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Monday, 18 February, 2002, 16:36 GMT
Bogus .info domain owners face eviction logo
Bogus .info domains are being reclaimed
Up to 10,000 cybersquatters look set to be evicted from .info domains they falsely claimed the right to own.

Before summer Afilias, the company which runs .info, believes it will have won control of the domains that speculators falsely reserved in late 2001.

The speculators managed to grab the domains by exploiting loopholes in Afilias' application process.

The recovered domains will be offered for sale again in May.

Bogus buyers

Afilias, a consortium of 18 sellers of domain names, was awarded the right to run the new .info domain in November 2000.

It first took applications for .info domains during a "sunrise" period, designed to allow trademark holders to get hold of .info domains bearing the name of their products or companies.

However, flaws in the sunrise application system allowed speculators to gain control of some generic .info names by supplying false or misleading information. Most countries do not allow generic terms to be trademarked.

Now Afilias has launched challenges to 6,800 of the falsely registered names. A spokesman for the company said it eventually expected to launch challenges against a further 5,000 bogus trademark claimants.

To stop speculators profiting from the new names, Afilias locked .info domains registered during the sunrise period, making it impossible to resell them until the owners trademark claims had been investigated.

Afilias expects the vast majority of its challenges to be successful and believes up to 10,000 generic names will up for sale again in May when all challenges should be completed.

If more than one person applies for one of the released .info domains, the name will be awarded on a random basis.

Afilias said registrars that sell .info domain on its behalf will be taking requests for the released names in late spring once it has compiled a list of all the recovered names.

See also:

12 Oct 01 | Sci/Tech
New net domain 'fiasco'
19 Jan 02 | Sci/Tech
Challenge to bogus net name holders
07 Nov 01 | Sci/Tech
New domains taking hold
17 Dec 01 | Sci/Tech
The net gets a new .name
11 Jan 02 | Sci/Tech
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