The Enemy of My Enemy

July 19, 2011

I hate domain squatters. There is nothing more pointless than thinking up nonsense words in order to find an available domain name for a new project.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many good solutions to the domain squatter problem. Once the rules of a market are created, they are difficult to change.

That’s why I’m hesitatingly in favor of ICANN’s recent announcement that anybody with $185k can by a top level domain. Yes, there are many reasons why it’s foolish. But, it widens the supply of domain names, which means that every domain owned by a squatter is now less valuable. It’s true that this also hurts legitimate domain name owners, but unlike squatters, most of their value is concentrated in the business behind the domain name, not the domain name itself.

One could argue that there are already many options for top level domains, but many of them come with significant risk. (Think “.ly” domains and Libya.)



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