What’s in a name? Quite a lot it seems, as companies rush in to the mis-spelt arena buying up domain names that look vaguely similar to their own.
According to Smh.com.au, big Australian companies such as Qantas, Westpac, Woolworths and Australia Post are buying up mis-spelled domain names in an effort to stop others from making money from their brands.
Domain registrations including qantas.com.au spelt with a ‘u’, woolworths.com.au spelt without the ‘s’, or a missed ‘r’ in australiapost.com.au have been snapped up by Qantas, Woolworths and Australia Post to enable their customers to get access to their website and prevent ‘typosquatters’ from getting their first.
The SMH report claims the Internet regulator, Australian Domain Name Administrator (auDA), has a list of more than 1900 domain names on its List of Prohibited Misspellings including bigpong.com.au, fightcentre. com.au, kommbank.com.au and wirlpoo.com.au., which can net illicit ‘domainers’ $20 per click from advertisements that are run on the sites.
Savvy companies like Zoupon, a group buying website, have also just paid $100,000 for the domain name deals.com.au because its 400,000 customers have issues with the name Zoupon when trying to access a website that offered deals, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The auDA recently sought public comment on a range of policies relating to the management and operation of the Internet in Australia, including whether restrictions on registrants being Australians should remain in place.