RDNH & Attempted Theft

Reverse Domain Name Hijacking, RDNH, is attempted theft of intellectual property through abuse of administrative proceedings. The IP being contested are internet addresses, domain names.

Domain name owners are required to submit to dispute resolution procedures, which can be very costly in time, lawyers fees, and harassing impediments to efficient property management.

Why is this not yet labeled a crime?

Some fools file complaints in ignorance, not understanding IP rights and procedures. This is gradually becoming less of a problem as precedents and case law better clarify infringement, liability and bad faith.

More prerequisite rules would help immensely. For example, the internet is precise, demanding accuracy. If my address is "bank" it's not the same as "bunk" or "band" -- different by one letter or character is different. This is the same for addresses in Manhattan: 84th Street is different from 89th Street. If you want to buy fruit and go to the wrong address, perhaps someone there will sell you fruit. Reasonable. Businesses must provide potential customers with proper directions or risk losing trade. But some poor businesspeople seek to artificially & improperly expand their domain, claiming exclusive control of a wide region to which they've no proper right. Hopefully, a good World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) panel would quickly & completely reject such claims. But some strange decisions have favored cagey Complainants.

There aren't yet automatic penalties attached to RDNH in WIPO proceedings - this is a major problem.

Best Chance Now

I clearly remember an important investment discussion just after Christmas in 1993. My friend Rick was a doctoral student in Seattle, where over the previous two years he'd watched coffee & café culture blooming widely. He talked about coffee chain Starbucks, and how it had been a great investment opportunity he'd missed - and it had happened just in front of his eyes...

Coffeeshop growth in Seattle had a city block getting one shop on the corner, but soon there was a coffeeshop on each corner, and then a pushcart from the middle of the block selling coffee.

We compared possibilities and commiserated that we could have or should have multiplied our money. Starbucks corporate shares at that time were up nearly two-and-a-half times in 18-months. (Considering subsequent splits, the 1993-06-26 IPO calculates as $0.66 per share; at our discussion it was $1.40). But subsequent events showed the trend was still undeveloped, and the stock was cheap.

We were dumber than we thought.

We never should have then imagined opportunity was over. In retrospect it's clear the world was still largely untapped for coffee culture expansion, and there were no real signs of slowdown. We'd have been "early adopters" even in 1994. And it's similar today for internet domain name investment. Demand will hugely increase for the best brandable .com domain names. In 15 years, the opportunities available today will seem like diamonds on the street, waiting to be picked up, and now most people pass-by oblivious.

Populations are increasing, millions more people come online every week, new businesses are being launched, and internet usage shows no trend to shrinking -- the web is surely being used more and more.Very few people yet are active domain name developers, though the potential for inspired & creative usage of such intellectual property (IP) is amazing and still evolving, with huge profit potential.

Sure, some people already made money, and others (including me) are now positioned with good items for sale and ready to profit (you can buy abcbrewing.com or Seattlebrand.com or TokyoCoffee.com or Belgiumbrand.com while still available for $15,000 each).

But there are millions of opportunities to be developed at little cost.

MSN Money calculated a $1000 investment at Starbucks IPO being worth $6.4 million (2012-10-30 link). When they wrote that, share price was $45.87; today, six months later, it's $60 (2013-04-29; SBUX historical prices link) assuming their math was correct, your $1000 would now be $8.4 million.

Buy a piece of the internet; buy domains todayBest Chance Now.

Facebook vs Freedom

Facebook offers millions of people the opportunity to communicate & share, and it thus makes the world better, more interconnected.

But many people do not recognize they are working under the control of a private firm, whose policies and charges could change at any time. Your photo in Florence (Firenze) with Michalango's statue of David can be blocked as pornographic, your criticism of Dick Cheney may be erased, your private messages to friends might accrue fees or suddenly be deleted. Forcing your online existence through the changing proprietary gateways & templates of AOL, MySpace or Facebook is a sure recipe in frustration. These companies exist to make money - ultimately you pay for their services.  Use them where convenient; don't fully rely on them.

What this means is that most technically savvy people should own one or more domain names. Use the convenient services such as Facebook, but also build your own free space where you can post your thoughts, art and history. 

Zeitgeist & Creativity

The business of domain name development needs better imagery & models.

We can easily help one another by better explaining to outsiders what we do.

Big businesses have now garnished the lion's share of prime generic domain names, though they were comparatively late internet adopters. Rich businessmen helped popularize the word 'cybersquatter' as a derogatory term meaning "anyone owning a desirable domain property and not a major corporation."

Most domain ownership has nothing to do with squatting. Domain ownership is paid for annually. It's very seldom stolen or appropriated. The domain owner has developed a generic or brandable address, from tropes and cultural images, often where nothing existed before. Domains are thus valuable intellectual property, important IP assets. Perhaps you're an IP developer?

Don't let a skuzzy corporate arsehole tell you otherwise; never accept their flim-flam.

Internet Paradigms

Some people view the internet simply:
"Here is the internet. It's free."

Of course it's much more complex. Individual & institutional developers provided infrastructure and technology to launch something almost miraculous.

How do we picture the internet?  Images of the internet are still developing. Proactively defining what's happening minimizes confusing imagery. Don't quietly suffer from stories clouded by vested interests promoting their own agenda(s).

I see an unruly, largely unknown universe. Within this, a mixture of people & firms & governments have created a network of pathways and addresses. Democratically filling-out parts of a new map, we boldly go where no one has gone before ... 

Some of our mapping and pathfinding is systematic, some far-flung. A broad range of people contribute to keeping systems operational. No single nation or commercial group could construct & maintain the wonderful contents now available to all humankind.

Where there was nothing we are building new addresses, to which resources such as inspiration, money, knowledge, passion, guidance, and directions are introduced. These are true New World territories, unlike so-called past "discoveries" that ethnocentrically ignored peoples & cultures already there.

Frictions exist with alleged prior art. We can be forced to wrestle with questions of legitimate interest or bad faith (link), but forward-looking pathfinders reorient toward new horizons. The legal system gradually defines reality -  Who made the first apple?   Can we brand Jesus?.

We build value & add value, we open pathways in the form of domain addresses and original content. Our timely efforts bring know-how, cutting-edge convenience, joy, survival & life improvement tips to billions of people. We are internet pathmakers, content builders and connection providers.


Web Scam: Slow Buyer / No Buyer

The internet offers many novel ways to do business, and increasing potential for clever people to support themselves via new models of work.

Unfortunately, some people use online / electronic systems for scams.

It's important to be careful with unknown counterparts about whom you've little or no information. What is their reputation or past performance?

You are not alone. Some businesses provide assurance in online transactions. Ecop.com and escrow.com have developed excellent systems as neutral arbiters, assisting businesses on both sides of a transaction. Ebay has expended great effort developing reputational rankings for buyers and sellers. These niche tools can still leave the unwary exposed to fraud, but they can be very helpful for moderate-size transactions.

It's also necessary to investigate scams specific to your own business field.

In domain name sales, for example, some people pose as buyers, contract for a name, but delay payment - they seek to sell the name onward before they've paid for it. Their 'sale' is secured by an unpaid but legally binding contract. If unsuccessful selling, they simply fail to purchase and disappear. Some sellers will keep a transaction open for weeks (even reportedly months) in hope 'buyer' finalizes the transaction. Domain name broker Sedo, for example, requires payment & remittance confirmation within six (6) days. But the seller's on the hook more than a supposed buyer - seller has some stable online presence, with capital tied-up as inventory. Until buyer actually pays, nobody truly knows who they are, or their level of commitment. The buyer can use an internet café and anonymity to cloak true intent. From the seller's perspective, a binding contract is time-sensitive. Price depends on quick completion. Those requiring longer to pay must negotiate terms, and likely must pay more.