Domain Manage

ebola.com , would 150k be cheap ? or unethical

Discussion in 'General Board' started by Adam H, Oct 25, 2014.

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  1. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Bit of a copy cat thread from another forum but seems like a good discussion point.

    Ebola.com , 150k USD asking price cheap ? Or are you on the side the media has taken in trying to belittle this guy for being "unethical" .

    If you owned a medical or disease related domain would you cash in on an epidemic ? or more to the point would you refrain from registering it in the first place out of some kind of belief that its not ethical ?

    References :

    http://domainshane.com/never-sell-ebola-com-150k-steal-price/

    http://www.cnet.com/news/ebola-com-yours-for-a-mere-150000/

    EDIT :

    Turns out he sold it : http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ebola-com-domain-name-sold-for--200k-212628387.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. figleaf007 United Kingdom

    figleaf007 Active Member

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    I made a decision to never buy any 'cancer' names as the thought that someone else could do something more useful with it stops me. That said, on the ebola front, if it was ftr, I would nab it and would at least put some useful info on it. I see it as a slightly different 'thing' to cancer. If a charity wanted it, I'd sell it for a very small profit or come to some sort of deal, if someone else wanted it, I'd put $150k as the asking price. I don't see it as unethical, if you google ebola, the right informational sites appear. It's not like he is taking a space they could have,
     
  4. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    I agree with the cancer thing, but most other things im pretty sure if there was a chance to earn a pretty penny id have a punt.

    It made me chuckle a little where they mention they own Birdflu.com which they consider to be worth more because it has the potential to be airborn, almost as if they wishing for it to happen lol .
     
  5. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    This is a very interesting question. If you asked me whether in general I would be prepared to profit from anything that is going to cause suffering or even death to other people then the answer would be an easy no.

    One question is whether he's actually causing suffering or death by doing this. I think that would come down to whether his action is increasing the price of drugs or vaccine such that poor people can't afford it. One thing that is easy to answer is that in selling the domain he's not actually doing anything to help those in need (unless he makes a donation to charity).

    Rgds
     
  6. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Why do you think its important to beat that ethical drum and for him to show he's helping "the cause"?

    A domain like that has no real leverage on the situation? as outlined by the guys which brought it in the 3rd link i posted.
     
  7. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    Having thought about this a little more, I do find the selling of ebola.com distasteful. I'm not aware whether this company has done anything to help the suffering and dying, such as make a charitable donation. If they haven't, then all they are doing is feathering their own nest because of something that is killing people, and doing nothing at all to help the situation.

    If they have made a donation, then at least they are doing some good.

    Would I register ebola.com for the sole purpose of selling it for a profit? No I wouldn't, because that would be doing something to solely benefit myself because of something that is causing misery and death to thousands of other people. I would not feel comfortable with having money from doing this, it would weigh on my conscience.

    Rgds
     
  8. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    Also, in life I think it's fine to earn money from developing an expertise that results in you being able to charge for something that is a benefit and enhancing to others, e.g. you work hard at being a scientist, and develop a new drug that you can sell to people.

    Less ethical might be say charging an exploitative profit margin for that drug (if you were to do that).

    Personally, I take a very dim view of doing things just for yourself, which are at the expense of other people.

    Is the selling of ebola.com at the expense of anyone? Well, given time I could probably form arguments to say that it was. Certainly they took advantage of the outbreak to market the domain. Unless they have made a donation to charity, it's certain to say that their activities are not actually helping anyone, so they would not actually be improving the world.

    Rgds
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  9. Murray United Kingdom

    Murray Well-Known Member

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    It's tough isn't it

    If someone told me that I could of registered ebola.com and it would end up with me getting $200,000 it would be hard to say "Sorry, ethically I'm against that"

    Could talk yourself into it by saying "wellll I could give some of the money to charity and who is to say if someone else owned it they would do that, they might just take all the money for themselves" blah blah etc etc

    But then I suppose it depends who approaches you for it and their reasons for wanting it

    An ebola charity doesn't need ebola.com and it would be a waste of money for them to spend any money buying it

    Do we know why the buyers bought it?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  10. ChrisMM United Kingdom

    ChrisMM Active Member

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    No more exploitative then all the clickbait articles getting churned out on the topic.

    Just do a google search "site:buzzfeed.com ebola"

    By setting the 6 figure price tag publicly, the resulting national/global press attention for the domain helped to justify the price ;)

    I don't see an ethical issue here outide of the media's faux outrage. It's only a domain name at the end of the day. There's no intent behind it, its an entirely generic term.

    If the new owner uses it to sell overpriced hazmat suits or whatever then thats on them.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  11. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    I do think there is something distasteful here though. Ebola kills people in a pretty unpleasant way. If no charity donation, these domainers are purely thinking "Hey, I can make money from the fact that an unpleasant disease exists". They aren't giving any thought to the immense suffering that this is causing. That is distasteful, it's a bad attitude, it's not helping anyone apart from themselves, and it's not something I would do.

    Interestingly, birdflu.co is a reserved domain at the .co registry. If it was free it is highly unlikely I would have registered it, the only reason I might have done is to do something beneficial with it like produce a genuinely helpful non-profit site or give it to the right people.

    Rgds
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  12. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Agree Chris and Murry, Glad you chimed in because i was starting to think i was the devils right hand man with Accelerators halo above his head :rolleyes:
     
  13. Brassneck United Kingdom

    Brassneck Well-Known Member

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    Sorry can't think of any reasons to justify profiting out of such domains.
     
  14. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    So AdamH would you have been prepared to reg ebola.com and sell it for profit?

    Having thought about this further, I have to say I would classify it as "unethical". I had to think about their arguments a bit, about how "they're not hurting anyone" etc etc, but my view is it's a straight exploit of the fact that the very unpleasant disease ebola exists. Their sole interest in the fact the disease exists is how much money they can make from it. That is blatantly unethical.

    Rgds
     
  15. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    Its hard to say, but if it was there unregistered i cant say i definitely wouldn't register it, although if i did it wouldn't be with the sole purpose of profiting, it would be development purposes. If from that i then received an offer for it...........then yes id probably sell especially if your talking those kind of figures where i could reinvest the profit into property or tangible assets.

    Would i go out looking for buyers and using the media to get the word out, no probably not but that's just because i like to keep my self to my self, the whole internet fame thing isnt of interest to me but it wouldnt be out of some ethical subconscious telling me not to.
     
  16. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    Each person is entitled to follow their own set of business ethics.

    I think ultimately this discussion would boil down to "How much is it acceptable to charge for life saving drug treatments", owning a domain name is a marketing tool after all. There is a level up to which a drug price is fair and acceptable, and after that it becomes exploitative.

    Rgds
     
  17. Adam H

    Adam H Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    I think your over thinking it and letting your ethical thought process run away with you.

    I dont see how much is being charged for life saving drug treatments has any kind of relation to this instance or this domain , its value or its usage.

    It seems to be another case of the PC brigade stepping over that fine line again.

    Each to their own.
     
  18. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    The relation would be this - ultimately, what is the highest profit product or service that you can sell from this domain? In my view, it's either a vaccine, or a medicine. So, the money making potential in the domain is derived from a vaccine or medicine. Ethics wise, there is a price at which vaccines and medicines are "ethical", i.e. fair and acceptable. Selling them beyond this price would be "unethical", because you are exploiting the fact that people will die without your product. Therefore, the price you decide to set your vaccine or medicine at has the possibility to be "unethical". Choosing to price at whatever gives you the highest possible profit with no regard for the potential suffering this will cause would be "unethical". The domain name value reflects the profit potential from the underlying business practice. Therefore, choosing to register and then sell your domain to the highest bidder is "unethical", because you are encouraging an exploitative pricing model in the underlying real business.

    Well, that's the gist of my argument anyway.

    Rgds
     
  19. woopwoop United States

    woopwoop Well-Known Member

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    Let's think of the perfect end user for this domain - perhaps a vaccine/cure producer?

    Would they make money from creating a vaccine and selling it, or would they give it away at cost?

    Should we begrudge a vaccine company from making money? Probably not because of R+D costs/time/risk... but they most likely would be making a shed load of money... would ebola.com facilitate them potentially make a shed load of money? probably...

    If a government/private lab come up with a cure I don't think they necessarily would use a name like ebola.com - and every agency/government who would be likely to buy the vaccines will surely know how to do so.

    So therefore I don't think that this is any more immoral than registering any other name that's only purchased to sell on.
     
  20. Murray United Kingdom

    Murray Well-Known Member

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    What if you owned the domain and another domainer wanted to buy it from you for 200k because they believed they be able to sell it for millions potentially down the line

    Would it be unethical to take their money?
     
  21. accelerator United Kingdom

    accelerator Well-Known Member

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    Well, it would be against my ethics, and therefore I would label it "unethical", because I would link it to making exploitative profits from other people's suffering.

    It's a question of degrees and levels. My view is the whole thing boils down to whether you are prepared to make exploitative profits from vaccines or medicines that treat disease. Up to a level it's fine, as you are running a commercial operation that helps combat disease, above a level it can become exploitative profiteering.

    Rgds
     
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