Forbes.com has an interesting story about the domain market that interviews iREIT.
Sadly, the headline of the article, Typo.com, is grossly negligent. The article mentions typo domains for a sentence or two, but the rest is about acquiring great generic domain names and the value of these names in the broader marketplace.
Fortunately, iREIT President Marc Ostrofsky was given the chance to define cybersquatter:
Let me defining cyber-squatting, since I’ve been called a cyber-squatter. A cyber-squatter is someone who owns a name that is trademarked, copywritten or otherwise [intellectual property]-protected by another firm. But as an industry, we typically only buy generic names like “cars,” “shoes,” or “mutualfunds.” I wouldn’t ever own “Fidelitymutualfunds.com.”
It’s sad that in this day people still don’t understand what cybersquatting is. Ostrofsky has been asked this question a number of times and always answer it well.
When asked about the industry risk of having advertising controlled by a small number of firms (e.g. Yahoo, Google), iREIT CEO Bob Martin said:
Like any company in any market that has a lot of supplier power, there’s a lot of risk. It is the 800-pound gorilla. This industry was born out of the roots of organizations that weren’t run in the most honest or ethical way. In our relationships with Google and Yahoo!, we try to be a very professional corporation with real corporate governance. Google, Yahoo!, [ IAC/InterActiveCorp’s] Ask.com and Microsoft–they see this as a valuable channel, and they understand the importance of it. They want to capture our traffic on their platform.
Could they one day come in and decide that the 10% to 15% of revenues that they’re getting from parked domains would be even better if they owned the domains? We think that’s a real possibility. But they’re more likely going to buy firms like ours than start over, because the names that we own already amount to 2% of the dot-com market.
Overall a good article. It’s just too bad about the headline.