Thanks To The TM Lobby Even The Tiny Island Of Vanuatu (.Vu) Is Worried About Cybersquatters
I just read a story about the tiny pacific island nation of Vanuatu which is discussing what shall become of its Top Level Domain name (ccTLD) .vu
It was pretty shocking to me how the trademark lobby message of “cybersqautting” has reached to the point where the issue of a .Vu domain name being used to abused trademarks of brands and famous people.
Anyone who reads thedomains.com with any regularity knows that we stand against true wholesale cybersquatting, and have advised domainers not to go down that path.
Yet we also call out what we consider to be abusive practices by the trademark lobby and here it seems to be paralyzing this small nations internet presence to the point where it appears they won’t make a move for years.
I’m sure the island has plenty to worry about, being overrun with cyber-squatters is not one of them.
Here is one sentence from the story:
“”Issues associated with the internet are also tackled in detailed proposals, for example that of cybersquatting, a big commercial problem globally, where one report puts it as an infringement that costs companies over US$1 million per brand per year to defend.”"
$1 Million per year, per brand to defend from typo domains?
So read on from the original story that appeared islandsbusiness.com
“.Vu.has been in the custody of Television Vanuatu Ltd (TVL) as a legacy of internet development in the island nation”.
“Vanuatu’s Telecommunication & Radiocommunication Regulator (TRR), is proposing that this role be shifted to it.
TRR has outlined a number of proposals on the future arrangements of the management of .vu, chief among them is for TRR to develop a formal regulation to take over the management rights of the .vu ccTLD namespace from TVL”.
The regulation, it added, is to provide guidelines including roles, responsibilities and liabilities of parties operating in the .vu domain name space; domain name operations like registration, managing, transferring and cancellation of domain names; domain name service obligation; dispute resolution processes; and protection of personal data provided in the registration process”.
“A handover period of up to 18 months is being proposed for TRR to take over the .vu ccTLD management from TVL”.
“The option of non-statutory and non-profit making corporation as policy-making and administrative body of the .vu ccTLD can be further considered at a later stage in the light of operational experience”.
“TRR expects to consult on the arrangements after taking over from TVL with a view to establishing the new entity within a five-year period”.
“Issues associated with the internet are also tackled in detailed proposals, for example that of cybersquatting, a big commercial problem globally, where one report puts it as an infringement that costs companies over US$1 million per brand per year to defend.’
“In cybersquatting, opportunists register domain names in bad faith with the intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark that belongs to someone else.”
“The cyber-squatter then offers to sell the domain to the company or person who owns the trademark contained within the name at an inflated price,” defined Wikipedia.”
“A recent widely publicised case is the rush by cyber-squatters to register domain names that relate to the unborn child of Prince William and the currently pregnant Duchess of Cambridge.”
“Overseas media reported last domain names like http://aroyalbaby.com, http://royalfoetus.com www.katewilliambaby.com and twitter feeds like @royalfoetus being registered within hours of the announcements.”
“These sites are then splashed with advertising where internet traffics are redirected.”
“For Vanuatu and indeed any other nation in the Pacific and any country or business in the world, name hijacking like this could become problematic if the company or individual is left helpless as the third party takes control of the identity”.
“Policies surrounding domain name registration have been evolving to protect copyright holders.”
“There is a suggestion of maintaining a reserved list for domain names to protect .vu.”
“Some countries have adopted a reserved list of well-known names such as country and trademark names so as to minimise the chance of cybersquatting”.