RealTime IT News

Cybersquatter Mends His Ways

After registering about 1,500 domain names hoping to resell them at a profit, a cybersquatter is having a change of heart.

John Zehr got in the domain name speculation business because "I could see that Internet 'real estate' was becoming quite valuable."

Through a domain searching accident, Zehr discovered 132 potentially valuable names that had not been registered by the companies that own trademarks associated with the names. Recognizing what he considered to be a golden opportunity, he registered the domains, including "abcnewscast.com," "superbowlcast.com," "dowjonescast.com" and "uspo.org."

Zehr's reasoning was that the companies to whom these names rightfully belonged should have thought to register them. He figured that they might eventually realize their error, find that they were registered to himself, and would likely purchase them from him.

After much soul-searching, and the passage of an anti-cybersquatting bill, Zehr came to the conclusion that the companies that own the trademarks should be able to claim the domains at no cost to them. Zehr reasoned that he'd want that same courtesy if they were his trademarks, after all.

Zehr is trying to get the word out so the domain names can be transferred to their rightful owners. All in all, Zehr doesn't consider himself to be a "squatter." "All the rest of the names I registered are original and generic."

To see a list of the 132 trademark-related domain names, visit Zehr's Web site. Details are provided there for contacting him.