[thelist] registering a .net when .com is held

Dave Land land at aol.com
Mon Dec 20 17:07:05 CST 2010


On Dec 20, 2010, at 11:29 AM, Bob Meetin wrote:

> Nan Harbison wrote:
>> Isn't it more about who was there first and can prove it?
>> I did a website called, say, websiteinc.com because a guy in  
>> Florida is
>> sitting on website.com. He briefly started a website with a similar  
>> business
>> model, although he specialized in a different clientele. He used  
>> the same
>> font we were using though. My client looked into suing him,  
>> although didn't
>> pursue it. Her lawyer might have tried threatening him. I think  
>> since we
>> came first, we had some basis to sue him. He eventually gave up the  
>> site,
>> and is just sitting on the domain name. He would sell it for a lot  
>> of money
>> of course, which my client didn't have.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org
>> [mailto:thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org] On Behalf Of Jeff Schweibing
>> Sent: Monday, December 20, 2010 1:22 PM
>> To: bobm at dottedi.biz; thelist at lists.evolt.org
>> Subject: Re: [thelist] registering a .net when .com is held
>> On Mon, 20 Dec 2010 11:14:56 -0700, Bob Meetin <bobm at dottedi.biz>   
>> wrote:
>>> I understand that perhaps no one on this list can give legal advice,
>> You don't even need that advice.
>>> Is there any cause for
>>> concern?
>> Of course! Even if they legally have no real right to sue you,  
>> nothing  stops them for anyone suing you and causing you big legal  
>> fees and big  headaches etc. And they know that.
>> Jeff
> Silly me.  Of course anyone can file a lawsuit for just about  
> anything.  Was the coffee too hot?  Let's have your attorney talk to  
> mine...
> But in spirit of the question, what Nan says is what it is.  We're  
> talking about squatter's rights.  So someone has been camping on a  
> domain for years with perhaps no intent other than to sell it given  
> the opportunity.  Does that give them the 'right'?  Or just to be  
> safe is there a site, government website perhaps, where we can do a  
> lookup to see if there is a legitimate business lurking in the  
> background?

I don't know of a government web site that would give you that  
information: The Internet is famously unregulated (just look at the  
trouble that's happening tomorrow in Washington over net neutrality  
for all the proof you need of that), so I doubt that there is a  
government site that would have anything like a registry of domains  
mapped back to their underlying business entities.

What you might want to do to see if the site has been in active use  
for a "real" business is to check out the history of the site on web.archive.org 
. If it's been in use for a real site, you'll be able to tell quickly,  
as the revisions of the page over time reflect its maintenance.

To see what a truly long-held "squatted" domain looks like, check out  
the history of land.com (http://web.archive.org/web/*/http:// 
land.com/). Since at least 2005, it's been nothing but a series of  
typical domain-squatter pages. Before that (not shown on archive.org),  
it was held without a web site attached. It appears to have been  
registered since at least 1993, and never once used for an actual web  
site. Because of my last name, I've had an eye on that domain since  
the mid-1990s, but someone else has had a long dream of getting rich  
off that domain and it hasn't paid off yet.


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