Thanks for that Moler. I suppose a better question might be:
"Can you successfully
challenge a registrant of Group I (and current registered) domains solely based on
this non-resale restriction?"
My guess is that .biz names will have additional
.biz-specific criteria in an UDRP case, which can be actioned with Neulevel-sanctioned
arbitrators (as with the STOP process). But that leads to another question, would
you have to have a registered trademark to win such a case? I'd bet that you would,
which means that many domains may not go challenged even though their owners are
flouting the rules. If you didn't need a trademark to challenge a .biz rule violator,
then that might open the floodgates and bring about an Afilias-esque domain name
My bet is that most .biz registrants are not even aware of these restrictions
(even I only vaguley knew about them!) so many specualtors will continue to treat
the domains they have now registered as lease/resale-only investments. However the
key words in Neulevel's terms are "solely for the purpose" and smarter speculators
might attempt to portray their site as having a legitimate business (even having
information on the site deems it in accordance with the rules), whilst really wanting
to just sell or lease the domain.
Personally, I don't think such a restriction
on open resale was a smart move by Neulevel. To do so would limit the trade and undermine
the effectiveness of the TLD; it would be bad for Neulevel's business if the deepest
pocketed companies weren't aware of .biz domains for sale (because nobody is advertising
them for fear of being seen as being "noncommercial", almost a contradiction in terms
when you think about it: the aftermarket is a very commercial-oriented industry).
This would result in many good generic .biz names never being bought and developed
properly, and thus prevening other net users from perceiving .biz domains as valuable
Speculators of generic names actually do have a considerable
market effect on domains: they have traditionally been the ones that take the risks
and buy them even though they have no business plans to develop them, ultimately
driving the prices of domains up. But they're also the ones that advertise them and
make deals with bigger companies who are interested in developing them.
if speculators are not allowed to speculate on .biz, then it may be possible that
initially the best names are rubbish (maybe small Mom & Pop) sites and early on the
.biz domain will get a poor reputation by not having big business sites using it;
it won't be taken seriously. Demand for 1st and 2nd tier names will then drop accordingly.
course, this is just a theory and and possibly a worst case scenario. I think in
practice Neulevel will not be policing and enforcing the domains for commercial use
(the policy is so open to interpretation that one might even argue that a non-resolving
domain could mean non commercial use). Such use (or non-use) of the domain will probably
only come up in disputes with legitimate trademark holders, as it always has in past