BY Kit Eaton
Cybersquatters have a new target: App names on Apple‘s App store. Apple is trying to fight them off, but squatting has been a moneyspinning scourge since the dawn of the Interwebs.
Cybersquatting–the occupation of a Web address that someone else has a more legitimate claim on, for the purposes of reselling it later–is pretty sordid. Let’s not mince word: If you’re extorting money out of people whose business, livelihood or Web presence is better served by using a particular URL, you’re being evil. A federal law called the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act was set up to protect the rights of individuals to their online presence and intellectual property, but it is frequently broken.
The practice started back in the early days of the Internet, when ICANN first allowed individuals to buy the rights to use a particular URL. People began buying the rights to URLs associated with a known brand, sometimes mocking-up a fake Web site there to prove they were “really” using it. Then when the company in question got wise, they’d often have to resort to legal action (if squatters were particularly unscrupulous) or simply fork over cash to secure the rights. Madonna and Apple, two of the most famous brands of modern times, had to engage in protracted legal battles over URLs. Leer más “From URLs to Apple Apps: A Brief History of Cybersquatting”