Sic em Michael!...KF
The important thing in this case is that Dell wants the activity to be considered counterfeiting rather than just trademark abuse. Counterfeiting has a statutory penalty of up to a million Dollars per offence. And at an estimated 1100 domains or so, that's a lot of money.
The problem seems to be the 5 day grace period. I have no idea why they even have that, just removing it would stop a lot of abuse of the system.
The UK has the distance selling regulations but domain names are probably covered under the exemption "personalised goods or goods made to a consumer's specification" or "goods that cannot, by their nature, be returned" although at the moment domain names probably fall under "betting, gaming or lottery services".
I think that PIR (the .org registry) introduced a 5c "restocking fee" and that had a significant impact on the domain tasting in .org TLD. I've been looking at graphing the historical stats for the TLDs and the effect of domain tasting on the growth patterns, especially in .com) is quite extreme. It is a relatively nice growth curve up to about September 2004 and then it begins to go wild.
Yes the UK doesn't have the same 5 day grace period afforded to .coms - thank goodness.
"According to one example cited in Dell's lawsuit, on May 25, 2007, DomainDoorman registered "dellfinacncialservices.com." On May 30, the registrar deleted the domain from its stable of Web site names. Minutes later, that same Web site name was snatched up by BelgiumDomains, which then dropped the name on June 4. That same day, dellfinacncialservices.com was grabbed by CapitolDomains, which in turn relinquished it on June 9, the same day that site was re-registered again by DomainDoorman."
I bet they were bragging about their great idea...till now. I think this could end domain tasting and automated registration. With so many trademarks it maybe impossible to avoid registering one, and a mistake can cost you everything.
The sheer numbers of this scheme are compelling!
Dell claims in their suit:
"Defendants have registered and used over sixty-four million (64,000,000) unique domain names" ...
They note that the 3 registrars involved acted together as one, and were both the registrar and registrant.
One source determined that those 3 registrars tasted 185,650,068 domains in the past six months! -- more than 70% of all domains tasted during that time period.
I don't see a Dell victory here, but not sure if Dell wants a victory.
The problem I have is how to "show" that the registrars purposely went after Dell and other companies to benefit off their "status".
Because bell.com is similar to dell.com that is grounds for a lawsuit? No, don't think so. Counterfeiting? Get real.
If anything, Dell.com should institute a program to benefit the general public so people can learn how to type and spell their company name. I'm not a great typist so I usually hit one of these 'cell.com,' 'sell.com,' 'xell.com,' 'rell.com,' 'eell.com,' 'fell.com' -- holy, it's Dell.com. I got it!
Notice the pattern? The first letters all revolve around the letter "D".
Is it worthy of a lawsuit to target a company that got smart and realized people generally can't spell nor type? No, it isn't.
Maybe my opinion might change after I read this article a bit closer, but it looks as if Dell.com has to be put back in its place.
>> "DomainDoorman registered "dellfinacncialservices.com.".com
Yup! Now this is grounds for a lawsuit that should have happened the moment the wrongful act occurred.
Thanks for the example.
My opinion has changed: Dell has been screwed.
It was a matter of time before a company like Dell was going to take action.
I think its likely they will win. If they can get it changed the way they want it changed then it will be an end to the practice.
Nice to see Dell taking the challenge, it can only come from a company the size of Dell to finance this - it would be out of the reach of most companies that would love to take the stance that Dell are.
Also the problem has only recently got blown up to this level. When a company has 1100 domains registered on the back of their trading name by various domain sqatters something has to give - Its got out of hand and Dell need to take this action now imo.
In the long term it will be for the good of the internet
[edited by: RichTC at 12:12 am (utc) on Nov. 30, 2007]
|(also from article) |
"Adelman said 55 million domains were registered in October by registrars involved in tasting, and all but roughly 2 million of them were dropped after the five-day grace period."
That's 53 million names IN ONE MONTH that propagated through DNS root servers and used the bandwidth, disk and processing power, (and electricity to power same), to add and then delete the info... looks like other parties besides DELL, (e.g. VeriSign, Cogent, etc), could join the suit.
|looks like other parties besides DELL, (e.g. VeriSign, Cogent, etc), could join the suit |
Verisign must have earned good money from 2 million domains that were actually retained by tasters out of the 55 million as is mentioned in the article. I think Dell should add Verisign to the list of defendants because they are also making money from the practice of domain tasting.
Bluntly - this is a futile lawsuit.
It will be interesting to see how they figure out how many clicks ONLY happened because someone like me was curious about the mis-spelling only and already knew the site wasn't the real deal before I even visited.
Widgets vs Wigets ... visitors aren't "that" dumb.
Just wanted to add that although the suit may be futile the implications aren't. Someone has to chase after the biggest abuser, win or lose is serves us all.. Go Dell..
|Widgets vs Wigets ... visitors aren't "that" dumb. |
I don't think they're "dumb" -- but I can tell you when my 70 year old mother or my 12 year old kid hit a typosquatter site, they are confused and will sometimes click a link on that page, (earning PPC money for the squatter and taking themselves deeper into the error).
My opinion: either eliminate the 5 day "tasting" grace period completely or reduce it to 24 hours or so -- the 24 hour timeframe should allow anyone who truly "made a mistake" and registered a domain (e.g. webhamptserworld.tld instead of webhampsterworld.tld), they would have time to undo it -- but not enough time to setup a PPC landing page, earn a few bucks and decide if it's a good typo or a bad typo.
>>It will be interesting to see how they figure out how many clicks ONLY happened because someone like me was curious about the mis-spelling only and already knew the site wasn't the real deal before I even visited.
I am not sure how the law is exactly, but money earned might not matter as much. If you copy a Fendi bag, that act alone might be enough for a huge fine, even if the sales don't amount to much.
If 1,100 domains have been registered that are similar to Dell then is it an easy assumption that many of them will play on the Dell name by selling Dell stuff using a Dell affiliate package?
So, ironically, Dell may well be financing the Cybersquatters themselves.
Take away the 5 day grace period and slap a tax on bulk domain registrations and the problem will be hugely reduced.
|So, ironically, Dell may well be financing the Cybersquatters themselves. |
Cybersquatters steal Dell's traffic, then sell it back to them through affiliate programs?
I'm not sure Dell would agree with your description of that being "ironic."
"Highway robbery," more like.
That would massively reduce the problem of domain tasting. (It has had quite an effect on domain tasting in .org.) But the problem of these cybersquatting operations still exists. Perhaps ICANN could be encouraged to deal with the problem by making them an offer they can't refuse - their signatures on the revised registrar contract or no more ICANN.
|Take away the 5 day grace period and slap a tax on bulk domain registrations and the problem will be hugely reduced. |