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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Verisign typo-squats | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 54 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re:What about telephone numbers
    by jberryhill on Tuesday September 16 2003, @03:22PM (#12221)
    User #3013 Info
    Comparing a paid-ranking search engine to a telephone directory service is pretty far off the mark here.

    When Neulevel ran its "experiment" with this a while back, a similar argument was made relative to "coca-cola":


    http://www.biglist.com/lists/lists.inta.org/tmtopi cs/archives/0305/msg00066.html

    > What if the service was one in which you typed in "www.cocacooa.biz" and it
    > returned a redirect page that said "Did you mean "www.cocacola.biz" and
    > allowed you to click on that to get to the real site. Wouldn't that be
    > better than getting a 404 error? Isn't that better for the user community
    > and trademark owners?

    The top sponsored result provided by your selected search engine, LookSmart,
    for "cocacola" is a scalper selling tickets to the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 for
    approximately $300. It is most certainly not the Coca-Cola Bottling Company,
    unless they are not whom you meant by the "real site".


    Essentially, redirecting to a paid search engine permits "typosquatting on the cheap". Instead of registering a single typo of a trademark and setting up a website for it, all I have to do is submit a sufficiently high bid for the search term through Verisign's sole-source PPC engine and voila - I now have the top position for *every* typo domain on that trademark. What's particularly nice about this method is that I can limit the time and budget in such a way that the intermittent appearance of my bidded result (say, limited to 10,000 hits or one week, whichever comes first) allows me to reap the gain before any legal action can even be commenced.

    Your assumption about a "directory service" is somewhat naive.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:What about telephone numbers
    by jberryhill on Saturday September 20 2003, @08:54PM (#12265)
    User #3013 Info
    If that directory service operated in English, I might think it was great. Unlike browser error pages, that can be set to the user's language in order to inform the user they have reached a bad domain name, Verisign's Sitefinder operates exclusively in English.

    Now, I often make calls to law firms in various countries, and when I reach a voice mail system that operates in something other than English, I occasionally will make guesses about whether it is the voice mail for the person I am trying to reach - in which case I leave a message after hearing a beep - or whether it is trying to get me to press any of several keys - in which case I press 0 to get to a human. However, what Sitefinder has done here is to eliminate the native-language error page from a non-English user's browser and to replace it with something they do not understand. In terms of functionality, that is not what anyone would agree is an "improvement".

    So, if the question is "would I prefer something I understand to something I don't understand?" the question is a no-brainer.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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