Dell Suit Reveals Lucrative Domain-Name Trade

A civil suit filed in Florida by Dell and its Alienware subsidiary is giving insight into the enormous sums of money that can be made by creating Web pages full of advertising links. In October, Dell sued a group of domain registrars, alleging the companies bought more than 1,100 domain names with trademark-infringing characteristics, such as "dellbatterrogram.com" in order to put advertising links on the pages.

The practice, known as typosquatting, is illegal. It's intended to draw unwitting Web surfers to pages with URLs (uniform resource locators) that are similar to legitimate sites, and then redirect them to other sites. The owners of these Web sites get revenue from advertising referral programs every time a link is clicked.

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