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Friday, September 08, 2006

The fight for the Domain names

The basic reason behind this topic lays in the fact that domain names are allotted or given out on the first come first serve basis. Once in a life time opportunity, you get it or you loose it and if you loose it then forget about it.
It’s like buying a plot at your favorite spot/destination, if someone else likes it and buys it before you do, then it’s gone…. gone for ever. The only way, you can get it back is if the new-owner is selling it and you are the first one in the buyers queue. If you don’t want to get in such situation then own it the moment you locate it. There are still some restrictions, you can’t buy any plot that you like, for example you can like a place on Airport but you can’t just walk, buy and possibly built a house over there, can you?. You can only buy those which are free-for-public to buy. But this free-for-public area is large compared to restricted but very limited. If you like a place then there could be thousand others like you who also wish to buy the same piece of land, but the one, who first locate it, gets the chance to grabs it.

Same applies to the domain names. You think about it and find that it’s available, but you postpone the program, and the next time you search for it and you find that it’s GONE. Now it’s time for you to cry because you are not going to get it back and you have no other option but forget it and think for something else.

The first-come-first-serve principle for domain names also opened a prospective area for the Bad Guys. There were many cases where before the company get a chance to own their domain name, bad guys grabbed it for the sole purpose of making money because they knew the company will pay any cost to get it back. Not only many small companies or individuals lost the domain names they wanted, but giant companies and big name in industry have also suffered it till ANTI-CYBERSQUATTING CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT (ACPA) enacted in 1999 to protect companies/individuals with good name in the market from loosing their brand/company-name as their domain name on the www. The popular brand names have to worry at large about cybersquatting because for any Internet user who knows the company brand, he/she will just type www.<brand>.com in the browser to visit that company website; this is the normal perception, even I do the same thing, but if the user don’t find the company at this site then it’s frustration for the user and problem for the company.

There are quite a few examples of cybersquatting, where the big names have fought for their right to own the domain name, here’s a list of such Cybersquatting cases. Some of them are really interesting and some of them are still fighting.

Some definitions:

ACPA: The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), enacted on November 29, 1999, amends the Lanham Act by adding a new Section 43(d). The law provides trademark owners with a civil remedy against cybersquatters.

Cybersquatting: Under ACPA, cybersquatting is the act of registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.

Typosquatting: Typosquatting is a form of cybersquatting where someone registers a domain name of a highly visited Web site, except with typographical errors.

So don’t delay in registering your domain name, the moment it clicks in your head, the same moment find and click the buy button to own it.


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