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McDonalds.com : Original registrant never got a dime for the #domain

McDonalds has always been popular with hungry people and that includes most domain investors.

Despite its established footprint, McDonalds missed the dot com revolution by not registering the matching .com domain, McDonalds.com.

In the summer of 1994 someone else did, and although the registration itself was free, it’s mind-blowing that an unauthorized party would somehow fool the mostly manual process that involved paperwork.

That man is Josh Quittner, who was a reporter for Wired magazine when he decided to register the domain McDonalds.com to showcase cybersquatting and domain names in an article.

McDonalds.com – billions registered

At the time, InterNIC was in charge of handling all domain registrations and had assigned 2.5 people to the task. The 0.5 number indicates that 2 people were full time handling domain registrations and one was part time!

Josh Quittner saw the availability of McDonalds.com as an example of how valuable domains would be, even to the competition. In this case, Burger King would have been a candidate.

About two weeks after filling out the Net-available domain-name application form, Josh Quittner received an email notification from domreg@internic.net:

“Registration for the domain MCDONALDS .COM has been completed. The InterNIC database has been updated…. The new information will not be visible via WHOIS until the next business day….”

For more than a week, Quittner attempted to communicate his trophy domain with McDonalds but was told that his contact was on vacation or busy. Eventually he went live with the Wired article, asking for people’s opinions on “what to do” with the domain. He used the email address ronald@mcdonalds.com.

Read the full Wired article from 1994 by Josh Quittner, titled “Billions Registered.


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Comments

One Response to “McDonalds.com : Original registrant never got a dime for the #domain”
  1. Jonathan’ says:

    Nice one! That was fascinating,

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