geek rant

geek (gēk) n. A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits.
rant (rānt) v. To speak or write in an angry, upset, or bewildered manner; rave.
geek rant (gēk rānt) n. The verbalization of a topic that really pisses off a geek.



Home Rants People Cyber Squatters Should be Shot

Cyber Squatters Should be Shot

  Written by The Geek on 2007-03-01PDF Print E-mail

Whats the deal with cybersquatters?  For those of you who don't know who I mean, these are people who buy domain names and hold them, just because they believe someone will eventually want to buy them at a large profit.  So, what happens when someone goes to get a domain name to use for a specific purpose, but someone else has it and is just sitting on it hoping for a payday?  Basically, you're screwed.

When the Internet first started getting popular, there was a mad rush on domain name registration.  People were buying up any name they could think of, so when a legitimate user came along for it, they could severly overcharge them for it and make a serious profit.

This scam worked for awhile (and still does, to some extent), but people who registered trademarks of other companies (like Burdines.com, for example), soon found themselves in lawsuits, and forced to give up those names to the rightful owners for free.  Of course, it took a really big company to pave the way for this, but it is the way things are now, regardless.

Now, this new precident has stopped squatters from taking registered trademarks, but not anything else.

Case in point.  I've had a number of silly nicknames through my career, but one of the most humorous ones was "CodeMonkey".  A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to purchase codemonkeystudios.com.  No, I havent actually DONE anything with it yet, but I bought it with the intention of doing so.

In any case, a couple of months ago I was hit by an inspiration and went and checked on codemonkey.com.  Well, I found no website at that address, so I checked the whois and found out that the domain ownership expired on March 3 of this year (thats 2 days away from this writing).  Well, I was excited!  I decided that if I actually got this domain name, I would dress it up as a personal site of mine, containing hobbies, code samples, pictures, and who knows what else.  I also planned on changing all of my IM names and even my account name on all the forums I frequent.

Well, yesterday, 4 days before the domain expired, the owner renewed it for another 3 years.  My hopes were shot.  Being I was truly interested in the domain, I decided to shoot an email to the owner of the domain.  In the email, I expressed my desire for the domain name, and asked if he would be interested in selling it.

I got a response from the guy late last night.  The beginning of it was actually pretty rude, and said something like "just because there is no website doesnt mean it isnt being used".  Now, I didnt actually SAY that in my email, but I mentioned no site being one of the reasons I was watching for it to expire.

He then went on to say "Your interest in my domain indeed confirms what I hoped, that this domain name is a valuable commodity".  Valuable?  I'll admit I liked it, and yes, I wanted it.  But valuable?

In the last part of his email, he said that he wasn't saying he wouldn't part with it, because he would much rather have a 1999 Porsche of some specific model.  He then went on to make sure that I had a valid email address to contact him back at.

So basically, this jerk cybersquatter thinks his domain name is worth the price of a 1999 Porsche.  I dont know how much that Porsche is, but I can assure you it is nowhere near the couple hundred dollars the domain name was worth to me.  This guy has the domain name, sitting on a shelf, and has no plans for it except to sell it.  Between me and you, is this fair?

Fair or not, how could we stop it, if we wanted to?  One of my co-workers said that there should be a rule that a purchased domain needs to have an operational website within a certain amount of time, or it would be considered squatting and ownership revoked.

I know that wouldnt be fair.  I personally own over 20 domains.  I have an exact plan for each and every one of them.  When I think of a new business idea, I go domain shopping immediately to not only find a good identity, but to secure it for when I have time to complete that project.  For my part-finder website, Ive owned that domain since the 1990s, but didnt actually complete a fully functional site until May of 2005.  I purchased THIS domain in May of 2006, and got a small shell up 3 months later, but the site didnt actually take shape and become active until late January of 2007.

Do I consider the domain names I'm sitting on 'squatting'?  No, I don't.  But someone who buys domains just to resell them at a huge profit is nothing but a con artist in my book.

What do you think?  Am I as bad as the people I'm ranting about?  Do I have any justification for being pissed off at these people?


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Comments 

# I agree with youTed 2007-03-02 12:00
I agree with your sentiments. It is one thing to buy a domain and sit on it, due to a true intent to use it. It is totally another thing to buy a domain name just to make a quick buck.

Did he really say that you confirmed the value of the domain? What an ass.
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# !Samuel 2007-04-15 15:53
Also what pisses me off is when you mistype a URL. For example, I put http://www.w3schools.org instead of http://www.w3schools.com and there's a damn squatter page with a spam search engine.
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# re: !Frank 2007-05-03 22:59
Quoting Samuel:
Also what pisses me off is when you mistype a URL. For example, I put http://www.w3schools.org instead of http://www.w3schools.com and there's a damn squatter page with a spam search engine.



I agree. I hate that there's like 10 billion registered URLs that are nothing but adsense spam. Those of us who really COULD use those urls have to settle for crap names.
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# CuriosityRich 2007-10-12 23:09
Out of curiosity, I just typed in www.codemonkey.com and I found this page:

---- Quote ----

This domain name for sale.

Owner is looking for a well kept Carrera 4, Not Yellow.

---- End Quote ----

Then there's a link to some Carrera cars for like $60,000 each. Like I said above, I was willing to give up a couple hundred bucks for the domain, but this guy is just a nut!
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# The Actual FactsLogic 2007-12-04 04:15
This is a business, a good generic would be held by a company if not a domainer as it has value.

CodeMonkey i'd value around 200 - 500 dollars, don't get ripped off by a bad salesman trying a party trick.

Cybersquatting, according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatt ing Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using a 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.


Domaining is the business of buying, selling, developing and monetizing Internet domain names. Such domain name portfolios often include cleverly chosen and highly marketable generic domain names, or domains whose registrations had lapsed yet still retain reasonable traffic. There is sometimes no actual intent to use any of the domain names with the exception of generating advertising revenue through domain parking. Domain names are the addresses of the web and come in a wide variety of extensions (.com being the most popular).

The business needs regulation and the only way its going to get it, is if people start accepting and recognising it exists.
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# yea, butoceanographer 2008-02-20 17:41
The same can be said for patents, where people make up a bunch of crazy ideas that are similar to things that are already made, but their ideas are vague and open-ended, hoping that eventually someone will come up with an idea similar to theirs that actually works so they can get royalties for having the idea 'first'... And who's to say that the website name is worth $500 or $50,000? It depends on who's going to use it for what. If Apple wanted to use it for their xCode site, it'd be worth a lot of money to Apple, if someone like you just wants to use it for a personal site, then it's not worth much, but why should they sell it to you for less?

And I agree, I wanted the website codemonkey.com for my oceanography matlab code, and it sucks that a squatter has it. Oh well...
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# Irate BusinessmanJoe 2009-03-10 16:01
Nowadays trying to stand up a new brand is all but impossible. I have worked tirelessly for weeks now trying to conjure up new and original brand-ish names for the corporation I'm trying to stand up only to be stopped in my tracks by some a-hole squatter... GAH! It's not fair, no, and like you I own many domains some that I don't use for websites but to have a domain name for an IP.

I'll tell you a story though, about a year ago, I came up with a wicked idea(I won't divulge the domain as folks are still pissed) but it was being auctioned off, however, the registrar forgot to renew it and I snatched it for the low low price of $6.00USD. I was elated. Then the death threats and the like poured in my mailbox folks citing that I hacked the auction and stole the domain. Nope. Snagged it fair and square and am currently building a business identity off of it.

I got lucky, real lucky.. I'm so irritated at how much crap out there ISN'T left...

There needs to be some sort of way to weed these folks out...
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# RE: Cyber Squatters Should be ShotMarm26 2009-08-08 11:39
I agree those domain squatters are shit, they are even less than shit. I think a rotten piece of shit would be the appropriate comparison.

There is a simple solution to this problem. All domain selling and leasing should be declared a federal crime and punished with several years of jailtime. You can only register a domain with an accredited company. If you dont want it anymore you can give it back but selling it at a price higher than the registration price should be made illegal. This way all thats left for domain squatters is to go an get fucked. People who want to built up a legitimate useful website would be free to do so.
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# I agree!Daniel 2009-10-08 01:24
My nickname has been 'DZ' since I was in second grade, REALLY LONG STORY! One day I search up www.dz.com only to find a squatter page. I email the person asking how much he wanted for it, and he replied with "domain not for sale". And although he wasn't rude, I still found that rude anyway because what the hell is he going to do with it anyway other that display scam? I would have decorated it really nice and have used it as my own 'web presence' kind of thing. Luckily I was able to register a domain that had already expired that ended up being better anyway, it was my full name. My email is now (ex. firstname.lastname@firstn amelastname.com) lol. Eventually all the domain names will be taken, and then what? A new top level domain will be made, .com2 or something stupid like that.
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# RE: Cyber Squatters Should be ShotThe Geek 2012-05-04 21:15
Update May 2012:

5 years has passed. The same guy owns it, and it is parked at Godaddy collecting dust.
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# designerthatguy 2014-07-11 02:10
Still taken and parked @ GoDaddy :o
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# what a shameAnotherGuy 2015-01-26 23:11
January 2015: 8 years since it started.

Still parked at Godaddy.
Still unused.
No porshe should give this guy a clue.
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