Company defends internet address grab

A domain name firm that registers internet addresses that are the subject of searches on its own website is standing by the practice, insisting that it prevents domain name scams.

Company defends internet address grab

Network Solutions has been tracking terms entered into its search field and registering them itself, before selling them on for an inflated fee.

However, the company has defended its actions by claiming that it’s preventing “front running”, the term applied to scammers who take advantage of the five-day trial period to use domain names without paying for them.

According to Network solutions, its policy serves to lock popular domain names so that scammers can’t register them. Spokeswoman Susan Wade says that someone was selling data about name searches and that the new measures were put in place to make this data useless.

“This is a customer protection measure to protect customers from frontrunners,” Wade says, adding that there is a clear distinction between front running and what the company is doing: it is not “monetising” the domains and releases them all after four days.

But Domain Name Wire is not so sure, noting that a number of the domains in question carried Network Solutions advertisements.

As Domain Name Wire suggests, Network Solutions blanket approach to buying up domains could soon land it in court with the very trademark holders it appears to want to protect.

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