DNForum, the largest online forum for domain name owners, is cracking down on trademark-infringing domains sold on its site.
Last week the forum announced that it will begin deleting posts for selling “obvious” trademarks and trademark typos, such as mikrosoft.com or samsunng.com. Sales of trademarks and trademark typos have been rampant on DNForum and I suspect the heat has been on owner Adam Dicker to stop this. In some ways DNForum could be compared to the old Napster, in which the company enabled copyright infringement.
Another factor that may have contributed to the move by DNForum is that threads and posts on the forum were being used as evidence in UDRP cases. This should send a message to domainers involved in the “gray area” of the business — lawyers are now paying attention to what goes on in these forums. What you say can and will be used against you.
Another key cleanup in the domain world occurred this week as domain aftermarket Afternic cleansed its database of vice names including adult and gambling. I predict other changes are afoot as the domain industry becomes more mainstream:
-Parking services cracking down on trademarks and trademark typos
-Domain listing services cracking down on trademarks, trademark typos, and gambling
-Yahoo and Google cracking down on trademarks and trademark typos
Do you see a theme here?
Other than trying to avoid being on the wrong side of a lawsuit, companies that hope to be acquired or form partnerships with mainstream companies must clean up their act. On the gambling side, major online poker and gambling companies have seen their businesses shattered overnight as the United States has cracked down on internet gambling.
But vice domain owners need not worry, there will still be an outlet for these domains. In fact, Moniker is extending its famous domain auctions by adding adult-only auctions at upcoming adult entertainment conferences.