Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School
Joined on June 14, 2003
Total Post Views: 257,495
Ben is a member of the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at the Harvard Business School. His research focuses on market design, particularly as to electronic markets, with a focus on online advertising.
For more than a decade, aggressive website registrants have been engaged in 'typosquatting' -- the intentional registration of misspellings of popular website addresses. Uses for the diverted traffic have evolved over time, ranging from hosting sexually-explicit content to phishing. Several countermeasures have been implemented, including developing policies for resolving disputes. Despite these efforts, typosquatting remains rife. But just how prevalent is typosquatting today, and why is it so pervasive? (Co-authored by Tyler Moore and Benjamin Edelman) more»
Numerous competitive registrars offer diverse domain registration services to individuals, companies, and organizations. This study attempts to index and analyze their service offerings, facilitating analysis by other researchers and in preparation for additional analysis by the author. more»
In the past, most measurements of registrar market share have tracked overall registrar shares -- number of domains registered by a registrar divided by number of domains registered by all registrars. In this article, I propose some alternatives -- particular subsets of domains in which to measure registrar market shares, providing a basis for comparison with overall market shares. Results vary dramatically across these subsets, with implications on the future customer retention rates of the corresponding registrars. more»
During the 2+ weeks for which Site Finder was operational, a number of ISPs took steps to disable the service. A study just released reveals details and analysis, including specific networks disabling Site Finder during its operational period. For example, China blocked the traffic at its backbone, and Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom and Korea's DACOM also disabled the service. US ISPs seem to have been slower to act, in general -- but US ISP Adelphia disabled the service September 20-22 before re-enabling it on September 23. more»
Want a sense of just how much traffic VeriSign is receiving from its SiteFinder service? Alexa, with its Alexa Toolbar and associated traffic tracking services, makes it easy to find out...Over the past three months, taken as a whole, VeriSign had traffic rank 1,559. But today its traffic rank is 19, meaning... more»
In the prior issue of CircleID, I described registrations by John Zuccarini. Many of Zuccarini's registrations are typographic variations on well-known domain names, and Zuccarini typically redirects users to sexually-explicit content and pop-up advertisements. Despite scores of UDRP claims and ACPA suits, plus a major case brought by the Federal Trade Commission, Zuccarini's registrations remain in effect -- more than 5,000 strong, in my research. more»
Ever visit cartoonneetwork.com? Adaptac.com? Check the URLs carefully, for these aren't the "real" sites operated by the Cartoon Network cable channel or by Adaptec, manufacturer of PC storage devices. Instead, these domains -- and some 5,000+ others -- were registered by a Mr. John Zuccarini. Read on to learn what he is up to and how he has gotten away with it. more»
Suppose you wanted to know who operates a website at a given domain name. Perhaps you suspect that the domain name is pointing to a website that offers illegal content, or you may just want to send a comment to its authors. Conveniently, the Internet provides a so-called "WHOIS" system that ordinarily provides contact information for each registered domain. But in the case of many hundreds of thousands of domains, the WHOIS data just isn't accurate. more»
Last month, I wrote to describe the state of registration restrictions in .BIZ, .US, and .NAME. I noted trends among nonconforming registrations in these TLDs, and I suggested that certain automated enforcement systems might serve to improve compliance. But an important larger question remained unanswered: Why care about registration restrictions in the first place? Much as registries might like to ignore the restrictions, I submit that the Internet community nonetheless ought to hold them to their contracts.
The past year has brought a rise in so-called "open and chartered" top-level domains (TLDs). Like the traditional open TLDs of .COM, .NET, and .ORG, these namespaces encourage large-scale registrations, but they differ in that they limit who can legitimately register domains. So far, many thousands of their registrations seem to break the stated rules. It's therefore worth thinking through their respective enforcement efforts -- before the situation gets out of control. more»