Organizations “Get Stiffed” by Adult Entertainment Groups

According to the article I read, “The number of domain names being allowed to expire–intentionally or accidentally–is at an all-time high.” (Carolyn Duffy Marsan, Network World March 08, 2002). This has caused quite a problem for many organizations worldwide. Since this time (2002) many adult entertainment groups have bought the domain names to expired sites such as ones previously belonging to the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and even the Dutch Government. Now, anyone who tries to visit one of these sites get’s more than they bargained for: They get redirected mainly to porn sites (some are gambling sites also). “The links caused a hell of a stir,” says Edward Loeb, a program manager with Allied Technology Group, a contractor that operates the U.S. Department of Education’s Web site. “The public is not at all happy to find…their taxpayers’ dollars spent on Web sites that link to pornography. It was quite an embarrassment to us.” (Network World, 2002).

Clever, to say the least. Porn sites get advertisement through an already heavily visited channel, used by all types of people. The only problem I have is that even though this is done legally, should it still be legal? I mean, the Dutch Government losing their website to a porn group?! This is almost as bad as Michael Jackson buying out all of the rights to the Beatles songs when they were unaware that they were up for grabs! Should there be a law or something that allows only the same organization or group to purchase their domain name back?! If bought by someone else, shouldn’t it have to be changed. This is similar to the purchasing and selling of domain names during the early 90’s, which is now illegal to do (ex. I buy Disney.com and try to make a lot of money selling the domain name to Disney, etc).

Anyways, I know this happened a few years ago, but I thought it was interesting and perhaps not that many people have heard about it. If any laws have been passed in regards to this topic, please let me know. I haven’t found any.

 

*For more information about enterprise networking, go to Network World Fusion. Story copyright 2006 Network World Inc. All rights reserved.*

 

 

 

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