Domaining, the practice of registering domain names as a financial investment to be sold later for profit, is still a little-known and understood practice pursued primarily by investors specialized in the field.

However, this past month the online domain name marketplace SEDO participated in the 7th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) in Dubai, which provided a venue for the German company to attract more interested parties to its marketplace, which already contains more than 18 million domain names, and this public presentation represented the possibility that domain names could become a commodity the general public could invest in as well.

With this sizable marketplace, sedo.com has unquestionably become the most recognized site for domaining, the practice of registering domain names as a financial investment to be sold later for profit. And while for those already in the know about domaining, SEDO is definitely the top name out there, the practice is still little known or understood by the general public.

While sometimes controversial, domaining is in and of itself legitimate. However, the entry of domaining into the public eye raises the specter of cybersquatting, the practice of intentionally registering a domain name corresponding to a registered trademark. Cybersquatting is problematic and is specifically prohibited by article 4.2 of Sedo's Terms of Use: "You acknowledge and agree that you may not use the Site or the Services to ... violate the rights of any third parties, including, but not limited to, trademark, copyright, naming or publicity rights." As such, SEDO itself cannot be held liable for any such activity, and with the arrival of new domainers into the marketplace from the pool of investors present in Dubai, there is some fear of an increase in cybersquatting activity.

And while the secondary domain name market is certainly growing (on sites such as Afternic, Domainmarket, HugeDomains, etc.), most domain name owners haven't yet plugged into it, and there are real benefits to be had.

The simplest example could involve anyone with a domain they intend to let expire, especially a generic domain name, could stand to make some money off of it by reselling it on a secondary domain name marketplace like the ones listed above.

While we do not support the practice of cybersquatting, we do support your right to participate in the secondary domain name market and assisting customers interested in listing domains on or buying domains from the secondary domain name market is one of the services offered by Gandi Corporate. Feel free to contact our Corporate Services team for more information.

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