Domain squatting refers to the practice of registering such domains which rhyme with popular websites. For instance, if you register a domain such as dacebook.com, you are essentially domain squatting. Facebook had filed a case against some 100 or so domains, charging them with domain squatting. The social network has won the case recently.
Domain squatting had been deemed illegal by the U.S. Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, which was passed in 1999. It is considered a form of trademark infringement. When people mistype the original website, they may land on any of these websites. Domain squatters essentially try to cash in on this audience and make money by pushing ads to them.
When Facebook launched the case at the U.S. District Court for Northern California against 100 domains which rhymed with Facebook or were closely spelled, none of them came forth to contest the case. As a result, the court has now ruled in favor of Facebook and has also awarded the search giant a a sum of $3 million in statutory damages.
In the past, similar victories have been landed by other tech giants such as Google and Yahoo. Commenting on the decision by the court, Facebook’s associate general counsel, Craig Clark stated, “We are pleased with the court’s recommendation. We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to enforce against those who attempt to take advantage of the people who use our service.”
Courtesy: Business Week