Cameroon strikes it rich on the internet with .cm TLD – an unexpected source of revenue

The Republic of Cameroon is making money from its ccTLD – .cm. With internet users mistyping “.com”, sometimes getting “.cm”, The Times reports “thousands of internet users searching for .com sites are directed Cameroonian web addresses which do not exist.” The article notes that under a deal signed last year, any .cm domain names not registered that a user types in, the user is “redirected to an advertising-laden page called ‘agoga.com’.” A spokesman for Cameroon’s largest ISP said “We can continue to register legitimate .cm names – it’s just when a page doesn’t exist that the person searching is sent automatically to Agoga.” While David Ulevitch, chief executive of OpenDNS says “It’s a total disservice to internet users and to brand names which doesn’t provide any benefit to anyone.” The deal was struck with the Canadian entrepreneur Kevin Ham who holds an estimated 300,000 domains. Kevin Ham was the focus of a Business 2.0 article that appeared previously in the news. The Times says Ham is “understood to earn more than $70 million a year from his collection of domain names, which includes god.com and satan.com.”http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article1855377.ece
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2007/06/01/100050989/ – for the Business 2.0 article on Kevin Ham

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