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Is there any reason to why there cannot be a rule/law that prohibits the securing of domain names for resale? E.g A new acquired domain must have a running website within say 1 year or 6 months otherwise will be made available to other users? And make sure that those found selling domain names are brought down to face a criminal charge? Or people that suspects a a website to be fake should report that domain? I've seen most acquired domains always has some generic content related to that domain name with a link that claims this domain is available for sell at GoDaddy or whatever they say.

From a personal point of view, last time I searched for a domain name, it showed it was available, a few minutes later when I tried to register for the domain, it was apparently taken. This shows that now there’s automated systems that listens/monitors to domain searches and automatically registers that domain as their own and later offer the domain for resell.

These are just my 2 cents!

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    Domains are not just for websites. – Philipp Aug 11 '17 at 13:11
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    This has nothing to do with security. – AJ Henderson Aug 11 '17 at 14:53
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This is not really a question - and either way, is definitely not something for the information security board.

People have been buying and selling domain names for a long time. It is not illegal, nor should it be. They are a commodity, just like anything that there is a market for. There are certainly some algorithms that drive the fluctuation of the price of a domain name, but this also is (or should be) market driven.

By your own logic however, it would not be in the supposed new domain owners economic interest to buy a domain simply because someone has checked to see if it was available, and then not sell it.

Further, the fact you looked for a domain name and found it was available doesn't mean someone else cannot buy it, does it?

It sucks that we can't always get the domains we want, but there are a lot of domain name options available to us now, and the pricing for most of them is very reasonable.

-edit to add my own experience-

I have owned a domain under my name for over 2 years and never hosted anything on the primary domain. I use it as an email server and have used a sub domain to point at a development machine. By your logic I should lose my domain?

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    @IIorac, thanks for your reply and apologies I looked around all kinds of Stack Exchange sites to see where to post this question and couldn't find a better place to post it than here. My logic above is that it seems as if now smarter people (most likely private ISPs themselves) have automated this process to auto-register/buy a searched domain. Which means if true then you only have 1 chance (if not a few minutes) to buy that domain otherwise it'll be taken by someone who only intends to sell it as they've detected "interest". Surely, that's not a very nice heading is it? – Morgs Aug 11 '17 at 12:53
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Rules differ between TLD's.

In Denmark, we have a single registrar (DK Hostmaster) administering the .dk-domain. They are appointed to do so by DIFO (Danish Internet Forum - an association of ISP's and professional and private users), which in turn is appointed as .dk-administrator by the Ministry of Commerce.

DK Hostmaster does not allow warehousing in its general conditions (they use the term wrongly according to Wikipedia; instead they mean the act of buying domain names without intent to use). This is in turn prohibited by the Law on Internet Domains § 25, ad. 2.

If a plaintiff finds a domain, which are not deemed to reasonably belong to the registrant (e.g. you have a domain name nasa.dk, but it is not a part of your name, business name or other associations or activities you might have), but rather to plaintiff, he can bring the case before the (national) Complaints Board for Domain Names.

If the current registrant cannot prove he did not buy it with intent to resell, the domain will be conferred to plaintiff.

Country code TLD's are assigned by IANA to each country, so presumably the country specifies their own rules of their TLD. Others may adhere to IANA/ICANN-guidelines.

From this specific example it seems to depend on the registrar administering the TLD or an entity with a higher authority if one single registrar is not appointed. Denmark have chosen a model prohibiting this unethical approach that you suggest to protect against, while many others haven't, as you experienced.

  • Thanks for sharing about your local ISP governing rules. I will look up on how it works in here in South Africa. – Morgs Aug 11 '17 at 12:56
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The notion that a domain serves only for websites is wrong.

E.g A new acquired domain must have a running website within say 1 year or 6 months otherwise will be made available to other users?

The .tk TLD has a similar rule and it sucks.

You may want to host:

  • emails only
  • a file server or an owncloud server
  • multiple sites under subdomains (sub1.example.tk, sub2.example.tk) but nothing under the main domain (example.tk).

That said, ICANN does have a policy against cybersquatting:

Cybersquatting is generally bad faith registration of another's trademark in a domain name.

If someone registered a domain name in a generic top-level domain (gTLD) operating under contract with ICANN similar to your trademark, you may be able to file a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceeding.

Notice how it's much saner than your proposed "solution":

  1. You have to own the trademark (no claiming a domain should be yours on a whim)
  2. You have to file a dispute and both parties will get to present their case (no arbitrary and sudden cancellation for the current owner)
  3. No automated criteria and system that can easily be cheated by bad faith actors (anyone can host a website if that's all it takes to not get the domain cancelled).

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