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Name Squatting once again... 
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Posts: 63
Location: Sydney Singapore Shanghai
Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
phelix wrote:
biolizard89 wrote:
If you seriously do not think that someone who DoSes the system by registering the entire d/ namespace would qualify as an attacker, and argue that such a person is simply exercising private property rights, then I do not think you can be reasoned with. I will save my time and not bother engaging you further.

If that someone did his thing in a legitimate way it would certainly mean that the system is broken. Lucky us we have several squatters :mrgreen:


This event is a matter if interpretation. This is a blurred line between illegal, unlawful and not legitimate.

somename wrote:
(in cases like Onename, they're engaging in "permissionless innovation").

Academics call this spillover effects which is usually desirable from the public policy point of view wrt innovation. However, biolizard has made the slippery slope argument that this can be applied indefinitely to squat on the entire space which may or may not be a flaw in the allocation policies. The analogy would be block A addresses in the IPv4 space where early participants basically blocked out large swaths disproportionate to their actual usage. This is the reason why early land titles were "leases" and conditioned on the land being "improved" to prevent the locking up forever of (future) scarce resources (cf perpetualities rule in trust law).

As someone who was the Alternative Dispute Resolution officer for an FOSS co-op, I would suggest a possible 3 stage approach

  1. a delegation of NameCoin developers/thought-leaders approach OneName and seek an undertaking for them not to be greedy and voluntarily limit their acquisition to something reasonable (yet to be defined).
  2. promote an secondary namecoin protocol/scheme which introduces competition, for example counter-bidding on inactive domain names. This is a subtle difference in that it changes the property right from absolute title to option to acquire, with minimum strike price for someone else to acquire .... cf US PTO rules where registered patents need renewable fees to keep their monopoly. A threshold can be set so that this renewable fee is escalating if a single entity (and this is a legal definition) owns/controls different levels of domainnames
  3. absolute last resort is to change the code base to impose punitive measures for squatting/hoarding. This is debateable but I suggest should involve ALL participants, including future followers of OneName business model. This is an area of competition law, if OneName has a "lead" to what extent does this crowd out alternatives?

If there are specific areas of law (for which I've training in IT/IP/ID domains), I can endeavour to answer but one of the issues I see right now is interpretation of facts.

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Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:47 am
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Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
drllau wrote:
This event is a matter if interpretation. This is a blurred line between illegal, unlawful and not legitimate.


I would disagree with that because I approach the problem from the property standpoint.
If one acquires property legally, then it's legal, lawful and legitimate.
Unless there's a question of legality, but I can't see any because it's not possible to transact without buying the right to do that at the current market price.

Others may view this differently, but I can't imagine any case that might diminish or invalidate property rights of existing users.
For example a protocol flaw wouldn't alter the right of squatters, and neither should anyone's moral judgment (maybe registering google.bit is really immoral, but it certainly shouldn't be open to interpretation because if any immorally registered record is not legal, potentially none are).

drllau wrote:
somename wrote:
(in cases like Onename, they're engaging in "permissionless innovation").

Academics call this spillover effects which is usually desirable from the public policy point of view wrt innovation. However, biolizard has made the slippery slope argument that this can be applied indefinitely to squat on the entire space which may or may not be a flaw in the allocation policies. The analogy would be block A addresses in the IPv4 space where early participants basically blocked out large swaths disproportionate to their actual usage. This is the reason why early land titles were "leases" and conditioned on the land being "improved" to prevent the locking up forever of (future) scarce resources (cf perpetualities rule in trust law).

As someone who was the Alternative Dispute Resolution officer for an FOSS co-op, I would suggest a possible 3 stage approach

  1. a delegation of NameCoin developers/thought-leaders approach OneName and seek an undertaking for them not to be greedy and voluntarily limit their acquisition to something reasonable (yet to be defined).
  2. promote an secondary namecoin protocol/scheme which introduces competition, for example counter-bidding on inactive domain names. This is a subtle difference in that it changes the property right from absolute title to option to acquire, with minimum strike price for someone else to acquire .... cf US PTO rules where registered patents need renewable fees to keep their monopoly. A threshold can be set so that this renewable fee is escalating if a single entity (and this is a legal definition) owns/controls different levels of domainnames
  3. absolute last resort is to change the code base to impose punitive measures for squatting/hoarding. This is debateable but I suggest should involve ALL participants, including future followers of OneName business model. This is an area of competition law, if OneName has a "lead" to what extent does this crowd out alternatives?

If there are specific areas of law (for which I've training in IT/IP/ID domains), I can endeavour to answer but one of the issues I see right now is interpretation of facts.


As I mentioned above, knowing the "three steps to achieving morally acceptable name registration" (joke), a so-called "squatter" (today Onename, tomorrow maybe one of us) realistically speaking has a clear choice: relinquish their property.
Steps 2 & 3 are bad enough by itself, but what's far worse they send a message to all users: what's yours today may not be yours tomorrow. Today we're dealing with the squatters, tomorrow we'll find another morally objectionable target (maybe insulting or insensitive names).

Biolizard made a mistake in assuming that the price is 0. The price can't be zero, because when the price is zero, there is no value and noone would want it.

> The analogy would be block A addresses in the IPv4 space where early participants basically blocked out large swaths disproportionate to their actual usage.
> This is the reason why early land titles were "leases" and conditioned on the land being "improved" to prevent the locking up forever of (future) scarce resources (cf perpetualities rule in trust law).

If early land titles were leases, that means the land had an owner prior to the contract (different from available Namecoin assets).
And if that owner was State, then we cannot make a good comparison because State has monopoly on the use of force and does not behave in a economically rational manner.
The issue of IPv4 space is similarly dubious (at least to me) - governments were heavily involved and even after a market-based mitigation mechanism was proposed, it turned out to be impossible. Because of the made up rules.
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv4_addr ... _addresses

I appreciate everyone's ideas including this one, but I think any action to "fix" this non-existent problem could backfire in most spectacular way.

What is the actual impact of this alleged squatting issue?
Why are possible coercive solutions discussed before the most obvious one has been tried (which is to make it possible to easily buy and sell Namecoin assets)?


Last edited by cassini on Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

edited for readability (somename forgot to include the 2nd quote marker)



Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:58 am
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Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
somename wrote:
[...]
Why are possible coercive solutions discussed before the most obvious one has been tried (which is to make it possible to easily buy and sell Namecoin assets)?

Well, we are trying to make things easier but it is somewhat difficult. There is nametrade/ANTPY that can be used to make secure "atomic" trades. What is missing is a standardized means of communication. It might be possible to send buy offers via throwaway names or sell offers by adding a link to an unfinished nametrade/ANTPY script.

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Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:36 pm
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Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
phelix wrote:
somename wrote:
[...]
Why are possible coercive solutions discussed before the most obvious one has been tried (which is to make it possible to easily buy and sell Namecoin assets)?

Well, we are trying to make things easier but it is somewhat difficult. There is nametrade/ANTPY that can be used to make secure "atomic" trades. What is missing is a standardized means of communication. It might be possible to send buy offers via throwaway names or sell offers by adding a link to an unfinished nametrade/ANTPY script.


I know, so let's keep trying (would it help to create a how-to with screenshots?) and also look for other approaches.


Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:05 am
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Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
I'd like to thank you all for participating in a (to me) very interesting discussion.

I would like to make a few comments:

* Many of you keep mentioning OneName when speaking about squatting. From the wording of some posts it seems, as if OneName were the largest squatter. What makes you think this way? What if I could tell you that this assumption does not hold (due to the pseudoanonimity of Namecoin one can, however, never be a 100% sure)?

* Has anyone had any thoughts on the actual cause of increasing name squatting activities? Apart from the factors emerging from the focal idea of Namecoin, Bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies, i.e. the total absence of control, the economical factor IMHO plays a significant role in the mentioned development.

Some of you have argued that the renewal fees for Namecoin names are far too low. However, this does not pertain for the NMC costs for registering/updating names (0.01 reg. fees, 0.01 transaction fees), since we still measure the worth of Namecoin names in USD or the like. I dare to argue that raising renewal fees would only prove to be successful, if as a result the USD price for name operations were to rise.
The worth of NMC ( ~0.379 USD as of 04.09.2015 01:30) also affects name squatting in a further way, which unfortunately may be hard to prove and thus shall not mention here just yet.

* As of this writing and to the best of my knowledge, there exists no incentive for name squatters to refrain from bulk-registering Namecoin names.
Since name squatting has yet to be recognized as a major problem, it does not seem to affect the price directly (at least I found no actual proof, which would allow such assertions). It may, of course, cause 3rd party enterprises to step back from Namecoin as potential naming system, though I think we can all agree that the main cause lies with the current usability issues (please do not mistake this for criticism).


Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:12 am
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Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
ASZ wrote:
* As of this writing and to the best of my knowledge, there exists no incentive for name squatters to refrain from bulk-registering Namecoin names.
Since name squatting has yet to be recognized as a major problem, it does not seem to affect the price directly (at least I found no actual proof, which would allow such assertions). It may, of course, cause 3rd party enterprises to step back from Namecoin as potential naming system, though I think we can all agree that the main cause lies with the current usability issues (please do not mistake this for criticism).


Of course it affects the price - positively.

Enterprise customers (except enterprise squatters) have little value for .bit for several reasons. Some can't be helped (for example, the inability to secure a desired domain name), but any remaining prospects must be turned off by discussions about asset (domains, user ID's, etc.) redistribution and/or confiscation.

No one has been able to produce any proof that "squatting" matters and that something can be done about it without destroying the platform.


Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:11 am
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Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
ASZ wrote:
Do you think name squatting is a severe problem in Namecoin?


Sure, you are right! Squatting is the most important problem for NMC. I will go so far as to say that squatting is existential threat.

ASZ wrote:
Have you encountered problems with squatters, which made you think twice about using Namecoin again?


Yes, squatter registered domain I would like to take, put BitMessage address, but do not reply for a long time! So, nobody could help me with that.

Moreover, squatting pretty "brand" domains (like gmail.bit/microsoft.bit/etc) is the reason why huge companies like Google or MS will not start using .bit :(

I don't know what developers think about it, but I see that good idea of decentralized DNS is almost dead...


Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:03 pm
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Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
somename wrote:
The only (related) problem is that it's currently hard to buy and sell names in a trustless way, and the other one is that it's hard to use them.


MS/Firefox/Google/etc will not do anything if they could not take any brand domain back. So, you will never see .bit support in browsers.

The only way to solve squatting problem is some kind of miner voting for moving a domain to new owner.

For example, you are a Google and want to take d/google. You pay some voting fee (at least $100-$200 or even more) and put a voting to blockchain that you are an owner of brand Google, links to documents/etc.

Then miners do vote for 1-2 month. If 51% of miners vote for moving a domain, you get it. Miners can vote with a special blockchain transaction and get extra revenue for voting.

What do you think about my idea?


Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:18 pm
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Posts: 80
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Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
pianist wrote:
ASZ wrote:
Do you think name squatting is a severe problem in Namecoin?


Sure, you are right! Squatting is the most important problem for NMC. I will go so far as to say that squatting is existential threat.

ASZ wrote:
Have you encountered problems with squatters, which made you think twice about using Namecoin again?


Yes, squatter registered domain I would like to take, put BitMessage address, but do not reply for a long time! So, nobody could help me with that.


That is a funny statement.

He doesn't have to reply.
And how is that a problem of Namecoin? How do you contact the owner of a Whois-protected .com domain and if you succeed, according to what law or logic is he obliged to respond?

ASZ wrote:
Moreover, squatting pretty "brand" domains (like gmail.bit/microsoft.bit/etc) is the reason why huge companies like Google or MS will not start using .bit :(

I don't know what developers think about it, but I see that good idea of decentralized DNS is almost dead...


They have no use for it.
Most large companies - if they were to buy .bit - would just redirect it to their .com domain.

Decentralized DNS is making progress and will do better in 2016. And that is just one of ways to use Namecoin.

pianist wrote:
The only way to solve squatting problem is some kind of miner voting for moving a domain to new owner.


I think you're confused by democracy.

If you rightfully own something, then it's yours. It doesn't matter what other people think. So that voting idea shouldn't be considered because it would instantly collapse Namecoin (all names would become worthless, because you'd own them just until such time someone bribes the voters to take it away from you).


Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:50 am
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Posts: 10
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Post Re: Name Squatting once again...
somename wrote:
pianist wrote:
ASZ wrote:
Have you encountered problems with squatters, which made you think twice about using Namecoin again?

Yes, squatter registered domain I would like to take, put BitMessage address, but do not reply for a long time! So, nobody could help me with that.


That is a funny statement.

He doesn't have to reply.
And how is that a problem of Namecoin? How do you contact the owner of a Whois-protected .com domain and if you succeed, according to what law or logic is he obliged to respond?


I won't contact him.
Just go to courte with documents needed and get my domain. For example, if I own a trademark.

So I think there should be something like courte in NMC or the project will fail.


Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:03 pm
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