Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    September 25th, 2006
    Posts
    71
    Coalition Against Cybersquatters
    Saw this in Forbes today... thought it might be interesting for some:

    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/...ap3957345.html

  2. #2
    I like traffic lights
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Southern hemisphere - away from Fukushima
    Posts
    2,936
    Big on numbers, short on facts, it appears.

  3. #3
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
    Join Date
    June 18th, 2006
    Location
    The Call is coming from Inside the House!
    Posts
    1,332
    This cybersquatting is spilling over to blogs. Check out this profile on blogspot:

    http://www.blogger.com/profile/12179241787819445115

    cocacola.blogspot.com with no content?
    drugs.blogspt.com same?
    wine.blogpsot.com ?

    Annoying. I wish free web hosting portals would look into this more. This will be more annoying than cybersquatters as this costs nothing to do.

  4. #4
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    So Dell installs an app on its computers that takes typos of domains and monetizes them through displayed Google ads -and- they complain to law makers that cyber squatters who buy domain name typos ought to be stopped?

    While i'm against both practices, Dell seems to be talking out their arse here.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    "cocacola.blogspot.com with no content?
    drugs.blogspt.com same?
    wine.blogpsot.com ?"

    I don't consider that cybersquatting. Those are just subdomains of blogger and a lot of those are general terms, drugs, wine, buy, australia, sell, shoes, bank etc. Those are fine. That would be like saying, yoursite.com/merchantname or TM is cyber squatting.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 24th, 2007
    Location
    Lima OH
    Posts
    753
    While more should be done to protect consumers against fraud (which I believe should be better education along with a more proactive fight against phishing scams), I should be able to buy any domain name I want. Under the proposed changes, would I be able to run a site called PayPalSucks (I have no affiliation with any variations or tld's of this domain concept...)?

    I'm not even opposed to buying misspelled domains and throwing up ads / content. Decent money can be made that way, though it's not a practice I engage in personally. Why shouldn't I be able to run a site at del.com (which is already owned by Dell) or something similar? As long as I'm not violating an affiliate TOS or any laws, such practices lie well within the realm of ethical marketing (IMHO).

    I hope that government takes this opportunity to focus on the real threats, and not the ones that are just driving profits away from big companies.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    September 25th, 2006
    Posts
    71
    From the Big Brand's point of view, I don't think running a del.com website is a problem in and of itself, especially if you are using the domain to sell used cars or post pictures of the family cat. But when you set that page up and optimize it for the brand name "Dell" with adsense and affiliate links, or simply redirect it through an affiliate link, then I think you've waded into murky waters.

    A lawyer friend of mine who is pretty familiar with TM law tells me that "If your last name was MacDonald, you'd have a hard time opening a Hamburger joint."

    Also, a lot of domainers take that attitude of "let me earn money on this domain by linking it to your site or I'll just switch the links out to your competitor's." Which is a less than savory tactic in my book.

  8. #8
    I like traffic lights
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Southern hemisphere - away from Fukushima
    Posts
    2,936
    There is a lot of TM over-reaching going on in the domain space.

  9. #9
    CPA Network Rep
    Join Date
    July 25th, 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    278
    I'm with you Donuts. Both methods are shady.

    I understand it would be VERY tempting to profit from another spelling of a popular brand though. So I can't really judge that harshly.

    But as someone who's been on the merchant side of things, particularly as an entrepreneur and not a mega corporation, it just seems wrong to capitalize on something someone else has worked so hard to make valuable. Once you've spent years building a brand and a URL it really hurts and frustrates when someone comes along and basically tries to steal your traffic.

    I think part of what happens is that some of these companies are so huge and impersonal that it's easy to rationalize treating them less-than-fairly. I certainly have my anti-corporate days!

  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 24th, 2007
    Location
    Lima OH
    Posts
    753
    It's one thing to register a domain like del.com and put up a site that deceptively mirrors Dell. But it's quite another to recognize a business opportunity and take advantage of it.

    I don't know. I go back and forth on this, but the beauty of the internet has always been that the little guy can go head-to-head with the big guy. I'm not sure I believe that McDonalds has a legal right to mcdonalds.com. Why them over someone with the last name of McDonald?

    But the issue at hand, I'm not sure I find registering a domain such as del.com as unethical. That is, as long as it is clear that the site hosted on that domain will not cause confusion with being the Dell website. I'm not a lawyer, but it seems that trademarks are meant to protect an image - the intellectual property of the company that holds the trademark. So if I run del.com, and my site is an affiliate list of several technology companys (dell, hp, newegg, etc.), how can that be seen as being deceptive?

    When Wal-Mart was first gaining steam, it seemed that part of their strategy was to locate every K-Mart and build a shop right across the street. Is it unethical to steer misguided traffic into your shop and monetize that traffic? I'm unconvinced.

    But please take this in stride. There's a difference between monetizing mistyped traffic, and setting up deceptive phishing schemes and what-not. I'm just unconvinced that it's unethical to purchase misspellings of common domain names and then try to monetize that traffic. That said, I'm not a domaineer. I keep myself busy doing too many other things to get into domain speculation. But I don't think I'm opposed to the practice in principle.
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    September 25th, 2006
    Posts
    71
    Quote Originally Posted by cbsturg
    So if I run del.com, and my site is an affiliate list of several technology companys (dell, hp, newegg, etc.), how can that be seen as being deceptive?

    When Wal-Mart was first gaining steam, it seemed that part of their strategy was to locate every K-Mart and build a shop right across the street. Is it unethical to steer misguided traffic into your shop and monetize that traffic? I'm unconvinced.
    Here's a little story I thought of. Maybe it's entirely irrelevant, but just for grins:

    Let's say I make a deal with a Kmart Brick and mortar store to send them shoppers. For every shopper I send them with my flyer in their hand I get a little finder's fee. Pretty soon that store starts seeing a lot of shoppers coming in with my flyer (it's neon pink -- very easy to see), but they don't see their weekly sales increasing as much as all these new shoppers would suggest. When they start looking into my methods, they find that I've purchased the two adjoining roadside parcels of land to their store, and built my own access roads to their parking lot with big red-white-&-blue signs that read "Kmar" and "Kmartt" respectively. I stop every car that comes through my access roads (mostly people with bad eye-sight or who missed their turn) and hand them my flyer and send them on their way.

    I don't know why, but Kmart gets angry. I try to explain that I'm helping customers with bad eye-site, or people who miss the turn to get to their store, and that I'm even planning on building another access road on the other side of the street with an over pass to their lot for the 1/2 blind, mis-directed customers driving the other way. This will put them at a marked advantage to Ames and Target, who each only have one entrance to their lot. But Kmart doesn't see my vision and they end our agreement.

    Now I paid good money for those parcels of land and I need to cover my investment, so I offer to sell my access roads to Kmart for a fair increase over what I paid (after all I did develop the land with road and signage). Well, they didn't go for it, so the only thing left for me to do is to re-rout the road to somewhere else. I figure people on my road to Kmart would probably be just as happy to be on their way to Target or Ames so I just connect the flyer roads to their parking lots (who are only too happy to have the additional customers). And now Kmart is livid. They yell at me and tell me to take down my signs, but I like those signs and besides, if they weren't there people might turn in my roads looking for the express way or a movie theater. So I'll just keep on keeping on, cause this is my land that I bought, and I should be allowed to monetize my investment.

  12. #12
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 24th, 2007
    Location
    Lima OH
    Posts
    753
    I enjoyed the story, but I remain unconvinced that kmartt.com is fundamentally the same as putting up a neon sign that mirrors Kmart's trademarked logo with the exception of the extra 't'. With the internet, how far should it go? Is Kaymart.com infringement? What of KeighMart.com? In either case, a B&M store that had the familiar K with these misspellings would surely be cause for legal action. Correct?

    Again, I think the issue comes down to what the site looks like. If the site is built so as to confuse the user into thinking they're at kmart.com, I take exception. But what if I have a company called "Del Lumber Yard" selling, you guessed it, 2x4's. I go and buy up del.com for my corporate website. Coming to my website, you are quite convinced that I am not selling the electronics you are looking for. Have I infringed on dell.com's trademark?

    Now, let's say I have a business called "Del Comparison Shopping". My company researches the different prices and offerings of electronics companies. I buy del.com as my webfront, where I compare, among other things, Dell's prices to HP, Gateway, etc. Have I infringed on Dell's trademarks? Would anyone confuse my company with Dell's? Does the presence of my website cause deterioration to Dell's image? Are those not the two key issues with trademark infringement?

    I remain unconvinced.

    As as side note, having lived in Chile for two years, I did see my fair share of fias, nice (shoes, instead of Nike), etc. My little brother is named Michael, and the day I saw some shoes mislabeled "Mike" with the familiar swoosh, I couldn't resist buying them...
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    September 25th, 2006
    Posts
    71
    http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metasch...omain/tm.htm#7

    According to Harvard Law in a claim of TM dilution "unlike an infringement claim, likelihood of confusion is not necessary. Blurring occurs when the power of the mark is weakened through its identification with dissimilar goods."

    In this case, though, the mark must be famous according to the court.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    July 12th, 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    59
    This is not just a little guy versus giant corporation issue. My humble site is directly affected. I'm sure that lots of us are. Should it be legal for others to buy misspellings of my URL? Sure. Do I find their "ingenuity" to be ethical or helpful to my customers? Not a chance. Personally, I will never entertain this method of grabbing traffic. We've worked so hard to build a solid brand, we truly care about our readers, and many of our readers found us through word of mouth. This means that some folks who have heard of us from friends are probably misspelling our URL on their first visit, seeing a cruddy cyberquatter site, and immediately writing off our brand forever. THAT kills me. I don't care too much about someone making a few bucks here or there from traffic intended for my site, but when someone hurts MY reputation w/ a would-be new reader...oh, the humanity.

    The phishing scam people are another thing entirely and should enjoy the pleasure of a nice smiting.

    We live, we learn, and the next time around - we buy a heck of a lot more URLs.
    -Sharon

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 24th, 2007
    Location
    Lima OH
    Posts
    753
    Blurring occurs when the power of the mark is weakened through its identification with dissimilar goods
    I'm fine with this. But if you own del.com, and compare Dell with HP, Gateway, etc., you aren't identifying it with dissimilar goods. So where's the trademark infringement?
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

  16. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Bay Area Affiliate Managers Coalition Luncheons
    By TrishaLyn in forum Events and Gatherings
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: November 4th, 2008, 02:41 PM
  2. United States Affiliate Manager Coalition
    By JAYMEDINC in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: March 8th, 2008, 01:41 AM
  3. Dell Sues Cybersquatters (Was: Linkshare?)
    By admad1 in forum Rakuten LinkShare - LS
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: January 16th, 2007, 12:26 PM
  4. Anyone have comments on Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC)
    By ecomcity in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: August 19th, 2005, 12:53 PM
  5. Coalition Forms To Protect Cookies
    By mobilebadboy in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: May 1st, 2005, 04:17 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •