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I have found a great domain that isn't in use, but the .com and .net domains are already taken. There's nothing on the domains though, it just says they are registered with Network Solutions and are under construction.

My question is: If i buy the .org version of the domain, and the .com guys later start a company on that domain, can they sue me or make me change name because it is too similar to their .com domain? Should i avoid using domains that have already been registered but with a different ending?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You shouldn't avoid purchasing a domain just because other extension variations have already been purchased - if you like it and it's available, go for it.

In regards to a bigger company who shares a domain name with a bigger extension - they may contact you to purchase it off you but it's all on your own terms - as long as you make it clear on your page that you are not affiliated with 'example business' in any way you will be fine.

There are cases in the public domain of what's known as 'cyber squatters' purchasing domain names (for example, brucespringsteen.com) in the hope of gaining a big payout - he was taken to court but found not guilty (although it is frowned upon, unless you slander or associate yourself with the business/person in question it'll be ok. Link to this story here. You can find various other similar stories but in your case I think you need not worry as your intent sounds justifiable.

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The reason TLD's were created is to differentiate.

.COM is (mistakenly) assumed to be an American TLD, whereas most people use it to mean globally.

.ORG or non-profit making organisations.

.NET ISP's, but they all get muddled and 'misused'.


Don't worry about it. As Long as you're not parodying, or slagging off the owner of the .COM domain, or trying to misrepresent it in anyway you should be fine.

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Perfect, no need to worry then! :) – qwerty Oct 5 '12 at 16:03
It did answer my question, i quote: As Long as you're not parodying, or slagging off the owner of the .COM domain, or trying to misrepresent it in anyway you should be fine.. You're right though, Daniels answer was better. Sorry for the confusion. – qwerty Oct 5 '12 at 16:43

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