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11:26 am on Jul 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is there now any law forcing people to either make use of the domains they're sitting on or force them to sell them at their market value?
11:50 am on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I believe there's talk of bringing a law in to enforce this but as far as I know nothing yet...
12:10 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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<Snip>

Ever hear of capilitism?

[edited by: Webwork at 2:12 am (utc) on July 26, 2006]
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[1][edit reason] <br>[1][edit reason] No international politics please [/edit]
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12:12 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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when and if such a problematic law ever spews forth, it won't be the dumbest one on the books, but it'll make a fine first cousin to the dumbest law. :)
1:00 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've not heard of any such thing; to try to introduce such a policy would be both foolhardy and difficult.

How would you define a domain as being sat on? There are undoubtedly many domains that are registered and used for e-mail or other 'hidden' services, with no public facing website ever to be seen. Many domains are bought well in advance and developed as time permits, hence may be free from a web site for a potentially lengthy period of time.

Similarly, how would you define a domain as being used? Would this definition be based on visitor numbers or quality and quantity of content perhaps? When would a domain cease to be a valid domain and become a squatted domain? The difficulties here are many.

I should point out that this isn't me having a go at the original poster; their question is valid and it's one that I'm asked surprisingly often.

On the flip side, I've had plenty of experience of domains that have clearly been bought by speculators. The joy of a free market means that I've been able to enquire about these, and even bought a few at a reasonable price. The others I've simply passed by; there's always something else available that fits the bill.

R.

1:01 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is there now any law forcing people to either make use of the domains they're sitting on or force them to sell them at their market value?

How do you define using / not using?

How do you define market value?

2:15 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it is a problematic law. I accept that. Maybe there shouldn't be a market in domain names. Make them all one price. Who benefits from the trade in domains anyway? I see it as anti-business.

[edited by: Dorian at 2:15 pm (utc) on July 25, 2006]

[edited by: Webwork at 2:13 am (utc) on July 26, 2006]
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[1][edit reason] No politics please [/edit]
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2:57 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Folks, fellows, friends, ladies and gentlemen: WebmasterWorld strives to keep politics out of webmaster business . . so let's stick to the practice of neither thumping our mighty national chests (America rules) nor thumping our neighbor's national noggins (Oh no they/you don't, China rules).

Thanks.

Webwork - Forum Moderator

Besides, when it comes to all matters of any international importance we all know: Elbonia Rules! [en.wikipedia.org] :0)

[edited by: Webwork at 2:58 pm (utc) on July 25, 2006]

3:01 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How do you define using / not using?

How do you define market value?


Similar questions (mostly in other fields) are answered daily in the courts of law by expert witnesses. The difficulty of answering this kind of questions is hardly a reason not to implement such law.
3:38 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You're pushing those ElbonianWidgets domain names pretty hard, WW. Just how many of those do you happen have in your portfolio? ;-)
3:40 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No way a court could possibly determine a value for a domain which is not yet a website. Even if developed it would still be quite tough to do.

Do you also think it should be illegal to buy raw undeveloped land or acreage unless you build on it? Same with domains, they are e-realestate which may or may not be developed, at the owners will.

That is similar to raw land used for crops. The owner is likely using the domains for redirection to a developed site (perhaps will also build on it one day), or may continue to grow his crops, or never use the land and just enjoy camping on it once in a while, or simply waiting for it to increase in value and resell for a profit in a few yrs.

4:21 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Domain Squatters - What's the latest?

I think most of us are still here. Roll Call? ;)

4:31 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No way a court could possibly determine a value for a domain which is not yet a website.

Of course they could. As John says, the law presides over far more complicated cases than that. It hardly compares to a divorce settlement in terms of complexity. I say keep it simple - make every domain worth $100.

That is similar to raw land used for crops.

That's right. It's the same as every other area where speculators withhold property from public use without adding anything to its value. That's my problem with this whole thing - it dampens commerce.

4:47 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Elbonia put over 73K .eu domains on hold on 20 July 2006 [webmasterworld.com]

Most of the affected doamins seem to be registered by cyberwarehousing operations

4:48 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That's right. It's the same as every other area where speculators withhold property from public use without adding anything to its value. That's my problem with this whole thing - it dampens commerce.

Do you think so?

Security of tenure is one of the most important things for commerce to flourish in the private sector.

4:54 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is there now any law forcing people to either make use of the domains they're sitting on or force them to sell them at their market value?

Define the term 'use'.

For some just a page with 2 line is proper use, while for others even a 20,000 page site is not good enough. Who decides if the 'use' is proper.

5:19 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What does "Security of tenure" mean?

"Domain prospecting" is what gets under my skin. People buy hundreds or thousands of domains in the hope that they might be able to make a net profit off selling some of them at inflated prices. They never actually intend on developing them as real web sites. I can see where it might be legal, but I don't respect it. IMHO it's a slimy business - I can't see any way in which it makes the world a better place. If you've got enough intelligence to do it profitably, you've got enough intelligence to do something more respectible with your life and still make a living.

On the other hand, I can see where someone thinks up a product or idea for a web site, buys a domain to match, but then it takes even years to get it off the ground.

5:37 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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in many ways the domain speculators buying 1000s of domains help to keep the price down on new domains - ever thought of it that way?
5:55 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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in many ways the domain speculators buying 1000s of domains help to keep the price down on new domains - ever thought of it that way?

Seriously, I can see where domain speculators are good for the registrar business, but I'd rather pay $20 and not have to deal with speculators than $10 (or $10,000) and have to contend with them...

[edited by: jatar_k at 4:56 pm (utc) on July 26, 2006]
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[1][edit reason] politics [/edit]
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6:11 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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in many ways the domain speculators buying 1000s of domains help to keep the price down on new domains - ever thought of it that way?

Maybe that's the problem. If they were $100 and $100 a year to renew people would be less likely to sit on them.

6:23 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If they were $100 and $100 a year to renew people would be less likely to sit on them.

They sure would. I'd drop about half of my portfolio in a heartbeat if prices were to increase to those levels. And, I'd be letting go of some good ones that I've had for years. ;)

6:39 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>> but I'd rather pay $20 and not have to deal with speculators

but all the early domains i got were much more than that when i first registered them, that didn't stop speculators

6:40 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They sure would. I'd drop about half of my portfolio in a heartbeat if prices were to increase to those levels. And, I'd be letting go of some good ones that I've had for years. ;)

:)

8:23 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Who decides if the 'use' is proper.

Arbiters, judges.
9:59 pm on July 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Who decides if the 'use' is proper.

Arbiters, judges

This would make the situation far worse here's why.

1) It would be very easy to bang up 10 pages of on topic content or meet what ever other criteria is needed to satisfy what is deemed to be appropiate usage.

2) Just because there isn't a publicly accessible web page doesn't mean the domain isn't being used.

3) You can not guess what is in the surfers mind at the time they type in or search for a given domain.

For example if the searchers heating widget has blown up and he's freezing his blue widgets off he may be much happier with a single page offering ads to various widget engineers and repairers than with a site on quantum heating widgets, as he's not exactly interested in whether heating widgets can or cannot coexist with anti-heatingwidgets within n dimensional widget space even though the website author is the esteemed and related A. Einstein and approved by a judge or arbiter from the newly formed Domain Ministry of Zen. (DMOZ) :)

4:50 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Remember guys, if a "law" dealing with this specific issue is finally enforced, everyone based on that area will be affected.

Some of you, I'm sure, won't have a problem with that. But is that going to be fair to others? (unless you don't care about them...)

And if it's enforced, do you think it'll be just as easy to retract it should it do more harm than good? By the time it's retracted (if ever), what about those who unjustly "suffered"?

I'd imagine this can be applicable to Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs). But for the generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) like .com, are you absolutely sure you want something like that?

Think about it.

9:12 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Okay, I've got a suggestion. How about you can only sell your domain back to ICANN (or similar) for a fixed amount. [/Prospecting]
10:07 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Okay, I've got a suggestion. How about you can only sell your domain back to ICANN (or similar) for a fixed amount. [/Prospecting]

Its an interesting concept but it has a few problems.

The drop catchers are very efficient so when ICANN et al. re-release the name a handful of companies catch the 'good' names - they would need to be prevented from reselling the names at auction etc.

People would keep the names and probably lease/sub let.

The internet net works because it offers individuals the chance to compete against huge international companies. If you remove any value from the system of domains that removes a whole class of entrepreneurs who would otherwise build new businesses on websites.

Anybody who builds a website needs security of tenure so they know that once they have built that business or infomation site it will be theirs to do with as they please. Take away that security the same will happen as happens in the certain dictatorships, banks won't lend money and people won't risk inveesting time and resources to their projects and the whole system shrinks.

The current domain system has been phenominally sucessful and on the whole fucntions very smoothly. Sure some people take advantage of trademarks. The trademark lobby is pretty good at protecting its interests and sometimes its members believe they should have the rights to everything and abuse the system back the other way (Reverse Hijacking). But on the whole UDRP sorts most of the issues without the need to resort to legal action.

11:04 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you remove any value from the system of domains that removes a whole class of entrepreneurs who would otherwise build new businesses on websites.

That's exactly what I'm finding in the current situation. The vast majority of domains are occupied. I've tried to help friends set up businesses and the first major obstacle everyone encounters is the absence of decent domains. The only option now is to make up a nonsense word.

So these guys who are idly sitting on domains in the hope that they can squeeze some cash out of new businesses are proving to be the scourge of ecommerce.

We've done away with typo-squatters and perhaps domain prospectors should be next. Free the internet up for people who are interested in creating businesses not obstructing others from doing so.

11:21 am on July 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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.com is very full but you can still pickup some very good .info domains for very reasonable prices.
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