Domain Squatters

Do you know what really makes me upset?  Okay, fair enough a lot of things make me upset but what I am upset about at the moment is domain squatters.  Anyone who has been on the internet for any length of time knows exactly what I am talking about.

Once domain names became ridiculous cheap people decided that it would be a good business move to buy a bunch of domain names, sit on them and mark them up to 1000% of the renewal fee. Coming from a family of small business owners I see the business side of this argument but as I web designer this practice makes me sick. There are now millions of domain names out there that cannot be utilized because some guy decided that the domain he paid $5 for is really worth $8,000.

I’ve had a few verbal sparring matches with these domain squatters and one of the things that really gets me angry is how the fall back position of any domain squatter is that domain squatting is a business not unlike investing in real estate.  I’m sorry but I think that argument in kinda weak.

Imagine this scenario.  You live in a town where affordable housing is around $100,000.  What if a real estate developer bought all the sub $100,000 houses in your town, made absolutely no improvements to them and stuck a price tag of 1 million dollars on every house.  Not only that but the developer put large billboards in the front-yard advertising for pharmaceuticals and get rich schemes.

If this happened people would be outraged, there would be riots in the streets.  I know my example may seem a bit outlandish but I feel that the Internet is my town and it makes me sick to think of all the great “property” that remains undeveloped because of these domain squatters.

Now I am not suggesting that people should not be able to sell a domain name that they have registered in good faith and decided they want to sell, as long as the are reasonable about the price.  However, that is not the majority of the domain squatters. The majority of them use software to catch and release thousands of domain names daily and charge upwards of 1000 times the registration fee.

Okay, now that I have my rant out of the way, I’ve decided to focus my studies on domain name ligation.  I’m currently a second year law student at the University of South Dakota and I am going to study up on the law and hopefully in the next year and a half help you guys fight against these domain squatters.  Check back regularly if you want to hear about my progress.

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