Cybersquatting could soon become a much harder to do, thanks to guidelines from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann).
Icann has approved a list guideliness to resolve disputes related to domain name ownership. Companies have been getting increasingly angry about cybersquatting - the practice of buying Internet Web site names and selling them on for a massive profit.
Icann has committed to developing a system within the next six weeks to monitor the registration of domain names and to resolve any disputes that may occur about trademarks. Previously this has involved long and very expensive legal suits.
Icann chief executive Michael Roberts confirmed that the policy is at a draft stage, but that guidelines have been fully agreed upon by the board and some 20 of the 60 companies licensed as registrars of domain names.
Beginning sometime in October, registrars will refuse a request to register a domain where it looks like an out and out case of cybersquatting. The new practice will protect famous brand names on the Web.
If a dispute arises an arbitration group with the power to strip owners of their domain names will assemble. They will debate whether the domain name holder is commonly known by the domain name, even if they do not have the trademark or service rights.
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