In recent years, many people have found that they can make a healthy income from domaining, or buying and selling website domain names. If you’re interested in dipping your feet in the waters of domain investing, one important thing to know from the start is the difference between cybersquatting and domaining.
People who are domain investors buy domain names in hopes of getting ahead of upcoming fads, trends, and potential new products or services that people may be interested in. Domainers sometimes sell to individuals who are hoping to get a new company up and running and need the most logical domain name to set up their online presence. In other cases, they may sell for a higher price to a larger, well-established company that’s expanding its services or product line and needs the domain name in question.
Domain investors purchase a wide range of domain names, usually in different fields, hoping that with a small investment in each, eventually one will pay off big. Domaining is perfectly legal.
On the other hand, cybersquatting is taking advantage of existing companies and brands by looking for unsecured domain names, purchasing them, and holding them hostage. Cybersquatters will often look for domains will spelling variations of popular businesses and brand names; they also look for .net and .org variations of a well-known .com address.
Although cybersquatters often attempt to label themselves as domain investors, the two practices couldn’t be more different. In fact, they’re so different that cybersquatting is considered a crime after being deemed illegal by the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Domain names that are similar or identical to existing trademarks are not allowed and companies who feel they’re being targeted by cybersquatters have the right to sue.
If you’re thinking of domaining, go forward with boldness and creativity, but make sure you understand the difference between domain investing and cybersquatting so you stay on the right side of the law.