I just lied to someone, I stand to benefit if they believe me, and I am not sorry.
One company I know has a web address that is a .org. The .com would of course be better- I still accidentally type in .com half the time.
The .com site is owned by someone else and is just a placeholder, making money (don’t know how much) through ads.
The aboveboard way to go about this would be to have me in my official capacity or the firm that wants the domain to contact whoever currently owns the name, and ask the price. The results would be in the many thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars, because the seller would be able to determine (correctly) that we could afford that kind of price if we wanted to.
Instead, I pretended to still be in college and working on a class project. To hopefully get a price that is less than $1k.
There is no question that, applied to daily business, this is totally unethical. Lying to get a good deal is wrong, wrong, wrong.
So why do I feel so differently about this that I am posting it, opening myself up for criticism?
In short, I believe there is some kind of property right in domain names. The courts agree- we could force the current owner to give up the domain to us, unless it happened to be their name or their business name, both very unlikely. So instead of the direct, confrontational approach, I opt for the quick and dirty approach, that gets us what we want, which we would have gotten through a legal challenge anyways, but still gives the current owner something.
Note that they would not get anything if we were able to get it through a legal challenge.
So, I am basically trading a lot of time and psychic energy, and my ability to say that I never lie in business, in order to get the domain to the people who have a right to it, while rewarding those who were smart enough to claim it in the first place.
Also, what if it was your domain, you could make a legal challenge for $3k and get it because it is your name, but you can misrepresent yourself (lie) and get it for $500 and far less time. Or you could buy it outright for $10k (this is not a made up number- if the seller knows who you are, and you have cash, this could be a reasonable price). What would you do?