It was actually cathartic for me -- not only did I realize that I may seem like the squatter to someone else in this situation, but it forced me to come to terms with the fact that I won't be working on that idea, ever.
I think this is a feeling so many people working in the web sphere have to contend with at some point.
I decided to just let it go and let my domain expire. I didnt approach the company to try and sell it, just let it expire. I wasn't squatting, amd I intended to use it, but the purpose didn't materialize, so I let it go. I never had any communication from the similarly named company; I dont even know if theyre still around. I just didnt renew when my time expired.
Slightly off topic, but it annoys me to no end that verisign doesn't operate a website at http://com./
I feel like people typing that in, then wondering what the heck just happened would be a great source of people understanding DNS more deeply.
Though that's not really true in practice. Com hasn't exploded under the amount of traffic it faces, and merging in the other zones would only be about twice the load.
I also tried to get my full name, but that was already taken too. He's a performer so it's probably in better hands but that doesn't lessen my disappointment much.
I originally rejected the thought of a 12-letter vanity domain, but it turns out that whenever I need to give someone my email, I've almost certainly already had to spell my name for them once already.
For the first decade or two that was fine as usually the first page or two on a Google search of my name was all me. Very vain. Though I think there are many that shares my Norwegian name, most were not early internet adopters.
However in the last few years, some of the people that also share my name have started to creep up the search result, i.e. they have been covered in news articles or websites of their own. I have now started to feel guilty for hogging all the good domain names. If one of them reach out I would probably hand one of the domain names over at cost or share it somehow.
Though recently I have "reclaimed" some of the first page on Google as the search now states the infamous "Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe" at the bottom. Someone did not want to be infamous. Wasn't me, honest.
I also feel slightly guilty for the few Irish people that have my username as their firstname. Sorry, but I am keeping those domain names.
Similar for me. I have RyanMercer.net .com .co.uk and almost 18 years of blog posts there but this guy in Canada had a fashion show a couple years ago and he comes up frequently now, and another 'name brother' in Canada was a kid with cancer and articles about him come up frequently, and of course the journalist in Vermont (haha so some girl matched me on Tinder last year and goes "I used to work for a Ryan Mercer!" and it was the journalist, also for years I would occasionally get email for him, his email address has an additional character where mine does not, I once got his wired.com credentials because whoever set them up omitted the character, as well as many of his assignments from employers, I also got medical and paystub info for one in the UK for the better part of a year, one in Georgia I get hotel reservations/appointment reminders/sometimes receipts for semi-regularly too...).
I also discovered recently someone bought THEryanmercer.com.
I however feel no guilt at all about owning the domains. I owned .net first (I don't know why I got it instead of .com first) and then grabbed the .com, being an Anglophile at some point I picked up the .co.uk just because. I always try to get ryanmercer on any social media service too, sadly by the time I got to twitter someone else had and had abandoned the account early on.
There are some judgements in Germany that say you have a special right to the domain with your name, and it's not just first come first serve. I don't remember what exactly I did because it happened a while ago. But it involved sending a physical letter to Denic pointing out that this was domain was my name. I never heard back, but when I checked in a while later, the domain was free for the taking and I bought it.
I assume this only worked because it was a squatter and not someone else with the same name.
> Generally, these auctions will drive up the price by bidding on their own domains to get you to pay more.
This practice feels like a form of fraud, but I guess it's not against any law..?
> I had also initially setup the script to auto-purchase the domain, but that failed due to Namecheap not recognizing the domain availability in time.
Interesting to hear this, as I was curious about using their API to automate domain purchasing as part of a larger web service. I imagine they cache results and refresh periodically, which is good enough for most purposes.
Even if you really didn't want it anymore and somebody else did (and didn't want to wait the year), they could always just ask/pay you for it.
The thing is, if you forgot to renew your domain, and didn't do it even 40 days after the expiry date, are you going to do it 365 days after?
I think 40 days is a lot of time to check your email and see 20 emails from your registrar screaming at you to renew...
Apparently it isn't when so many people have it happen to them that there is a profitable business in registering the names right after they expire in order to sell them back to the original owners.
And there are a lot of domains, especially for personal use, that you might not notice disappear right away. The registrar has your old email that you don't check very often, the domain is for a low-traffic site you don't check very often, it takes a while for you to realize it. Meanwhile I can't see any legitimate disadvantage in it at all -- what's the big rush to assign the name to somebody else without the original owner's permission?
> Some domain extensions do not offer renewal and/or redemption periods or offer them for different lengths of time.
I just bought sergio.dev, the squatter can choke on my old domain.
And to forestall arguments about that being someone's property, trash on the street is considered public property in many (most?) jurisdictions, which is why the police don't need a warrant to go through it.
Edit: and there are ways that this gets slimy too. I'm not debating the maral ramifications of this, just whether it fits the common definition of stealing. It's less theft and more more someone looking for people's small mistakes and making a living my making them very costly for those people. Morally bankrupt, but not illegal. Like the person who drives around looking for ADA compliance issues with businesses so they can sue them, not to make the situation better but just to extract money. Not illegal, but pretty despicable when done for personal gain.
If someone buys up an expiring domain name because they want to actually use it and not just try and immediately sell it back to the previous owner no one has an issue with that.
“Domain marauders swept in”?
Edit: I thought about it for a while, and it seems incorrect to say so. If the buyer's strategy is "always wait", and the seller's strategy is "always sell at an outrageous price", it should be a Nash Equilibrium, similar to a Prisoner's dilemma. But the buyer's strategy is actually "buy if the price is reasonable, wait if not", so the broker can always choose to lower the price to a reasonable level, both allowing the blogger to purchase the domain name, and profits from it. But the broker doesn't appear to be rational enough to choose this strategy, possible due to stupidity or limitations of the business model. What is the suitable term for this phenomenon?
They finally dropped it in 2014 and someone else who had taken up the nickname registered it in 2016. I had mostly given up on the name anyway because I had collisions on a few services with 1 or 2 people using the same.
Seems so silly to hold a domain like that. Shit for traffic. Hosted only hobbyist/personal content (easily verifiable on archive.org). I certainly wasn't going to shell out anything even if I could find who was holding it. They did have a contact/interest form at some points during those 10 years, but I know there were times when there was nothing. I avoided contact because I expected showing interest in it would prolong their hold or just result in a stupid price. Just a dead domain.
Back Story: In 2005, when I was new to Computing world, I searched for "Free domain" and something led to another and Yahoo at the time bought the domain (while it seemed I would have to pay later). I did not use it and tried to see it in 2012 again, turns out someone was indeed using it (had same name), fair enough but now the domain is back with yahoo and I can not contact them at all. I tried their customer care , no reply. Also tried their forums, no reply. Cant get them on call either.
The question society then need to come to terms with is to what extent it is prepared to grant that exclusionary control.
It is not clear to me how you can have a just society without curtailing property rights. Every country on the planet add substantial restrictions to what you can do with "your" property already in order to reduce the negative impact that property rights has on the rest of society, so the question is really to what extent property rights are balanced to maximize benefit.
Not to mention if domains were more expensive we'd have more link-rot, which is already really nasty.
If a website-needing company pays based on how badly it would hurt them to lose that site, it would destroy their margins. If they pay a more reasonable amount, or if they're just a smaller company, they're vulnerable to competitors kicking them offline at a whim.
Land is pretty much the only area where taxing a significant percentage of value makes sense, and even then it's frustrating and awful to do it with a buyout system.
I think in general the business should be bundled with the domain, although I think that probably there should be some oversight preventing completely unrelated domains from being bundled together.
There needs to be some sort of TLD with authentication. Let's call it .name
You only get .name if you do a KYC/register with the government.In case of collision you get bidding wars, however the money goes to a non profit internet charity. Instant SEO and a guarantee that you actually get to have a web presence without gatekeeping.
Unfortunately .name largely proved too hard to communicate quickly enough, and meanwhile it's clear that people for the most part don't mind weird addresses and/or don't have an issue with seeing e-mail addresses as transient. Which I find quite weird, given I've had the same e-mail address for 20 years at this point. Today .name is operated by Verisign, and second level registrations were enabled years ago, and I do occasionally see them, but the original concept really was part of a wave of people talking about "digital identities" on the net that just died off, in part I think because it seems most of the time peoples identity is much more fluid outside of very official circumstances. E.g. you don't necessarily always want your e-mail address to give away your full name, or your name at all, and in the more formal contexts (e.g. work) you often have another e-mail address anyway and/or your e-mail address is not an important element.
Incidentally, in retrospect I wonder if ".nom" or ".nym" or one of the other proposed names would have been (marginally) easier - people often hear ".name" and think it's a placeholder for a name, especially when you try to explain that your e-mail address is [your first name]@[your last name].name. I use my .com of the same format, and it seems to lead to fewer questions than when I also had/used my .name.
Still, worth it. I love my email address!
My last name is extremely rare, but it's still ~400-500 people that share my last name; enough to exhaust all current tlds.
When we founded Nameplanet, we did an extensive exercise to model it, and we bought ~60,000 domain names to maximize coverage of popular last names, and for very popular last names that obviously gave better coverage than .name, but in terms of first name / last name combinations it was better.
Even for people facing collisions, it still meant much simpler addresses a lot of the time.
Your objection is actually largely the opposite of the bigger problem in adoption: The number of people who want their name as their address is much smaller than we thought.
I had the best results were with [first initial][second initial][last name], ex:
John Smith Doe --> jsdoe.com
Then you can email with firstname.lastname@example.org, which makes it more clear that the js are initials.
I have a few domains for projects I want to do. Unfulfilled dream squatting. But for me the thrill of buying domains was always to nab that hip domain name. Some favorites—which I never owned but wish I did: JoanieLovesChachi.com, Superbad.com. Hahah makes me laugh every time.
After many years of procrastination I decided to see how much would it cost to purchase myfirstname.com (about 5k people in the world have this name).
Turns out it is impossible to even enquire on purchasing this domain.
The domain is not being used.
Archive.org shows 3 hits in the last 15 years, all minimal parked pages, last hit being 2013.
Domain registration is private. My whois-fu is rather weak.
So what can I do to contact the owner?
Some big name reseller is just sitting on this name for 10+ years and waiting for who knows what.
0 - Checks every 30 minutes for changed nameservers, domain contacts, and if the renewal date is less than six months in the future. Texts me immediately if it there's a difference or once a week if no changes noted (so I know the script ran).
ndbroadbent.com will do for now!
Sucks to have a domain I’ve used for over 10 years for email and stuff to be rendered unusable by bad press.
I don’t understand how you can say that it’s “domain squatting” on “your” name if you don’t own a trademark on the word or on your name. As others have pointed out, there may be other people who have the same name as you. How is it your name versus their name? My definition of domain squatting is buying a domain name that already has a trademark on it. The “rule” states that even if a word has a trademark, if someone bought the domain before the tm holder applied for the tm, then the domain owner still can own the domain. As long as it was not registered in bad faith.
The key here is “bad faith”.
Python scripts are no longer necessary to grab expired domains, that’s what backorder services are for. I recommend backordering the names of all your current sites just in case you fail to renew the name. Backorder it on multiple services, as it truly is a race to see which service gets it.
Are we talking 9 years of waiting, vs $500, or 9 years of waiting, vs $10,000?
Regardless, congrats on getting it back.
If there's a domain you want, but someone else has it but is not using it, that's not squatting. If you let your personal name domain expire, and someone else registers it, that's not squatting.
In order for it to be squatting, they have to be trying to profit off a trademark. I assume Jerry Alex is not a trademark.
"Cybersquatting (also known as domain squatting), according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using an Internet domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. The cybersquatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price. "
But still, squatting is not "someone bought a domain that used to be mine. And when I asked to buy it back, the price was not what I was willing to pay." It's not.
But these aren't mutually exclusive with your description of the legal definition of squatting, right? If someone just happens to have the same name as you, and buys your expired personal domain name to use as their personal website, of course that's not cybersquatting. But isn't it cybersquatting if they purchase the domain with the intention of selling it to you at an above-average price?
The US legal definition you posted seems to imply that, with the phrase "trafficking in." I think simply offering the domain for sale with the knowledge that it is probably more valuable than the average domain because of its association to some well-known name or trademark absolutely qualifies as cybersquatting. But I could absolutely be mistaken. That's just my relatively hasty reading of the US law.
If you buy facebook.co and try to sell it to Facebook for $1 million, that's squatting.
So you’re usually talking at least 2-3 months of not noticing or caring.
Registrars are also required to email domain holders and ask them to update their contact information and email yearly. So you’ve really got no excuse if you lose a domain via expiration.
Only way to get that domain back was to let it expire and hope no one took it.
After the storm settled and I got control of all remaining assets, I decided I wanted to keep the domain for sentimental value which is when I discovered that it was all gone.
The commonly accepted definition of squatting is registering and sitting on a domain with no intention of using it other than to sell it at a profit. How a US-only law defines it isn't really irrelevant.
I'd say it is. He markets himself under that mark, including offering a newsletter with a business focus. Remember that trademarks don't have to be registered; but he could even do that, if he gains enough visibility - see the registered trademark "Sarah Palin", for example.
It’s as if someone bought the lot across from your house, and then sold it for a profit and you say “Hey! That’s next door to me... they are evil to hold or sell it.. what if my friends/parents, etc want to live there!?”
Why do people think generic names shouldn’t be priced at what the market demands. And with name domains... who says you get that name when there are probably tons of other people sharing your exact name. Should you get a house on Smith Dr, just because you share that last name?
Stop treating generic domains like no one should own them... they’re valuable internet real estate, and they deserve to be priced accordingly.
Buying property anywhere and then sitting on it without developing it is a negative for everyone in that community, so of course its "evil" and frowned upon.
> It’s as if someone bought the lot across from your house, and then sold it for a profit and you say “Hey! That’s next door to me... they are evil to hold or sell it.. what if my friends/parents, etc want to live there!?”
If that person bought the lot with no intention of ever building on it... you're exactly right! That's terrible, and most developments strongly discourage this sort of situation by requiring the buyer to build a house to a certain standard within a certain period of time, all to avoid empty lots all over the place.
> And with name domains... who says you get that name when there are probably tons of other people sharing your exact name.
Nobody. Nobody says that. What people say is that the first person with an intention of building something on it should get it, and not just the richest person with that name. Squatters prevent anyone using the domain until someone with a lot of money to spend shows up.
Prior to that the land was owned, probably for a long period of time, before the area was deemed worthy of development.
Do you really think there are just empty tracks of land waiting for the first buyer... that are held by whom???
No... someone took a risk and bought the land speculating that eventually the land would be wanted by someone to develop something on it. Same as purchasing a domain, paying the yearly fees... and hoping eventually some one will want to develop on it.
And if it’s beach front property... the equivalent of a nice domain name... it’s gonna go for a lot more.
Again, there’s no public trust or anything to hold property just in case someone wants to develop on it, because who decides who gets to use it?
Instead there are private investors taking a risk to carry the property, possibly for a loss.
> Nobody. Nobody says that. What people say is that the first person with an intention of building something on it should get it, and not just the richest person with that name. Squatters prevent anyone using the domain until someone with a lot of money to spend shows up.
That’s some utopia!! Who decides if what you’re building is valid or useful? What if I just display “hello” on the page? How about relevant ads related to the domain? What if I want to display my favorite music... what if my son just wants to post pictures of his LEGO’s? Who defines the line?? You’re gonna say “hello” or “ads” doesn’t count but pictures of Legos do? Why? You or some cabal get to dictate what speech is relevant? Your method of handing domains to the first person with “intention” quickly falls into abuse, corruption, censorship, etc.
I’d rather have a free market, thanks.
I guess the hard part is in resolving contention over particularly desirable strings.
Here are some ideas:
- Often the company where you bought the domain will also offer email and website hosting. That would be the simplest way to start using the new domain. Otherwise, find a company that provides those two services together.
- Create a file called index.html with the text "hi!". Depending on the web host, it may be possible to do that with a web interface. Otherwise, learn how to edit files on your site using FTP, file transfer protocol.
- Learn HTML and CSS by playing around with that one file. If you find that you enjoy it, well, you'll never stop learning - and who knows where the road might go!
Both were renewed at first but the second time .net didn't get renewed, unlike OP it didn't get into an auction (I don't think it was usual in 2011) and I just had to wait until the expiration delay was up and I got it.
Now the .com is worth 38 618,96$ CAD. There's no reason for an inflation that high for the past 8 years. No one needs that domain. I never received any request for mine. Except the fact that it contains "wild" inside, it's pretty much useless for much.
It's not at all related to any market, it's arbitrary.