A cybersquatter, or domain squatter, is someone who registered another’s name or trademark as a domain name with the prospect of harming or selling it to the rightful owner. They register your name by making small changes in name and use it to damage your business or reputation. It is a example of legalised blackmail. Usually, their goal is to make profit from traffic that goes to the domain or by selling the domain to the trademark owner for an inflated price. Many cybersquatters also typosquat, which means they register typos of trademarked domains, such as filpkart.com as opposed filpcart.com.
Cybersquatters may own anywhere from a single domain name to a few thousand domain names. These “domainers,” as they also called, typically register domain names that may contain popular words and phrases. High profile domain names can generate traffic mainly through manual “type-ins” or may simply be attractive to potential buyers. Some domainers, called “typosquatters,” register domain names that are same to well known websites, but contain typos. These domains aims to generate traffic through mistyped URLs. Generally, cybersquatters make profit from their domain names:
- Generating advertising click on home or parked pages (single page websites),
- Selling that domains names at a significant premium to those interested in buying them.
While some cybersquatters have made large profits by selling high interest domain names, others have been forced to give up domains to the rightful owners. Cybersquatting is against the US federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and if in case this happens to you, you should file a Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution (UDRP). The ACPA (Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act) was passed in 1999, which gives owners of registered names or trademarked legal rights to a related domain name. In common terms, the law states that users cannot register a domain name that is the similar to the name of a known entity. This prevents cyber squatters from blackmailing or extorting money from businesses or individuals by obtaining a specific domain name.
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