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Network Solutions Destroys Its Brand In One Fell Swoop

I finally found something more annoying than getting RickRolled. I am not surprised I found it, it is just that I would have bet against Network Solutions being the one doing it. Thank goodness the sportsbooks do not have a line on domain name registrars striking Faustian deals. Otherwise, I would have lost my shirt (and no one wants to see that).

According to Jay Westerdal of DomainTools Blog, and confirmed by commentators, Network Solutions has become a Domain Namenapper. Apparently, beginning December 16, 2007, now when you search for a prospective domain name on Network Solutions, unless you register it right then and there, Network Solutions, knowing you may return to purchase the name, registers the domain name itself and ups the price to $34.99. Since Network Solution now owns it, you cannot register it anywhere else either.

Network Solutions does release its hostage after four days, but by that time all of the professional swipers swoop in and make a grab for the booty. Once they grab your name, four days and $35 will seem like a fond memory. I would have not thought it possible to destroy a decade and a half of stellar brand goodwill overnight, but Network Solutions seems to have done it. Although I am sure it was just for the lulz.

Brett Trout

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Posted in Internet Law.