When the internet first started, there weren’t too many companies which were interested in embracing it. In fact, many of the large corporations you know today have been quoted as saying they will never have an online presence.
It is that mentality which led businesses like these to make a gigantic mistake – leaving a web address with their business name in it open for the taking.
Enter the world of domain squatting.
The word is easily broken down. Domain is to mean the site address or the internet domain of a website. This is the text after the www. and before the .com. Squatting is the term you know, which means to stay in an apartment building or property with isn’t your own and which you refuse to leave.
Seeing what was coming, numerous people began to register the internet address of large and famous companies. Given how easy it is to register a domain using the Groupon Coupons page for Namecheap, people began doing in bulk. Companies like CocaCola and McDonald’s had their .com addresses registered by people who never intended to use them to host a site.
Once the internet caught on, however, businesses realized that the internet was something which they would need to embrace and rushed to register their own place on the web.
Of course, by this time it was too late. Many of the more popular names had been registered, leaving businesses with seemingly no options.
Until they contact the owner of the domain, of course. This is often met with a response requesting payment of a generally large sum of money to transfer ownership of the domain to the company.
When this first started to occur, companies had no choice but to pay the squatters for the domain. After all, imagine if a site like mcdonalds.com went to a page that scammed visitors out of their personal information.
However, as it became apparent what was happening, lawmakers stepped in.
With modern legislation in place, cybersquatting is slowly but surely being pushed out. Now, owners of a site which a registered company wants to take over need to provide substantiation of their intention to trade on or use the site they own.
If they can not show sufficient proof, these sites are forcibly removed from their ownership and transferred to that of the registered company.
These laws have curbed the activity dramatically, and with more and more companies becoming aware of their legal options, the world of cybersquatting is soon coming to an end.