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By:Vinod Prajapat (63) +919823824669
Date : 17-09-2009
Typosquatting, also called URL hijacking, is a form of cybersquatting which relies on mistakes such as typographical errors made by Internet users when inputting a website address into a web browser. Should a user accidentally enter an incorrect website address, they may be led to an alternative website
The typosquatter's URL will usually be one of four kinds, all similar to the victim site address: (In the following, the intended website is "example.com") • A common misspelling, or foreign language spelling, of the intended site: exemple.com • A misspelling based on typing errors: xample.com or examlpe.com • A differently phrased domain name: examples.com
Once in the typosquatter's site, the user may also be tricked into thinking that they are in fact in the real site; through the use of copied or similar logos, website layouts or content. Sometimes competitors of the victim site will do this. Alternatively, the user will be forwarded to a site of a completely different nature from what they intended. This tactic was infamously used by John Zuccarini, who redirected domains targeting children to pornographic websites. Sometimes, the typosquatters will use the false addresses to distribute viruses, adware, spyware or other malware.
1. A victim website should send a cease and desist letter to the offender at first, in an attempt to quell the activity. 2. Another option would be to try to purchase the website address from the typosquatter, which could have been the typosquatter's aim all along. Occasionally, lawsuits are taken against the offending site or
3. A company may try to preempt typosquatting by obtaining a number of websites with common misspellings and redirect them to the main, correctly spelled website. For example www.gooogle.com, www.goolge.com, www.gogle.com, www.gewgle.com, and others, all redirect to www.google.com.
Many site operators have resorted to registration of long lists of seeminglyduplicate names across multiple countries and top-level domains; for instance, amazon.com is duplicated across most country code TLD's And a local version of Google exists in nearly every available inhabited region, including a nominally-localised google.pn for the Pitcairn Islands, population 56. Google's domain name is also registered (but inactive) in uninhabited
• A growing trend is the increasingly common use of "derogatory" defensive registration. These are names such as <companyname>sucks.com or <companyname>lawsuit.com which are of no commercial value but are potentially of use to builders of consumer-complaint sites. By registering the names themselves, corporations keep them out of the hands of potential critics and
Typosquatting and the law
• In the US, 1999 Anti-Cybersquatting Protection Act (ACPA) contains a clause (Section 3(a), amending 15 USC 1117 to include sub-section (d)(2)(B)(ii)) aimed at combatting typosquatting. • USA: Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”) of 1999 allows trademark owners to obtain damages and injunctive relief in federal court when a third party with a “bad faith intent to profit . . registers or uses a domain name” that isidentical or
• No anti-cybersquatting laws in Europe • India - TRIPS, Art. 16(2) and 16(3) Extends the protection to services, as well as to dissimilar goods and services
(Unified Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) • In 1998, WIPO established its First Internet
Domain Name Process to develop recommendations for the international community concerning issues with Internet domain names, including domain name dispute resolution
• Adopted by ICANN in 1999 • A mandatory administrative dispute resolution procedure, which is uniform across all open general top-level domains • Highly time- and cost effective when compared to court litigation
• Disputes are decided by independent panelists • A complainant must demonstrate that the disputed domain is identical with or confusingly similar to its trademark, that the respondent does not have a right or legitimate interest in the domain name and that the respondent registered and used the domain name in bad faith. • The sole remedy is the transfer of the domain name
• Wikipedia is a victim of typosquatting: en.wiipedia.org, en.wikpedia.org, www.eikipedia.org, www.wilipedia.org, en.wikipedi.org, en.wikipediia.org, www.wikipedi.com and www.wikipaedia.org as of 2007, are all websites which contain pop-up ads, spyware/adware downloads, and adgenerating search engines. Google's anti-typosquatting defense is incomplete; as of April 2006, "http://www.goggle.com" redirects to a rogue software vendor (particularly SpySheriff) rather than to Google. The site attempts to spam users with popups and also used to download Spysheriff without any further user action. The US White House site "whitehouse.gov" is parodied at whitehouse.org; whitehouse.com at one point was the site of a notorious pornographic magazine.
Verizon Communications 15th Dec2008
• Verizon Communications won a $31.15 million judgment against internet registrar OnlineNIC. Microsoft and Yahoo are also pursuing cases against the company. In Verizon's case, the company brought suit charging that OnlineNIC registered approximately 663 domain names either matching or similar to Verizon trademarks – including Verizon-cellular[dot]com and Buyverizon[dot]net.
In court papers, Verizon claimed that OnlineNIC registered more than 900,000 domain names that were close to some of the globe's largest companies, including Google, Adidas, MySpace, Wal-Mart and Yahoo. OnlineNIC used an automated process to enable cybersquatters to register the URLs using “numerous means to conceal its true identity,” Verizon's suit
• According to the default judgment issued Dec. 19 by Judge Jeremy Fogel in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, OnlineNIC must now pay Verizon $31.15 million. The company also was ordered to transfer the domain names under dispute to Verizon, and may no longer register domain names containing Verizon
And, on Dec. 19, Yahoo filed a suit accusing OnlineNIC of cybersquatting and trademark infringement. The company accused OnlineNIC of registering more than 500 domain names that match or are similar to its brands, including Yahoozone[dot]com and Yahooyahooligan[dot]com.
• Rediff.com India Ltd., which owns trademarks such as REDRIFFMAIL and REDRIFF etc, won the typo domain Rediffmai.com in a recent WIPO case. Rediff is not a dictionary word. The disputed domain was parked and had pay-per-click ads related to many of Rediff's services. Obviously, Rediff deserved to win this domain. The respondent has a history of registering other domains, based on the names of other well-known companies: • Quote: • These include <bznkofamerica.com>, <goofgle.com>, <google4.com>, <facewbook.com>, <craigslisst.org>, <freiendster.com>, <amnestyinternational.org>, <photobucket.org>, <lycos.org>, <lycosasia.com>, <moorgate.com>, and <cottonell.com>.
.COM, .NET and .ORG Domain Names Terms .COM - to be used for commercial and personal sites .NET - recommended for companies involved in Internet .ORG - recommended for not-forprofit organizations
Domain Registration Policy
• OPEN REGISTRY • Registration based on “first-come first-served” principle • it uses a robot for name registration to assure a non-discriminatory registration procedure
• A domain name cannot be registered with the purpose to be resell it • Contact data provided should be complete • Domain names cannot contain obscene, pornographic, injurious, offending words (use a list of prohibited words) • Protect famous or very well known
Domain name registration agreement
• The registration agreement contains: a requirement that the domain name applicant provide accurate and reliable information and contact details consisting of: full name of the applicant; postal address; phone number; fax number; email address; primary and secondary nameservers (hostname, IP addresses); where the registrant is an organization, an association or a corporation, the name of an authorized person for contact purposes must be supplied;
Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy
• The Registry will take action when it is clear that a registrant is breaching the Registration Rules. • It may suspend delegation of an Internet Domain Name in certain circumstances: – the domain name is being used in a manner likely to cause confusion to Internet users; the use of the domain name is misleading other Internet users; – the whois contact data is inaccurate or false – Fraudulent payment.
• When a dispute arises between a domain name holder and a complainant, the .ro Registry will assist the two parties to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution to the dispute by mediation. • When a mutual resolution is not successful, the complain is the subject of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy endorsed and approved by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). If the mediation is not successful, the complainant can submit the dispute either to WIPO (World Intelelctual Property), NAF (National Arbitration Forum) or to a court of Bucharest,
• Provide online registration services to registrars using EPP • Allow Romanian characters to be used in domain names
• En.Wikipedia.org • Google.com