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May 17, 2007

Comments

OilGasFutures.Com

frank, not sure if you got this one yet on poker.de sales price:
http://www.threadwatch.org/node/14458

----pk

***FS*** Hadn't seen that pk, thanks!

Andrew Johnson

Isn't Demand Media a good example of this since they acquired Enom?

In certain respects it is kind of troubling; it incentivizes registrars to be lax in ensuring their clients renew their names. For a pro, obviously it is their job to ensure their names don't expire and that they use a credible registrar. However, for the more "casual" or uneducated owner (i.e. small business owner whose focus isn't online) this can become a very serious issue.

I'm not trying throwing any allegations here, but we recently saw the collapse of Registerfly, an eNom reseller. It was no secret, Registerfly was like the chronic drunk driver of registrars. Domains were lost left and right for the past 1-2+ years before this. I had a name which I renewed through them, turns out Registerfly F'd-up it did not renew, and today it is a parked PPC page owned by eNom.

This is something to watch out for. I think it is critical that the interests of all domain name owners be kept in check here, big and small.


***FS*** Great comment Andrew.. things keep getting more encroachy and risky for small registrants.. I have long said "there is no sheriff in this town" and "get your own registrar" .. That's clearly not practical for all registrants, I think Enom was a pretty good rar.. I never got the sense they were moving in on me when there, but I agree that they are part of a bigger co now and registrants need to be warry. In Canada I have heard the .ca registry is worried about the potential for the predatory registrar phenomenon and wants to make rules to clamp down hard on it.. I applaud that.. I wish ICANN would lay down some rules to clarify 'the line' for all parties. I think the house will always win because some registrants just don't care about/understand the value in their names.. but registrants certainly need some protection.

DP

Enom does this already, yet still market some of their expiring names as "premium". I wonder if Godaddy does the same or if they actually let everything go through to TDNAM.

It's easy to criticize registrars for this and cry "conflict of interest", but I can't honestly say I wouldn't do the same in their shoes, and if it were banned they'd just form side companies to siphon the names off into.

Double-edged sword here, scanning drop lists is something I feel compelled to do, being pushed into development would probably be much more enjoyable if I wasn't concerned about what names I was missing in the meantime.

Everyone suddenly developing could go either way too. A lot of new competition on the web, but just imagine what it would do to reinforce direct navigation if domainers started to turn those parking lots into sites with "curb appeal". Suddenly search doesn't look so attractive...

OilGasFutures.Com

i think go daddy is doing it except selling the names outright at premium prices ---go to godaddy and enter pricegold and see what pops up---has anyone noticed this yet----it came up available i thought i was gonna buy it for 8 bucks and then saw the price was $2,450---

rhart

It is a "conflict of interest"...no doubt about it. It smells and feels rotten. However...it is legal, or at least not illegal. I am trying to think of an anology, but am having trouble. I can't think of any organization that has been given the priviledge and responsiblity of distributing an asset meant for the public, though hoarding part of it to maximize profits for themselves...and not serve their customer, which you would think that they have a duty to do.

Bob Parsons slammed "domain tasters", of which I am not one. But I also came to believe that domain tasting does not break any rules either, just like this. Though does have a bad smell to it.

Wait a minute...isn't this just long term domain tasting or "kiting", as Bob would say? Maybe worse. They keep the domain from the public, collect ad revenue, and then a premium on top (ref the first comment above).

***FS*** Very good point. Bob likes what Bob likes.

DP

Question: The difference between domain kiting and measuring traffic on expired names to jack up the minimum TDNAM bids on those that measure well?

Answer: Nobody is paying the domain "kiters" $7.99 per domain they taste.

Philip Corwin

This trend definitely puts registrars into a conflict of interest situation with their registrant customers. To analogize to the financial services world, they are trading for their own account -- and in doing so they are competing with their own customers and they are also drying up the liquidity of the DN marketplace by keeping all but the most worthless of expiring names for themselves.

This is quite different from large commercial registrants who own their own registrar to facilitate their own transactions but who may not be providing registration services to the general public. Since ICANN is supposed to be initiating a process to revise registrar agreemnts at the San Juan meeting next month, in response to RegisterFly, should this be an issue that the registrant community asks them to address?

***FS*** Doesn't Goldman Sachs do this in the investment world though Phil? They keep the best deals they find for themselves or close investors.. the public only gets in after the cherries have been creamed off the top. As an investor who took risks to get where he is I see the inequity (when retail registrars turn-coat and take names for themselves), but how is this different than my Goldman example?

Adam Strong

Notice the link to the Trademark Free Zone ?
http://www.surfhawaii.com/trademark.jsp

Think this will save them from the thousands of infringement claims they likely might receive :)

***FS*** I saw! .. That, a little salt over the shoulder, and their lucky rabbit's foot should do the trick ;)

Philip Corwin

In regard to your Goldman Sachs example, FS, I think there's a difference. Individual investors are not in the business of doing investment banking deals and underwritings so there's no direct competition -- but indivdiual registrants are in the business of purchasings DNs. And when an investment bank does an underwriting they very much want to push the stock into the accounts of their retail customers, not keep it all for themselves.

Anyway, the analogy isn't perfect, and in any event the questions are whether DN registrants think that registrars are abusing their middleman status with this new practice and, if so, whether ICANN should be asked to deal with it as they tighten up registrar agreements. I don't know what the answer to those questions are, but I think they are worth asking.

***FS*** Very well said sir. To not openly discuss it, would be a pity. Now if registrar's started making renewals prohibitively difficult and started to try to unseat their registrant population -- in effect shaking their registrants until they let their names go .. that would be a crime. And a pity if ICANN didn't create some rules to guard against that. I think the Canadian registry is worried about that sort of thing and they are taking the initiative in creating a framework to guard against that.

DP

This Network Solutions story could be even bigger, a name previously registered at Gandi (FSME.COM) was caught by Network Solutions today. It has no nameserver as yet, will be interesting to see where it goes.

Clicking "backorder a domain" at Network Solutions still takes you to Snapnames though.

Drewbert


>Since ICANN is supposed to be initiating a process to revise
>registrar agreemnts at the San Juan meeting next month, in
>response to RegisterFly, should this be an issue that the registrant
>community asks them to address?

Damn straight it is!

Moto

I was in the bid at snapnames for surfhawaii.com and it does'nt look like netsol own it if you check the whois details.

I think it may just be another example of their parking page.

***FS*** I was in the bidding too. My point is this new page was up "before" the auction.. it's still up after. What is the incentive to sell a name in an unreserved transfer-fullfillment auction at snapnames when it makes $7000 a week in paid search revenue? My question isn't so much about this name as it is about the overall situation.

LIL D

This is huge problem. How will it play out?
I'll tell you: I just logged into my directnic account and the first thing I used to see when I logged in was how many domains I have expiring. Not anymore. Now if I want to find out how many domains I have expiring I have to hunt around the site. Shame on directnic but look for more of this kind of stuff unless ICANN steps in. Soon you will have to be a rocket scientist to figure out when your domains are expiring. Simple solution: All expiring domains have to be let go and returned to the available pool; no keeping domains. Registrars caught keeping domains would have their accredidation stripped. ICANN better clamp down now.

David Westloff

What you are seeing there is what was originally called "MonsterMarketPlace" NetSol purchased a company called MonsterCommerce (e-comm software company) a few years ago. MMP was MC's biggest chance to make cash, it is a arbitage site and with this new found "free traffic" will be even a bigger boon to NS.

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