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Owen, one of the great Manx Bloggers, recently wrote a brilliant post on Cyber Squatting and the extortion game.  He highlights what goes on, what has happened to him and what can happen.

Being the CEO of a Domain Registrar I know that myself and my staff deal with the kind of thing on a (sadly) regular basis, we come across many stories regarding domain extortion from our clients as well as experiencing it in-house too.

What is domain extortion? well, it’s essentially when some unscrupulous individual pounces on a domain name that should, by all rights belong to you, if only you’d have bought it.

i.e is owned by some Asian squatter who wanted to sell Tubu Internet Solutions the domain for about $2000!

Why is this extortion? well, a domain only costs less than $10 per year. Unless the holder has had the domain in their possession for 200 years I see this as an unreasonable markup.

Though there are certain trademark and fraud contingencies to fall back on in some cases it can be rather hard to obtain the domain name from the holding individual.
Essentially all they have to do, if there is a grey area regarding trademark, is put up data pertinent to the name of the domain. Many for sale pages and parking pages do this automatically now.

Take a look at Owen’s post – he has a good list of what to do and what not to do.

What do you think? any experiences in the area?

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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