Speculation vs Cybersquatting
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Speculation vs CybersquattingDomain names are reserved on a "first come, first served" basis, registrars make no attempt to determine whether the domain name is one that "rightfully" ought to go to someone else.
Disputes about who should own a domain name, are resolved after the fact - either in the courts, by private agreement between the parties, or by the dispute resolution policies of the registrars or ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
So therefore, an enterprising (or devious, depending on your point of view) individual or company can register a name that they have no "rightful" claim to. This is called Cybersquatting, and the idea is that they will sell it on to the "rightful" owner, who may find it cheaper to pay up rather than take legal or other measures...
Of course, sometimes this backfires though, and the entrepreneur/cybersquatter ends up getting dragged through the courts (or at least facing legal threats) for trademark infringement.
Sometimes you'll see headlines like this:
Cybersquatting is Bad
My advice: don't cybersquat.
It ain't worth the risk! Sooner or later, you could up facing legal action!
I'd suggest you forget any ideas that you had about using other people's trademarks or business names to make money. It's basic business ethics (not to mention good sense) that you don't steal other people's intellectual property rights.
(Of course in the real world, things are not always so simple - what if two companies or people both have good claims to be the "rightful" owner of a particular domain name?)
But Speculation is Good
For anything that there is a limited supply of - whether it's stocks, gold, barrels of oil, pork bellies, or for that matter good quality domain names - there will be a market in it.
A free market is the engine of a successful economy.
So people buying domain names because they expect their value to go up - is just like any other form of speculation or investment - a basic (and desirable) aspect of the capitalist system. There's absolutely no guarantee that any of these speculators will make money, but there's no reason that they shouldn't try if they want to.
Some parts of the press (often in the same section of the paper as stock & commodity speculation - they don't see the irony), frequently wrongly classify all forms of speculation as cybersquatting. This is just plain WRONG!
Provided a domain registrant is not stepping on somebody else's rights (cybersquatting) - there's nothing wrong with speculation. In fact, given that our economic system encourages, and to some extent depends on speculation, one might go so far as to say: Speculation is Good.
The information in this article is the author's opinions only, based on personal views. The author is not an attorney, and the information is not intended to serve as legal or professional advice. Readers are strongly advised to consult with an attorney should they need advice or other information, on domain name or other intellectual property matters.
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