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Understanding Cybersquatting

Understanding Cybersquatting

What is Cybersquatting?

Cybersquatting is defined as a criminal act that entails the illegal and unlawful holding of a domain name in an unethical fashion. Typically, Cyber-squatters, those who engage in the act of Cybersquatting, do so with the intent of bullying prospective purchasers who require a domain name into meeting the financial demands expressed by the cyber-squatter. This is done in lieu of a productive and ethical commercial endeavor in which the domain name owned is used for commercial value.

What are Domain Names?
Due to the advent of the Internet as a viable, all-encompassing, and seemingly limitless resource for its users, the opportunity for commercial enterprise has revealed itself in a variety of forms. Domain names, which are defined as the virtual, identifying locale of a specific website, have begun to be traded, bought, and sold as viable, money-making commodities. This expression of domain name ‘real estate’ has not only introduced new methods of commercial enterprise, but has also given way to technology-based criminal activity. 
Cybersquatting Legality

The development of legislation pertaining to online legality has occurred in tandem with the technological development of the Internet itself. Cybersquatting has been curbed as a result of legislative acts that enforce trademark regulations onto domain names and websites:
The Anti-Cybersquatting Protection Act, which was passed in 1999, precludes individuals from exploiting domain names purchased with the sole intention of demanding financial restitution. In the event that an individual or group owns a copyright of a product or service, that copyright is not only transferable, but applicable in the realm of online commercial enterprise.