Is Cybersquatting Against the Law? $35,000. later... Interesting...

by Dave777 6 replies
Definitely, some good food for thought! It's all in how you word and clarify your web concepts these days...
Is cybersquatting against the law? - By Christopher Beam - Slate Magazine

Dave
#main internet marketing discussion forum #$35 #cybersquatting #interesting #law
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  • Profile picture of the author ~kev~
    A couple of months ago there was a guy posting in different forums how he was sued by a company that makes sun glasses. He lived in Europe, bought the domain name of the sun glasses company with the extension of his country. I think it was .de. He offered to sell the domain name to the sun glasses company, but they sued him and took the domain name from him.

    I see no reason why someone should be allowed to squat a name, then sell it for thousands of dollars. These people should not be allowed to profit by the labor of others. There is a name for those types of people, its call scam artist.
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by ~kev~ View Post

      I see no reason why someone should be allowed to squat a name, then sell it for thousands of dollars. These people should not be allowed to profit by the labor of others. There is a name for those types of people, its call scam artist.
      I see no reason why a company should be allowed to take generic common words and make them a trademark then demand a prior domain owner give up a domain for free by using expensive-to-defend-against legal threats. There is a name for those types of companies, its called "bully".
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      • Profile picture of the author theverysmartguy
        If a company wants to have their name registered across the board, they would do it. But they usually use most common ones are, .com, .net, .biz, maybe even their country code. But I find it pretty rare that a USA based company (or canadian based for us canadians), would use a country code other than their own.

        Honestly though, if they didn't register it in the first place. they probably do not want it. But, they should just say no, instead of taking legal action.

        There is no reason why you can not use their domain name with a different code, as long as you are not claiming to be that company. That is when they should take legal action.

        The same thing happened up here in canada, where a college student registered a domain name that belong to our province premier (the name, not domain). He said that we was going to sue (or rather his office said this, he claimed to be on vacation), for stealing his domain name. AND, he wanted the profits from the website as well. That was going just a bit overboard.

        "....in order for something to be stolen, it has to be in the rightful possession of the person who is alleging the threat.." For one, he didnt have possession of the domain name, so it could not have been stolen.

        So it comes down to it, if they didnt register it, it should be assumed they did not want it, and should not be able to take legal action, UNLESS, the domain name holder is impersonating the alleged "victim".
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        "Doing nothing is worse than doing it wrong."

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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Alexander
    I agree re the squatting sentiment, but the wider case is slightly more complicated than that.

    For example, there are innumerable companies worldwide that share the same name but exist in different jurisdictions. Who gets rights to the domain? What if the trademark holder hasn't registered a class that the other party is promoting?

    You get the idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author ecoverartist
    I'm showing my online age now, but does anyone else remember when this happened to Hotmail shortly after Microsoft bought it? The guy bought it because he wanted his hotmail back, and MS paid him whatever the fee was to register it. He said he was going to frame the check
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  • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
    Well, IANAL, but technically this was not cybersquatting since the original owners let the domain lapse, it wasn't highjacked or 'stolen' away. It was basically 'thrown' away. Could folks have claimed trademark etc - probably, but they chose to pay for it rather than litigate.

    Most others would send out a scary Cease and Desist (C&D) letter and hope the person own owned the domain would roll over and give it back.

    The law is definitely weird here - if you own the domain and try to use it for commercial purposes, or try to 'extort' a big payment from the 'legitimate' trademark owners, then the law and ICANN can come down pretty hard on you.

    For examples of the stupid (IMHO) law you should look up the case of gateway.com and nissan.com. Both of these domains were owned by folks long before most folks even knew what the Internet was, but still either had the domain taken away from them or buried under massive legal bills to defend it.

    Just goes to show Justice in the US maybe blind - but it does know how to count money....

    --Jack
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