Interesting update at [domainnamewire.com ] about a lawsuit brought by Verizon against domain registrar Above.com, a registrar that also operates a domain parking/monetization company.
Judge refuses to dismiss a big money (penalties/fees) anti-cybersquatting law damages claim against Above.com.
This case addresses a legal liability question I've been raising for years: Just how many instances of profiting from the "bad behavior of others" does/will it take before the joint-profiter is held accountable for the full range of remedies?
When, in the effort to squeeze out profits, a domain registrar enters into the domain-monetization-by-parking business, does that impose a new/additional duty on the registar to police its domain registrations?
How many trademark typos can be monetized - for how many years - before any parking company is held accountable as a joint venturer, co-conspirator, corrupt partner, co-trafficker, etc.?
Is "we're too big to be accountable" - because they are simply too many domains, websites, publishers, etc. to scrutinize - a legitimate defense to a version of theft?
Looks like they've got the sent of blood in their nostrils and are going for the kill. Could this go up a level and could pressure be brought to bear at the ICANN level on the accreditation of some of these PPC registrars? It would be an interesting imposition of liability on the registrars. The obvious targets are the PPC operators who have enabled this kind of activity.
If the registrar is willing to run an auction service they can dump domain names into it and park the pages until sold. The line between squatting and a legitimate reason for parking is mighty thin.
The problem could be solves by not allowing a registrar to hold a domain name for longer than 31 days from end of payment by customer. Long enough to sell but not much of a squat. The registrar would need to be barred from registering the domain again for 30 days afterwards to prevent a dump-n-scoop scenario.