Despite the word invoking a much different image in my mind (don’t click this), Cybersquatting is the practice of registering domain names with malicious intent in hopes of reselling them to the rightful owner.
Sounds a lot like what is happening to The Creator and his preferred names. Unless you believe the SinBin.vegas conspiracy theory, part of the team name hold up has been consistent issues securing the proper domain names for the selected name. The reason for this is that people from all over the world are buying up every domain out there with the hope their name is selected and the organization will reach out with a big bag of money asking for it back.
The problem is, until the team actually releases a name, there’s nothing that can stop anyone from buying up these domains and waiting to see if they can cash in. In order to prevent someone from cybersquatting on your name you must prove all of the following…
- The domain name registrant had a bad-faith intent to profit from the trademark ✓
- The trademark was distinctive at the time the domain name was first registered (uh-oh)
- The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to the trademark ✓
- The trademark qualifies for protection under federal trademark laws — that is, the trademark is distinctive and its owner was the first to use the trademark in commerce. (I don’t know what this means, but #2 was already a problem so who cares)
In order to get your domain name back, you must be able to prove a trademark was registered before the domain was purchased. In the case of the Las Vegas team name, they will not be able to do it since their first trademarks hit the books on August 23rd and almost every LasVegas(TeamName).com domain had been purchased prior to that date.
So what does it all mean? First, legally no one is doing anything wrong buying up all the domain names. Second, waiting around to register trademarks may not be the best idea. Last, no matter which name they eventually go with someone is probably going to make some money selling their domain.
In other words, stop what you are doing and go buy up some domain names. That CreatorCash can be all yours. (RatPackHockey.com is still available)
What else does it mean? We desperately need some real news so I can get stop having to educate myself on compound words that sound much dirtier than they actually are.