possession laws.

Not saying I like it, just saying it's in the law.
Right, but the difference is that if you're doing that, you are taking the time and effort to physically go there and occupy the property for a period of time. And if his lakefront property is in New Jersey and you live in Arizona, or Hong Kong, or Nigeria, then you have an expensive road trip ahead of you first before you can stake a claim on the land. Plus, there's only one of you. If you're occupying his land, you're not occupying someone else's.

What if you could click a button and a "virtual" you could go over to that property and sit on it and stay there, with no effort or cost? What if you could keep clicking that button and occupy multiple properties all over the world?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 11:47 AM   #46
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Right, but the difference is that if you're doing that, you are taking the time and effort to physically go there and occupy the property for a period of time. And if his lakefront property is in New Jersey and you live in Arizona, or Hong Kong, or Nigeria, then you have an expensive road trip ahead of you first before you can stake a claim on the land. Plus, there's only one of you. If you're occupying his land, you're not occupying someone else's.

What if you could click a button and a "virtual" you could go over to that property and sit on it and stay there, with no effort or cost? What if you could keep clicking that button and occupy multiple properties all over the world?
I agree, the two situations aren't entirely analogous. I was just commenting on the real estate situation posed.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 11:55 AM   #47
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I agree, the two situations aren't entirely analogous. I was just commenting on the real estate situation posed.
Indeed. I find it frustrating that we can't apply similar laws to domains. I wish it was as easy as physical property.

I've experienced losing a domain because I forgot to renew it before it lapsed. It was immediately picked up by some company that put up a generic squat page and essentially held it hostage. "Oh, you wanted it back? Well, we'll be happy to sell it to you..."

This is almost worse than domain squatting since they already know that the domain had value to someone at one point. I ended up abandoning it.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:33 PM   #48
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Right, but the difference is that if you're doing that, you are taking the time and effort to physically go there ...
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Indeed. I find it frustrating that we can't apply similar laws to domains. I wish it was as easy as physical property.
...
Actually - you may be onto something there... Limit the number of domains that can be held by a single entity (with exceptions). The powers that be would have to figure out a reasonable limit, but lets say it was 25 domains owned by a single entity. An 'entity' would be fairly broadly defined as including different people at a single street address. Though, there will be exceptions.... see below.

Yes, there are ways to get around these restrictions, but they add complexities and costs. Basically, it would make it more expensive to hoard domain names, which undercuts the whole business model of buy-low-sell-high.

The exceptions are really quite simple. File a legal declaration that because of the business you are in you need to exceed the limits. For example, Apple. Or the Government. They can afford the lawyers to file the paperwork, so it's not really a burden on them. If it is found later that a company has willfully abused the system, the declaration will also have section that lets the domain names be taken from the abuser - including potentially their actual business domain.

This might work, eh?
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