BHP, South32 and what to do when cyber-squatters nab your domain

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BHP Billiton has been stumped by cyber squatters who bought the web address for its new South32 business and tried to charge $10 million for it, see story in financial review. Visitors to South32.com expecting to see a polished site explaining the vision behind BHP’s new company are instead greeted by a three-minute video of a woman’s tongue, inviting interested ­parties to purchase the domain name.

A look in the whois database shows the domain was register through Fabulous Domains to a Kari Bian film company in Malibu, California who is also associated with some 18,964 other domains. It seems the domain was purchased for the prime purpose of cyber squatting as it is part of a large portfolio.This is an ongoing problem for new companies, organisations and even celebrities after finding fame search for their domain name finding the obvious ones have been bought and are for sale at inflated prices. There are even companies setup to broker transactions for the sale of these domains. 

What can you do if your domain name of choice has been taken, if its a .com very little but choose another domain name if you are not willing to pay the going price. So the first part of any due diligence is to secure your domain,  and if you are in Australia you are protected somewhat as the purchaser has to have an ABN or ACN to purchase in the .au namespace. But don't just purchase the .com.au but also the .com to protect your brand, otherwise you might end up like BHP Billiton South32 with potential customers visiting the .com site by accident to be greeted with a video of a lady's tongue.

Register your domains through Bluegroper Web Development for as little as $12.95 for a .com.au and $14.95 for a .com, protect your brand and create a domain name portfolio today.

 

 

 

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