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Another TLD, Another Cybersquatting Story

Technically speaking, cybersquatting is illegal. Practically speaking, its an impossible to prevent form of extortion. This story comes to us via @gtconboy

Cybersquatting refers to the process of buying up domain names that suggest someone else’s name, most profitably registered trademark names, in order to sell the domain to that named entity for a profit. For example, when the Internet was really taking off in the late 90’s, profiteers bought up names like Crest.com or Sprite.com.

Now two big moves by ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the folks who manage domain names) are sure to raise the spectre of cybersquatting to a whole new level. First, the adult site Top Level Domain .xxx is due to go live, ushering in a land rush. And second, the ICANN plans to allow organizations to create their own TLD’s:

Businesses in U.S. complain of .xxx shakedown | Reuters.

I’ve looked into a .xxx domain recently (because who doesn’t want to see a pasty-white blogger naked?) and was shocked to discover the domain names on that TLD are going for $100 a pop. Not really in the works for a small-timer like me. But it really isn’t that big of a deal for multi-billion dollar companies such as the ones named in the article. I work for a company with literally hundreds of trademarked product names as domain names.

This is all just part of the world we live in. Get a helmet.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.