Industry heavies sic lawyers on cybersquatters

Lawyers from Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Dell and Time Warner are leading a trademark posse that's out to bust up 22 cybersquatting operations through the use of lawsuits filed recently in New York, Washington and Indiana.

This time the lawyers are wearing the white hats.

The International Trademark Association, organizer of the group effort, "today issued a warning on behalf of its members to the public, alerting them to the growing threat of domain name cybersquatters who deliberately mislead consumers and defraud online businesses."

The legal push is targeted at domain-name abusers who range from the relatively benign typo-squatters to hard-core phishers.

"This alarming trend affects everyone who uses the Internet, including children who may be misdirected to adult-only sites when they innocently mistype a brand name into their browsers," says the trademark association. "Once misdirected through such deceptive practices, consumers can be bombarded with advertisements, pornographic material, unlawful spyware and even harmful computer viruses."

Not that they deserve sympathy, but cybersquatters seem to be taking it from all sides recently, witness this case where a number of them were actually victims of a scheme that won a con artist a long prison stretch.

Better that the corporate lawyers take care of them. Cybersquatters deserve squat for their parasitic domain-name scheming - always have, always will - and now these vermin may actually find themselves losing a bundle over all the trouble they cause. If there's any justice ...


Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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