ICANN Says: Domaining is Bad

April 7, 2008 · Print This Article

Paul Twomey is the president and CEO of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the big kahunas who run the domain system. So, their view of domaining is obviously somewhat important.

Now we hear from Mr Twomey that domaining is bad. In fact, it’s not only bad, it’s as bad as cybersquatting and typosquatting.

Here’s Mr Twomey’s words (emphasis mine):

While many would welcome the ability to have domain names in their native languages, there is a number of downsides, Twomey said, including cyber-squatting, typo-squatting and domaining.

Cybersquatting is the practice of registering a website that contains a trademark, and then holding it hostage from the legitimate trademark holder in the hopes of a payoff. Typo-squattering involves registering websites that contain misspelling of trademarks, such as Googel.com, with the hope that the trademark owner will also pay to own the misspelled site.

Domaining, which is technically legal, is still somewhat controversial. Domainers purchase non-trademarked domain names in the hopes of either reselling the name at a profit [sic]. Some websites have resold for millions of dollars. Other domainers “park” the domain in order to generate advertising revenue. A parked site usually reroutes users to a website that contains ads.

While a number of international laws and internal procedures discourage squatting, domaining is going to be an issue, Twomey said.

Source: Gulf News

OK, let me see here. Purchasing stocks “in the hopes of reselling at a profit” – that’s alright. Purchasing bonds “in the hopes of reselling at a profit” – that’s alright. Purchasing property “in the hopes of reselling at a profit” – that’s alright. Purchasing domains “in the hopes of reselling at a profit” – really bad and should be illegal. Can’t see any logical problems with this argument.

Domainers really have their work cut out for them, when even the highest levels in the domain world think that reselling for a profit is really bad and should be forbidden.

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6 Responses to “ICANN Says: Domaining is Bad”

  1. Seyi on April 8th, 2008 6:01 am

    Cyber-squatting and typo-squatting could be big problems but I don’t think ICANN should fight domaining. As you said, this is a legitimate business. There are other issues that ICANN should focus on rather than going after domain investors.

  2. Francois on April 8th, 2008 6:54 am

    I am shocked by Twomey’s words.
    If now we also need to educate ICANN!?

    This is why we must be united to defend our industry.
    Join the ICA (InternetCommerce.org).

  3. Jason Keenan on April 9th, 2008 10:19 am

    I have discussed this news report with Paul Twomey and he has asked me to clarity that the Gulf News article incorrectly suggests that he has concerns with domainers.

    As he said to me: “When asked to look ahead at what might happen on the Internet, I did say it was likely domainers would move increasingly into the ccTLD space. In no way did I say or suggest that domainers were a negative force in any way and certainly did not refer to them as “a downside.” The many domainers I have met and chatted with at meetings across the globe will know I would never say such a thing.

    As I noted in my closing remarks at the Dubai meeting, the marketplace has evolved and domainers are a part of the robust domain name market that exists today.”

  4. admin on April 9th, 2008 11:20 am

    Thanks Jason. I”ll make a separate post about this.

  5. Jothan Frakes on April 9th, 2008 1:15 pm

    I think there is blurring between editorial opinion and actual quotations.

    I am going to defend Paul Twomey here.

    He would simply never speak ill of the domain marketplace or make statements like are present in this article.