Microsoft launches court battle to evict cybersquatters

Software giant Microsoft Corporation filed or amended four civil suits in the United States and launched five new cases in Britain against cybersquatters, who register Internet site names in the hope of a quick buck. The sites are typically loaded with "pay-per-click" advertisements that generate revenues for the domain owner, who also often try to sell the names back to legitimate companies to remove their irritant value. Microsoft said that in the past six months, it had already reclaimed more than 1,100 domain names worldwide that infringed on its trademarks. "These sites confuse visitors who are trying to reach genuine company websites, which can negatively affect corporate brands and reputations as well as impair the end-users' experience online. With every ad hyperlink clicked, a registrant or ad network harvests cash at the trademark owner's expense, while derailing legitimate efforts by computer users who are trying to go to a specific website," said Aaron Kornblum, senior attorney with Microsoft.

News source: Physorg

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Imagine a real building setup with Ford logos and Ford cars in the lot, with people in Ford uniforms walking around helping people.

Imagine walking inside the building and discovering its really Kia.

seamer said,
Imagine a real building setup with Ford logos and Ford cars in the lot, with people in Ford uniforms walking around helping people.

Imagine walking inside the building and discovering its really Kia.

I'm honestly not sure I'd be sad or not. :P

This is very interesting to me.
The cybersquatting practice they're fighting against annoys the crap outta me, so i'm glad to see someone fighting it.
BUt at the same time, i'm not really sure i think it should be illegal. I don't completely buy the "... at the trademark owner's expense..." part.

You have to think about the people that do this and make the sites resemble the site of what the person may be looking for. Someone new to the internet wouldn't notice it off-hand and if they click on any ad on that site they just made the owner a few dollars since he/she purposely made the site look like whatever company.

Then you have the ones who buy the domain and when you go to it all it says is that it's been registered and if you'd like to buy it contact the owner.

Then there's the ones who just post a page letting people know exactly how much they want for it. I remember seeing one once where a guy wanted 500 thousand for the domain and was being a complete immature ass over it saying things like: "For every month my request isn't met the font gets bigger and bolder" and "for every month my request isn't met I'll add photos of dead people". The guy wasn't joking around he was being serious about it, but wasn't smart enough to realize that wasn't helping him at all. It was just making him look dumb. Last I saw that one was a couple years ago and someone else owned it by then and I doubt the person paid 500 thousand to get it from how it looked. Can't remember what the name of it was though.

Hopefully this will encourage more companies to do this. I hate them and I've tried multiple times to explain to my parents that no those sites are not (insert big company). They are confusing to people who arn;t very confident with teh internet

Nice to see someone is doing something about this, and Microsoft certainly have the money and knowledge to do so.

Express said,
What does Microsoft gain from this? Is this some kind of social service?

Microsoft loses money and exposure from misdirected traffic, obviously.

I hope Microsoft wins, it's definitely not right for cybersquatters to make money off of people legitimately trying to reach a certain company and/or information and then being bombared with pay-per-click ads.

Guest: I would have to disagree... unfortunately it is not irrelevant. We are talking about average users who will use the default browser (80% Explorer) installed on their Windows machines (~90%) and will never change the default settings (search engine, etc). This is a VERY large group of users who probably aren't the most computer literate (have no idea what http:// is) let alone capable of typing or spelling very well. When these average users try to go to a company's website and don't type the URL properly, they are being redirected to a MS site where MS makes a profit off of their mistake (with PPC ads). This is as bad if not worse than what most cybersquatters are doing. Users should be given an error in the IE browser so that they correct the problem and move on. If they want to search (where they will be exposed to PPC adds) they can go to a search engine site or use the browsers search window. The URL window should only be used for the browser's compatible protocols and not for making a profit by redirecting users.