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GoDaddy has a secret weapon in its push into corporate domains

Kevin Murphy, November 19, 2020, 19:11:12 (UTC), Domain Registrars

While GoDaddy has been focused for the last two decades on small and microbusiness customers, its entry this year into the corporate domains management space should not be dismissed — the company has one huge advantage.

Earlier this week, the company announced the launch of GoDaddy Corporate Domains, really just a rebranding of the company Brandsight, which it acquired back in February.

The move pits GoDaddy against industry leaders such as MarkMonitor, CSC, Com Laude, Safenames et al.

But the company has one huge advantage that its new competitors do not have: cybersquatters and criminals.

Buried at the bottom of this week’s press release is the announcement of a new service, the Verified Intellectual Property program, which “provides pre-vetted, well-known and famous brands an escalation path to address IP abuse”.

It sounds basically like a trusted notifier service not unlike those offered at the registry level by the likes of Donuts and Radix.

VIP clients will be able to get sites and domains hosted on GoDaddy taken down much quicker, via a special escalation email address, a spokesperson said. Takedown requests will still be subject to manual review, he said.

VIP is currently invitation-only, but I assume being a Corporate Domains customer would help expedite an invitation.

This kind of service is something GoDaddy’s new rivals cannot offer — they generally have no retail channel or hosting, so have no cyberquatters, pirates or counterfeiters as customers. If they want to take down a domain or web site, it’s not a simple matter of flipping a switch.

They also don’t have tens of millions of domains under management, many of which, through no fault of GoDaddy, will be maliciously registered.

This is potentially a pretty cool USP for GoDaddy, which could have rivals worried.

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Comments (8)

  1. Scott says:

    So Godaddy intends to allow its brand clients to circumvent the URS/UDRP process?

  2. Scott says:

    Okay, because it sounds, at least in the article, that if a Godaddy client asks Godaddy to take down a “cybersquatters” domain, Godaddy may decide to comply without any outside review.

    And presumably these decisions would not be publicized so any number of Godaddy customer’s domains could in theory be targeted by paying IP clients of GCD and it would not be known by the broader community.

    IF GCD were unilaterally adjudicating such “cybersquatting” decisions, Godaddy would be choosing between two competing interests – GCD clients and Godaddy customers – (and GCD clients would likely have more influence since they’d be the more valuable client)

    That scenario would seemingly bypass ICANN’s urs/udrp system.

    But perhaps that’s a misread of the service Godaddy intends to provide?…

  3. Mike says:

    So wait, goDaddy becomes a hero for a problem that it has facilitated?

    • hawk says:

      That’s certainly how the article describes it, at least.

      Paraphrasing the article:
      “Our customers will cause lots of trouble for you with all their abusive registrations, you really ought sign up for our VIP program so that you can better deal with it.”

      Sounds like some version of the good old protection racket…

  4. Scott says:

    Well, we all trust Godaddy to do the right thing.

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