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First And Last Name Domains - Are They Ethical?

Labeled as advice in Domain Industry News started by Omar Negron, Feb 1, 2018.

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  1. Omar Negron

    Omar Negron Active Member VIP

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    [​IMG]

    First and last name domains are a type of domain that I love buying. But some other people think that these types of domains should not purchased.

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    What do you think about First and Last Name domains? Ethical or not?
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. pablohc86

    pablohc86 Active Member VIP

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    Yes they are unless we choose one that is not targeting a specifsp and populap person
     
  3. Coldtrigger

    Coldtrigger Established Member

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    The only first + last name I'm interested in is my own . . but it's taken.
     
  4. lock

    lock Traffic.tools VIP

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    Since johnsmith and mohammedali, and zhangwei are all taken i am out of ideas.
     
  5. Platinums

    Platinums New Member

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    it's squatting.
     
  6. bmugford

    bmugford www.DataCube.com PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If it is a popular name, why not? No one has exclusive rights to a popular name shared by thousands of people.

    If it is targeting one specific end user that is another story.

    Brad
     
  7. rafaelo0

    rafaelo0 Established Member

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    I completly agree with @bmugford

    If you buy a first + last name just to target one specific enduser then it's just squatting but if you buy a popular name shared by thousands of people it's a fair game.

    I personally never sold a first + last name .com but i know lots of domainers that do so and they make good money doing so, plus the buyer's normally are happy for being able to own their name (who doesn't want to own their name).

    I sold some popular first name in other extensions in the past (have one in auction now) and had good results plus the people i contact normally thank me for letting them know the domain is available.
     
  8. Willox Perez

    Willox Perez Member

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    I agree when it comes to getting well known celebrity name domains it can be risky but if you keep it general you will be fine.

    I just had to renew mine =-D I think everyone should own at least their own name and it can be profitable to dive into other names as well.

    =-D keep searching popular names you will find a ton, and if your exact name is taken no worries simply use your negotiation skills and buy it off the person who has it.

    This of course is debatable since as I mentioned before a general name can be valuable to more than just one person. When it is a specific celebrity name it simply won't work and can be considered squatting/unethical because you are aiming to profit off their established brand. I know I spoke to @AbdulBasit.com a while back and he shared how successful he has been with these types of domains.

    Exactly, fully agree it just makes sense.

    Yes, and nice thanks for sharing. These type of domains I really like because I feel the person will see the value in owning their own name and building a strong personal brand.

    Thanks for the input guys!

    - Will
     
  9. AbdulBasit.com

    AbdulBasit.com DomainsWeb.com AbdulBasit.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    My focus has been shifted from person names and low quality keyword names to 1-2 word brandable and service related domains. As most of the time an inquiry coming in for person names is looking to buy the domain just to develop personal site so there are high chances of getting xx to xxx offer.

    Suppose a domain which is available or getting dropped (DonaldTrump.com) and I grab it, in such case @Platinums could be right because the situation won’t be in my favor in future. But investing in normal 1-2 word person names isn’t wrong where there are hundreds and thousands of common people of that particular 1-2 word name.

    IMO, buying/selling of common person names whether it be Thomas.com or MarkThomas.com is as same as for Print.com or PrintFactory.com. All these 4 domains have upgrades to many companies and have active TMs too. That doesn't mean I cannot buy any of these domain.

    On the other hand, I admit of selling person names are difficult compare to products/services/brandables domain. But it’s up to the investor what type of names he/she prefer to buy.

    Also I completely agree with @bmugford
     
  10. canswift

    canswift Upgraded Member Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I remember a lengthy post on NP some years ago (but cannot recall who by) talking about this exact topic. That OP said he bought (usually expired) names that should have wide appeal. Like GordonSmith or LindaJones, all in dot coms. He would then check LinkedIn and other professional (publically available) databases, and do an outbound email to all of the same name. He said response was usually utterly dismal, uninformed or low-ball ($50) offers. Even people working in the tech, media or branding field didn't seemed clued in on why it just might be great to have your own name as a dot com domain.

    But that post was about 5 years ago, so maybe people would react differently now?
     
  11. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    First Names = OK

    Last Names = OK

    Historical/Fictional/Deceased First+Last Names = OK

    First+Last Names of living people = A little too specific not to be considered squatting IMO.

    Probably a few exceptions I'd be ok with .. can't think of any right now though ...

    At the very start of my adventure into domaining I actually grabbed a few celebrity names because of the stats .. but I let them all drop .. just didn't feel right. They had no actual traffic (not .com's).

    I think I have at least one .com of a deceased person .. and I used to have a couple of old president names .. not even sure if I have them anymore .. lol
     
  12. DnDot.com

    DnDot.com Upgraded Member Gold Account ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Why not - as long as there aren't any trademark issues? I don't personally register any first and last names but registering them would be just as ethical as registering any other domain name for investment purposes. If there is an ethical issue with this practice then we would have to most likely question registering any domains at all.
     
  13. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    The huge difference is that indeed people DO use their names for business/commercial purposes ... your name *IS* your brand. So as such trademark rights by their very definition could easily apply. Plus there is no other reason for a domainer to register a domain but to profit from somebody else's need for their own name. So unless there is clearly an alternate use for the name .. I can't see it as anything but bad faith unless obviously it's your own name.

    It's most definitely the type of thing that gives domainers the impression of being squatters.

    I'm very strongly on the side of domainers in just most UDRP cases involving generic words and often made up words .. but holding on to somebody's actual name where there is no realistic usage other than to resell it to someone with that name is essentially going against what trademark protection SHOULD actually be used for.
     
  14. stub

    stub Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    ColdTrigger.com is owned by Huge Domains :(
     
  15. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Is that your real first and last names? lol .. If it is then you need to be a western movie star! :)
     
  16. Jurgen Wolf

    Jurgen Wolf Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Many brands (company names) are feminine given names...
     
  17. Jurgen Wolf

    Jurgen Wolf Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    And it is 100% ethical because even by UDRP they are considered as generic domains.
     
  18. Jurgen Wolf

    Jurgen Wolf Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Non-.com personal names are mostly trading in 3-figure range...
    However there are many buyers which are ready to spend even up to $3K... but such sales take more time...
     
  19. stub

    stub Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    That's true. No problem with first (given) names of either gender. That's also probably true for last (family) names too. No problem with that. Their names are generally in the range of popularity in the tens to hundreds of thousands. Maybe more. Many of them are used by brands. But an artist might use a weird spelling of their first name which could possibly be the only spelling of that name on the planet (taking it to the extreme). Which I think would probably lose a TM claim. Depending on when it was registered and the artist started their career. Also combinations of first and last names become even a more grayer area. You need to be selective with what you register. Common first and last name combinations might be fair game. But I stick with first or last names, when I can afford them, personally. Which isn't often. Precisely because they can be branded fairly easily.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  20. Jurgen Wolf

    Jurgen Wolf Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I agree, UDRP cases are possible with very popular celebrities if exact combination FirstLast.
    No problems in all other cases.
     
  21. Jurgen Wolf

    Jurgen Wolf Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Regarding me...
    I take only First or only Last.
     
  22. stub

    stub Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Of course. I have several spellings of my first (full and abbreviated) and last name in .com. All of which are taken as first and last names in .com. Not by me, because they are owned as brands :( I haven't put them to any good use though :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  23. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    @Jurgen Wolf .. I think you misunderstood the purpose or this thread .. this discussion is regarding domains that are a combination of First+Last names (not separate) .. I think everyone is in agreement that most either First *OR* Last names alone are generic enough to be relatively safe (unless a domainer is dumb enough to have content or advertising related to an actual business using the name/mark in question).

    Yes .. I agree .. I actually have a small number of such names (obscure-ish first names)

    That is most definitely not accurate. There has even been at least one case where a domain was taken away from someone with the exact full name (and yes .. certainly cases where they haven't .. but just saying it's not always taken for granted depending on the case).

    So if it it isn't your full (FIRST + LAST together) name (or the full name of someone you represent), and there is someone with that exact full name working as an entrepreneur with their name .. then they most certainly would have trademark rights over you .. unless of course you are actually operating a real business operating under that full name .. that's when I'd agree you have TM rights .. but not if you're just holding the name for resale while NOT operating a business using that specific First+Last name as the brand/mark.


    Why just "celebrities"? It seems everyone should have the right to use their own name. And to use the web address if it is not being used by another (for legitimate reasons).

    Me too .. lol .. I see nothing wrong with that .. particularly if they are generic not-made-up names.
     
  24. Jurgen Wolf

    Jurgen Wolf Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Because "bad faith" in case with celebrities is significantly easier to prove.
    Everyone has no any chances via UDRP.
     
  25. stub

    stub Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I think you can't prove bad faith in the case that the celebrities name and your name are the same, and you are actually using the domain, with content not related to the celebrity. Some celebrities have common first and last names.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018

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