Interesting piece from The Register’s Kieren McCarthy on the changing nature of domain names. He points to the recent case of a guy renting out beef.com to allow People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to lead a very successful campaign on the BSE issue. In the future, individuals and companies may end up renting out domain names rather than selling them:
As anyone who follows the domain name market will tell you, the price of domains has recovered and is almost standing at pre-dotcom-bust figures. It makes sense then that some speculators may invest in an expensive domain and then lease it out to people in fixed-term contracts – just like the housing market. You need not sell the domain completely – you simply accept a long-term lease or even monthly rents, depending on the market and the domain.
The Register reckon this might redress some of the imbalance in the domain name market, pulling “God-like power over domains away from companies like VeriSign which have abused the market for long enough but are impossible to remove”.