A common practice in these booming Internet days. People register domain names for around $70, and then hold them for no reason other than someone else might want it. Most are worthless, since noone will pay for www.godzillashat.com and the like. However, some like www.sex.com, www.wallstreet.com, etc. are very valuable. Corporations hate these guys, because they might take www.mickey.com, so they claim noone can use their trademarks as domain names.

This is one of those pretty rare issues where I think the us vs. the corps mentality I've been accused of having may have to be set aside. Not because I believe the heavyweights are justified in their attempts to carve out arbitrarily large chunks of linguistic space as their assumed entitlement, in the naming system of a network that was never intended to be their little playground for business as usual, but because this stuff doesn't do much good for anyone, not the corporations, not independent small businesses, not the people who sit on domains uselessly for years, hoping eventually no one will care that they misspelled www.gormet.com and they'll get their 10 grand for it anyway, and not people like me who would like to try to build more interesting, informational and yes, maybe even profitable content into the Internet, but find time after time that I can sit for hours at a time banging on a domain search without being able to find anything available that's anywhere close to what I need and when I frustratedly go take a look at what the early birds have been up to with their worms, all too increasingly often what do I see? "Under Construction, please check back!" Or just a link to some squatbroker page, where I discover, among other things, that for a mere 50,000 dollars, I too can develop the domain www.cooolerthnu.com, or else that the domain resale page itself is: everybody, now:

"...U n d e r C o n s t r u c t i o n...".

So what is it helping that such a huge percentage of the namespace we have to work with is tied up by terminal procrastinators and would-be profiteers who, just like the moneymonkeys they'd like to stick it to, want a big piece of that pie, not for anything they've creatively contributed, but just because they got there first. I understand wanting to make some money, a lot of us could use a little more, but there's plenty to be made by actually developing sites people like and want to use, if you're willing to go to the effort. The way I see it, this trend is not making the Net into any less of a big commercial clusterfsck, just the opposite. Who will be able to afford to have a reasonable address at all, at this rate? Only the strip mall, chain store, faceless ubiquitous lack-of-alternative thriving bandits, and that's ruining the neighborhood, IMHO.

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