Across the vast expanse of cyberspace, wildcatters are at work, staking claims over thousands of domain names, hoping to strike it rich with one or more.

The fact that such a business exists – and thrives – illustrates a fundamental flaw in our system of domain name allocation. Domain names are a new species of property. Unfortunately, they’re not treated as such. Instead, they’re given away, at nominal cost, on a first-come, first-served basis – the cyber equivalent of party favors.

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