Have you ever Been Cybersquatted?

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When I went to register Lockergnome years ago using GoDaddy, I was worried someone else would get it. There are people out there who purchase domain names that they feel will be a hot commodity, and then sit on them… or sell them for high amounts of money. This is called Cybersquatting. What is Cybersquatting, you ask? Cybersquatting is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. The cybersquatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price.

The term is derived from “squatting,” which is the act of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied space or building that the squatter does not own, rent or otherwise have permission to use. Cybersquatting however, is a bit different in that the domain names that are being “squatted” are (sometimes but not always) being paid for through the registration process by the Cybersquatters. Cybersquatters usually ask for prices far greater than that at which they purchased it. Some cybersquatters put up derogatory remarks about the person or company the domain is meant to represent in an effort to encourage the subject to buy the domain from them. Others post paid links via Google, Yahoo, Ask.com and other paid advertising networks to the actual site that the user likely wanted, thus monetizing their squatting. As with many controversial issues, some argue that the dividing line of cybersquatting is difficult to draw, or that the practice is consistent with a capitalistic and free market ethos.

When was the last time you tried to look up a website to see if it’s available? Some people swear that if you do these lookups using a service like GoDaddy, a Cybersquatter will zap up the domain you want. Why don’t you just open a browser, and type in the URL of the site you’re thinking of buying? If you go to a website, you know it’s already taken. If it takes you nowhere… you know it should be available for you to buy!


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35 thoughts on “Have you ever Been Cybersquatted?”

  1. I’ve heard that the internet is getting over populated… Supposedly it’s supposed to almost crash by 2020…

    I’m guessing cyber-squatting isn’t good for that

  2. W00t, I’m a cybersquatter…. wait, that’s a bad thing. If only 1and1 made it get rid of domain names =/ I have to call them to get it deleted (I got it for fun, and no longer want it).

  3. for your last video. i know you would come back. DUH!!! The f***ing video was posted on 1st of April. guess what “happy April fool’s!!”.

  4. WTF are you talking about? I live in Japan and they don’t do that at all. All ads show URL’s in them.

    A lot of ads use the Qcode (mobile phone barcodes) for mobile users but you are totally off base.

  5. The April Fools video was weak. I’ll be honest. You had me going for about 15 seconds while the page was loading but then I remembered it was April 1st. I was almost on the floor laughing when you started dancing. I even replayed the video and tried to copy your moves. lol

  6. chris ar you really qwiting your live stream
    because ive hears rumers about it was a april fools joke.
    i thoght that at first but then u started danceing lol
    jest pleas comment back and say if it was a joke or not

  7. this one isn’t a joke i dont see how people find it weird too… its annoying when people use domain names just for advertising.

  8. My font site foxyfonts dot com was swiped from under my nose! I accidentally let the registration lapse (missed the godaddy email among all their other junkmail offers) – by the time I realised, they had moved the URL into some kind of “quarantine” and I could not reapply for 60 days. When I did, I found some other guy had snapped it up before me. VERY annoying.

    Phil Campbell

  9. True, however it is possible for a cybersquatter to register a domain but not link it to a webserver. In that case, your browser would show nothing, yet the domain would still be unavailable. At this point, it would be a good idea to right out attempt to purchase the domain as compared to just doing a whois on it and thinking you can buy it later.

    However, I’m still not convinced that cybersquatters sit around all day snooping in on 3rd party whois lookups, though by all means it would be possible since most of these services run unencrypted over the wire.

  10. I just got back my domain from cyber squatters. They had it for six years and wanted $300+ dollars for scottwhitten.com. I used to email them every week and offer $1,000,000 just to piss them off. They got it when it had only been up for renewal for 2 days. I will never miss a renewal again!!! What a bunch of low lifes.

  11. Regarding article on Cybersquatting. If, as you report
    “Some people swear that if you do these lookups using a service like GoDaddy, a Cybersquatter will zap up the domain you want.” why don’t you suggest to all and sundry to log onto GoDaddy and start typing in ramdom silly website address and if a Cybersquatter zapps up the name isn’t this going to cost him/her money! Like a whole lot of money!!! If there is any truth in the rumour then cybersquatters will have to be more careful who/how they try to screw.

  12. I haven’t been cybersquatted but other people have made a .net after I have made the .com and make it their own site, not selling it.

    I once used SEDO to try and sell a domain, the domain was about to expire, a person put $120 down, they didn’t pay me, I think that they were waiting for it to expire so I just renewed it.

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