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The intent of this report is not to point fingers and make accusations, rather, it is to point out certain facts that have been discovered and ask questions. Should the reader draw conclusions from this article, the conclusion must be only the conclusion of that reader. I am not a legal expert on cyberspace laws, I am only a cyberspace user. This report is compiled using sources readily available on the internet regarding gunbroker.com and Gunbroker Holding, Inc. The address of Gunbroker Holdings, Inc. is:
"Can I copyright my domain name? Copyright law does not protect domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a nonprofit organization that has assumed the responsibility for domain name system management, administers the assignation of domain names through accredited registers."
The site is commonly known as gunbroker.com. However, as indicated by the document at http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/agents/gbhldgs.pdf they have several domain names of interest. There are several domains listed on the document that are used as re-directs to the gunbroker site. The site http://www.robtex.com/dns/gunbroker.com.html was very useful in establishing those sites that re-direct the individual to the gunbroker site. It will be noted that if a person were to type into their computer browser any of the following names, they will be re-directed to the gunbroker site:
guns-america.com (note, not gunsamerica.com)
gunsandammo.com (note, not gunsandammomag.com)
gunsandammoauctions.com (again, not gunsandammomagauctions.com)
NRAAuctions.com (No relation to the NRA, actually, auctionarms.com has exclusive NRA auctions, according to http://www.auctionarms.com/search/NRAAuctions.cfm )
Aguns.net (not aguns.com, an antique gun auction site)
gunsclassifieds.com (not gunclassified.com)
greatwesterngunshow.com. The "Great Western Gun Show" details may be found as follows, with no apparent connection to gunbroker.com
The forgoing are just examples of the many, many different re-directs that will get you to the gunbroker web site if typed into your browser. I have no idea why gunbroker would care to make a re-direct to their site when greatwesterngunshow.com is typed into an internet user's browser. I am somewhat interested in why. But really, I have little clue as to why domains such as nomancy.com are so important that gunbroker would care to make it a re-direct to the gunbroker site. All I could suggest is, this raises the question, why would gunbroker be using so many re-directs to their site, re-directs that closely resemble the names of other well known web sites or organizations? Well, maybe I have a suspicion.
Here, I must make some conjecture. There are a few reasons why a web site would have this fashion and number of domain names linked to their site. One reason would be to give the false impression that they are somehow affiliated with the site whose name they mimic. One reason would be to increase the traffic to their site via inadvertent misspellings by internet users. A potential reason might be that search engines will recognize their site whenever an internet user goes looking for the site whose name has been copied. There may be other reasons, and I would not care to speculate exactly why gunbroker has felt it necessary to link all these different domain names (some of which are clearly derivatives of other sites) to their site. Perhaps there are other valid reasons why a web site would do this. If so, I would like to hear them.
There are some rather curious phenomenon that have continued to develop with the rising use of the internet. Cyberpirating and cybersquatting have been such growing issues that laws are now in place that would seem to discourage the practices, yet, they continue. Information on cyberpirates, cybersquatters, and the laws surrounding them can be found on the following two sites:
http://www.mirickoconnell.com/images/library/98.html "NSI continued Dr. Postel's policy but almost as soon as the Net was opened to commercial traffic, trademark disputes arose. The most egregious cases in these early days involved "cybersquatting" and "cyberpiracy." Cybersquatting generally referred to an individual who registered domain names identical to well-known marks in an attempt to resell it to the mark owner at a significant profit. See Panavision International, L.P. v. Toeppen. Cyberpirates are those who register the same or confusingly similar domain name in an attempt to lure traffic intended for the mark owner away to pirate's web site. In the absence of legislative definition, these terms are used interchangeably." http://searchwebservices.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,s id26_gci213900,00.html
"According to the U.S. federal law known as the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, cybersquatting is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. Commercial domain names (technically, you reserve a second-level domain name) are obtained from one of several registries, companies authorized to ensure that a domain name you want is unique (no one else already has it) and issue it to you if it is. However, these registries make no attempt to determine whether the domain name is one that rightfully ought to go to someone else. The principle is "First come, first served." For this reason, a number of enterprising individuals and companies have applied for and reserved domain names, either new or expired, that they think someone else will want, either now or in the future. Well-known companies or their products, sports figures and other celebrities, political candidates, and others often discover that someone else has already reserved the domain name (for example, "sammysosa.com") they would most likely want to use. Although trademark laws may offer some protection, it is often cheaper to buy the domain name from the cybersquatter than it is to sue for its use."
As I have previously indicated, I am no expert on cyberlaw. It would be inappropriate for me to draw an expert conclusion as to the real reason gunbroker would use such domain names as re-directs to their web site, or why they would attempt to protect them in a veiled copyright document. I am willing to listen to any logical explanations as gunbroker administration or others would see worthwhile to bring forth. Until such time, I will let the reader draw whatever conclusions could be drawn from the forgoing facts.