Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Alibaba IPO and Yahoo Valuation

November 6, 2007 Leave a comment


Call me old, but am I the only one that remembers the Palm IPO? OK, so I was among the cattle desperately trying to get shares of Palm, back in the day – March 2000. Now, something with Alibaba smelled very similar to that Palm IPO…

March 2000:

  • Palm IPO rises 150% by closing bell
  • Palm closes opening day with a $53 billion market cap
  • Main Palm shareholder 3com rises drastically as a result of Palm’s market cap

November 2007:

  • Alibaba IPO rises 193% by closing bell
  • Alibaba closes first day of trading with a $25.7 billion market cap
  • Main Alibaba shareholder Yahoo! drops 4.6%???

OK, so Mr. Yang is in the hot seat, but is it so serious as to discount the more than $6 billion they just made off of the Alibaba IPO, plus a nearly $2 billion more in the drop of today?

Then again, investors could be discounting the huge dot-comish PE that Alibaba carries.

Oh, and for those of you wondering how Palm did ever since that monumental IPO… PALM Market Cap:  $0.9 billion

Categories: Business, Economy, Internet Tags: , , ,

Ciao Record Labels

October 11, 2007 Leave a comment

Do you smell blood in the water?

In the latest seismic shift to rock the music industry, pop superstar Madonna is close to leaving Warner Music Group Corp.’s Warner Bros. Records for a $120 million deal with concert-promotion giant Live Nation Inc., according to people familiar with the deal. Madonna still has another studio album left to deliver with Warner Music.

Wall Street Journal

The shift in power, mainly (if not totally) by the Internet distribution channel for music downloads, is causing a slow and painful death for music labels. It might be time to start filling those Christmas stockings with put options of record label companies.

Domain Deals – New Column

September 19, 2007 1 comment


Thanks to Google Reader’s tag share option, from now on I’ve added a new column called “Domain Deals”. On a regular day, I read several hundred rss items and evaluate hundreds of domain deals. All shared domain deals are considered to be attractive. The number of attractive deals has grown so much, that I’ve decided to share this list with everyone.

You can find this column of deals in the right side of my blog, and it will update every time I tag a new deal. Feel free to subscribe to the feed to read as many domain deals as you like. I hope this new column helps all those people interested in domain investing.

For all the newbs in the house, please read “Potential Domain Investment Risks” before jumping in the water.

Happy domaining!

Categories: Business, Domains, English, Internet

Fundamentals of the Anti-Cybersquatting Piracy Act

August 22, 2007 1 comment

The key to understanding the Anti-Cybersquatting Piracy Act (ACPA) is to see it as an extension to the Lanham Act section 43(d), in its quest to determine bad faith, where it states:


Cyberpiracy prevention.



A person shall be liable in a civil action by the owner of a mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section, if, without regard to the goods or services of the parties, that person–


has a bad faith intent to profit from that mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section; and


registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that–

in the case of a mark that is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to that mark;
in the case of a famous mark that is famous at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to or dilutive of that mark; or
is a trademark, word, or name protected by reason of section 706 of title 18, United States Code, or section 220506 of title 36, United States Code.



In determining whether a person has a bad faith intent described under subparagraph (A), a court may consider factors such as, but not limited to–

Full section

They key phrase here is “bad faith“. See how in the ACPA, there are five determinants to bad faith:

  • Intent to divert to a site that could harm the trademark owner’s goodwill – either for commercial gain or with intent to tarnish by creating likelihood of confusion as to source, sponsorship or affiliation, or endorsement of the site.
  • Offer to sell the domain name without having used, or having an intent to use, it in the bona fide offering of goods or services, or a prior pattern of such conduct.
  • Intentional provision of misleading contact information in the domain name registration application or the history of such conduct.
  • Warehousing of multiple domain names known to be identical or confusingly similar to distinctive marks or dilutive of famous marks, without regard to the goods or services of the parties.
  • The extent to which a mark is distinctive or famous.

To further understand the international similarities in the establishment of bad faith domain registration, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), through its Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) sets the following guidelines:

  • Circumstances indicating that the domain name was registered or acquired primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valuable consideration in excess of the domain name registrant’s out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
  • The domain name was registered in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that the domain name registrant has engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
  • The domain name was registered primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
  • By using the domain name, the domain name registrant intentionally attempted to attract for financial gain, Internet users to the registrant’s web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of the registrant’s web site or location or of a product or service on the registrant’s web site or location.

Yesterday, the well known domain investor Rick Shwartz made the following cybersquatting assumption:

So will we see the anti-cybersquatting CADNA.ORG get swept into court for violating the mark of CADNA.COM?? Did they not do any research? How SLOPPY can this new association be and how IGNORANT can the companies putting their names behind them be?

So either CADNA needs to change its domain name or it is just as guilty as the people they are pointing fingers at and calling cybersquatters.

Determining if this is a violation of the ACPA is very simple. Can you determine the verdict? is a for-profit corporation selling replacement automotive parts. is a non-profit organization for domain names. Evidently, although they share the same name, is:

  1. not benefiting from’s trademark
  2. not doing business in the same industry
  3. unlikely to confuse a customer seeking automotive parts
  4. not operating for commercial gain

Thus, is not cybersquatting.

In summary, the ACPA is one of many mechanisms available to try and eliminate the practice of registering domain names for the purpose of hurting, taking advantage of, or profiting from an established mark. It’s that simple! Furthermore, the Lanham Act goes on to protect registrants by saying, “Bad faith intent described under subparagraph (A) shall not be found in any case in which the court determines that the person believed and had reasonable grounds to believe that the use of the domain name was a fair use or otherwise lawful.”

Categories: Business, Domains, Internet, Law

Potential Domain Investment Risks

August 19, 2007 3 comments

All of us buying domain names for several years now can share a few stories on the satisfactory return on investment that we’ve had. Nevertheless, when considering investing in more domains (or simply holding to the ones you already own) there are some factors to evaluate on the durability and appreciation of those assets. The following are potential domain investing scenarios where the asset could depreciate in value:

  • Internet market consolidation – In a mature Internet market consolidated into a few dominant leaders, there is a possibility of encapsulating the user (think of AOL) into a user experience controlled by the roles set out by those leaders. In this scenario, users could be led to a new form of browsing dominated mostly by “proprietary” keywords owned by influential players.
  • Excess domain supply – Opposite to an Internet market consolidation, in the event of an open Internet with relaxed domain extension creation protocols (read ICANN) the market could become saturated with domain extensions. In this scenario domain supply goes ad infinitum. When users have the availability and Internet knowledge to browse through .whatever, then could lose value.
  • Increased user knowledge – Many of the wealthiest domain investors rely on type-in traffic at generic domain names as its major source of revenue. The current user, unaware of the existence or nonexistence of a website is wrongly trained to type in the topic they are searching for and add the “.com”. Thus, owners of generic term domain names are currently earning millions of dollars from this practice. These domain names are usually resold based on yearly earnings multiples ranging in average of 8 to 15 times. However, as users grow more tech savvy, there’s a possibility that the type-in water well dries up.
  • Widgets and applications – Similar to the first point, as Internet widgets and applications proliferate user browsing behavior could change. A user that interacts with the Internet through a collection of widgets and applications could reduce its dependence on traditional domain browsing (think Facebook apps).
  • Evolution of television – currently, there are powerful companies pushing for the creation of an interactive television experience, studies show that users are ready. Depending on the extent to which televisions supply the tools for browsing the Internet, users might find themselves interacting in a whole new way detached from the need of domains.
  • Liquidity – Domain names have very low liquidity. As a result, investors facing an urgent need to sell their domains will most likely see a huge decline in the selling price from the actual domain worth. This by itself reduces greatly the amount of investors and investment money available by traditional and wealthier investors.

The constantly evolving Internet technology poses many more risks in the way a user interacts in cyberspace. A recent example of how a domain extension’s viability was seriously questioned is the .mobi extension in response to the launch of the iPhone and the way the cellphone allowed for regular browsing, rather than limited mobile browsing.

When deciding to purchase a domain name as an investment, the investor should consider the above factors and understand that domain investing is a high risk investment with a strong chance of having a relatively low durability.

New Top Level Domain process

Studies on Television Interactivity,1370,-1019-41365,00.html

Post on domain liquidity

.mobi problems with the iPhone

Categories: Business, Domains, Internet

Buffett bought Dow Jones shares

August 14, 2007 Leave a comment

From the Wall Street Journal:

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bought a small stake in Dow Jones & Co. in the second quarter, during Rupert Murdoch’s bid to win ownership of the company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, from its controlling family.

I am confident we’ll see significant changes in the WSJ in the way that a traditional newspaper transitions to a strong and profitable online position.

Categories: Business, English, Internet

Don’t do evil: Google Privacy

August 9, 2007 Leave a comment

With so much pressure lately on Google’s privacy practices, Google has created a video that explains how their privacy system works when you do a search query:

Categories: English, Internet is on the rise at $155,000

August 2, 2007 Leave a comment

With 10 days and 20 hours to go for bidding, continues to rise at the Sedo auction with 11 bids. The numbers are a bit higher than last week’s purchase for $116,000.  I’ve always believed .info to be a good alternative to .com for premium generics. sold for $12 million for $415,000

Categories: Domains, English, Internet dips in traffic numbers

August 2, 2007 Leave a comment


Companies that don’t have Search Engine Optimized pages stand to get a pretty surprise if they decide to optimize them. The surge in traffic is substantial. On the flip side, companies built to rely on search engine traffic as its forte are playing a very risky strategy. When Google dances, a few businesses are bound to get stepped over.

And so, this is the latest example of a public company taking a hit in Search Engines – Seeing Lower Traffic . In their report to investors, the company discloses a dip of “28% from levels immediately prior to the change.”  This has got to be a few million uniques, given the estimate of nearly 11 million monthly uniques according to

When investing in a content company, I’d look for:

– What percentage comes from Search Engines

– The distribution of search engines

– Percentage of type-ins

– Is the type-in trend positive

– Growth in backlinks from other reputable sources

– Percentage coming from advertising click throughs

Unless these questions are answered correctly, investors of Internet content companies might be going on a very wild rollercoaster ride.

Categories: Business, English, Internet

Bravo Bancrofts

August 1, 2007 Leave a comment

The Bancrofts from WSJ finally gave the green light for Murdoch’s acquisition of the Dow Jones Corp., which includes the Wall Street Journal. I am excited to see this deal go through, as I believe a big part of the deal was due to the property being underutilized by current management. As suggested in my previous posting on Murduch’s bid for Dow Jones, I expect the following changes to come to

  • Better monetization of archives: The Wall Street Journal has a wealth of historic financial news that is valuable to many. Paying per article for as little as $1 can boost revenues greatly. An algorithm to determine the demand of particular articles should be created in order to determine the optimal price of the particular article.
  • Micropayments: As with the archives and the current articles, users should be able to purchase the single article they are interested in. Keep the subscription model (well, that needs improvements) but offer the reader the alternative to purchase the single article he/she is interested in.
  • Flexible subscriptions: Users might just be interested in unlimited passes to news on Oil, or news on the Internet industry. By allowing flexible subscriptions you gain more ground in niche groups looking for specific topic information.
  • Better SEO: OK, this might be a bit off… but if WSJ were to optimize their content for search engines, traffic could easily double. A clear example is Technorati’s SEO results.

Murduch is a genius deal maker.

More news at:  (we need to SEO this baby)


Categories: Business, English, Internet