Saturday, January 2, 2010

They'll squat till you drop...

There is a common practice among cyberstalkers to steal a domain name belonging to an established business so they can profit off of the hard work this company has done to build a brand. One common misconception is that the name must be trademarked. With up to date internet law changes, this is not so anymore.

Do you know someone that is holding a domain name ransom? If so they are violating the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act

You can read about it here.

Wikipedia has some great information about cybersquatiing too:

Here is an overview:

In determining whether the domain name registrant has a bad faith intent to profit a court may consider many factors including nine that are outlined in the statute:

  1. the registrant’s trademark or other intellectual property rights in the domain name;
  2. whether the domain name contains the registrant’s legal or common name;
  3. the registrant’s prior use of the domain name in connection with the bona fide offering of goods or services;
  4. the registrant’s bona fide noncommercial or fair use of the mark in a site accessible by the domain name;
  5. the registrant’s intent to divert customers from the mark owner’s online location that could harm the goodwill represented by the mark, for commercial gain or with the intent to tarnish or disparage the mark;
  6. the registrant’s offer to transfer, sell, or otherwise assign the domain name to the mark owner or a third party for financial gain, without having used the mark in a legitimate site;
  7. the registrant’s providing misleading false contact information when applying for registration of the domain name;
  8. the registrant’s registration or acquisition of multiple domain names that are identical or confusingly similar to marks of others; and
  9. the extent to which the mark in the domain is distinctive or famous.

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