To celebrate the 25th-year milestone of the Domain Name System, on June 23, 2008, Cincinnati-based editspot LLC, a product LEAP, a digital marketing agency, offers to clients, is releasing a free software tool that will allow safe WHOIS searches for international, top-level domain names with the goal of decreasing domain tasting, front running and cybersquatting.
The new software application—hosted at LiberateDomains.com—is an open-source, verifiable tool where people can go to safely research domain names without the fear of unscrupulous domain registrars, domain tasters and cybersquatters snatching and holding them hostage for a ransom or a fee. It's being released today through a variety of tech channels, such as a free widget on Apple.com, and is written for both the Mac and Windows platforms.
The LiberateDomains.com Story Starts In Cincinnati And Travels Through Nassau
Two years ago, editspot LLC Founder and CEO Ran Mullins encountered a virtual identity theft scenario when a cybersquatter in Nassau grabbed a domain name Mullins had conducted a WHOIS search for. The cybersquatter is demanding a ransom of more than $23,000 for the domain name. This prompted Troy Davis, Chief Technology Officer at editspot LLC, to proactively write the software to take similar cybersquatters out of the ransom game. editspot LLC decided to release the tool for free to celebrate the 25th anniversary of DNS and to substantially decrease unscrupulous business behavior on the Web.
Domain Identity Theft Rampant In The Virtual World
According to countless international reports, the crisis of cybersquatting, domain tasting and front running is rampant; in the virtual world, it's regarded as the equivalent of identity theft using insider information. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) defines domain tasting as "the use of the Add Grace Period to test the profitability of a domain name registration. The AGP is a five-day period following the initial registration of a domain name when the registration may be deleted and a credit can be issued to a registrar." According to a study released earlier this year by ICANN, during January 2007, about 94 percent of domain names registered were in fact just being "tasted." Of the 51 million domains registered, 48 million were deleted during the five-day grace period.
ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee describes domain front running as "the opportunity for a party with some form of insider information to track an Internet user’s preference for registering a domain name and preemptively register that name…. In the domain name industry, insider information would be information gathered from the monitoring of one or more attempts by an Internet user to check the availability of a domain name."
According to ICANN, the January 2007 monthly report for .COM and .NET websites showed that the top 10 registrars engaged in domain tasting accounted for 95 percent of all deleted .COM and .NET domain names during that month. The top four registrars engaged in domain tasting deleted 35,357,564 domain names, which was 74 percent of all deletes.
A David-vs.-Goliath Story: Small Cincinnati Firm Levels Playing Field With Greedy Cybersquatters
To celebrate the 25th year of DNS, editspot LLC is releasing LiberateDomains.com for free beginning today. LiberateDomains.com allows anyone—students, moms, educators, start-up companies, non-profit organizations, mega-corporations and the general public—to research new domain names while virtually eliminating the possibility of unscrupulous registrars and cybersquatters snatching and holding them for ransom. According to editspot LLC executives, the tool makes it virtually impossible for unscrupulous registrars and cybersquatters to "see" domain name searches conducted on LiberateDomains.com.
CEO Ran Mullins created editspot as a website content management system designed to give average computer users the power to control their websites; he has trademarked "people-driven content." Tasks once reserved for webmasters, document layout specialists, programmers and graphic designers can now be implemented by the general public with editspot.
"Clients did not want to spend scarce marketing dollars just to post a press release or job opening notice on their websites," Mullins said. "They wanted to do it themselves, but the technology was in the way. That need led to the creation of editspot, a hosted management tool for hassle-free Web content changes, for those of us without an advanced computer science degree. editspot puts the geek back into the closet."
Nation's Top Freerunner Helps Put An End To Domain Front Running
editspot LLC has secured Gabe Nunez, freerunning star of the newly released 3 Doors Down video, "It's Not My Time," to visit Cincinnati on June 23 to make public and media appearances. The 3 Doors Down video starring Nunez—shot entirely in Cincinnati—has been ranked at or near the top of the highly popular "VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown" the past three weeks. The video has been viewed more than 1.5 million times on YouTube in just the past month.
LEAP is a digital agency with an integrated philosophy at its core. LEAP delivers integrated experiences that connect on brand promise and achieves true integration by ensuring brands become a seamless part of the consumer lifestyle, not an interruptive one. LEAP has developed a depth of expertise in the consumer product and retail, financial services, food and beverage, healthcare, business-to-business, and fashion and entertainment markets.
LEAP has offices in Louisville, Boston, and Cincinnati. Find out more at www.leapagency.com.