We’ve all done it at some point – hit the wrong key or two while going to a common website, such as Google or Facebook, only to be sent to a knock-off website on a similar URL, some of which are phishing attempts, others featuring their own content or service. Regardless, it is annoying and many of them now have their days numbered, with Facebook winning a legal victory over domain squatters in court today.
Over 100 different variations of Facebook.com were registered, and each of them were hit with a lawsuit from the social network giant. Although it is common practice, domain squatting is in violation of 1999′s U.S. Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, which makes it illegal for someone to piggyback off a successful trademark, which domains like Dacebook.com were doing.
Facebook was awarded $3 million in damages by the District Court for Northern California, a figure that will probably never be paid and that the social network, in all likelihood, won’t go after. Nonetheless, it is a victory for Facebook, and a quick look shows that many of the domains have already either pulled their content or such completely down.
The folks over at TechCrunch got a statement from the social network’s Associate General Counsel Craig Clark: “We are pleased with the court’s recommendation. We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to enforce against those who attempt to take advantage of the people who use our service.” Facebook is not the only big-name company that has gone after domain squatters, with Google having taken the legal hammer to its myriad of trademark leeches, as well.
[via Business Week]