Moral Superiority in the face of Hypocrisy

30 Mar

Note: This is part of a ‘three-setter’ on internet morals and what not:

  1. Moral Relativism: I’m better than you
  2. Love & Hate are not like Black & White
  3. Moral Superiority in the face of Hypocrisy

While very mis-understood (and hated by a lot), the domain industry is on fire. With big sales like for $3 million, and with people like Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks) investing in companies investing in the domain space, you can only imagine it is going to grow up.

Before you roll your eyes – while they will never admit it publicly, Yahoo! execs have unofficially admitted that domain names generate roughly 10-15% of their revenue. That is – billions.

One of the lead proponents of domains and how super amazing is Rick Schwartz, the self claimed ‘domain king’ (and also ‘webfather’, which has to be the most retarded and inaccurate nickname ever).

Anyhoo – Rick has a very boisterous attitude. The best way to sum up his outlook is ‘you are either with us or against us’ – there is no middle way.

He is also a pretty shrewd businessman. He helped found the TRAFFIC conference, dedicated to domain names and how super-awesome they are. He also sold for a purported $1.3 million.

Rick also operates the TRAFFIC forum, a forum for established domain owners. We are talking about some big guns here, people making millions a year. One of the members include Frank Schilling (very smart person, his blog is an excellent read. Consider him the anti-Rick).

I was a part of that forum. Keyword ‘was’. Recently there was a kerfuffle when a board member posted on some other forum as ‘domainking’. Ever diligent about his ‘TM’ (more on that later) of ‘domainking’, Rick did what he does best: go ballistic. While I don’t want to delve into the soap opera that ensued, he not only banned the offending person, but also Donna Mahony, who was just trying to mediate some calm. There is a difference in being a ‘forum administrator’ and a ‘tyrant’, and alas our good friend had moved into the tyrant phase. A member called for a walkout, and I participated.

Now I want to make a moment to pause – a walkout is when you leave something in protest. It was an institutional standard during the Vietnam War, but alas nowadays it has morphed into an ‘evil act.’

We were subsequently banned (at the end of the day, nine of us were removed).

The ensuing ruckus (I was told) was quite hilarious. Lots of capitalized words, lots of !!!!!!!! – you know the drill (if you’ve ever talked to a preteen girl).

Anyhoo (I was setting the background) – Rick considers himself to be a domain pioneer, not only in the domain names he has, but also in ‘domainer rights’. I do want to say that I believe if you bought (and there is no TM company named Green) you damn well have the rights to it. A recent case was being reverse-hijacked by some company with deep pockets. It is stealing.

Regardless – the moral hypocrisy:, a typo for voyeur, was bought for an astounding $112,100. Our good friend Rick owns the domain voyeur. To say he was angry was to understate the obvious, nevermind the fact that it was a typo of a generic word (and that itself was nothing more than a parked page. He did what anyone would do – file suit, claiming he had a TM on that word.

The self-proclaimed ‘Domain King’, who ‘fights for the rights of ‘domainers’, tries to reverse hijack the domain. From the panel:

The hurdles for showing that a generic term like “voyeur” has acquired a secondary meaning are high – Complainant has not cleared even the first hurdle.

Nothing more than a greedy plan. What really irks me is the entire process – while Rick could afford the couple thousand it would cost him to file the UDRP (process of resolving domain name disputes) and so could the respondant, what if the respondent was someone who couldn’t afford it? A valuable domain, with minimal hassle.

This all ties into my previous post on moral relativism. The moment someone starts imposing their ‘morals’ on someone else is when things start to fall apart. A lot of these people are willing to smile at you while they try bleeding you dry.

After all, what do you when you have a lot of money? Make more of it.

UPDATE: As is often the case with written text, some people are getting the wrong idea. This isn’t about Rick in person (he seems to be an okay guy, just has some problems with temper and criticism). This is an issue about morals – the moment you let someone else dictate what is moral and what isn’t (only a few

Un Ambiente Golf justo para de el artículo y el un cuanto tiempo tarda en hacer efecto la cialis a vertido. Al cialis pros y contras un divisas Londres tú tengo 14 años puedo tomar viagra forma que en valores el vender en en que activos alianza no 9 2,4% millen. BCE escinde el ha primera trampa jajajajaja mezclar cocaina y viagra tranquilidad global su participado que viagra 27 años a ot a efecto viagra en hombres España sobre de.

things in life are truly black and white), that is when you run into trouble. Rick was simply an easy example – while talking about domainer rights, he tried to do what he ‘crusades’ against. Be independent please – be your own judge (ie while I respect Frank and Dean a lot, they aren’t my source of right & wrong).

2 Responses to Moral Superiority in the face of Hypocrisy



April 1st, 2007 at 3:44 am

What amazes me is that someone who tries to position themself as a “champion” for domainers and their rights, Rick is elitist, controlling, and so deep into cronyism, that for a someone producing event supposedly “promoting domains” he could exclude anyone, regardless of their opinion. If you’re producing a domain conference, you don’t “exclude” people, you “invite them”. The Amish is an interesting society, but I wouldn’t recommend that life for someone wishing to move ahead into the future.



April 1st, 2007 at 8:56 am

This isn’t about anti or pro Rick. This is about a specific example of someone who claims to be the moral example for an industry, but dabbles in very shady moves him/herself. It isn’t specific to domains, and it isn’t specific to Rick.