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The Lowdown

Dec. 30, 2008 Post

Here's the The Lowdown from DNJournal.com! Updated daily to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry!

Compiled by Ron Jackson
(DN Journal Editor/Publisher)
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Pingdom.com just published an interesting article analyzing the upsurge in WIPO disputes over the past five years. They found that the number of WIPO cases has doubled since 2003. That reversed a trend from 2000-2003 that saw disputes dropping each year.

While Pingdom posits that the introduction of Google Adsense might be the key factor in the increasing number of domain disputes I think a bigger factor has been the steady rise in domain values that began in late 2003. When mainstream media started reporting on the domain boom, awareness of the high value of good domains became far more widespread. That prompted legal experts in our annual State of the Industry reports to predict that WIPO cases would shoot up as covetous parties looked for ways to get their hands on those valuable assets without paying market value for them. 

In our January 2006 report, attorney Ari Goldberger noted, ""We witnessed a big increase in domain name disputes in 2005 as the increased value of domains justified the associated legal costs. There were also more attempted reverse domain name hijackings and domain thefts. Domain owners need to make protection of their domains a primary part of their business strategy, being careful to avoid collisions with parties that own trademarks identical or confusingly similar to their domains. That means being careful to avoid PPC links for products sold by such trademark owners or their competitors. In 2006, as ecommerce continues to grow internationally, there will be more and more disputes of all kinds involving domain names - the real estate and storefronts of the Internet." 

Pingdom's new report shows how prescient Goldberger was when he made those comments almost three years ago. Since complainants have won 85% of WIPO cases even those with flmsy claims are emboldened to make a run at domains they would like to take from current owners. 

We have several other bits of news for you today. The aftermarket for Australia's .au ccTLD domains just got a big boost with the announcement that a major Aussie registrar, NetRegistry, has signed an agreement with a new Australian domain sales site, Netfleet, to help develop and promote their aftermarket platform. Netregistry CEO Larry Bloch thinks the Australian aftermarket has a lot of growth potential but added, “Currently our efforts are 

focused on education as much as anything – most people do not even realize that (.au) domain names are now tradeable assets so it’s a question of creating the industry as well as satisfying the demand."

Organizers of the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. Silicon Valley 2009 conference coming up in April are reminding those thinking about attending that tomorrow night (Dec. 31) at midnight is the deadline to get a free 7-DVD set as an early registration bonus. The DVD's feature Steve Forbes, Terry Jones, Tom Gardner, Barbara Corcoran, Jim McCann, John Reese plus Andrew Miller and Mike "Zappy Zapolin" speaking at previous T.R.A.F.F.I.C. shows. 

NameMedia has also put out word about another free BuyDomains webinar coming up Thursday, January 29. This one will cover "How to Leverage Google Analytics to Support Your Small Business Goals". The agenda is scheduled to touch on these topics:

  • Why the Right Domain Name is Critical for Your Small Business Website

  • How to Read Reports, Compare to Regular Stats and use the Data

  • Overview of Organic and Paid Search

  • Q&A Session

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