Zyra's front page //// Internet //// Cybersquatters //// Site Index

Possible Solution for busting cybersquatters
How to eradicate the menace of widespread cybersquatting

Part of the problem of cybersquatters is the fault of Internic/ICANN. The way the pricing structure of domain names has been set up is rife for abuse by cybersquatters, just as surely as leaving rotten food lying around encourages rats and other vermin.

What happens is that instead of it being a fair setup where everyone pays the same, it's a bizarre situation which, if translated to the way airlines run, would be like having a policy of "Hijackers Travel Half-Price!". So whereas the honest person has to pay tens of dollars for a domain, the racketeers can buy the same domains for 32 cents.

This ridiculous pricing-structure has resulted in some companies being in the business of buying millions of domains and then holding everyone to ransom. Ie. cybersquatters

How has this been allowed to happen? Originally the bulk-buying discount on domain names was so that reputable Internet Service Providers and Hosting Companies could get domains cheaper to resell. However, this makes nonsense when non-reputable agencies are allowed to buy domains in bulk, and when the prices are allowed to be stupidly cheap.

To mend this situation would be simple. Internic/ICANN could do this, just by making sure that domains at source were at a fixed price regardless of number. The changes could be made to take effect upon renewal of domains.

This simple act would eradicate much of the menace of widespread cybersquatting. The companies that are in the cybersquatting business often have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of misappropriated domains. By making them pay the same amount per domain that we the honest people have to pay, they would be put out of business. It is only because it is in effect a subsidised racket that allows it to continue.

Another way to think about this idea is this: The price of domains should never fall below a set minimum level, (say 60% of the rated official price), nomatter how many domains someone buys. If you're wondering who could levy such a DOMAIN TAX, it's best done by the official domain registry. If the official domain registry is so badly mismanaged that it continues to allow stupidly low priced domains to be sold, then it may be time for "we the people of the Internet" to conspire against them and to redirect the DNS to an alternative better-run new official domain registry.

The worst afflicted domain-type for cybersquatting is .com - This is where reform is needed most!

If you're wondering if having a domain tax (or minimum domain value) is impractical, consider this: It's already been done with .eu ! Now admittedly this didn't actually totally wipe out the evil scourge of cybersquatting, but it DID eliminate widespread long-term easy cybersquatting. In effect, cybersquatters were having to pay sensible money for hijacked domains, and after a while in practice they'd usually GIVE UP! (especially if the honest people did not give in to blackmail). Take a look at The Story of Zyra.eu . Because the .eu domain registry charged hijackers the same as honest people, the cybersquatters gave up after the first year. So, a success story. We the honest people have won the domain off the cybersquatters without having to go to court to fight them. Also see me domain

To sum it up: The price of a TLD should never be less than half the retail price, nomatter how many domains are being bought. If this was implemented, it would eradicate the evil of cybersquatting, at least on the wide-scale which has presently been seen. This should be done, preferably soon. It's a bit like the problem of spam emails, except that spam emails are just an annoyance, whereas cybersquatting is like stealing someone's soul.

As a follow-up to this: There have been other suggestions to remove ICANN and replace it with something better, more sensible, and run from outside the USA! The reasons for this are various, but are typically cases of alleged mismanagement. ICANN is supposed to be international, so it might be better placed in Switzerland which has been historically neutral and secure. However, ITU is almost certainly not the solution. It needs to be something more Internet-friendly in an open-source Linux'ish type of way.

Update following the ICANN announcement of icann.do.anything arbitrary extensions: Although there are huge advantages to having loads of new extensions towards helping ICANN make a lot of money, there is a problem that the new "domain registers" might not be very well-run. Also, ICANN could have made a lot more money by establishing a minimum price for all domains (which is what .eu did, Well Done to them, see the Story of Zyra.eu), the ongoing problems could be quite severe. It's the new Dot Con. Then again, anything that helps to undermine evil cybersquatters is something good!