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Purchasing a Domain from a Domain Squatter

A domain grabber has registered a domain that I wanted. All they're doing on the site is display ads. How do I get the domain without paying their extortion fee?

  • This is a good question, but is technically off-topic for Super User. You will probably have better luck on the Pro Webmasters stack exchange. If you would like to have your question moved, flag it for moderator attention and ask them to migrate it there. Otherwise, it's likely that it will be closed as off-topic. – nhinkle Feb 1 '11 at 5:30

This Google Answers page on How to Get a Domain Name from a Squatter has some information that may be helpful. Some of it is supported by knowledgeable individuals while other information is hearsay.

Some suggest that you're in for an expensive legal battle, while others assert that if you have a legitimate business reason for wanting the domain and can prove the squatter does not, then you may have a case.

No matter what, the big question is whether it's cheaper to get the lawyer or cheaper to just pay the squatter.

ATTENTION: The Google Answers link is from 2005! Things may have changed.

UPDATE: Here is the same question on the StackExchange site Pro Webmasters: Purchasing a Domain From a Domain Squatter.

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    Even if it's cheaper for you to pay the squatter in the short run, it's going to be more costly for society in the long run. It's a tragedy of the commons. So long as individuals keep buying from domain squatters, they're encouraging more domain squatting/speculation. This drives up prices on domains, benefiting domain squatters and hurting people who actually want to use domains for productive purposes. – Lèse majesté Feb 1 '11 at 13:12

You cannot, unless you have a legal claim to the name they're using, and that's relative as well.

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If the domain doesn't get many hits, the person may just give it up to avoid lost revenue. I got my site back after a year from someone who stole it when I did an improper register transfer; granted, it was a low-priority personal site.

You might have better luck just thinking of a different URL. So long as it's short, catchy, and a Google search result, it might work. Hyphens work in hostnames, if that helps.

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