Damn Cybersquatters
April 12, 2000 10:33 PM   Subscribe

Damn Cybersquatters

Here's a little run-in I had with a cybersquatter while trying to secure a domain name for a company I'm starting.

Apologies ahead of time for being self-serving in using my home page there (promise it won't happen again!), but I had no other place to write the content. Hope you guys will have a look and give me an opinion on things! If anything, it's good for a quick laugh even though I'm completely disgusted at the fact people make a living off leeching off hard-working individuals like you and me in such a manner.
posted by PWA_BadBoy (12 comments total)
$150 for a 3 letter .com? HA! Better start reading up on how to hijack that bitch, knowing NSI it should take you a good few minutes. good luck.
posted by bvanveen at 10:44 PM on April 12, 2000

Oh yeah....and, I'm kinda thinkin' that the whole "suck my dick" thing wasn't such a great move.
posted by bvanveen at 10:51 PM on April 12, 2000

Yeah, but I just think it's sad how people can go about doing this kind of thing to make money. It's a disgusting waste of time and money. There is no service provided here. Simply a leech and a middleman. I thought the U.S. government passed laws against cybersquatting? (I haven't really kept up... and I'm Canadian)

Now I know there's no way I could get that domain. But if anything, this issue should be addressed. I've got little to no capital at this point, and even if I had $22k US, I would have gone out and bought a car instead.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 10:56 PM on April 12, 2000

Yeah, I guess that comment was somewhat out of line. It sort of got included in my e-mail by accident when I hit "forward" instead of "compose new message". Oops.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 10:56 PM on April 12, 2000

You may have to do what many others (including myself) have done...decide/change your business name based on domain availability. It's unfortunate but even the largest of players fall victim. Dog eat dog.
posted by bvanveen at 11:07 PM on April 12, 2000

Yeah, I've already done that. But there's still the always attractive .ca domains.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 11:16 PM on April 12, 2000

thank you for sharing the laughter and the tears.

as to the problem itself, you're screwed, get over it, and think of a new name.

if you were the owner of blah corp., had a prior registered trademark, and billions in billings, you might have a case.

domain squatters are annoying, but that's life on the 'net.

.ca domains are attractive only to people who sell .ca domains. otherwise they are useless.

the racist shit in his letter was offensive and wrong, and there's no excuse for it.
posted by Zeldman at 12:58 AM on April 13, 2000

Um, why is he a cybersquatter if he's actually using
the domain blah.com? (Seems to be a publishing house of some
sort, IIRC). Of course, I may be missing the point entirely. I've got a bunch of domains I'm not using yet,
that I'd probably sell if someone offered me money.

Oh, and not to nitpick, but 'www.blah.com' isn't a domain. It's a hostname. 'blah.com' is a domain. If you're going to
complain about cybersquatters, it might help to get the
basic terminology right. Think of how I'd laugh if someone
asked me if I wanted to sell my 'champeon.com' "Internet
Web address". Ho, ho, ho. Hee. Chortle.
posted by schampeo at 7:50 AM on April 13, 2000

Hm. I guess using hard returns in these stupid textareas isn't the best idea in the world...
posted by schampeo at 7:51 AM on April 13, 2000

No, it's not. :-)

In any event, Zeldman is correct; it's only 'squatting', in the sense that that activity is being made illegal (I phrase it that way because I don't remember whether it's passed or not yet) if you register a domain that collides with a federally registered trademarked name with a registration date preceding the domain registration date.

Frankly, though, I'm not sure I even approve of _that_; it blows the entire idea of multiple TLD's out of the water.

The Department of Commerce asked for comments on this stuff about a year or two back [looks: damn; it was almost 4 years...] Mine are here, and include observations on that topic, among others. I hope, (in the phrase they deleted before publishing them :-{) that you find them comprehensible, rather than compost.

-- jra
posted by baylink at 8:12 AM on April 13, 2000

Is blah.com the actual domain name in dispute, or has the name been changed to protect the guilty? I assumed from reading the story that it was merely a placeholder.
posted by harmful at 8:28 AM on April 13, 2000

blah.com is simply there to "protect the guilty." Sorry if it got a little misconstrued. The domain in question is actually pwa.com which you'll notice doesn't have anything posted on it. Oops, so much for protecting the guilty. :)
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 9:14 AM on April 13, 2000

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