May 30, 1997
What’s in a name? On the Internet, the right domain name can be worth thousands of dollars (or at least a free T-shirt).
Matthew Grossman collects Internet domain names as trophies. The 21-year-old University of Arizona student has registered dozens of trademark names, including 7up.com., dirtdevil.com and universalstudios.com, only to give them up for token gifts.
Grossman asked for and received a case of Seven-Up and a T-shirt for giving up the name to the soft-drink maker. He got 10 amusement-park passes when he turned over knottsberryfarm.com.
“I always ask for something that really doesn’t cost the company,” says Grossman, who says he registered about 100 names before the InterNIC — the firm that handles domain name registrations — began charging a $100 fee last September.
While Grossman ended his pursuit for trophies when claims started to cost, others have continued to grab. David Graves, business manager for InterNIC, says 364,000 domain names have already been registered, and 10,000 are being processed weekly.