Feb182008

I pity the fool!Although the quality of domain related press coverage is getting better, there are still many journalists who mistakenly report that anyone who owns more than one domain name or an undeveloped name is a cybersquatter. To counter this misconception, I would like to offer a brief definition of cybersquatting and then a simple comparison between domains and gold. First, what is cybersquatting?

Cybersquatting is defined as registering a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a TRADEMARK belonging to someone else.

A person who registers NewYorkYankees.com, and has no affiliation with the New York Yankees, would be considered a cybersquatter because they would profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. A person who registers Baseball.com would not be considered a cybersquatter (even if they do not develop the name) because the term is generic.

Another misconception occurs when someone is mistakenly labeled a squatter because they own multiple domains or domain names that are undeveloped. The term squatter is derived from “squatting,” which is the act of occupying something that the squatter does not have permission to use. After paying the registration fee, a domain owner is given permission by the registry to use the name that they registered, so by definition they are not squatting.

I wonder if any of these misconceptions would exist if they were applied to another item such as gold:
Should you only be allowed one piece of gold?
If you do not develop your gold into something useful like a necklace or watch, should you not be able to keep it?
If you have more than one piece of gold, are you a gold squatter?

By the way, if you answered yes to any of these three questions then you must also believe that Mr. T is a goldsquatter, and I pity the fool who thinks that. 😯

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