LA Times: Domaining is “Shady”

Out of the news yesterday,  of the first ever arrest of a person for domain theft, came this gem from the

“”In a strange series of events befitting the shady world of domain name speculation, New Jersey state police arrested a man on suspicion of stealing the rights to and selling them to Los Angeles Clipper forward Mark Madsen””

I’m not going to rehash the story of crime itself, as other sources did an excellent job in covering the story.

What I do want to talk about is the LA Times, which took this opportunity to  jump on the businesses of domaining,  calling it shady and insinuating that the victims of this crime somehow deserved to get their property stolen, just by virtue of being in this business.

Furthermore, check out how the LA Times sums up the business of domaining:

An “odd subculture of people who buy domain names like and, hoping to resell them down the road at awesome profit”.

“Awesome profit” how old is the person who  wrote this story,  15?

Really shocking, especially coming out of Los Angeles,  where some major corporate domain companies reside, including Oversee and Trafficz.

As the DNJournal Reported, Lawrence Ng and Oversee has recently received prestigious awards in Los Angeles:

Lawrence Ng received the “Ernst & Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Technology category for Greater Los Angeles” in 2008

In 2007, “the Technology Council of Southern California honored Oversee with its Internet and New Media Company of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Business Journal said that Oversee was the year’s third fastest growing private company in Los Angeles in any category.“”

How can a company receive such accolades in a city whose major newspaper turns around and call the business ‘Shady”

No wonder newspapers are dying.


  1. D says

    All articles on newspapers are misinforming like this one. but only because we have the knowledge, we can judge. Whenever you read something in the newspaper, always remember it is probably just amateurishly wirtten article like this one.

  2. Johnny says

    @ D………you are so right. I always knew news stories were incomplete and biased quite often, but having been a domainer for 15 years and reading all these stories has jaded me into thinking almost nothing reported is as it seems.

    Only experts, most often, can write a good report on the subject matter in which they are experts. The rest are amateurs writing poor articles on subjects they know nothing about.

    It’s scary out there b/c how do you or I really know what is going on. A person has to make their best guess based on “factual articles”.

  3. says

    “No wonder newspapers are dying.”

    Bingo. It wasn’t that long ago that an ignorant, personally biased comment like that would have gotten a reporter fired from any daily newspaper in America. The editor would also have been fired – and before the reporter – for letting something like that get through.

    Times have surely changed and there is obviously no longer any requirement for accuracy in the mainstream press – not even at formerly respected outlets like the L.A. Times. And they wonder why new media is eating their lunch. They may as well get used to it – their day in the sun is over and this kind of reporting only accelerates their impending demise.

    I’ve watched the deterioration in journalistic standards at major papers for years now but never would have dreamed it would reach the sorry state it has today. The professionals have apparently all left the building. It has been very sad to see, like watching an old friend die slowly from a cancer that has no cure.

    Yes, on his way down for the count, a so-called reporter got in a jab at one of the Internet enemies he obviously blames for his predicament, but that won’t change the end result. This kind of thing is what has diminished brands like the L.A. Times, Washington Post, etc. to the point where people assign less value to what they write than they do to what they read on the Internet blogs that traditional outlets love to deride as “lacking in credibility”.

  4. says

    The individuals who write things like this are those who don’t “get it”, whether the organization they represent does or not. We have the same here in the UK as well.

    Whether such opinions should be allowed to get to the page is another thing, but as it probably only goes through a handful of people before being read by hundreds of thousands or more (although at a diminishing rate…), then they SHOULD make an effort to understand.

    If it was going to be the “shady world of premium phone lines”, or the “shady world of classified adverts”, then they would probably be a bit more careful, as they no doubt have interests in those areas.

    But as it’s domains, and they don’t “get it” or feel that they have missed the boat (clue: you haven’t; we haven’t left the docks yet! Room for everyone!), then it’s seen as fair game for them to criticize.

  5. Domain Investor says

    Talking about the incomplete or inaccuracy of data in the LA Times article –
    isn’t it ironic that the world headquarters for the organization that oversees domains is located in LA?
    And, it was not mentioned or interviewed.

  6. Domain Investor says

    Michael, does the writer of this article also work for the LATimes?

    I’m sure Marc must appreciate this.
    Will Marc be disbarred if true?

    “Marc Ostrofsky was arrested for stealing domain name from Mr. Mrs.Angel.”

  7. says

    @ Anthony who said “There is nothing shady about Dan Pulcrano beating them to”

    Fantastic response, Anthony. Seriously thought provoking. I wish you would go over to the comments section at LA Times and post that. Not only does it point out their lack of foresight, but further illustrates that people with multiple domain holdings are capable of creating real businesses on their domain investments. Nothing “shady” about Pulcrano and Boulevards New Media.

  8. says

    This guy at MWD must be confused as he seems to have it backwards. He even links to the DNN article that clearly explains the situation correctly, and lists Marc as a victim.

    @MHB, what gives with, I find this confusingly similar to, as he goes by “Most Wanted Domain”.

  9. says

    Sour grapes. They are facing the consequences of letting the greatest media opportunity known to man pass them by. They never even saw it coming. Now they need someone to blame. For how could they accept responsibility for their own failure?

  10. cartoonz says is the email addy of the Business Section Editor.
    Rather than plaster the comments to the article, ream this guy for letting it print… the comments are good but cc them to this man. He is the one that should care. Demand a clarification.

  11. says

    Perhaps this is why to spite spending $164 million on a domain portfolio that became the core of its business, the word “domain” can’t be found anywhere on Smart people.

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