Cyber-squatters and -speculators on the march

Cyber-squatters and -speculators have been in the news this week taking advantage of Olympic bids, the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, the registering of domain names relating to major infrastructure projects in Dubai and the train disaster in Los Angeles.A dispute over the domain name chicago2016.com has been lodged with a result expected next week. The registrant, who is refusing to give the name up without a fight, has registered 40 online addresses according to the Chicago Tribune, including tokyo2016.com, another candidate city for the 2016 Olympics. However the registrant is countering the dispute lodged with an arbitrator by lodging a lawsuit to halt the arbitration proceedings and to protect his claim on chicago2016.com and tokyo2016.com. “This case represents an important battle for First Amendment rights and the use of the Internet as a forum to foster debate over a topic that deserves to be discussed,” the lawsuit states.Cyber squatters have also been busy registering domain names that relate to the collapsed Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, taking advantage of the international banking crisis. One example, reports The Guardian, is bankofamericamerrilllynch.com that went up for sale on eBay with an asking price of $1500. Another cybersqutter has registered barclayslehman.com and the site is currently monetised. The Lloyds TSB/HBOS merger is another that cyber squatters have rushed to take advantage of with lloydstsbhbos.com, hboslloydstsb.com and lloydshbos.com all registered.Not all cyber squatters take advantage of someone else’s misery, with infrastructure projects in Dubai also suffering the opportunistic registrations. Zawya reports “The Arabian Canal project seems to be the latest victim of the fast-growing phenomenon of cybersquatting as most of the possible options for a domain name are already taken and blocked.” One name, arabian-canal.com, even blatantly has an asking price for the domain name of $89,500.And to show at least some cyber squatters they have no morals, metrolinktrain.com now resolves to a parking page reports Traverse Legal.Media coverage on the above stories can be found at:

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