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Domain Hijack - What is domain hijacking?

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Law Articles This article isn't about the TRUE definition of "domain hijack" (someone takes over a domain your already own), however it is relevant and an issue that needs to be addressed, particularly when domains are so cheap and easy to register these days. I can't stress enough the importance of safeguarding your business name and intellectual property.

For many years unscrupulous opportunists have trolled the Internet looking for businesses, both well known and not, checking for unregistered misspellings, or similar domain names.

domain hijacking One such example is the Woolworths owned Dick Smith Electronics. Their main website is dse.com.au, however it was discovered last year that another version of their business name had not been registered by the company, and had been turned into a pornography portal (if you can guess the address, don't go there - you've been warned!!).

For the sake of a paltry $20, look at the embarrassment, possible lost business, and extra traffic diverted to a website like this that could have been avoided if the domain in question had simply been registered by the company.

Another example is www.blogspot.com - the Google™ owned community blogging website. Check out this very simple typo alternative address: http://www.blogsopt.com (note: don't reward them by clicking on any links - they more than likely get paid for clicks).

Another way this can happen is if you let a domain name expire - there are websites where you can add yourself to an "expression of interest" list just waiting for names to expire so you can "pounce" if they become available, then capitalise on their past traffic and rankings.

My advice is:

1) ALWAYS try and register the .com version of your domain name (if you are an Aussie business with a .com.au)

2) If there is a common misspelling or typo for a word in your domain, register that as well

3) Register, if possible, other TLD's to safeguard your business into the future - eg, .net, .net.au, .mobi etc.



If you require advice regarding registration of an appropriate domain, please don't hesitate to contact me, or if you are in need of sound intellectual property advice, please contact Noric Dilanchian (Intellectual Property Lawyer) and let him know  you came via justweb :).

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Rob - JustWeb

30.11.2008


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