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Domain-Name Wars, Rise of the Cybersquatters

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the clearly-we-need-more-laws-and-restrictions dept.

The Internet 183

CWmike writes "When FreeLegoPorn.com began publishing pornographic images created with Lego toys, Lego acted quickly. "The content available on the site consisted of animated mini-figures doing very explicit things. We were not amused," says Peter Kjaer, an attorney for Denmark-based Lego. Lego didn't go to court. Instead it filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization, which ruled in its favor. The domain registrar for FreeLegoPorn.com, GoDaddy.com, eventually shut down the site and transferred the domain name to Lego under ICANN rules. But it's not just Lego and Verizon that are suffering. Green energy is a hot topic, so cybersquatters have been targeting wind and solar energy start-ups. And malicious sites can create havoc with a brand's reputation. Cybersquatting activity rose by 18% last year, with a documented 440,584 cybersquatting sites in the fourth quarter of last year alone, according to MarkMonitor's annual Brandjacking Index report. And WIPO cited an 8% jump in dispute filings in 2008, to 2,329 complaints — a new record. Now, ICANN is preparing to open a potentially unlimited number of new top-level domains as early as the first quarter of 2010."

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First post squat. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28487735)

First post squat.

Now what's next? (-1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487751)

Green energy is a hot topic.

So, are we going to start seeing greenporn.com?
windpowerporn?
solarporn?
solarandwindporn?
How about epaporn?
electric-car-porn?
porn-in-a-electric-car.com?
icemeltingporn?

Free Typosquatting Scan Tool With Screenshots (5, Interesting)

typosquatting (1586073) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488769)

There's a new, free typosquatting [aliasencore.com] scan tool at aliasencore.com. It shows you all the registered .COM domain names that are one character misspellings of any Alexa top 100,000 site you enter. It also displays screenshots of those typosquatting sites. It's a nifty way to get a quick idea of the rampant growth of typosquatting (which is a subset of cybersquatting). Here's [aliasencore.com] an example that shows the 431 registered .COM domain names that are one character away from google.com.

Full disclosure: I am Graham MacRobie, the CEO of Alias Encore, Inc. We help companies recover cybersquatting domain names, but we focus solely on "slam-dunk" typosquatting cases, not questionable cybersquatting cases such as the one mentioned in this article.

freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (5, Insightful)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487757)

freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting. It's parody. The difference is crucial.

Just because a rights-holder says otherwise doesn't make it so.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (1, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487793)

Parody doesn't protect the clearly illegal use of Lego's trademarked name.in the domain name.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28487829)

Yes, it does.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (3, Insightful)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487833)

Trademark infringement should definitely be protected by fair use. Parody is fair use. The courts have not been consistent on this issue, however.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (3, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487927)

Trademarks are certainly not protected by fair use. Fair use is an affirmative defense in copyright infringement cases, not trademark infringement cases. A company that registers a trademark must, by law, defend that trademark in court against all infringers it has knowledge of.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (5, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488357)

Wrong. Fair use is also a defense in trademark infringement cases. Fair use of a trademark includes things such as descriptive use, e.g. "Similar to Kleenex", use in advertising by resellers, and a whole host of other things.

The article Fair Use of Trademarks [publaw.com] is a good read on the subject.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (1)

sgbett (739519) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488475)

FREE
LEG
OF
PORN

(.com)

lalalalala...

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (3, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488451)

But trademark law doesn't prevent any use of the word at all - this isn't like patent or copyright law. It only affects commercial usage. After all, I can say Lego Lego Lego here all I like, without being in violation of trademark law - it's only when I sell something called "Lego" that I risk a lawsuit.

In this case, it's unclear that there website was commercial - given the "free", I'm guessing not.

Trademark does not - or should not - allow companies to shut someone down merely for using a word. Trademark is intended for a specific purpose, and not to allow companies to own words in general.

Trademark rights do not exclude parody. (3, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488459)

Ah, but trademark rights do not protect against parody in the first place. You wouldn't even need to use a fair use defense, if you aren't using the trademark as a trademark on similar products then you aren't infringing the trademark rights.

Re:Trademark rights do not exclude parody. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488691)

>Ah, but trademark rights do not protect against parody in the first place.

I always wondered about Wacky Packages, and my guess is that the advertisers paid to be parodied by them.

I still have a book that I stuck "Band-Ache" on in 1973. I still think it's hilarious.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488595)

Trademarks are certainly not protected by fair use. Fair use is an affirmative defense in copyright infringement cases, not trademark infringement cases

This [blogspot.com] is criticism, not parody, but certainly suggests the concept of "fair use" can be applied to trademarks, as well as copyright.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (2, Interesting)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488117)

"Fair use" is one of those things you can't really determine until you go to court. Granted - that's sort of the way it is with anything that involves a court. But fair use is nebulous and tends to shift from court case to court case.

Parody has been held as fair use. But even parody has limits. Ask the Penny Arcade guys about their infamous Strawberry Shortcake [the-trukstop.com] strip. American Greetings came after them for use of the Strawberry Shortcake character. Their intent, if I remember right, was to use a popular 80s icon to parody American McGee's treatment of another childhood favorite - Alice in Wonderland. Penny Arcade's lawyer recommended they give in. If the Penny Arcade guys were parodying Strawberry Shortcake, they might have had reasonable footing to start their fight. But as they were parodying American McGee, it didn't give them license to use Strawberry Shortcake under fair use. Again - they could certainly take it to court as you can't really tell how a fair use suit will shake out until you do. But following their lawyers' advice isn't a bad idea.

Lego porn? I'd expect the issue to be similar. Are they really parodying Lego? Or using the Lego brand to parody something else?

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (1)

PAjamian (679137) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488457)

I think that FreeLEgoPorn would have a better chance arguing that the word "Lego" is sufficiently generic as to not warrant trademark protection anymore. Considering the number of off-brand or generic blocks on the market that are commonly referred to as "legos" this would have a much better chance than arguing parody, im (decidedly non-lawyer) o.

Also just another case of why you should never use GoDaddy as a domain registrar, they are known for bowing to the slightest bit of legal pressure and handing over a domain name just because a lawyer tells them to. Do a slashdot search for GoDaddy for past examples.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28487855)

Trademarks protects the use of marks in trade, not domain names.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487879)

Are you seriously suggesting that freelegoporn.com was NOT intended to be a money-making venture?

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488011)

I never saw the site, and the article didn't mention whether or not they were making money or if it was someone's parody.

But what I am seriously suggesting is that this is still not the same thing as "cybersquatting". Cybersquatting implies that what you are really trying to sell is the domain name, and that's the reason you've registered it.

I'm pretty sure "freelegoporn.com" wasn't a master plan to trick Lego (or anyone else) into buying their domain.

[link not safe for work] (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488371)

Are you seriously suggesting that freelegoporn.com was NOT intended to be a money-making venture?

Why not? [screaming-penguin.com] [link not safe for work]

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (2, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488477)

Are you seriously suggesting that freelegoporn.com was NOT intended to be a money-making venture?

Wait - what?

(Yes, I know that companies can offer things for free in order to make money selling extra, but I fail to see why you're pulling the "seriously?" when there is no evidence to suggest that this was a money making venture. If you know otherwise, provide your reference.)

Trademark is not copyright (2, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488535)

Are you seriously suggesting that freelegoporn.com was NOT intended to be a money-making venture?

Eh? Who cares? Was Lego planning on getting into the porn business? No? Then I could market my 'Lego' brand of porn without infringing. Just like Apple Records and Apple Computers can coexist.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488049)

Free speech does. [wikipedia.org]

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488257)

Free speech should have.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488291)

What is illegal is not necessarily wrong. I'm tired of the corporate nobility taking our natural rights from us. Natural rights like parodying those in power. As far as I'm concerned all parody should be 100% protected from IP concerns.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488305)

"Parody doesn't protect the clearly illegal use of Lego's trademarked name.in the domain name."

Sure it does. If you're not allowed to use a trademarked name, how are you supposed to parody it?
Substitute freepopularplastictoyblockporn.com and hope that people get the connection?
You're basing your argument on the premise that domain names aren't speech, but they are.

The fact that you can print a domain name on a T-shirt or that you can create an alternative domain name
like freepopularplastictoyblockporn.com is proof that domain names are speech, and should thus be protected.
(At least, in U.S. courts). WIPO's another story.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488325)

Trademarks can be used when commenting on the item in question. Parody is a form of comment.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488377)

Yes it does.

Provided people are aware that it is porn made by a third party with lego bricks, and not something that Lego is doing themselves, there is no infringement.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (1)

dogeatery (1305399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488641)

lego's name isn't in the domain name. It was Elbonian: Freel Egoporn

They should've fought for it (2, Informative)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487875)

As someone pointed out, courts are inconsistent.

Unless FreeLegoPorn knew they judges they would face would rule against them due to locally-binding precedent, they should have sued to regain the name.

This is parody.

If the local judges were likely to rule against them they should have relocated their corporate headquarters to a more judicially friendly venue, picked a new similar equally-"infringing" name, and pre-emptively sued to declare that their use was not a trademark infringement. Then once they won that battle, sue for the old name back.

My guess is they decided it wasn't worth the expense.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (2, Interesting)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488185)

Delusion_: freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting. It's parody. The difference is crucial.

Just because a rights-holder says otherwise doesn't make it so.

Seconded. In fact, I remember another case where the court—wrongly—grabbed a domain name simply because of its resemblance to another site: etoy.com [etoy.com] vs. etoys.com [etoys.com] . etoy came first, but somehow eToys managed to suck up to a judge and lay claim to etoy.com, however temporarily. It may have had something to do with the fact that eToys thought it had a trademark for a vibrant, useful commerce site while that Johnny-come-earlier was pushing that wishy-washy pinko art.

This is the sort of thing the judiciary has to consider carefully when looking at a case where domain names rub a little too close together. And with the press continuing for domain names, the situation will only get worse.

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488187)

you said it before i could =(

Re:freelegoporn.com is not cybersquatting (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488413)

I entirely agree - moreover, I would say the cybersquatters here are Lego. They're the ones who stole someone else's domain name. And are they now doing anything with the URL? Nope. That's squatting.

IMHO (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487765)

It sounds like LEGO are being IP bullies. If they can do that to FreeLegoPorn.com, they can probably do it to LEGOSucks.com.

Re:IMHO (0, Redundant)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487791)

Or SuckLegos.com, as the case may be.

Re:IMHO (1)

Sophacles (24240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488443)

Whoever modded this as redundant needs to re-read this, keeping in mind SVO order* and the meaning of "sucks" in porn. It is Friday, get your mind closer to the gutter people!

* If english is not your first language, the legosucks implies lego is bad, suckslegos implies someone performing oral sex on legos.

Re:IMHO (5, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487871)

penismightier.com? Who will think of the pen companies?
analbumcover.com? Who will think of the RIAA?
therapists.com? Who will think if the US Therapy association?

Re:IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488277)

expertsexchange.com? Who will of the expert gender re-assignment surgeons?

Re:IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488287)

Slightly disappointed therapists.com is a ad squatter. Who wouldn't love to give that one out. You could easily just change capitalization depending on who you gave it to.

Mom: home@Therapists.com
Creepy Chick at bar: home@TheRapists.com

Re:IMHO (2, Funny)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488503)

If you read the first one as a five letter word + eight letter word, it has nothing to do with pens.

A bit like the Italian division of a company called Powergen.

Re:IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488739)

Is that the only one you picked out? In short, woosh. Or, get that stick out of your anal bum cover.

Re:IMHO (3, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488749)

-1 Coming-out-of-the-hole-you've-been-living-in

Re:IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488773)

Haha remember when it was expertsexchange.com? (now it's experts-exchange.com)

Re:IMHO (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488567)

I do think "LEGO" should be allowed in any address, because "Free-You-know-what-plastic-figures-Porn" is silly.

But they won't stop you from dedicating a site to animations of LEGO figures humping, as long as you don't have "LEGO" in the adress, right?

Down with Domain Resellers! (2, Interesting)

Blixinator (1585261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487831)

"The domain registrar for FreeLegoPorn.com, GoDaddy.com, eventually shut down the site and transferred the domain name to Lego under ICANN rules." So if a domain name uses a trademarked name in an 'offensive' manner, it's perfectly fine to strip ownership of the domain from the person who registered it and then give it to the company whose name was used? - Similar situation from 2003: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/04/nyregion/04AMBE.html [nytimes.com] There are a few domain names I wanted that the damn domain name resellers beat me to, all I need to do is trademark a name that is a slight misspelling of the name and it's all mine! - Don't ruin my plan with your silly logic.

Re:Down with Domain Resellers! (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488029)

Ever tried looking for something short, sweet, and pronouncable in a way that's unambiguous with respect to the way it's spelled, and that doesn't mean anything in particular? All such domains are gone. If you want something like 'google' you're going to have to pay extra for it. ( although googol/google is ambiguous spelling wise the fact that googol is alot and google indexes alot of sites counterbalances this negative )

Re:Down with Domain Resellers! (3, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488201)

I'm just sick of how cybersquatters have stolen my name! I, a famous and dead Ukrainian novelist, wanted to set up my own blog using my own domain! I'm heartsick that my name is being squatted because of its passing similarity to some search engine! The injustice!

Signed,
Nikolai Gogol [wikipedia.org]

Re:Down with Domain Resellers! (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488085)

You're not the first person to notice that the domain name system is under the control of an organisation that puts "intellectual property" rights above everything else. That's a situation that most people on Slashdot would normally be wary of. But proposals to put the control of the system under a more representative governance - for example, to hand it over to a representative international organization - are represented as attempts by the evil United Nations to "take over the internet".

Re:Down with Domain Resellers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488283)

Uhmm, no offense, but the summary states LEGO didn't SUE, they went to WIPO... the WORLD Intellectual Property Organization... IE if it was UN governed the same bullshit would likely apply. Anyone who thinks giving more power to an 'internation organization' will make things any better than having the same mess under the governance of the US is helping lube the slide towards the New World Government (And I honest to god wish I was joking, because everything seems headed that way given some of the meddling we've been seeing lately, between WIPO, WTO, and the still undisclosed ACTA.

Re: (1)

ddubbleya (899847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487847)

How about DonkeyShowLegos.com?

The way it should be (3, Interesting)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487857)

They should make it where the price of a domain doubles for each domain you have registered.

1. $35
2. $70
3. $105 ...etc.

That would raise the annual price of owning two domains to $105 and $210 for three, $420 for four, $840 for five and so on. That keeps the price relatively cheap for people who just want a personal domain or small businesses, but the domain squaters will be rendered out of business for the most part.

I want to see someone squat 1,000 domains at those prices.

Re:The way it should be (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487955)

Quite a few large businesses have many domains. For example, Ford might own each and every brand name they have as a domain. Similarly, food companies could own a domain for each and every food brand.

Re:The way it should be (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488035)

It would be worth it for Ford to pay for fifty domains.

It would not be worth it for domain squatters to pay for hundreds, or even dozens.

Re:The way it should be (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488333)

It would be utterly unaffordable for Ford to pay for fifty domains.

FTFT. http://www.google.com/search?q=2%5E50*35 [google.com]

Re:The way it should be (2, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488419)

You are obviously not a math major. Doubling 50 times is prohibitively expensive. Try it at 1 cent. 1 =1, 2 = 2, 3 = 4, 4 = 8, 5 = 16, 6 = 32, 7 = 64, 8 = 128, 9 = 256, 10 = 512, 11 = $10 and 24 cents, drop the pennies. so each 10 = x1000. 21= $10,000 (plus change) 31= $10,000,000 (plus change) 41 = $10 billion (plus change) 51 would be $10 trillion (plus change). I doubt ford could pay for 30 domains using this silly idea, even starting at 1 penny.

Re:The way it should be (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488829)

If irony were strawberries we'd all be having smoothies right now...

From your own sig:

We need a "-1 Incorrect" moderation

Re:The way it should be (1)

GeorgeS (11440) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488841)

That is what sub-domains are for: taurus.ford.com etc... this is the like one of the best uses for sub-domains.

As a side note, ICANN is not the only game in town for domain names now.

Re:The way it should be (4, Insightful)

bwhaley (410361) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488379)

One could argue that this is abusing the domain name system's original intent. To continue your example, why does Ford need taurus.com, fusion.com, mustang.com, etc? They should be using subdomains: taurus.ford.com. mustang.ford.com. The make and model are both instantly more recognizable, as is the Ford brand in general.

The Internet would be a better place if the marketing people would focus on marketing problems and let the technology people implement solutions.

Re:The way it should be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488405)

So why not have a subdomain, e.g. fiesta.ford.com or expedition.ford.com?

Re:The way it should be (1)

Blixinator (1585261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488001)

But would they really want to get rid of what I would imagine to be one of their biggest sources of revenue? Just using the numbers and the method you provided as an example[ $(35((n^2+n)/2))) for n domain names], someone would have to buy 44-45 domain names to bring in the revenue that one squater would bring in for buying 1,000 domain names at $35 each

Re:The way it should be (1)

Blixinator (1585261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488065)

Right as I pressed submit, I figured I should explain my logic a bit more. First off, the formula I said is based off of the formula for the number of blocks in a pyramid of n layers with the number of blocks in layer increases by one when you go down one layer. It's just a sum of all the numbers from 1 to n. I'm also ignoring any server costs that the additional hosted domains may cause.

Re:The way it should be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488005)

using that logic a legitimate business wanting to grab up typos of their own brand are out of luck as well.

when these guys are buying domains for up to 6-8 figures each on the after market. even if it reached that level for a new registration it would make no difference.

Re:The way it should be (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488109)

Not really.

1) Many legit companies own many domain names. I doubt Google really cares about all of its 10K domain names, but even at 30 (a movie studio may have one for each movie, perhaps?) it would cost 35 billion dollars.

Did you know that Google owns about 10,000 domain names? It'll only cost them $6.9827209090826543470930975693925e+3011

2) Shell companies.

Re:The way it should be (2, Funny)

Sophacles (24240) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488483)

2) Shell companies.

Fail -- even at those prices big oil could afford it.

Re:The way it should be (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488143)

.

They should make it where the price of a domain doubles for each domain you have registered.

1. $35
2. $70
3. $105 ...etc.

$70 * 2 = $105? Maybe for extremely small values of $70 :)

I think yoyu mean that the cost for all your domains doubles each time you add another domain. This formula would be:

Cost = $35*2^(n-1) where n = the number of domains registered.

The problem with this is that legitimate companies' costs would skyrocket for no reason. Consider a small US firm with three brands. Just based on the company and the three brands, there are four domains in each of several TLDs they need to register. At a bare minimum, they need to register the domains in .com and in .net. So that's 8 domains, or $35*2^7, or $4480.

Now consider that the same company likely needs to register another 16 or 24 domains (both defensively and to help ensure they get all the visitors trying to reach them). The cost quickly gets astronomical.

Now consider that if they have trademarked their brands. Now they are required by law to defend against people using similar domains as possible competitors, or they lose their trademark. Uh-oh. Now, in addition to the $350/hr they pay to a law firm for trademark protection, they've got to pay tens or hundreds of thousands to protect their trademark.

In short... nice idea, but it harms legitimate businesses to much.

Re:The way it should be (4, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488229)

Well, it's a good thing there are 10,000 other domain squatters with very similar names all sharing the same PO box with me. This way we can each just buy one for the lowest price.

Re:The way it should be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488255)

Actually, it shouldn't. That would work if everyone was a cybersquatter. But there are in fact many people who invest in domains for legitimate reasons and have larger portfolios than cybersquatters.

Re:The way it should be (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488285)

That is stupid. What about misspellings? It makes perfect sense certain things to certain domains. If you have a UK site that is really uk.yourdomain.com, it might make sense to register yourdomain.uk that redirects to uk.yourdomain.com. Plus, what about misspellings? And the fact that different products go to the same company, for example, Nintendo might own nintendo.com, metroidprime3.com, fireemblem.com, mother3.com, etc.

Re:The way it should be (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488297)

Right, cause faking multiple users for that would be somehow harder than faking multiple users for every other service that has some retarded per-user limit that I use.

Re:The way it should be (1)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488583)

They should make it where the price of a domain doubles for each domain you have registered.

Who are they? There are many companies which provide domain name registration service. If one of them implemented the scheme you describe, business would simply go elsewhere. Why would any registrar want to do this? It would only cost them business.

Re:The way it should be (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488665)

Who pays $35 for a domain? Mine are all in the $10 or $12 range. When I worked with an online retailer, we got down to $8/year with a bulk discount. If you're paying $35, you're getting ripped off.

WIPO sucks ass crackers. (5, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487893)

Cant afford to send a legal team to Sweden? Then you lose. Company I work for had their domain (and thus their company name) taken away, not because it was being misused or anything like that, but because we couldn't afford to go defend ourselves. Now if you go to the domain there's just a diatribe against us full of false claims and BS.

Re:WIPO sucks ass crackers. (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488827)

Cant afford to send a legal team to Sweden? Then you lose. Company I work for had their domain (and thus their company name) taken away, not because it was being misused or anything like that, but because we couldn't afford to go defend ourselves.

Why would you even send a legal team to Sweden? Wouldn't it be kind of expensive and kind of long to have your lawyers learn a new language and be retrained in a new set of laws. Hiring a lawyer in the jurisdiction that you're being sued in, without going there yourself, is not that hard. The language barrier may be difficult, but since this is Sweden, I would expect that many lawyers you find over there -- would write and speak English fluently.

Now if you go to the domain there's just a diatribe against us full of false claims and BS.

[citation needed, the name of the domain would be nice]

Re:WIPO sucks ass crackers. (3, Interesting)

ACMENEWSLLC (940904) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488907)

I went through WIPO arbitration. Someone wanted to take one of my domains away from me. I replied with a proper reply and ended up keeping my domain.

The arbitration goes to an individual or multiple individuals. It really depends on the individual you get. Looking through prior arbitration, I saw how mine could have gone either way.

North Korea prepares to wipe out Hawaii +1, Fake (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28487905)

as reported by National Propaganda Radio [npr.org] and Slashdot reports on cybersquatters.

NPR has dramatically increased its coverage of Generation Z music and drastically reduced its coverage of real news. Of course, the U.S.A. has collapsed so any real news is very scarce.

Have a Kim-Jong iL-fun-filled weekend.

Yours In Socialism,
K. Trout

I'm not a violent person (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487947)

but cybersquatters should have their legs broken. Off.

RS

Re:I'm not a violent person (2, Interesting)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488127)

I agree. Anyone have any idea how much it costs to take a cybersquatter to court? My band's domain name is currently being squatted on. There are alternatives but nothing that's any good is available. I registered something that's a mediocre replacement at best just as a back up, but it'd be nice to be able get the name I want seeing as how no one is actually using it.

Citation Needed (5, Insightful)

kbolino (920292) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487963)

"And malicious sites can create havoc with a brand's reputation."

Apparently, proving this statement is left as an exercise for the reader.

Re:Citation Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488135)

heh and the best way to squat is to send the user back to the REAL domain =)

Re:Citation Needed (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488149)

+1 Insightful.

Re:Citation Needed (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488317)

Actually, if I remember correctly there was a misspelling of Google that used to direct you to a site full of adware and other forms of malware. Not sure how much it really hurt Google but I imagine it was a pain for many users at that time.

It's sad. ICANN not allowing satire. (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 5 years ago | (#28487999)

In the US we're used to being able to parody anything without fear of copyright or trademark litigation issues. It's sad that the ICANN doesn't work the same way. It really should.

Cybersquatting should be costly (1)

caywen (942955) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488033)

I think cybersquatting should become increasingly costly over time, with crowd ratings as the determining factor as to whether someone is in fact squatting. If, say, 85% of people say a domain is being squatted, then the squatter's registration fee should double each successive year.

Re:Cybersquatting should be costly (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488241)

This would be nice but 85% of what people? The same scummy types of people that squat also run botnets. Botnet + any sort of voting system = botnet wins. The closest thing I've seen to a decent solution is the increasing price model that someone mentioned above; although I could see squatters getting around that by using fake names and such to just keep on registering 1 domain.

Not FreeLegoPorn, but real cybersquatting. (5, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488045)

Whether Lego -- which I generally perceive as far too litigious -- was right or wrong in its action against FreeLegoPorn.com, at least that was being used to host legitimate content. What really bugs me is domain owners who buy up a bunch of domain names to extort money out of those with a legitimate interest in them, or those who buy up a bunch of domain names for no other reason than to host advertising pages (which I consider a form of DNS spam).

Re:Not FreeLegoPorn, but real cybersquatting. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488735)

Lego has a history of abusing and trying to abuse IP law. My favourite example was trying to prevent people making compatible bricks by trademarking the layout on the top (fortunately, they lost this). Maybe we should boycott them; I think Lego is one of the few companies that would be affected by geeks boycotting them.

ICANN needs to be released of their duties (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488151)

Surely they are only doing this so they can make more money? Cybersquatters must be a huge source of revenue for them.

ICANN needs to be replaced with something more non-for-profit and preferably international, because they're just taking the piss.

Re:ICANN needs to be released of their duties (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488453)

ICANN needs to really put freedoms in front of money. For example, you should be able to register a trademarked domain name if

a) The site hosts content about that product
b) Does not mislead visitors
c) Has an alternative meaning (such as Apple.com being a site about different types of Apples)
d) If the actual business has at least three "high profile" domain names of the same thing (such as .com, .net, .org, or a high-profile country code such as .us, .uk, .de, .jp, etc.) so if Apple had registered apple.net, apple.org and apple.us and hadn't registered apple.com, the domain belongs to whoever registered it so long as it follows other regulations

Along with things stating that a domain name is not considered a trademark in and of itself and there is nothing ICANN can do to change them if these have been met (thus removing the quite idiotic statement in US law that you have to actively pursue takedowns on trademarks).

I missed out on FreeLegoPorn?!?! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488269)

Crap! Why didn't someone tell me!? Is this site now operating under a different name? I expect this is a very funny thing to see. Is there a mirror or cache or wayback or anything of this site?

Whats up with this article? (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488341)

First off, cybersquatting isn't new at all. Hasn't been an upsurge.

second, FreeLegoPorn.com wasn't cybersquatting. It's an artistic website creatively using lego's to make porn.

This story should be about how Freelegoporn got fucked over by they name register.

New TLDs without regard to existing alt roots... (1)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488347)

Now, ICANN is preparing to open a potentially unlimited number of new top-level domains as early as the first quarter of 2010.

Well, this should prove interesting, since the alt root I'm associated with (OpenNIC [opennicproject.org] ) hasn't received notification from ICANN as to how colliding TLDs will be handled. And I don't know of any other alternate roots that have been contacted either.

Re:New TLDs without regard to existing alt roots.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488469)

Well, this should prove interesting, since the alt root I'm associated with (OpenNIC) hasn't received notification from ICANN as to how colliding TLDs will be handled. And I don't know of any other alternate roots that have been contacted either.

Why would they bother contacting the alt roots? They are separate name spaces, so there can be no collisions. Isn't that that whole point of the alt roots?

Re:New TLDs without regard to existing alt roots.. (1)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488703)

Separate namespaces, but the alt roots try to be good citizens. Most alt roots (including OpenNIC) mirror the ICANN root as well. Several years ago, ICANN railroaded .biz through, even though OpenNIC had clear "first dibs" on the TLD. I assume more of the same is coming down the road.

Re:New TLDs without regard to existing alt roots.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488625)

This is why every single person here should try everything in their power to stop ICANN from doing such stupid things.
Opening up the TLD system is just going to cause havoc for everyone.

If only URLs were back-to-front, like it SHOULD have been.
What idiot decided it would be a good idea to have the current system?

It should have been protocol://continent.country.siteType.domain.sub-domain1.sub-domainN/directories
SiteType being organization, museum, TV, government, xxx (if only, it would help a lot if it was more regulated) etc.
Doesn't it just seem so much nicer this way?
Instead, we have the current mess which makes it so much easier to do something like http://myspace.com.iwillstealyourshit.com/

Domain Names Are So Ten Years Ago... (2, Interesting)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488393)

IMO the idea of the domain name is so ten years ago. The explosion of TLDs makes it more so, as it's no longer possible to get true exclusivity on a term. In the age of Google and SEO, what matters is the number of inbound links, the naming of file names, and such. Not the domain name. I say this as someone who once made $10,000 by cyber-squatting on entegris.com back in the day (thank you Network Solutions and the ability to reserve a name 30 days before you paid for it or it just lapsed) .

Not really increasing compared to domain names (4, Informative)

Rovastar (822365) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488423)

According to netcraft in the last year there has been about 40% increase in fully qualified domain names out there (includes subdomains not just top level so not a perfect stat but a good indication)

June 2008 172,338,726 FQDNs (http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2008/06/index.html)
June 2009 238,027,855 FQDNs (http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2009/06/17/june_2009_web_server_survey.html)

So really you could say that cyber squatting is decreasing relative to the increase in domain names........

Not really increasing compared to domain names

/. of archives in 3 ... 2... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28488517)

I can just see the /. effect on all the cache & archive servers as everyone tried to hit them to see the lost content.

Evil cybersquatters (2, Insightful)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488577)

I honestly don't quite get the beef everyone has with cybersquatters. At least not the point where their legs should broken, etc...
Sure, they may not be making as good a use as you might, but why should that be the determination of who gets to take it away.
Now, if it is a site that is fraudulent, I can understand that, but that is a different allegation then cybersquatting. I can also understand trademark infringement (to some extent) but this whole "my brand is x so anyone with an x in their domain name should belong to me" seems a little over the top.

PROFIT (1)

atramentum (1438455) | more than 5 years ago | (#28488745)

If someone wanted to make money on this they could create a domain reg. service that registers all available tld's automatically, both as already owned tlds become available and as new tlds are introduced. I don't think the ICANN would be happy about it, but it would be valuable for corporations that want to protect their brand. Unless, that is, if ICANN creates a ".sucks" or ".iscrooked" tld. (http://apple.sucks) ...Profit !
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