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by Naseem Javed - Abc Name Bank
The courts finally ruled that Gary Kremen, who registered Sex.com in 1994, was the primary and rightful owner of this property, and that Verisign's Network Solutions was wrong in transferring his domain without proper authorization. He also won a $65 million lawsuit against the conman responsible for stealing his name from Network Solutions. Network Solutions is now concerned that a lawsuit may be in the works against them as the con artist has now disappeared from the scene.
Great! Are we now back to sex, names and lies...or is there a moral to this story here?
From the early inception, domain names were treated like third-class citizens in the corporate arenas and also by all the legislative bodies around the globe. After all, these names were very cheap and very easy to get. People hawked their possessions and took large mortgages to buy domain names in anticipation of selling them for millions to some global enterprise. Stealing the names of existing businesses became fashionable. Cyber-squatting became the standard.
During this circus, ICANN, and all the other gate-keepers of this Intellectual Property quietly skated on the fringe and never accepted domain names as hard assets like cars, paintings or songs. Thousands of businesses suffered the abuse, by squatters, registrars and the legal warriors. There was an outcry and yet no justice. This is what made the early domain names the most misunderstood component of intellectual property while all along it was the most essential tool of corporate communication. During the high noon, the frenzy of registration peaked at a million names a day at $75 each.
Consider this the "Jurassic Period" of the Internet. Now that the populace has found something brighter to play with, the battles have moved to Cyber-Branding, which has landed all of us into a new Name-Economy. Names on the web determine accessibility of the business and are the new drivers of growth and sales with direct impact on the global economy.
There is an explosion of 3rd generation e-commerce strategies and now simply having a flashy web is a thing of the past. You need a sophisticated and a highly structured cyber presence, driven by a maze of groups of sites and a professional domain name hierarchy. Dingbat domains and casual naming is out.
This court decision puts respectability to the whole domain name system and clearly treats them as hard assets.
This article was published with the consent of Abc Name Bank.