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Google Wins 'Typosquatting' Dispute 201

JeiFuRi writes "The National Arbitration Forum has awarded Google the rights to several web addresses such as,, and, alleging that Sergey Gridasov of St. Petersburg, Russia, had engaged in 'typosquatting.' Business Week comments that Gridasov relied on typographical errors to exploit the online search engine's popularity so computer viruses and other malicious software could be unleashed on unsuspecting visitors."
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Google Wins 'Typosquatting' Dispute

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  • Horraty! (Score:5, Funny)

    by tehshen ( 794722 ) <> on Saturday July 09, 2005 @03:54PM (#13022114)
    Ghood neews fgor erveyonme!
  • (Score:5, Funny)

    by LesPaul75 ( 571752 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @03:56PM (#13022126) Journal
    Looks like they missed one: [] (NSFW!)
  • About time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Krankheit ( 830769 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @03:56PM (#13022128)
    There needs to be more action against typosquatting/registering of domain names to provide useless ad-filled "search" sites with no real content. These sites are annoying when they come up as results on Google, and when I make a mistake, like typing slashdot and then Shift-Enter (for .net) instead of Ctrl-Shift Enter (for .org) and go to some other site. Domains registration should require review of the registration request, kind of like USPTO and patents. I find it annoying when I want to register a domain for a site and find it is being used for something stupid, and I can't afford to buy it off of them.
    • Re:About time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @04:02PM (#13022174)
      Sure ... and who decides? The Patent Office? Those people can't even manage to reject "improved method for swinging a child on a swing" from being patented so I hardly think they're qualified to pass on domain names. Besides, "stupid" is relative and I don't want some official "board of domain review" rejecting my application simply because they don't understand or agree with what I want to do with it. None of their goddamn business. What happens if, at some point in the future, I decide to do something else with my domain. Do I have to go back and beg for renewal? Forget it. Just deal with the annoying sites and get on with it ... or learn to make fewer typos.
    • Re:About time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by the_weasel ( 323320 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @04:04PM (#13022181) Homepage
      Ah yes, because what the Internet really needs is MORE central regulation!

      Seriously, considering the USPTO's stellar record, what makes you think thats a decent model for dealing with such problems. Do you really think adding extra layers to the domain application process is going to make this better?

      If I want to register should I have to submit a business case first? Will I have to prove that I am not making porn? Or is porn okay, as long as its the right type of porn? Will still be okay?

      Only one way to find out I guess. Please wait 4-6 weeks for domain approval.

      Is this what you really want?

      • Only one way to find out I guess. Please wait 4-6 weeks for domain approval. Is this what you really want?

        Yes, I want a waiting period, longer than a handgun check, so that one may think of the children!

        Really I think that the current system is OK, not great, but OK. People have to understand, .com, .net, .org, are already claimed, often by people who bought into those domains at the height of the Dot Com bubble. Many believed that each of those domains represented something like a lottery chance,

      • We defintitely need something done about shits like

        http://www.onlinepaymentspaypaleiowoewqwrwetwrwe.3 [] who are sending fake e-mails pretending to be confirmation of credit card payments for things on e-bay.

        I suggest that cruel and inhuman torture would be appropriate.

    • Re:About time (Score:3, Insightful)

      There needs to be more action against typosquatting/registering of domain names to provide useless ad-filled "search" sites with no real content. These sites are annoying when they come up as results on Google, and when I make a mistake, like typing slashdot and then Shift-Enter (for .net) instead of Ctrl-Shift Enter (for .org) and go to some other site. Domains registration should require review of the registration request, kind of like USPTO and patents. I find it annoying when I want to register a domain
    • > typing slashdot and then Shift-Enter (for .net) instead of Ctrl-Shift Enter (for .org)

      Isn't typing .net (or .org, .com) easier than creating rules for typosquatting?

      >I find it annoying when I want to register a domain for a site and find it is being used for something stupid

      Stupid is a relative term.
      I'm sure others also find sites registered by you being used for something stupid (in their opinion). It doesn't mean you should do anything about it, they can register and run their own stupid sites.
    • Re:About time (Score:5, Insightful)

      by booyabazooka ( 833351 ) <> on Saturday July 09, 2005 @05:47PM (#13022724)
      I find it annoying when I want to register a domain for a site and find it is being used for something stupid

      Dear Sir or Madam:

      You are hearby ordered to cease and desist all web-related economic activity. Under section 794B of the No Stupid Website Act, the usage of your domain has been classified as Level 8 Stupidity, exceeding the maximum acceptable Level 3 Stupidity. As your website has been deemed Stupid by our arbiters, it is no longer accepted on the Internet.

      - US Commission of Businesses I Like Only

      I'm glad you don't run the world.

    • No, regulation is bad. Use a bookmark or type in the full domain name if your shortcuts give you trouble.
      Don't cry for an authority to wipe your ass for you.
      What makes you think that you would agree with their decisions?
    • like typing slashdot and then Shift-Enter (for .net) instead of Ctrl-Shift Enter (for .org) and go to some other site

      Eh? Does anyone actually use these shortcuts?? Why not just type the first few letters and then tab complete it?
    • The Internet has and allways will be an anarchy. When you go to a website, you have entered somebody's shack; you must follow all their rules, do certain things, don't do others, etc. It just so happens that there are a lot of abandoned shacks out there, or some that have stupid owners. There are many good ones, and every once in a while when you enter a shack you find that what you were looking for to begin with.

      And this is the purpose of the World Wide Web. There cannot be a universal governing system
    • I think there should be no action against this. Its BS. If Google wants to prevent boogle, then let them buy it. Where does it say buying should grant them every domain name that comes close to

      If they want them all, let them buy them all.
  • C'mon! (Score:5, Funny)

    by maxrate ( 886773 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @03:57PM (#13022137)
    C'mon, you deserve to be infested with spyware if you make a typo!

    I think Mavis Beacon should make a USB keyboard that electrifies all of the wrong keys while your typing. Probably need an external tesla coil or something, can't do it all from the USB bus I guess!

  • by aprilsound ( 412645 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @03:57PM (#13022138) Homepage
    Huh? Well? what about Dvorak?, The possibilities are endless (and sometimes hilarious)
  • Nothing new (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @04:03PM (#13022176)
    Even [] Slashdot [] is [] affected []...
    • I love the face that "" features the word "Cleavage" directly below their slogan "What you want, when you want it."

      My patience in them is failing, however.

    • Is there a method for computing the most likely typos given a sequence of characters and a touch-typist?

      Under-reaches, over-reaches, double-keys? I bet a typewritersmith would have known.
    • You missed my favorite!

      Slashodt [] takes you to

      Guess they misjudged that market :/
  • Slashdot? (Score:5, Funny)

    by derkyjadex ( 852889 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @04:04PM (#13022178)
    What the hell is this crazy site? I came here looking for slushdoot.
  • l337 pwn3d (Score:1, Troll)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 )
    English (and other indoeuropean languages) is flexible enough to survive typo noise, because we can identify meanings that *could be* represented by any label, even if they're close. Drawing on spoken sounds, similar words, etymology, puns. The problem is when one meaning is masked by another, when a corrupted label correctly means something else.

    I'm concerned that courts and extrajudicial "star chambers" (like at the WTO, US Commerce Department, ICANN, smoke-filled lawyer's room...) aren't capable of taki
  • This certain russkie has reportedly been a major moving factor behind
    This guy simply needs to be shipped off to Siberia where he can freeze his 'nads off.
  • Does this mean that the [] domain is being given to slashdot too? I really hate accidentally ending up there when I try to type in slashdot. Finally I can simply get redirected to [] and not need to be humiliated. Somehow, I don't really expect OSDN to bother with this.

  • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @04:12PM (#13022224)
    We are seeing quite a change in the concept of property rights in the USA. Between the recent Supreme Court ruling that cities are now able to take land and buildings from one individual and basically give them to another (richer) individual or corporation without proper reparations and this, it looks like property rights in the US are undergoing a significant spectral shift.

    Every economist knows that solid property rights are the basis of a strong economy. But it looks like we're seeing a new take on it. I like to call them "anarchocorporatite property rights": you have the right to your property, unless a corporation or rich individual/group wishes to take it from you without due reparation.

    Frankly, I'm surprised that the true American conservatives, the people who realize the necessity of stringent property rights for a strong economy, aren't making a bigger fuss about these recent developments.
    • American conservatives are greatly troubled by the decisions you've mentioned, and look forward to the replacement of the liberal judges with ones in the mold of Scalia, Renquist and Thomas.

      It was the liberals that said that it is OK for big-mamma govt. to take away your property (the city knows best, right?). The conservatives are and were totally against this decision.
    • Yeah, I guess you're right. It's not like those misspellings really infringe on the Google trademark because they're different, and domain names are basically property.

      I thought having to hand over those domains was a good thing because the typosquatters are trying to make easy money using basically a negative contribution to society. Now I reallize that this sort of thing is a slippery slope.

      I guess a better (and also more truly capitalist) solution would be to create browser extensions which correct

      • by CyricZ ( 887944 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @04:56PM (#13022429)
        Another capitalist/free market solution would have been for Google to make a financial bid for those domain names, and to leave the courts out of it. If they valued the ownership of those domain names enough, then they would have been more than willing to pay that individual a fair price for them.
        • Maybe I'll go into the soda business. I'll name my product "Cocu Colu", and maybe even use a fancy font where the lowercase "u" has a nice stylish curve on the top. I'll make my cans bright red with white/silver lettering. And the forumula will taste just like another leading brand.

          Of course, the capitalist/free-market solution will be for the Coca Cola Company to make a financial bid for the business, and to leave the courts out of it. If they value the ownership of this startup competitor, then they

        • This was resolved through an arbitration rather than a court process.
          That means the two aggrieved parties met with a neutral third party and agreed to let the third party decide the outcome of disagreement.
        • When the individual isn't willing to accept a fair price for domain ownership the courts must become involved.
      • I guess a better (and also more truly capitalist) solution would be to create browser extensions which correct typos. If someone finds the typosquatters annoying they can just use such an extension.

        Seems like that can be taken advantage of by bribes^H^H^H^H^Hcontributions from the same companies spamming domain name space.

        Maybe they should make some kind of way I can save my favorite sites and come back to them later, like a bookmark...

    • by Zordak ( 123132 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @07:05PM (#13023145) Homepage Journal
      While I would hate to be seen as standing up for the Kelo decision, it does not allow the government to take your land without "reparations." Governments are not supposed to be able to take your land at all , with or without "reparations," except for some very narrow "Public Uses" (roads, bridges, schools). What the Kelo decision did was cut the last tiny, little thread that the "Public Use" clause was hanging by and say that the city could take your land whenever they want it and give it to whomever they please. They still have to give you "just compensation" (althouth that basically translates into "whatever the city decides your property is worth before they take it").

      I hate the Kelo decision as much as anybody (in fact, I haven't run into a single person who likes it), but lets not make it into a beast it's not.

      • Note that the parent specified "proper reparations". The current theoretical market price (as opposed to the price at which the owner is genuinely willing to sell) is arguably improper, at least in cases where genuine public use does not exist.
    • This is a weird thing to say, because conservatives ARE making a huge fuss about it. Go to, for example,, or better yet, their group blog, The Corner ( []) and that's all you hear about: Kelo, Kelo, Kelo. But the fact is there's nothing they can do.

      Also, note that the conservatives on the court (Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist) and the generally conservative (O'Connor) voted *against* Kelo. It was the liberals on the court who issued the majority ruling.
  • Money equals power (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gunpowda ( 825571 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @04:25PM (#13022276)
    Big corporations tend to triumph in these ownership situations - in a related dispute Apple was able to regain [] control of from someone who was basically cybersquatting.

    I do wonder what a private individual would be able to do in a position where someone has registered a typo version of their own domain for malicious intent. I suspect it would be a lot more difficult.

    • The site existed long before the itunes service was launched, thats not cybersquatting. That was a case similar to [], this is different.

      This person intentionally attempted to exploit people's natural tendancy to make mistakes to infect people with spyware.

  • I remember back in the []">good old days (1998) when '' was actually forwarded you to ''. Then it forwarded you to Yahoo. People were nice, no one wanted to hijack your PC... *sigh*
    • That's retarded. There's nothing wrong with my HTML, so if some MOD somewhere could fix that I would appreceiate it.
      • Re:Kick me. (Score:3, Informative)

        by novakreo ( 598689 )

        That's retarded. There's nothing wrong with my HTML, so if some MOD somewhere could fix that I would appreceiate it.

        Moderators can't edit posts, they can only mod them up or down as needed. I'm sure Slashdot editors/admins can, but this [] is the only time I've heard of them intervening, and that was to delete, not edit.

        The problem here is that Slash [], the code behind Slashdot and several other sites, uses very old HTML, before such things as title attributes were around. You could try reporting a bug, if

    • The commercialization of the internet is probably the root of that and much of the other shit we have to put up with...
  • Maybe it's just me, but I don't understand what the *National* Arbitration Forum (emphasis mine) has to do with a dispute between Google, which is from the US, and a guy in Russia. Can someone explain that to me?

    While I certainly am in favour of the ruling itself, I don't see how a US-american organization could assert authority over handling conflicts that aren't happening in the USA. Did Russia agree to this? What are the rules for arbitrating such matters between people (or entities) from different stat
  • What if I made a car company called Fjord? With vehicle names like the Mustaung and the EFF-150? I got a pretty good idea what would happen. This should be an open and shut case.

    Not only that, but they're trying to make money off of google's name. Trying to make money and cause damage at the same time. This is illegal.

    Unless you're selling cigarettes.
    • Nothing wrong with that. The pronounciation of fjord (fee-yord), and Mustang is just a name of a horse. In fact look at a Ford Mustang site or pamphlet, notice there no trademark or copyrite. Now if you made the car look very similar or copied Fords distinctive logo, you're in trouble. As for EFF-150, that might get you in trouble, as it's very similar to a non-usual name. F-150 isn't a pre-existing word such as a Viper or Mustang or Cobra. They may still try and sue you, and probably will win since they ca
      • Actually, "Mustang" is a trademarked word (see here []). Since you can only trademark a word in one specific business segment, you can have the name "Mustang" for, say, a computer brand, but you're prohibited under trademark law to use that specific name for the name of a car.
    • You might be sued by the norwegian company "Fjord 1" for doing that. It's a company that runs lots offerries and busses in the western part of Norway in case you didn't know. ;-)

      On a side note, in Norway most people earn money by hard work, not suing for stupid things such as having a name similar to another, so you could probably safely start your business and call it Fjord.

      On a second side note, by the way, a local burger shop called Mac Williams was forced tu change their font on the sign (It's not a f
    • WHat if you made parts for FORD cars? maybe that should be allowed since you would be 'making monyey of of Fords name'?

  • I just use tab completion
  • Good thing! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @04:38PM (#13022339) Journal
    Shew, this is good news. If I had made a typo trying to access Google, and instead of Google's homepage been presented with a link to download a program, goodness knows I couldn't have resisted the urge to download and run it! It already takes a good deal of my time getting around to running all the email attachments my friends send me, plus all these messages with attached programs I get saying my email account is suspended (which is sort of strange, because I administrate my own web site and email server - I guess I keep sending emails to myself and then forget about them). Oh well, that's the cost of being a hip, computer-savvy, in-touch kind of guy.

    Dan East
  • There's also: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
    And possibly more.
  • by grolschie ( 610666 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @05:11PM (#13022520)
    I was about to show my boss an example of cool flash animation and I accidentally typed [] instead of []! All these nudies poppup up on screen and my face turned red. Man, did he give me beans over that.
  • This case should not set a precident. If he hadn't been using them for malware, or violating Google's trademark, he should have been allowed to keep them IMHO.
  • by Intellectual Elitist ( 706889 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @05:31PM (#13022622)
    Domain names are typically short and rarely have any separation between the words in compound names. There's no capitalization, no font, no logo -- nothing to distinguish them from each other except a handful of lower case letters. In that kind of limited naming space, I think it's dangerous to start giving companies the right to claim any names that are merely close to their own.

    Was this Russian guy intentionally using typos of Google's address to generate hits? Yes. But was he infringing on their trademarks, mimicing their logos, or diluting their brand identity in the process? Not from what I can see. He may be an annoying bottom-feeder who exploits people's typing mistakes, but if he's not trying to present his sites as if they were part of Google, then I don't see why anyone has the right to yank those domain names from him.

    Does Google have the right to shut down legitimate names like or Or if someone whose last name is Igle creates, could that be construed as "typosquatting" too? And what about companies with less unique names who are more likely to have "typo collisions" with other legitimate names? Is this going to be reduced to the same bullshit subjective standard as pornography, where some judge "knows it when he sees it"?

    If someone suggested applying this same sort of typo ownership standard to telephone numbers, people would think they were insane.

    • Look, let's go back to the definition of trademark violation:

      Does it cause confusion for consumers?

      And the answer here is clearly, YES! Now, if someone wants to register, more power to them, because we can all tell clearly that the site is not affiliated with On the other hand, a consumer typing in or whatever is clearly looking for When they get the page, they think, oh good, here's google! Meanwhile, some hole in IE is being exploited in the backgroun
  • Ever since they registered domains like,, and, I've seen the amount of typos I make per line increase dramatically. No joke.

    I'm just lucky that such sites as still redirect to instead of the proper site; this gives me a little incentive to spell the word correctly, and so my typing isn't utterly ruined.

    Am I the only one who uses Google this much?
  • (Score:2, Interesting)

    by saritonin ( 743188 )
    Take a look at [] sometime for another ridiculous cyber-squatting dispute.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson