There was time when cybersquatting was pursued vigor as business model. After trademark attorneys and their clients turned up the heat, attitudes changed somewhat. Domainers sought to clean their portfolios of cybersquatted domains in order to avoid domain disputes under the UDRP and ACPA. Several years ago, many top domainers really started to “talk the talk” lashing out against “black hat” cybersquatters within their midst. Now, Rick Schwartz and Howard Neu have turned up the heat. Realizing that cybersquatting may be more of a threat to the domainer industry itself, then to trademark holders, Rick appears to be signaling that the upcoming TRAFFIC Show in Silicon Valley (go ahead and register if you want to be a part of this event) will devote content and commentary to the issue of how cybersquatting hurts the domainer business, sours relationships with major players such as Google and Yahoo! and causes advertisers to opt-out of the domain channel. Here’s the money quote:
“We have seen companies come and go now. Some quite large. Some left destruction in their wake. Those focusing on trademarks and other schemes and garbage traffic should be eliminated. If not, our way of earning will continue to erode as GOOGLE’s customer base for the domain channel shrinks instead of expanding as it should. Don’t take my word, listen to the words right from Google. Folks with really good traffic need to pay attention and learn how to isolate our traffic from the garbage traffic. We know the conversions on type ins. Nobody can touch it. But those numbers just get watered down when they mix in the CRAP. There are so many advertisers that opt-out of the domain channel and the ONLY reason is the CRAP they end up paying for. It hurts you, me and Google plus it destroys future business.
TRAFFIC means business and we are going to shine the spotlight on those companies that are putting all of us at risk and costing us more than you might imagine. If you want to get the most out of your legitimate traffic it is time to expose those that are eating up the commissions and at the same time leaving the advertiser little to show for their money. This results in an entire industry losing its customer base simply due to abuse. It is time to do what should have been done a long time ago. Professional domainers with pure traffic need to separate themselves from those with CRAP and Silicon Valley is the right place to do it. Let advertisers hear just how serious we take it. If we turn a blind eye, we are no better than those with traffic that does not convert to sales.
In addition we are going to have more networking opportunities than ever before. A much looser schedule. Seminars will be limited unlike previous shows and we will have just 2 auctions. We’ll have some great parties and the best food ever, but I will be the first to admit that it won’t be our focus. There is work to do and $$$ to be earned. We don’t do this for our health. We do it to move everyone forward. The more oars in the water, the quicker we move. We have an opportunity to demonstrate just how serious we are and why folks outside our channel should pay attention and take a second look at what we do. A chance to distance ourselves from the “Cybersquatter” tag that some deserve but professionals like us do not.”
Our trademark and cybersquatting attorneys have posted often about the need for the domainer community to help combat the problem of cybersquatting and typosquatting in order to gain further legitimacy within the broader business community.
- Is Navigation Catalyst Systems a Typical Domainer? All Domainers are not Cybersquatters.
- Frank Schilling Talks Cybersquatting & Domain Monetization.
- Hobbits v. Hobbitts: Generic Mark Argument Won't Prevent Panel From Seeing Pay Per Click Parking as Bad Faith
- The Three Views of Trademark Cybersquatting.
- The Tension Between Trademark Holders and Domainers over the Definition of Cybersquatting.
- A Specific Proposal for Stronger Laws to Protect Against Mass Bad Faith Cybersquatters.