To the ignorant, domaining is often thought of as Cybersquatting. The correct definition Cybersquatting is: Using a domain name with bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.
Domaining is the process of acquiring domain names to flipped, developed or monetized by type-in-traffic that the domain gets naturally.
Now that we’ve cleared the air on the definitions, let’s examine why these can often get associated with each other.
Frequently, entertainers and atheletes are the ones who fall victim to their names being bought up when they pop on the cybersqatter’s radar. If you perform a domain search on ebay (opens new window), the current flavor are the presidential candidates – but the smart domainer already knows that opportunity has passed.
Also, many big name brands have variants of their names in domains – “XboxDealers.com”, or “Wiiwant2play.com” – which begs the question – How long will the big companies allow these sites to monetize their brand?
Some companies for now have smartly embraced this notion and for the time being, let this go as long as the “spirit” of the site is not detrimental to the brand (fanboy sites), and of course, as long as no free software or services are available. It’s a risky move for these sites to come down hard on the domain owners since the backlash of negative publicity towards the brand could be irreversible.
However, the danger to the domainer is that what if she starts making a lot of money leveraging the brand? At any moment in time the trademark owner *could* file a suit not only for the domain name itself, but for the profits made by the site, and potential damage caused to the brand by the site.
Not sure about you, but that’s something I don’t want to lose any sleep at night over.