Artist to paint town red after sale of easel.com

Plus other domain selling sagas

An American artist planning to cash in on the domain name frenzy has put easel.com up for sale at $100,000. Punters have until May 27 to make an offer to Penelope Shenk via online auction site afternic.com. For the past three years easel.com has been used to show off paintings by Shenk and other artists. But the entrepreneur has decided to abandon the name to make some cash to invest in her next venture - the online advent calendar market. According to Shenk, the secret of her success will be the fact that the domain is a "rare five-letter 'dictionary word' address". "There are an increasing number of auction, gallery and museum Web sites…some of them have names that are less than memorable. Easel.com would be perfect for one of these new ventures," she added. "The value of a distinctive, easy-to-remember Web address has been established in recent months with the sale of names like archecture.com for substantial figures." Shenk is eager to get a return on her investment – she has already paid highly for the domain name. Last month she shelled out $6000 in legal fees after a New York firm claimed the address infringed upon one of its trademarks. But she turned the tables on them, hiring a lawyer and filing a civil lawsuit in Boston, with the two sides finally settling out of court. "It was worth it to see that the legal system can sometimes work in favour of the little guy," she said. So far, Afternic.com has no bids registered for the five-letter phenomenon – the minimum bid is $15,000. Housinglender.com - are we missing something, here In related news, another American has gone to extraordinary lengths to get publicity for his domain name sale. Ricky Anderson built a ten foot high trailer, plastered it with his URL housinglender.com, and drove it across the US from Georgia to California. The pictures from this madcap scheme can be found here. Alternatively, bids can be made at greatdomains.com. Hyphenated princess = damaged goods And in other slightly related news, Earl Spencer is trying to stop the exploitation of his late sister's name on the Web. The move coincided with a mystery seller putting princess-of-wales.co.uk up for sale with a 300,000 price tag. According to a representative for the Earl, the site was shut down last year after selling tickets to Diana's burial place at higher rates than the official ones.

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