Domain registrar Dotster has been named in a large cybersquatting lawuit. However, it is likely the actions of a rouge employee that put the company in the hotseat.
According to an article on CNET, domain registrar Dotster has been sued in federal court by Neiman Marcus for cybersquatting and typosquatting. According to the article, Dotster allegedly tested domains during the five day grace period alloted to registrars and then kept the ones that received typo traffic. These domains were pointed to Dotster’s paid parking service, RevenueDirect.
The domain NEIMUMARCUS.COM, listed in the lawsuit, has a Whois record of Dotster’s privacy services. My guess is that it may not be Dotster who’s at fault here. It could be one employee within the company taking advantage of his role to register domains, add Dotster privacy protection, and make a profit.
However, that’s not to say that Dotster and other registrars aren’t typosquatters. When someone registers a typo or trademarked domain and doesn’t do anything with the domain it is typically parked with the registrar, which in turn makes money by showing a parking page.
Even worse, some registrars deliberately keep typo domains previously registered by customers after these domains expire. I explain how GoDaddy is typosquatting some of the world’s biggest brands in this earlier post.
Note: I haven’t read the entire 155 page lawsuit, which might show proof of Dotster’s involvement rather than just the actions of one employee.