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  1. #1
    Senior Member AK Web Design's Avatar
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    With GoDaddy advertising .co domain names, I was thinking about buying domain names of companies and hopefully getting offers to sell them eventually. For example, say I bought Disney.co(not available, but just using it as an example), do you guys think Disney company would make an offer for it eventually? What's the legality of this? Is this a dumb plan? Am I dumb?
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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I'm not a lawyer, but this is an area I've had to stick my nose into on more than one occasion.

    First off, what you're referring to is called domain cybersquatting. It's registering a domain name for the sole purpose of selling it or using it in some other form or fashion to play off company branding.

    As far as legal ramifications go, the legality of the situation depends on your jurisdiction. In your case, you're in Jersey, which means cybersquatting is illegal and has been for about 12 years now. The problem is that the law is so obscure almost no one knows it exists, so a lot of these underwear millionaires are going around buying/selling domain names with little to no idea that they're breaking the law because there are a lot of companies out there that are foolish enough to pay exorbitant fees to (re)acquire what should have been theirs to begin with.

    You might be able to get away with something like this if the company is mid-sized and growing, but if you were going to take on say a Disney or a Coke or a Google, you're going to be taking on a team of lawyers who are usually very well-versed in this sort of thing. If you're lucky, they file a bad faith domain registration dispute with ICANN, you turn it over, and you lose the cost of the registration.

    In Canada, there's actually a governing body called CIRA that takes care of a lot of this sort of thing, and if you file a complaint with those guys, they do not mess around. They will do anything to ensure that domainers don't get their hands on .CA domain names. The good news for legitimate business owners is it usually only takes a couple of emails to the "owner" saying, "hey, idiot, we know the scam, we're not paying that ridiculous fee, now surrender it or face the legal consequences".

    So to answer your question, you're not dumb...just your idea.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member LeenkzMike's Avatar
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    Yeah, bad idea written all over that!

    On the other hand, I personally have had some success at buying interesting marketable domains, and offering them to companies in need of domains for new ventures. And your not breaking rules. This technique works particularly well in the adult site side of the web.

    Yes there is money to be made in this field, just dont go buying something that already belongs to someone else, or your asking for big trouble.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member AK Web Design's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information.

    Does the law you referred me to also cover buying those domains and having them redirect to my site? Would that even be worth it? I'm more interested in know the answer to this one than I am of actually doing it.
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  6. #5
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    Not really sure. Again, I'm not a lawyer. But the way I've always interpreted it is "if you have a legitimate business interest that doesn't impede on someone else's intellectual property, go ahead and regsiter it. If that's not the case, don't."
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

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  7. #6
    WDF Staff RickM's Avatar
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    Put it this way: If you buy a domain which is the name of another company, with the intention to sell it to them, or draw customers to a competitor then you are heading for BIG trouble.


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