Domainers Lose Big Time In Verizon Cybersquatting Lawsuit

from the poor-domainers dept

Eric Goldman has the details on a lawsuit that should make various typosquatting "domainers" (those who register tons of domain names on typos or other variations of a brand name) a bit nervous. The court came down hard on domaining in general, and domain "tasting" more specifically. The domainer in question tried to get around the law by claiming that by just "tasting" the domain (i.e., holding onto it for the 5 day grace period before you have to pay for it), they weren't running afoul of laws concerning registering someone else's trademarked names.

What's odd, though, and Goldman doesn't seem to understand it either, is that it wasn't just the domainer who got slammed, but the registrar through which the domainer registered the domains. That seems questionable, as the registrar should just be a third party service provider, and protected from any liability from the actions of the user.

Filed Under: domain names, domain tasting, domainers, trademark


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  • identicon
    Freedom, 4 Aug 2008 @ 11:36pm

    5 Day Period is a Joke...

    The 5 day tasting period is a joke - buy the domain and pay up.

    This is a pure mis-use of technology to get around the rules and avoid having to pay for the domain.

    I suspect the registar was slapped as well since they probably had more than just an indirect service relationship (speculation here).

    Accept for some of the gray area on this, the overall ruling is a nice surprise.

    Freedom

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      User Prime, 5 Aug 2008 @ 12:08am

      Re: 5 Day Period is a Joke...

      Except for accepting "accept" for "except", I absolutely agree.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Freedom, 5 Aug 2008 @ 9:38am

        Re: Re: 5 Day Period is a Joke...

        >> Except for accepting "accept" for "except", I absolutely agree.

        Point taken :)

        (There is a reason I married an English Major - she's really hot - LOL!)

        Cheers,
        Freedom

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Todd Loren Sinclair, 5 Aug 2008 @ 3:03am

    I don't get it ... ?

    While I think the practice of "tasting" a domain is awful and a scam ... it seems to me the registrar is the one allowing it ... That's who needs to put a stop to it.

    You would think they would want to since it earns them nothing when most tasted domains aren't bought.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ferin (profile), 5 Aug 2008 @ 5:04am

    Conpirator

    I could see hitting the registrar if the judge felt there was sufficient evidence that they knew what he was doing was in bad faith and continued to let him do it. At that point I think you might consider them facilitating him a bit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Christopher Shaw, 5 Aug 2008 @ 5:05am

    I prefer Bob Parsons' name for

    He calls it "domain kiting", and I am more inclined to agree with his sentiments.

    I have heard than ICANN is going to stop refunding the additional 20 cent fee charged when registering a domain when it is released during the grace period. This will go a long way towards stopping this practice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Daniel, 5 Aug 2008 @ 11:21am

    unfortunately registrars are shady too

    The registrars are in on it too. There's a guy out of Oregon (may be wrong on the location) who has 30 some odd registrars and uses them to do this en-mass... it's ridiculous.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John (profile), 5 Aug 2008 @ 12:32pm

    Never understood tasting

    I've never understood why any registrar would offer "tasting". Right now, godaddy is offering registration services "$9.99 per year and lower". Granted, there's probably some fine print to get this rate, but is this really so expensive to some people that they need to "taste" a domain for 5 days to see if it's worth it? What the ****?

    And how much "tasting" can someone really do in 5 days? None at all... unless the domain is loaded with a pre-made website full of links, spam, and click-throughs. But, still, $9.99 a year. Just pay up already.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2008 @ 4:35pm

    "but is this really so expensive to some people that they need to "taste" a domain for 5 days to see if it's worth it? What the ****?"

    They can make ad money off the domain for the 5 days they keep it and then drop it if it doesn't produce the way they like.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Vikki, 6 Aug 2008 @ 6:11am

    $9.99 soon adds up if you are buying thousands of domains, which some cos. do using computer programs - so yes, they can save themselves a pile of dough if they dump the names that don't perform and keep only the profitable ones. BTW you can get a 20% reduction at Godaddy if you use the code hash3

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Patrick McDermott, 21 Aug 2008 @ 10:22am

    Bad and Unfair Headline

    "Domainers Lose Big Time In Verizon Cybersquatting Lawsuit"

    The headline should have read:
    Cybersquatters Lose Big Time In Verizon Cybersquatting Lawsuit

    Lunping all domainers with cybersquatters is misleading and just plain wrong.

    Patrick

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Patrick McDermott, 21 Aug 2008 @ 10:48am

    "it seems to me the registrar is the one allowing it ... That's who needs to put a stop to it.

    You would think they would want to since it earns them nothing when most tasted domains aren't bought."

    The big time domain tasters OWN their own Registrar(s).

    Even if they didn't ,a Registrar would profit because the taster is tasting thousands of domains and will keep some.
    --

    "He calls it "domain kiting", and I am more inclined to agree with his sentiments."

    Kiting and Tasting are related but different.

    Kiting is tasting the domain. Dropping it. And tasting it again. If this is done over and over the Taster earns income
    on those domains without ever actually paying for them.

    Although the domains may only earn a penny or a few, so many domains are tasted that the income adds up- many thousands of $ a day is possible. Even 5 figures is possible.
    ----

    "And how much "tasting" can someone really do in 5 days? None at all... unless the domain is loaded with a pre-made website full of links, spam, and click-throughs. But, still, $9.99 a year. Just pay up already."

    Tasters use automated software and relationships with Registrars (usually their own)to grab expired domains the moment they are released.

    Tasters can do a whole lot of tasting. Thousands and thousands.

    The Parking pages with clickable ads that are generated for the domains are done so automatically based on the keywords in the domain.

    But it doesn't always work properly.

    That's why you'll often come across a Parked page that has ads that have no real relationship with the domain name.

    The keywords could be tweaked but that's not what the Taster's do as it's too time consuming.

    The Taster's are strictly looking for domains that get natural type in traffic.

    The object is to find domains that will at least earn more than the renewal fee.

    Those domains are kept.

    By the way, Taster's do not pay regular retail or even discounted domain registration fees.

    They pay the exact wholesale cost of $6.50 plus 20 cent ICANN fee since they operate their own Registrars.

    Patrick

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Patrick McDermott, 21 Aug 2008 @ 10:48am

    "it seems to me the registrar is the one allowing it ... That's who needs to put a stop to it.

    You would think they would want to since it earns them nothing when most tasted domains aren't bought."

    The big time domain tasters OWN their own Registrar(s).

    Even if they didn't ,a Registrar would profit because the taster is tasting thousands of domains and will keep some.
    --

    "He calls it "domain kiting", and I am more inclined to agree with his sentiments."

    Kiting and Tasting are related but different.

    Kiting is tasting the domain. Dropping it. And tasting it again. If this is done over and over the Taster earns income
    on those domains without ever actually paying for them.

    Although the domains may only earn a penny or a few, so many domains are tasted that the income adds up- many thousands of $ a day is possible. Even 5 figures is possible.
    ----

    "And how much "tasting" can someone really do in 5 days? None at all... unless the domain is loaded with a pre-made website full of links, spam, and click-throughs. But, still, $9.99 a year. Just pay up already."

    Tasters use automated software and relationships with Registrars (usually their own)to grab expired domains the moment they are released.

    Tasters can do a whole lot of tasting. Thousands and thousands.

    The Parking pages with clickable ads that are generated for the domains are done so automatically based on the keywords in the domain.

    But it doesn't always work properly.

    That's why you'll often come across a Parked page that has ads that have no real relationship with the domain name.

    The keywords could be tweaked but that's not what the Taster's do as it's too time consuming.

    The Taster's are strictly looking for domains that get natural type in traffic.

    The object is to find domains that will at least earn more than the renewal fee.

    Those domains are kept.

    By the way, Taster's do not pay regular retail or even discounted domain registration fees.

    They pay the exact wholesale cost of $6.50 plus 20 cent ICANN fee since they operate their own Registrars.

    Patrick

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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