Over the last few weeks I’ve been talking about three character .COMs and citing a couple examples of UDRPs that have been filed against them. First I covered ADO.com which was one of the most ridiculous and scary UDRP decisions I’ve ever seen, then three days ago I wrote about AEX.com and the UDRP filed against it…and then today I was reading DomainInvesting.com (one of my personal favorite domain blogs) and boom – another UDRP filed against a three character .COM:
A UDRP was filed against the valuable three letter .com domain name, OST.com. The UDRP was filed at the World Intellectual Property Organization, and it is listed as Case Details for WIPO Case D2018-0418. (Source – DomainInvesting.com)
So…yeah, three character .COMs are looking like risky territory to me. Unlike most industries, spending five or six-figures on an asset in the domain name world doesn’t mean you actually have the right to own what you bought.
While cryptocurrencies are definitely about as risky as you can get, if I spend $50,000 on Bitcoin, nobody can suddenly claim that they own that Bitcoin, it’s mine fair and square. In the domain name world, I could spend $50,000 on a three character .COM and a day later someone could file a UDRP and take the domain, and I’m out $50k.
As a domain investor that owns exactly zero three character .COMs I can tell you I’m not planning on buying any in the near future. It is very clear to me that three character .COMs are clear targets of the broken UDRP system, they are riskier than cryptocurrencies and I’m urging everyone who invests in domains like this to be very careful. Don’t investing any money into a three character .COM that you’re not prepared to lose.
Of course you can still defend UDRP after UDRP but at a certain point in time that $50,000 turns into an $100,000+ investment once you factor in the legal fees to protect it. This means that flipping for $75k goes from a nice profit to a pretty disappointing loss.
What do you think? Am I being overly dramatic? What can we do to make short domain names like this a safer asset class to invest in? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!