[DNS] Cybersquatting and secondary market

[DNS] Cybersquatting and secondary market

From: Bruce Tonkin <Bruce.Tonkin§melbourneit.com.au>
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 12:43:08 +1000
Hello Ian,

> I think that's much too narrow a definition, Bruce.  
> Trademarks are just one issue, and many com.au domains are 
> not associated with trademarks.

Fair comment. I chose a simple definition to distinguish cycbersquatting
from the legitimate trade in licences.  I think there is also a
difference between a "registered trademark" and a common law trademark
(which can be established through use of a business or service mark).
I was using the term trademark in the general sense.

> This is not a valid analogy.  Art or real estate are tangible 
> goods that are actually owned, not just licenced for use as 
> domain names are.

If it helps, think of other licences then.  E.g pastoral leases, taxi
licences, commercial fishing licences etc.   Even land though I suspect
is closer to a licence analogy then true ownership.   

> Interesting that you should be first to draw a real estate 
> analogy.  As above, it's inappropriate.  For one thing, real 
> estate is constrained by real, physical limitations, such as 
> how many buildings fit on so much land, the price of building 
> materials and labour, and how much more of the remaining 5% 
> or so of undeveloped land can be sacrificed without further 
> catastophic environmental consequences, as well of course as 
> the usual factors of desirability or affordability of certain 
> locations. 

Actually the dynamics of the real estate market do match fairly closely
the dynamics of the secondary domain name market.   Some domain names
are definitely more "desirable" than other domain names.   Those that
got into the market early tended to get the desirable names.   All the
elements of the real estate market - land titles offices, land titles,
property developers, real estate agents, auctioneers, landlords, etc
have analogies in the international secondary domain name market.

At a technical level there are not many limits associated with domain
names, but at a practical level there are limits (e.g limited number of
names in the root, limited number of short names available in the .com
space, etc).

> Elsewhere you mentioned the generic and placename auctions as 
> examples of this trend that's clearly sought by some supply 
> class members.  

Well actually the generic and place name sales were initiatives of the
auDA Board to raise money for auDA.   auDA effectively had reserved
these names for future use, and then decided to sell them.  auDA intends
to use the funds for other activities.  They are indeed an example of
why an organisation may wish to transfer their licences, and I have no
problem with auDA deciding to use this mechanism to raise funds. 

>From a registrant perspective, there was clearly interest in making use
of the reserved names.  Registrars frequently received requests to
register various generic or geographic names over a long period of time.
The registrars would have had no problem with them being released for
registration at the same price as other domain names.   I do however
personally favour auctions when there is contention for the same name.

Registrars only received standard registration fees for both of those
initiatives.   The volume of geographic names registered is trivial
compared to the overall volume of domain names registered or renewed in
a year.

Received on Mon Sep 26 2005 - 02:43:08 UTC

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