I’m always surprised when I read stories about people who refuse to buy a domain name because someone else owns it and wants a few thousand dollars for it. At the same time, I’m not a huge fan of people buying someone else’s first and last name .COM and trying to sell it to them for a profit, something about that just feels slimy to me.
While technically buying someone’s name isn’t cybersquatting, I feel like it’s a moral grey area and one that I’ve never had much interest of getting into. If you look at domain names as an asset class then it’s really generic domains and brandables that truly make sense as assets. Buying someone’s name when they forget to renew a domain feels less like buying an asset and more like trying to extort someone.
Still, I think everyone should own their name (first and last combined) in .COM and I do think it’s worth spending a few thousand dollars to secure it. Well, one guy didn’t think so and he decided to play the waiting game.
In 2010, Jerry Alex neglected to renew jerryalex.com, and woke up one day to find his website had turned into a squatter’s template, with a $1500 ransom. So he waited 9 years before pouncing on the drop.(Source – BoingBoing)
Now waiting 9 years feels like a long time, especially if you could have done something useful with the domain. Still, I understand why he felt like the $1,500 fee was a ransom, at the same time, I’m sure there’s other people out there named Jerry Alex so he doesn’t really have the exclusive right to it but I get it.
At the end of the day, the guy who bought the domain ended up renewing it for nine years which means he paid about $100 to hold the domain and then finally let it drop.
Like I said above, while no laws were broken here I just don’t think it’s good form to buy someone else’s name and try to sell it to them for a profit, but maybe that’s just me. At the same time, I’m really surprised that Jerry didn’t want to spend $1,500 to secure his domain, nine years is a long time, hopefully he does something with it now to make up for the lost time!
What do you think, is it slimy to buy someone’s name or am I just being too sensitive here? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!