Some Domains Are Full of Junk

October 24, 2013

By Doug Isenberg

So, you know the expression, “When you’re holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail”? Apparently, the same is true when you’re a domain name attorney.

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that the word “domain” existed long before the Internet (which, itself, hasn’t really been with us for too long).

The Merriam-Webster dictionary includes 10 definitions for “domain” — beginning with “complete and absolute ownership of land” and covering such obscure (to me) entries as “any of the small randomly oriented regions of uniform magnetization in a ferromagnetic substance.” The tenth and last entry relates to Internet domain names.

In law school, I studied “eminent domain” — the right of a government to take private property for public use.

And, in a classic episode, the characters on the Seinfeld television show tried to become masters of their domains. (Consult the Urban Dictionary, if necessary.)

Still, I automatically think of the Internet when I hear the word “domain,” since I’ve been working in this area of the law for more than 17 years

But a recent encounter reminded me yet again that the word has other meanings — as the accompanying advertisement to “Reclaim Your Domain” makes clear. When I saw that headline, the first thing I thought of was the UDRP — the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. (Never mind that the ad was posted inside a restaurant restroom.)

But, as the ad from Junk King declares, this company’s services take place entirely offline: “a full range of junk removal services.”

Well, considering all of the junk that exists on the Internet, maybe these two domains aren’t entirely unrelated after all.

(One more thought before I go. It’s too bad that Junk King hasn’t cleaned up its own [Internet] domain problem: The company uses junk-king.com (with a hyphen), while junkking.com (without a hyphen) is registered to someone else.)

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