Re: [DNS] domain-name on-selling?

Re: [DNS] domain-name on-selling?

From: Mark Davidson <davidson§>
Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 13:44:37 +1100
Craig wrote:

> I am interested in peoples acceptance of cyber-squatters.  I do agree that
> domains should be allowed to be onsold.  It is quite possible for
> organisations in different industries to have the same trading name and
> therefore be allowed to register a domain which would be suited both.  A
> great exmaple is the recent division of Telstra which has spawned "NDC",
> but is owned by another legitimate business.  Apparantly
> Telstra are interested in obtaining that domain.  If decides
> against selling, tough to Telstra I guess.

I agree it would be "tough to Telstra" in this case. No problem here - two legitimate businesses having to deal with the problem of scarce resources (ie, only one can own the domain name).

> However, if someone register's a domain which they know will be wanted
> real bad by someone else, that's what I have a problem with.  I have seen
> examples where cyber-squatters have gotten away with this and made a lot
> of money in the process.

A question: why should a person's motive for registering a domain name should be relevant? To me, the real question is whether the action hurts another person (in which case, intention may not be very relevant at all).

> Encouragingly, I am starting to see more and more cases of cyber-squatters
> being taken to court and losing. was recently taken from
> squatters who were trying to sell it to the highest bidder.  Obviously
> Barry Diller (a American millionare) would want to protect is name from
> being bought by a porn site or something like that.  He won his case in a
> court of law.

If someone is being harmed (eg, innocent person's reputation damaged by content at a domain owned by someone else, or a domain with content which is likely to mislead people into thinking the innocent person is associated with the domain) they should be able to seek redress. I may be going out on a limb here, but I think that the law in Australia generally allows this now, although there is obviously room for increased clarity and other improvements.

> I agree with the policy in regards to ACN and business names.

Do you agree with section 3.2? (it's quoted below; and available at

As at 2/12/99, section 3.2 says:

"3.2 Single Domain Name per Commercial Entity
        Only one domain name is licensed per registered commercial name.
        Organizations with more than one registered commercial name (for example,
        a company with several registered trading names) can apply for one
        domain name for each registered trading name."

> Their policy on general catagories and place names is something I have
> problems with, but that's another thread :)

Agree there are probs and that it's another thread :^)

> What are other peoples thoughts on cyber-squatting?

If it's actually harming someone, the innocent person is probably able to (and *should* be able to) get redress.

If there's no affect on reputation or other rights, or people being misled, then a cyber-squatter is just someone who thought early and had the gumption to do something (incl. lay out money) about the thought - not a problem for me (excluding jealousy) any more than a smart property developer who options a block of land knowing s/he can't develop it without other people buying it and then goes on to sell it to those people for a big profit.

It's not too hard to *create* a business without doing too much - if I do that does that mean I am no longer a "cyber-squatter"? The domain name disputes where the "squatter" loses tend to be sitiuations where the other party owns a trade mark or is being harmed in some way by the domain "squatter" - the other examples tend to look a bit like the "NDC" example Craig mentioned but I suspect some of them involved people who were really angling for the profits from sale of the domain name (a la a "real" cyber-quatter) rather than just going
about their business as I assume the owner of is doing.

If I buy [someone else's product/trade mark] and I do not put up a site at all, but wait to sell it to someone, why shouldn't I be allowed to own that domain name? One answer is that its use may infringe "someone else's" trade mark rights (assuming we allow the someone else has an extensive reputation in the product/trade mark in Australia) - but if that is the case, [someone else] can do something about it. And if there are no rights being infringed, why should [someone else] have the right to stop me owning that domain? Why
should society do [someone else's] thinking for them - they can go and register the domain if they want it; if not, and assuming I'm not infringing rights or misleading someone, then I should be able to register the domain.

Apologies for the stream of consciousness - got a busy day but couldn't resist a knee-jerk reaction to Craig's question 8^)

Received on Thu Dec 02 1999 - 10:51:05 UTC

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