Company Buys 3 Domain Names From 2 Cybersquatters (3M & Turner)

gtldsCompany just bought 3 domain names from 2 cybersquatters. The cybersquatters have been holding hostage the domain names for years. One domain has been registered for 17 years and the other 2 domains for 15 years each.

But what is this company that bought the domain names and who are the cybersquatters?

The company that bought the domains is actually my company and the cybersquatters are the 3M Company and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

The companies were holding the domains for all these years without using them and eventually sold them at a profit! What a shocker! This is outrageous!

Of course the 2 companies are not actually cybersquatters but this is how domain owners are portrayed by some lawyers and mass media. The 2 companies above are among many companies including Microsoft that are selling their unused domain names.

The 3 domains were bought in the past couple of weeks. All 3 have been paid, 2 are pending transfer to my registrar and I am waiting for the 3rd one. Until I have all 3 in my account I can’t share the domains but the 2 are keyword domains and one is something people would probably call a “brandable” domain name.

The first 2 domains were bought at a Buy It Now price at Afternic. The seller was the 3M Company. The seller has been confirmed with Afternic that it is indeed the 3M company.

The 3rd domain was bought in an auction at Namejet.com. The seller was the Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (Let’s hope I get this domain and this is not a huge mistake as I have not confirmed the purchase with Namejet yet.)

So what is cybersquatting?

It is funny that when someone has a domain name you want and you don’t like it’s asking price he/she is labelled as a cybersquatter. This has pretty much become the argument of many companies and individuals that file for a UDRP complaint. I bet this was one of the 3M Company’s arguments when it managed to get the domain 3m.com at UDRP a few years back.

But now that these companies are the sellers I guess it is fine. Now they think that as the owner of the domain name they are are legitimate and respectable and they can sell the domain for whatever they think the right price is or they can auction it off. These 2 companies have thousands of domains names each.

I don’t know who coined the term cybersquatter but its meaning has been confused by many. The term is wrong to begin with. Offline squatters don’t make legal purchases as domain owners do and don’t pay for domain renewals as domain name owners do. Maybe it should be changed to “trademark cybersquatter” or something else that will mean the people that buy domains incorporating trademarks. And I don’t mean domains like “blue.com”. Blue may be a trademark but that does not make the owner of blue.com a “trademark cybersquatter”.

And of course a cybersquatter can’t simply be someone that has a domain name, that is not used, and offers it for sale. That is simply the perverted notion of some corrupted UDRP panelists. And it is something that people that can’t afford a domain name like to call domain name owners.

People that buy and sell domain names are simply investors. Domain name investors in this case. And they are nothing like ‘offline’ squatters. They are like real estate owners.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He loves domains and building websites. He is online since 1995, learned about html in 1996 and got into domains in 2002. He started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.

21 comments

  1. Well said, Konstantinos. Microsoft is said to own over 200,000 domain names. I guess many of them are unused, but I have never heard people calling Microsoft a cybersquatter.

  2. Surprised a big company sold their names on Afternic. Normally from what I see they just have all their unused domains resolve to blank page and they hold them for eternity.

  3. It really depends on the Finance/Accounting guys and how they see it on the books. Many discontinued products, and the rise of .com prices from 5 years ago have a lot to do with such matters.

    These are the finance guys within the company, I guess it sure beats letting them expire for worthless, godaddy has made millions via such practices.

  4. What were the domains??

  5. Thank you for drawing attention to this. They never call people who own land, but never develop it a Squatter. A Squatter is somebody who moves into a place they don’t own.

    If you think about it, that name never made sense. If you own the domain, you can’t be a Squatter. At best, you are an investor, at worst, you are overly ambitious and just never got around to develop them. That’s me.

    Why doesn’t the press ever just call them the current owner?

  6. An offline “squatter”, however – has legal rights too, many forget!!

    In fact Amsterdam – large parts of the city were developed thanks to the squatters – they were in fact lying derelict.

    Domain names are a land-grab, as long as know what has prior rights.

    • Sure. In Greece if someone lives in a house he does not own for 20 years and the owner has not objected in these 20 years then the house is his. (Of course I don’t mean renting!)
      There are certain prerequisites but that is pretty much the case.

  7. Google used to own GameWallet.com, but it says, for sale, in the whois.

    Why is Google selling? Good domain. Maybe it has to do with developed site, GameWallet.co.uk.

  8. Konstantinos,

    I’m noticing a delay and some peculiarities in NameJet sales of Turner-owned domains. Have you received any word that your Turner domain purchase was canceled?

  9. No, I haven’t. Should I worry?

  10. Not necessarily. CSC’s transfer process through NameJet may not be as quick as with other registrars. We’ll see how things pan out. I’m simply a curious bystander waiting for the outcomes.

    • 3M pretty much messed up the transfers.
      They provided me with the auth codes, I started the transfers and no one from 3M approved the transfers and they timed out.
      Let’s see what happens now…

      It’s going to be a struggle with these companies.

    • I guess I should have worried. I was informed by Namejet that the private party selling the domain submitted it in error.
      What a bunch of bullshit. I am expecting more answers from Namejet.

      Joseph do you have a list of the Turner-owned domains in Namejet auctions?

      • Sorry to hear that, Konstantinos. I’ll send you an email.

      • They went all the way to the point where they gave authorization codes and then tried to tell you it was in error? That’s bogus.

        I once listed a domain on Sedo with a missing zero on the end, and when the offer came in, I honored it. When you publish a price and somebody accepts it, you honor it. That’s how business is done.

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