Mike Isaac

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Facebook Wins Court Battle Against “Typosquatters”

A California district court has ruled in favor of Facebook in the social network’s case against a number of “typosquatters,” according to a filing released on Wednesday.

A typosquatter is the name for companies or individuals who purchase domain names like “gacebook” or “dacebook” in the hope that users will accidentally visit the sites. In this particular case, the defendants were sitting on many different misspelled domains which, when visited, would redirect users to other, sometimes malicious, sites.

The ruling turned over more than 100 domains to Facebook and awarded the company damages of about $2.8 million.

“We are pleased with the court’s recommendation. We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to enforce against those who attempt to take advantage of the people who use our service,” Craig Clark, Facebook’s associate general counsel, told AllThingsD in a statement.

Facebook has a history of going after typosquatters, having already won hundreds of domains in the past. This case could be more significant, however, in that it’s among the first to result in the awarding of liability damages to the victor, potentially establishing a precedent for future similar cases.

Here’s the full filing:

Facebook Typo Squatter

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik