The purchase of an Internet domain name that includes a company‘s registered trademark name, with the intention of selling the domain name to the company. Also: cyber-piracy or cyber piracy.
“A big company doesn’t want to find out a 12-year-old kid has already registered its name,” Ms. Bailey says. This was pretty much the case for Apple Computer Inc. when it discovered 16-year-old Calgary student Abdul Traya held title for the domain name appleimac.com, which he registered two months after Apple announced the iMac computer launch. Mr. Traya received a letter from Apple’s lawyer saying he committed an act of “blatant cyberpiracy.”
—Margret Brady, “.com before the storm,” The National Post, June 21, 1999
Porsche, which intends to appeal against the court’s ruling, claims the regular use of false names and addresses by people registering domain names has made it virtually impossible for famous trademark holders to find and sue registrants individually.
Patricia Britton, counsel for Porsche Cars North America, says: “An ‘in rem’ lawsuit is the only feasible way Porsche can put an end to the cyberabuse and cyberpiracy it faces on the Internet.”
—Michael Kavanagh, “ US court stalls Porsche domain name legal fight,” Marketing Week, June 17, 1999
These cybersquatters scoured the world for names of large companies, famous brands, and even events like the Olympics 2000, and applied for addresses incorporating these. Approval for addresses was initially granted by a group of volunteers and later an American company, Network Solutions, which did not reject such applications, so cyberpiracy became rampant.
—Paul Jansen, “www.what is in a name?,” The Straits Times (Singapore), May 3, 1997
The more general sense of cyberpiracy as an online criminal act is a bit older:
Kevin Mitnick is accused of billions of dollars in cyber-piracy, using phones and high-tech know-how to tap into corporate computer files.
—“Trial begins for the world‘s most-wanted computer hacker,” CBS News Transcripts, February 17, 1995