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Cybersquatters target iPhone

27 сентября 2007

Long before Apple’s keenly awaited iPhone handset goes on sale in the shops, internet opportunists are already making money from the product. The US technology company has fallen victim to “cybersquatting” in the UK as a number of variations of the iPhone name have been registered as internet domains, in the hope of making money from mis-directing people to these websites.

Cybersquatters have registered addresses such as www.ukiphone.co.uk or www.o2iphone.co.uk to lure internet users looking to buy or find out more information about the iPhone, which goes on sale in November.
These pages in fact have nothing to do with the iPhone, but feature an array of pay-per-click advertising links. Cybersquatters make money if internet users click on any of these.
Jonathan Robinson, chief operating officer at NetNames, a company which helps companies manage their internet domain names, said: “The iPhone launch is one of the biggest product launches of 2007 and has been just as eagerly anticipated by cybersquatters as it has by consumers. Cybersquatters have spent a great deal of time over the past few months securing as many iPhone and operator domain name combinations as possible.”
Cybersquatting is becoming an increasing problem for businesses. Squatters can register hundreds of sites quickly and fill them with lucrative pay-per-click advertisements. These misleading websites can confuse consumers and damage brands, as well as diverting potential customers away from genuine company websites.
However, the process of getting domain names back from cybersquatters can be a long and costly legal process. Earlier this year Microsoft launched a series of lawsuits across Europe and the US to regain control of its trademarked domain names.

Источник: Financial Times

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