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You are perfectly entitled to view domain speculation and cyber squatting as morally equivalent -- many people do! But that doesn't change the fact that there is still a significant legal difference between the two.No there isn't....If you aren't going to use the domain for something useful, you're squatting and hoping to make a profit and that makes you scum in my books.
No there isn't....
If you aren't going to use the domain for something useful, you're squatting and hoping to make a profit and that makes you scum in my books.
You are perfectly entitled to view domain speculation and cyber squatting as morally equivalent -- many people do! But that doesn't change the fact that there is still a significant legal difference between the two.
For most domains (and in South Africa, at least for .CO.ZA domains) there are processes in place to protect the owner of an existing brand/name/trademark from people deliberately registering a similar domain in order to profit. On the other hand, the majority of domains have no rules/policies in place preventing someone from registering generic domains in order to resell them.
To put that another way, if you register mybroadband.web.za and then try to sell it to MyBroadband, expect to get a call from MyBroadband's lawyers. But if you register broadband.web.za and then try to sell it to the highest bidder, about the worst you can expect is to get disapproving stares from people who think that it isn't okay to register domains purely to try to make a profit.
But that would actually be cyber squatting, and not domain prospecting, since the registrant has the clear intention of selling those domains to a specific firm. The dispute resolution processes for most domains (including .CO.ZA) take a very dim view of that practice.It is easy to think up some possible permutations on domain names for certain firms, register these and hope that said firms will eventually want to make use of those pre-registered domain names.
I think that this is the key point people miss. "tablet.co.za" is not a trademark anyone can claim is being infringed. You could have Apple, Samsung, HTC, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithkline and about a dozen other companies all wanting that domain. No laws have been broken and no trademarks have been violated by a clever speculator registering that domain and making some money by selling it later.Cyber squatting = registering ipad4.co.za because you think you'll be able to sell it to Apple.
Domain speculation = registering tablet.co.za because you think you might be able to sell it to an-as-yet-unknown party at some point.
@Johnfpro -- are you sure you meant ISPA in that last post?
ISPA doesn't really have anything to do with South Africa domain registrations, but just happened to be asked by MyBroadband to comment on the issue of "cyber squatting", which is presumably what triggered this article. The article is perhaps a little misleading in this regard, since it creates the impression that ISPA is somehow involved in the domain name process.
The parties responsible for most domains in South Africa are:
1. ZADNA (http://www.zadna.org.za) -- the regulator for the top-level .ZA domain.
2. UniForum SA (http://co.za) -- the entity that handles .CO.ZA registrations.
Also, while you are spot on that the dispute resolution process (which is also nothing to do with ISPA!) costs R10,000, there is an ADR financial assistance program in place for parties unable to afford that price. There is some more information about this on the ZADNA site here.
Would you mind going into a little more detail on that? What were UniForum unhelpful with? A disputed domain, or some other aspect of the CO.ZA domain registration process?You are quite correct; I was actually referring to Uniforum, a very unhelpful bunch.
My understanding of this situation is as follows:UniForum is a joke. It clearly states in their Terms and Rules that UniForum will not allow registration of a Registered Trademark domain. Yet they keep allowing and when you confront them they tell you to do a Dispute Resolution where they were in the wrong from the beginning. Even when sending them copies of the trade mark documentation. Just out to make money.
Last time I checked, the cost of the ADR process was R10,000. But that's not determined by UniForum -- as mentioned, they have nothing to do with that process, except being obliged to honor ADR rulings. Whatever issues anyone might have with UniForum, the cost of the ADR process cannot be blamed on UniForum.EDIT: And they want me to pay somethinl like R20k to get my own registered trademark name back when they were not supposed to have allowed this. I contacted them hours after it was wrongfully allowed.