Myself and a number of other bloggers have been highlighting some of the questionable UDRP decisions and general problems with the process and how arbitrary it can end up being. The sad reality is that we’re living at a time where people now consider using UDRP as a way to get a domain without having to pay a premium for it.
For domain name investors this means that major assets in their portfolio are at risk based on some of the UDRP decisions over the last year. Today you could buy a domain name for $150,000 in a legitimate auction run by a well-respected, large company like Go Daddy for example, and then lose that domain in a UDRP.
Of course in the past the same thing could happen but we now live in a world where people are very familiar with and comfortable with the UDRP process, and if they think you’re charging too much for a domain, it’s often the path they take to try to get the domain for pennies on the dollar. Luckily Reverse Domain Name Hijacking has helped domain owners defend against people trying to steal their domains, but it this costs money and takes up time and resources.
In my mind the UDRP system has to change, it isn’t doing what it was intended to do. In the end it’s actually just making it scary to buy high-value domains. If I put $50,000 into a stock, say, Amazon – while it could drop it’s probably not going to go to zero and I can tell you that nobody is going to come and say that they have the rights to my Amazon stock.
At the same time, with a domain name, you do take a risk, and that risk goes up as you invest in bigger names but can lead to bigger rewards. To really make domain names the asset class we all want them to be we need to build a system that can’t be easily gamed to steal assets from someone else.
The ICA has put a lot of focus on this issue and I have reached-out to them to do an exclusive interview on my blog where I’ll be asking them what’s being done and how we can all look forward to a much needed, new and improved UDRP system, or a new system entirely!
Feel free to comment below and share questions you’d like me to ask them in the interview. As always, I want to hear from you – comment and let your voice be heard!