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cybersquatting
Last modified: Wednesday, May 22, 2002 

Cybersquatting is the act of registering a popular Internet address--usually a company name--with the intent of selling it to its rightful owner.

Comparing cybersquatting to online extortion, Senator Spencer Abraham, a Michigan Republican, has introduced to Congress the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. This bill, if enacted, would make cybersquatting illegal. Violators would be charged a fine of up to $300,000.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has also outlined anti-cybersquatting tactics, which have been endorsed by ICANN (Ironically enough, someone recently registered www.wipo.com in order to sell it back to WIPO for several thousand dollars).

Even though legislation has not been enacted, almost all cybersquatting court-case decisions are against cybersquatters.

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