Registrar Responsibility - Domaining and Conclusions
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In addition to third party liability, the business of “domaining”has been affected in a similar way by the Dell case. Domaining is the business of developing, buying, selling, and monetizing domain names on the Internet. It can be confused with typosquatting in that it involves choosing highly marketable, generic domain names, often for the sole purpose of garnering add revenue through domain parking. It is fast becoming a more accepted business practice akin to real estate investment, but it's easy to see how it could be confused with a scam.
Those who provide business to domainers need to be aware as third parties of the kind of risk that domaining involves. The creative way in which they go about registering domains requires more legal analysis than usual. When a company lays out its operating procedures, it needs to make sure any risky domaining procedures are made distinct from their own.
The interesting thing about the Dell case is that the registrars it names are not high profile, big name registrars, so it would seem more logical to hold them responsible for the trademark infringement even if they took no part in the actual scam. Larger companies like GoDaddy and eNom would have a much tougher time assessing the massive amount of domains they register. A chain of registrars working together sounds a lot more suspicious, however.
I think the popular belief would be to hold the registrants solely responsible for any infringement violations. If there is infringement, the company should contact the registrar and allow them to make contact with the customer to find out about the situation. Of course, most registrants don't have the deep pockets of a well- regarded registrar. And until registrars are made completely exempt from what their clients do, infringed companies will continue to use the law to get back whatever money they feel they've lost.
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