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Friday, August 17, 2007

Of .orgs and .coms and cybersquatters

I'm advised that my domain name, "beldar.org," is up for renewal soon. My original preference, "beldar.com," has long been the home to some sort of cable TV/internet business in Virginia, which is why I was obliged to use the ".org" suffix. It's particularly inapt because I'm not particularly well organized in my blogging or in my personal life.

But I was surprised to just learn that, apparently for some years, some troll has been cybersquatting on "beldarblog.com," using it as an autolink to some legal referral page. My small consolation is that they almost certainly wasted their money: I can't think of a single new client who's employed me as a direct result of my blogging over the last four years. (I did once get a nice referral of a potential client from a reader, but it turned out that I was unable to be of much use to him, and so I more or less talked him out of engaging me.)

I looked into the process for making a cybersquatting complaint. It compares unfavorably with the complexity of getting a foreign company served with process under the Hague Convention; even as a lawyer, I'm not eager to start through what appears to be a ridiculously slow, cumbersome, and likely-ineffective process.

So I suppose I'll stick with "beldar.org" — "beldar.blogs.com," via my hosting service, Typepad, will also work. Perhaps this is a karmic message that I need to get better organized.

Posted by Beldar at 06:13 AM in Weblogs | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Of .orgs and .coms and cybersquatters and sent a trackback ping are listed here:


(1) DRJ made the following comment | Aug 17, 2007 11:17:47 PM | Permalink

I like AskBeldar.com or CrustyTrialLawyer.com but Beldar.org works, too.

(2) EW1(SG) made the following comment | Aug 18, 2007 8:24:59 AM | Permalink

For some reason, "cybersquatting" complaints generally ring hollow for me. Perhaps the example that comes to mind: the feller that had www.PETA.org, the parody site ridiculing the ludicrously radical, hypocritical and dangerous "animal rights" group is what influences my distaste. It surely seems to me that they ought to be the subject of ridicule and public scorn, and that their claims to a piece of virtual real estate should have been negated on First Amendment grounds.

OTOH, there is also room to kick the ass of those whose "bad faith intent to profit" results in inappropriate material being presented to minors, or similar circumstance. (For adults, I figure if you're gonna explore cyberspace, you ought to use a modicum of sense; and if you're offended, handle it.)

So I fail to see why you're not happy with the rather prestigious ".org" suffix (which makes it sound as though you are a think tank (which is true, if on a smaller scale than the norm), or perhaps an NGO! (Perhaps also true, stretching the common usage.) As to "beldarblog.com," that sure looks to me like it got picked up by a robot (or script), and I would continue to enjoy the fact that it is certainly costing somebody more than it is making.

Obviously I am not a lawyer, which is why I come here in the first place...I appreciate the observations you make because they are useful in understanding what sometimes seems outside the bounds of common sense. So stick with the think-tank domain! and trouble yourself not that there is somebody out there that thinks his road to riches begins at your coattails.

(3) DRJ made the following comment | Aug 18, 2007 5:33:17 PM | Permalink

Wise words, EW1(SG).

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