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Domain Squatting - is it illegal or" wrong"?

5:47 pm on Sep 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Ok, I had someone accuse me of domain squatting.

I never even thought of that before. Is purchasing domains that you purchased to build a website on and just have not yet had time to build a site for every domain you own, is that domain squatting?

I would never have dreamed that one cannot buy domain names and if you do not immediately put a site on it, then it is called squatting?

Back in the day when people did land squatting, that was different as they did not pay for it. But with domains you must pay for them, so how is it squatting?

Your thoughts please.

11:56 pm on Sept 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The issue of domain squatting is about equally divided. Some consider it a legitimate revenue source. Some consider it the scourge of the internet.

Buying domains for future development really isn't technically domain "squatting."

Buying them for no other reason than to put up a parked page and generate whatever coins that domain will generate is.

Doesn't sound to me like you're squatting.

Or are you?

12:01 am on Sept 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If we were to go with the current dictionary definition of squatting, I do not
see how you're doing that with something you possess while they don't. But
of course, people will have their own definition for such, and there's always a
person out there having a problem with what you're doing.

You're a squatter in their eyes. But...you ain't necessarily in mine and those
who agree with me.

We all agree to disagree, though. Meanwhile, ignore them.


12:02 am on Sept 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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But it's not illegal.. no. Not unless you're infringing on trademark... see trademark thread here:

[webmasterworld.com ]

2:55 am on Sept 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think back to 1849 and the "Gold Rush" where folks staked out their claims (good or bad) and fought 'em off with whatever was necessary. :)

Seriously, obtaining domain names for future use, as long as it does not infringe trademarks (and by extension registered marks or copyrights as wyweb mentioned) that's just doing business. You got there first.

If someone wants it bad enough, and is willing to trade filthy lucre for that domain, and a deal is made, that's also okay.

When lawyers get involved (ala trademark issues) that's where "squatting" comes into play. For all the others you deliver a Bronx cheer. And maybe make a deal if a mind to....

10:19 pm on Sept 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This whole thing made me decide to buy a few more domains, so I did! Got some decent ones, so I hope no one gets offended! LOL
12:19 am on Sept 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Cybersquatting is in fact illegal, at least in the U.S.

You can look it up; see the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Cybersquatting can result in transfer of the domain name and damages.

Furthermore, the ICANN Uniform Dispute Policy applies to most domain names, no matter where you are. It definitly applies to .com's, .org.'s, .net's. The ICANN UDRP will forcibly transfer a domain name after an online arbitration if the domain name is held to be a cybersquat.

NEVERTHELESS, "cybersquatting" is a very limited concept. It is perfectly ok to register any domain name, provided you did not do it "in bad faith" and with "no legitimate interest", e.g. to sell it to a preexisting trademark owner, or to capitalize off their traffic, etc., or to infringe someone's trademark.

So, using a generic term for PPC can be fine in many circumstances. Likewise, even a typo of a descripitive or generic term can be ok. Similarly, buying domain names and merely stoockpiling them to sell at a later date or develop, is also OK, provided that these domain names were not registered to take advantage of a trademark owner.

Also, trademark law does not give a trademark owner exclusive rights in most cases. Its ok to have a trademark for BLUE BRAND perfume, and for someone else to have a tradmeark or business for BLUE BRAND for soft drinks. The exception of course is when it comes to "famous" marks, e.g. COCAL COLA is so famous, no one can use it for perfume, or anything else, because the public will always be confused since its SUCH a famous trademark.