The New York Times just called domainers ‘Cybersquatters’ in fear-mongering dot .NYC coverage

Get your flags and picket lines ready, domainers; the “C” word is being used again, this time by the prestigious New York Times.

In an article written to promote the launch of dot .NYC, staff writer Jim Dwyer plays the “Cybersquatter” tune time and again.

Says Mr. Dwyer, in full fear-mongering parlance:

“Until Oct. 7, people and businesses with a “physical” address in the city can pay a premium price to sign up ahead of the general public for .nyc addresses […] And this is harrowing, because, let’s face it, price-gouging by cybersquatters — who practice a form of virtual real estate speculation — is a real possibility.

For apparent emphasis, the article then quotes real squatting of New York City property that occurred in 1895 over real estate:

“A near riot broke out in March 1895 at a transportation board meeting when real estate speculators discovered that plans had been altered for a railroad along the Upper West Side of Manhattan. About 50 speculators, owning close to 1,000 lots along the expected route, turned up to shake their fists and berate the commissioners as mentally ill. Their demonstration had a curative effect.”

It’s a very simplistic and dangerous analogy, but then the New York Times article quotes Mr. Thomas Lowenhaupt, a member of the New York City community board and a technologist:

“He argues that the city had, and still has, an opportunity to protect the .nyc domain name so that small businesses are not put at a disadvantage. One way, he said, would be to follow the approach used in London, where businesses had to submit evidence that they had been operating under the name they were trying to register. “Without that, they’re catering to squatters,” Mr. Lowenhaupt said.”

The article quotes Mr. Lowenhaupt in another “cybersquatting” reference:

“They are catering to a crowd around the world that is going to buy these names and sell them back to us at inflated prices.” […] Mr. Lowenhaupt predicted that cybersquatters would find a way around the residency requirement. “It’s bad for mom-and-pop,” he said.”

One of the NYC mayor’s seniors advisers, Jeff Merritt, told Mr. Lowenhaupt not to worry – mom and pop businesses are protected and won’t be losing out to “cybersquatters” over .NYC domains.

For full effect, there’s the obligatory reference to “pornography” and the case of is referenced as well.

For the full article in The New York Times, titled “The Rush Is On for Web Addresses That End With Panache“, click here. Many thanks to Attila Steven for providing the link.


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5 Responses to “The New York Times just called domainers ‘Cybersquatters’ in fear-mongering dot .NYC coverage”
  1. Travis says:

    As a NY resident, I’m going to buy up a shit ton of them. Why? Because I can, and some can’t 😉 hahaa. What Mr.Dwyer doesn’t understand, although he plainly said it himself…it’s speculation. Not cybersquatting….and I’ll probably end up developing them. $30-$40/year renewal…need more than parking pages 😉

  2. Jason F. says:

    What we need is a general domainer boycott of gTLD’s. Without domainers financial support (investments) most gTLD’s are almost sure to fail especially since most are registered by us (97% i think?). Personally i have no intentions of buying any more of them and have not bought any in months (i will also drop most of those i bought next year). I am no longer supporting an industry that does everything to impede domainers success and reputation at every turn. Long live dot COM!

  3. Travis says:

    …and cause your comments are closed on the “5th”. Happpy 5th. Aside from mark’s blog, the only place I feel comfortable swearing. I love you filthy mouth fucks.

  4. John says:

    This guy at least has just proposed a potentially useful way (for both sides) of dealing with all us filthy “cybersquatters,” however: “Claiming Your Domain: Dealing with Cybersquatters” –

  5. John says:

    P.S. If any of us is dishonestly circumventing the nexus requirement for .nyc, however, then “cybersquatter” or the equivalent thereof in nastiness is exactly what that person is.

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