Do you think domain investing will ever shake the “cybersquatter” confusion?

I’ve said it a million times, I can’t stand cybersquatters, IMO they are scum just like any other scammer on the planet. Don’t know what a cybersquatter is, here’s a pretty clear definition:

Cybersquatting refers to illegal domain name registration or use. Cybersquatting can have a few different variations, but its primary purpose is to steal or misspell a domain name in order to profit from an increase in website visits, which otherwise would not be possible. Trademark or copyright holders may neglect to reregister their domain names, and by forgetting this important update, cybersquatters can easily steal domain names. Cybersquatting also includes advertisers who mimic domain names that are similar to popular, highly trafficked websites. Cybersquatting is one of several types of cybercrimes.

(Source – Technopedia)

As the last sentence here makes clear, cybersquatting is a crime and there’s a process called UDRP that can help people get domains back from these criminals.

Now let’s talk about domain name investing.

Domain Investing is not cybersquatting, and in fact, some of the most successful people and companies you know, invest in domain names. Prominent angel investor Jason Calacanis has invested in and sold domain names like 20.com for $1.75M.

There are also plenty of huge well-known companies that buy domains, sit on them, and potentially never use them. Companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Loreal, and many many more companies have domain names that sit vacant and if you did want to buy them, trust me, the price would be a lot more than what they paid.

Just like it’s okay for you to buy vacant land and not build a house on it, you can do the same with vacant real estate on the Internet. The strange thing is, if your grandparents bought land 80 years ago and have done nothing with it and that land is now worth millions, they’re considered smart investors. Yet you buy a domain name ten years ago and have done nothing with it, that domain is now worth millions of dollars, and you’re considered a cybersquatter by many…what gives?

Well, the core of the issue really is just a lack of information about domain name prices. Let’s face it, the concept of buying, selling and investing in physical land has been around for a LOT longer. Most people have no idea that a few weeks ago Voice.com sold for $30M or that just before that Nursing.com sold for $950,000 (Source – DNJournal).

So my question for our still very nascent industry is – do you think we’ll ever shake the “cybersquatter” confusion? My guess is that in the very early days of land ownership people probably got frustrated with land owners that staked their claim early and ended up with huge plots of land that became incredibly valuable, how long did it take for that to change?

These are still the early days of Domain Investing, so early, that most people don’t even realize there’s a whole industry full of Domain Investors, conferences around the world, blogs, podcasts and video series, and it’s continuing to grow with more and more people shifting investment dollars from traditional investments like stocks and real estate to domains.

So when do we get to shake this whole confusion between Domain Investing, a completely legal and great way to invest in digital real estate, with cybersquatting, an illegal act done by scammers?

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Alex July 6, 2019, 8:27 pm

    Morgan – great post!!

    Here’s a great name worth investing in: affective.com

    Reply
  • Snoopy July 7, 2019, 12:39 am

    How about investment banking or used car salesmen? Will they ever shake off the negative perception?

    Answer is no because,

    A. There is still a lot of squatting and huge chunk of the industry makes money directly or indirectly from it. Take the new ntld blocking services or .sucks as examples of indirect monetization.

    B. It is all about the money.

    C. The industry isn’t one that adds obvious value, it is comparable to land banking or buying up famous art work and putting it in a vault. Those guys aren’t popular either.

    Reply
  • tommy butler July 7, 2019, 4:05 am

    First you have to understand the term Squatter.

    You cant be called a squatter of you legally pay for an item. If someone calls you a squatter you can sue them and your like to win.

    Squatter A squatter is a person who settles in or occupies property with no legal claim to the property. A squatter is one who resides on a property to which he or she has no title, right or lease.

    Since you pay a rental fee for the domain every year no one has right to call you a squatter. Your withing your rights to sue for damages.

    Anyone wants to call me a squatter and put that in writing be happy to sue them

    Reply
  • frank July 7, 2019, 8:50 am

    ok a cybersquatter is sombody who registers a trademark domain.com that he can get

    and the sale of 20.com is a great occurance

    life is more complex I guess
    “20” is a trademark
    https://trademark.trademarkia.com/20-75768339.html

    Reply
  • George In Miami July 7, 2019, 9:55 am

    “Do you think domain investing will ever shake the “cybersquatter” confusion?”
    I, personally, don’t care at all.
    Everything I do is legal. Therefore, if anyone call me squatter , I’ll do what Tommy Butler mentioned above. However, maybe with one exception. I’ll take from them even their dog’s leash if I can.

    Reply
  • BullS July 7, 2019, 10:33 am

    ” It is all about the money.”
    You got that right, it is all about Money-Greed-Power and Control!!

    Bravo to the Women’s USA soccer!!! you are the CHAMPIONS.
    Megan Rapinoe should be the President of FIFA and the IOC is so corrupted. Any big organizations run in Europe is always full of bureaucratic corrupted people. Look at the GDPR, another useless law.

    Reply
    • Anonymous July 8, 2019, 5:19 am

      “Any big organizations run in Europe is always full of bureaucratic corrupted people.”

      I guess things are very different in the US (or any other place for that matter)?

      Reply
  • Mark Thorpe July 8, 2019, 6:55 am

    No, but it should.
    It would of by now if it was going to.

    Reply

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