Internet domain squatting in the Junction

Internet domain squatting has arrived in the Junction by reports.

Someone or some people appear to be watching to see what new businesses are coming into the Junction, probably by looking at renovation work being done on  store fronts. These people are then registering the Internet domain names of  new business  in various forms.

Then when the new business owner attempts to register the name – it is unavailable to them unless they purchase it from the domain squatter.

One of the most insidious parts of this, is the registering of different variants of the name, making it even harder for the new business and probably the “fair use” possible register to get something even close to their store name.

Although the CIRA Dispute Resolution Policy (.ca) is available it is very expensive for a small business and probably more so than paying the scam price of the domain squatter

A few businesses in the Junction have reported this occurring.

So if you think you want a Junction related domain register it before your plans are known.

Update: 3:55pm

This post has generated 1 telephone call wondering about the issue and three emails from different Junction web companies all thinking they were being referenced in the post – although the blog posted no names.

Just to let everyone know who posts like this occur.. the blog gets emails from many people about issues and or suggestions for posts, usually the blog starts and drafts (currently there now 83 are such drafts)  and sits on the idea until further information comes in, and if enough interest or surprising info comes in – the item gets posted, the 1st draft for this post came about about 3 mths ago.

Darian of comfusers.com who was not one of the emailers posted a comment which is good reading, we have moved the 1st pargraph up into the post here…

In regards to your internet squatting post above, it is terrific that this is being mentioned. Though your definition source for the term “Cybersquatting” is not the best, the basic idea is correct. Specifically, a company will in BAD FAITH and with the sole intention of profiting from the purchase the name or brand likeness of another company. This most definitely is cybersquatting and on the low side of ethical business practices. Reputable web design companies do not promote this type of behavior.

21 Comments

In regards to your internet squatting post above, it is terrific that this is being mentioned. Though your definition source for the term “Cybersquatting” is not the best, the basic idea is correct. Specifically, a company will in BAD FAITH and with the sole intention of profiting from the purchase the name or brand likeness of another company. This most definitely is cybersquatting and on the low side of ethical business practices. Reputable web design companies do not promote this type of behavior.

However, there is a distinction that should be made when referencing cybersquatting.
If an entity decides to purchase a domain name for a third party either with our without their permission in GOOD FAITH and with NO INTENTION to directly PROFIT from it, then this act does not fall under the definition of “Cybersquatting” nor is it malicious.

It is interesting that a simple act of kindness from one small business to the next can at times be misconstrued by certain individuals of limited computer, internet knowledge or even the facts.

Darian Slywka
Darian is now an IT Strategist for the Sustainable IT Solutions company, COMFUSERS. His most current accolades include working as a consultant for IBM and lecturing on social networking for small businesses.

Darian graduated with a Bachelors of Applied Science from Boise State University, is a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Apple Certified, Brainbench Certified and COMPTia A+ certified.

(You are free to publish as much or as little as you wish)

Wow, that's the dumbest comment I've ever read.

Don't register other peoples domains!

If you are planning to open a new business, make sure you can get the .com for your name before you open up shop, or before you even decide on a business name. If someone already has your domain name, try either getting the .ca, or coming up with a clever new domain that ties in with your business or brand.

When you leave a comment on a blog, don't insult the post author, and don't leave you're life story as a signature. Nobody cares.

When you leave a comment on a blog, don’t insult the post author. Malcolm you may want to reread the post by Darian he didn't insult the poster, he clarified some things

The only insult I see is from you to the commenter. (redacted)

Here's some simple advice.

1. Make sure you go with a trusted domain provider (i.e. one that is used by someone you know). You will need to know how quickly they respond to technical requests, etc.

2. See #1. Many (of the more predatory) domain providers will play you for a sucker.

The game goes like this:
You search on their site for the domain you want. Oh, look, it's available! And for such a cheap price!! Then you try to register it. Then you see that there are extra fees and/or the very same domain is now miraculously taken.
If there is a short period of time between your domain search and your decision to buy, many providers will actually sell your would-be domain to a third party, in the expectation that you will then pay them an even higher price. This usually happens with the .coms and not so much with the .cas as these are more tightly regulated.

Remember: do not go for the cheapest. They are that price for a reason. Go with a trusted company. I have been registered with Namespro Solutions Inc. and they have to date provided me with goos service.
Ask around rather than shop around!

Great comment Mark, good information all of that info was news to me. Causing me to wonder though …the blog just purchased http://www.junctioneer.ca the other day from Netfirms primarily as the JRA had success purchasing junctionra.ca from them, and it was simply on price as Network Solutions was a lot more.

"It is interesting that a simple act of kindness from one small business to the next can at times be misconstrued by certain individuals of limited computer, internet knowledge or even the facts."

That sounds pretty condescending to me, never mind the 'preachy' tone of his entire comment and the strong suspicion it leaves me with that he might even have a good part to play in doing the mentioned DOMAIN SQUATING.

I might even put money on "Fred" being a alias used by Darian to defend himself (considering that it's a very generic name and one of the only ones not associated with a unique URL in these comments). If not, I just stand by my first paragraph.

I recommend NetFirms to all my friends when buying .ca or .com domains. You should be fine. I've only ever once emailed them for support information, but I've never directly heard of negative feedback related to their customer service.

Like it or not the internet is a big expanse of nice and not so nice practices. Take youtube for example. They take copywritten video and rebroadcast it while making money and not paying the authors of it at the same time. There is data mining, illegal downloads and just about everything else you can think of. It's ungoverned and that is both a blessing and a curse. People copywrite business/idea names daily in anticipation of selling or using it later. Thus is the internet.

It's not nice to register domains and resell them but its also not illegal. When you are getting your business in order and preparing to open perhaps the honus should be on the owners to register online right away and not put fault on Joe Schmo for trying to make a buck off of a domain name.

Also to buy these domain names only usually costs $20 or so. The person that registered the name would rather take a small amount of money rather than nothing. You can also get around these issues by registering a .ca or .biz or adding letters or symbols, etc. This is not an exclusive Junction problem but rather part of the internet's structure. To say this practice is not fair one would have to police and govern the internet as a whole which would lead to censoring which would lead to less usage and more complaints on the Junctioneer!

In closing, when you are thinking of starting a business you should first register the name and secondly register your domain. The internet is a nasty place where people make money off of you all day/night via banner and spam and this is no different. This is just one other way of making a little cash and I can't hate on somebody for being on the ball and trying to make a little coin.

Sorry Malcolm I'm not Darien. And I have never squatted. Generic names insult really?!? Why not insult my mother while you're at it?

You insult a poster and call it kindness, I sincerely hope the small business you run isn't customer service related.

I'm not sure why you would point out that you are limited in your knowledge of computers the internet or that you do not have all the facts, could that be a back handed apology?

"If an entity decides to purchase a domain name for a third party either with our without their permission in GOOD FAITH and with NO INTENTION to directly PROFIT from it…". I can't think of a reasonable example of how this could possibly come about. Why would anyone purchase a domain name that corresponds to someone else's business if they had no interest in profiting from it? Darian, who are you trying to fool here?

Is it possible that some of these domains have been registered by web designers on behalf of the businesses, but the site is not yet up? Have you spoken to any business owners to confirm that this is happening? Can you please give an example (WHOIS data is public, so there's nothing wrong with posting it here)?

Domain squatters register names in bulk – they aren't paying the $15 or $25 dollars you would be. Regardless, I can't see that many small businesses have the money to make it worthwhile for squatters to register all likely variations on the business name domain.

This might be some useful reading for anyone whose desired domain name has been registered "in bad faith" (assuming these are .ca domains): http://www.cira.ca/dispute-resolution/

It's great to see some dialogue here. Fred, you are absolutely correct; there were no insults directed towards the author or anybody else. I also find it interesting that some of the posters here hide behind aliases write such trivial comments.

I believe my company and I were one of the first to contact this blog directly and provide all of our professional contact information both to the author as well as within the blog post so that anybody may contact us directly if they ever have any questions about computers, the internet or small business IT.

It is a sad day when people choose to flame other commenters [behind an alias] rather then post informative information that individuals reading these posts can benefit from.

Hi Malcom, you've already been corrected by the other individual who posted. However, let me assure you that I will only post comments and/ or replies under my own name and identity.

The post below by Mark Dallas provides some excellent information for individuals and companies pondering the idea of domain name registration.

Hi Jason, I'm not sure what you are referring to? Neither myself nor my company were the ones referred to according to the author of this post. I personally contacted him and and spoke on the phone but I do enjoy the banter!

We, small business owners really take to heart any comments, either positive or negative regarding any products or services. So much of our business is focused on helping other small businesses and the referrals that are generated.

In fact, based on your comment, I would love to offer a free workshop on domain name registration. If you are interested, please let me know.

Junction Resident, regardless of your other questionable posts, I will still strive to answer your question. I'll use my company as an example. We purchased a domain name for a new licensed liquor establishment opening soon in downtown toronto. This was done by one of our web designers. The WHOIS information for this particular domain name (though not always accurate, nor is it verified) reflects the web designers name likeness and not the establishment. This domain registrar information will be changed later to the owner once we receive the approval. I hope this explanation helps.

Darian your comments are all there for everyone to see, but could you explain the domain littlebirdfly.ca. A new store in the Junction, that we Goggled to find out what type of store they would be. The domain was for sale on your site. Junctioneer was he the person domain squatting?

Hi Sandro, Sure, thanks for your question. You are definitely right when you say everyone can see. I hope this clears up any misconception or confusion that may have been inadvertently started by poor communication. The "for sale" page that you saw previously is just a landing page which is a default page used to hold the place of the index (or home.htm or .html) page of a main site. That is an industry standard business practice that is placed on a domain. This page has since been changed early this morning (or late last night depending on your local time zone).

I assume that by you asking about this specific domain, you would like more information. Please feel free to contact me directly at 1-877-488-5473 ext 700. I can share as much information as Canadian privacy laws and CIRA regulations allow.

Thanks for question, I hope this helps and I look forward to your call.

Darian

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