Domain Name Conflicts: Suing ICANN, Cybersquatting Anti-Domains

from the domain-name-confusion dept

Two different stories about conflicts in the domain naming world, both of which illustrate what a mess this system still is. First, a Canadian registrar, is suing ICANN for monopolistic practices. ICANN, of course, is the super-secret US organization that is charged with managing the domain name system, but which many people have had problems with. They’re specifically angry about ICANN’s decision to give their friends at Network Solutions exclusive control over expired domains. It used to be that any registrar could sell expired domains – but recently ICANN decided that Network Solutions should get control of all expired domains to auction off. Meanwhile, also up in Canada, we find one of the odder domain-name cybersquatting cases to show up in a while. Normally, it’s protest groups that are accused of cybersquatting on domains that are similar to the domain name of whoever they’re protesting. However, what happens when that goes in reverse? A group that is protesting Vancouver’s bid for the 2010 Olympics is accusing the Olympic Bid Corporation of cybersquatting by registering (the protesting group owns the .org domain). As the protesters point out, the company has no intent to actually use the name – which is often the main basis for determining a cybersquatting claim. This makes me wonder if others can do the same thing. There have been stories about how companies are registering their own “” domains. Can a group protesting the practices of those companies accuse them of cybersquatting in reverse? For example, a few years ago Verizon was quick to register to keep it from getting into hands of angry customers, who eventually registered Could the VerizonReallySucks people sue Verizon for cybersquatting on a domain people might think would belong to them?

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