How to deal with domain hoarding?

mjollnir

Daemon

Reaction score: 736
Messages: 1,177

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
  • When we use so-called free services in the internet, the deal is: we pay with our user profile and meta-data instead of money.
    The service provider sells this data, and we have no control of where this data goes and how it is used.
  • Additionally, we accept bugging advertisement (e.g. in our mail box, and when using the services through a web browser).
    The service provider earns money with this, too.
My e-mail provider offers a premium membership for 5€ per month, which IMHO is not justified (way too much).
I'm so p*ed off with the performance of my free e-mail provider that I had the idea to set up a site in the cloud to offer the most commonly used services,
  • respecting privacy (no selling of meta-data) & ad-free, but
  • with a voluntary fee instead, where the amount of the fee is completely up to the user's free decision,
  • with Open Source software, Open Protocols & Open Data Formats
  • 1 $/€/£ per month (for data-center+maintainance+taxes) should be sufficient, and
  • from >100E3 users I'd add a slider to let the users decide how much would go to the used software & Open Source/Data-formats in general.
So, an intuitive name for such a site would be private.io. Guess what, it's not used but reserved/owned by a reseller... private.net, community.net,... all exist but do not offer any services.
  • How to deal with such robber barons? Any suggestions?
 

ralphbsz

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 1,610
Messages: 2,536

It's a free market. You are not the king, people can buy domain names to do with as they please. For example park them. There are plenty of domain names available, there is no shortage of them, so there is no need for the government to step it to force efficient usage of domain names. So these folks have bought them and are parking them, in case they need them in the future, or in case they want to sell them.

Speaking of that: If you really want to call your service private.io, you could contact the current owner of that domain, and offer to buy it. It's a free world, you are free to negotiate with them.

One other thing: You claim that for 1 $/Euro/Pound you'll be able to do all that, while the going rate seems to be 5x that. I think you are wrong, and the real cost is significantly higher. If it was possible to do it for $1, then lots of providers would be trying to compete at the $1.25 price point. The reason is not the simple stuff you see like data center (that's ridiculously cheap), maintenance (if you are using a cloud provider, that's even less), and taxes (which I don't know, it depends whether it's just sales tax / VAT or some telecommunications tax). The real cost is in the people: you need customer service, marketing, customer service, lawyers, customer service managers, accountants, customer service, human resources to hire more customer service, corporate security to make sure your customer service people don't steal mice and keyboards from the supply room, lawyers to supervise the corporate security people so they don't beat the customer service too much, and so on and so on. Running a corporation is hard and expensive.
 
OP
mjollnir

mjollnir

Daemon

Reaction score: 736
Messages: 1,177

It's a free market. You are not the king, people can buy domain names to do with as they please. For example park them. There are plenty of domain names available, there is no shortage of them, so there is no need for the government to step it to force efficient usage of domain names.[...]
  • The widespread believe that there IS a free market is a myth. Yes, there is a market, but it's not free.
  • The widespread believe that the so-called free market works well and eventually solves the puzzle of supply & demand efficiently, is a myth, too.
  • Both are proven to be wrong since decades by notable (Nobel-price awarded) scientists researchers in the realm of economics.
  • To believe belongs into the church, not economics ;)
    And before you ask, this is not about political persuasion, but simply plain statistics.
  • My knowledge on guidelines & policies for DNS domain name registration is 25 years old, but even at that early stage of the internet there was a rule stating you have to make use of a registered domain within a year, i.e. at least set up a service (e.g. a web site or mail server). The clear intention of this policy was to prevent mitigate domain hoarding.
One other thing: You claim that for 1 $/Euro/Pound you'll be able to do all that, while the going rate seems to be 5x that. I think you are wrong, and the real cost is significantly higher. If it was possible to do it for $1, then lots of providers would be trying to compete at the $1.25 price point. [...]
Before starting such a thing one has to do market research, and so I did: I found two e-mail+ (extended: cloud services) providers here in Germany: Posteo and mailbox.org, both here in Berlin. What I do not like is they use Linux, while I would have more faith if they used some BSD or illumOS-based OS. Nevertheless, both leave a good impression:
  • private & business e-mail+ services from 1 €/month upwards
  • EDIT: dozens of domain endings (country/.net/.org/etc.) available for e-mail aliases
  • ad-free & privacy enhanced - no selling of user's meta-data
  • excellent encryption strategies - they can not read user data in clear-text
  • use of eco-electricity
  • ranked 1st in various tests/comparisons
  • publish transparency reports yearly
  • data center in Germany: EU laws apply, no NSA access (well, officially...)
  • german/english/(Posteo:french) translations of the web site
  • Posteo supports one of the rare financial institutes here who are not mafiosi (GLS Bank)
    where - naturally - I have my bank account
  • the german federal office for computer & network security BSI called Posteo's security management exemplary (i.e. state-of-the-art) in 2016.
So, I registered at Posteo and hopefully my suffering with a big well-known free e-mail provider comes to an end.
 
Last edited:

Crivens

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator

Reaction score: 1,260
Messages: 2,246

...
  • Both are proven to be wrong since decades by notable (Nobel-price awarded) scientists in the realm of economics
... and here my breakfast made a move to escape.

Alfred Nobel had very simple words for "scientists of economics", but there may be minors around.
 
OP
mjollnir

mjollnir

Daemon

Reaction score: 736
Messages: 1,177

OK, I agree on that ;) Nevertheless, you might find the work of honourable Elinor Ostrom at least interesting.
And hopefully you'll not judge my previous post as beeing an advertisement.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 1,630
Messages: 3,670

I've always thought there should be a time limit set on purchased domain names. The name must be actively used or forfeit it. Of course, determining "actively used" for billions of names would be extremely difficult. Then, again, Google and Microsoft and others manage to do monitoring to some extent with their accounts.
 

SirDice

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator

Reaction score: 9,283
Messages: 33,826

Domain registrations are typically a year. After that year you will need to extend, for another year. Failure to extend on time could result in a domain squatter grabbing it. Who will try to resell it back to you at an increased rate. Especially with "popular" domain names. Not very ethical I agree, but it's all legal and nothing you can do about it. Except paying your domain bills on time.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

Reaction score: 1,630
Messages: 3,670

I once had a domain name that was my real name. I let it expire and it was scooped up by some Asian company. They held onto it for like five years before letting it go. They advertised it as for sale for something like $500US. As if anyone else would want that.
 
OP
mjollnir

mjollnir

Daemon

Reaction score: 736
Messages: 1,177

When I was working for an Internet-PoP in a small town, we had a private customer who's family name was the same as that of a big well-known coffee brand. Beeing a nerd, he registered and used that domain when the internet was in it's childhood. A year later, the coffee-company's lawyers demanded him to let them take over the domain, arguing they own that trademarked brand and therefore they have the unique right to use that domain name. He declined, they went to court (several rounds ;)), and eventually the judges decided he can hold the domain because of his family name :)
 

kpedersen

Daemon

Reaction score: 1,024
Messages: 2,028

  • private & business e-mail+ services from 1 €/month upwards
I am going to assume they don't support sending them that money via cash in post?
That tiny fee suggests to me that they don't really care about the money, they just want a "link" to your real identity.

If this annoys you, my personal suggestion is to run an smtp server at home (sendmail, postfix, opensmtpd etc) for receiving emails.

For sending emails, the big players have made sure to exclude anyone that doesn't have big bucks, so in that case use free SMTP relay services like SocketLabs, sendgrid, sendinblue, etc, which specialise in sending mass mail. These have conditioned these blacklist filters over the years to ensure a decent amount of reliability. If you set up specific DNS signatures for your personal domain, you generally get treated as legitimate by other email services (even GMX's nemesis server).

These services are free up to ~5000 mails a month which is plenty for us guys. But more importantly than free is that they don't particularly seem interested in your "real" details.

Try to have any potential clients contact you first by email to avoid redirecting to their spam. I also notice that many "security" companies mostly just deal with ensuring reliable email. It is so annoyingly closed; even many VPS companies don't allow you to host email servers. Microsoft Azure VMs have blanket blocked port 25 outgoing which is mad.
 
OP
mjollnir

mjollnir

Daemon

Reaction score: 736
Messages: 1,177

I am going to assume they don't support sending them that money via cash in post?
That tiny fee suggests to me that they don't really care about the money, they just want a "link" to your real identity. [...]
Answer to 1+2: they do! Link to real identity: No. You can send the them the money anonymously by snail-mail or aquire a friend or courier to bring them the money in cash. This holds true for at least Posteo, I did not fully dive into mailbox.org because I took a decision for Posteo; mailbox.org is not bad, either. Both are >30 employees companies, that survived for >10 years, so they make a living with that business model. You can read about Posteo in the english/french/italian/portugese wikipedia, both have an entry in the german wikipedia. And of course you can grab additional information with a DuckDuckGo search.
 

kpedersen

Daemon

Reaction score: 1,024
Messages: 2,028

You can send the them the money anonymously by snail-mail or aquire a friend or courier to bring them the money in cash.
Nice, that is actually really cool to know. Not that I am particularly interesting in terms of my activities, I am just far too stubborn to put up with the arrogance of most companies (therefore, people) these days.
 
OP
mjollnir

mjollnir

Daemon

Reaction score: 736
Messages: 1,177

Addendum: At least Posteo does not save any personal data of it's customers:
  • no IP adresses or external cookies that allow to identify you (e.g. reCaptcha)
  • no connection between bank account transfer and e-mail account
  • no customer name/address
  • they can not sell or otherwise give away customer data because they simply do not have it, and they (their lawyers) found a way that this completely conforms to german & EU laws :)
  • obviously they have to support legal authorities in case of a court's demand (severe crime cases); but they can not give them much because they set up their IT infrastructure so that it works with the least amount of confidential data possible
  • etc.pp.: impressive setup of services & business workflow to allow for complete anonymization of customers
So if I wanted to be completely anonymous, I could do that and still use all the amenities of a modern digitalized life like pay them via online-banking or paypal, access my cloud with the software tools I like, etc.pp.

These guys did an excellent job. I can really recommend this service with good concience for european all users seeking a better solution than so-called free mail & cloud services. I can not tell about mailbox.org because I did not try it, chances are the functionality they offer is very similar.
 
Last edited:
Top