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Illegalize Ad Squatting

Making money by preventing everyone else from buying a domain
(Image used under: Fair Use doctrine)

So I know that to buy a website that either the name of a famous person or business in the hopes of making them pay you bunches of money when they get smart enough to want that site is Cybersquatting and is illegal. Simple enough. I also know that buying a domain that similar to a major site in the hopes of getting traffic from people who make spelling mistakes is also illegal. For example, if I were to register Hotmial and I got lots of traffic from people who meant to go to Hotmail. Clearly bad.

But here's the important question: what about ad squatters? Ad squatters are those people who buy up every possible domain that consists of words or letter combinations that people would likely buy, park annoying ads on them and leave them there for all time. For you to actually get that site, you would have to pay a lot more money than if the site weren't registered assuming the ad squatter decides to sell at all.

I say ad squatting should also be illegal because if someone like me wants to register a domain name for a new business or website, I'm screwed because every possible good name has been taken. If some real company or individual somewhere legitimately used the site for their own blog or store, I wouldn't mind, but these jerks only have worthless ads and no content and do nothing to add to the Internet as a whole. In fact they make it worse because search engines often list them as relevant due to the domain name alone when in fact they have nothing useful on their pages at all.

I've read the stories about how these people make millions a year on these annoying ad pages. I don't begrudge someone from coming up with a brilliant idea and making a lot of money, but when you're choking the opportunities of everyone else to do it at the same time, that's not ok.

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Advertisement Disguised as Traffic Ticket

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Companies that are desperate to force you to look at their ads have been disguising them as traffic tickets which you'll surely not ignore. Even if the ad were fantastic, I think I'd throw it away as a matter of principle.

Note, this post begins a new category on my page dedicated to the low and dirty cheats among the market. It will serve as evidence for my continuing position that the market needs heavy and strict regulation to play fair.

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Fake Blogging Made Illegal in UK

(Image is in the Public Domain)

Found on Slashdot, this article explains how writing fake reviews about your own book or hotel to boost its rating will become illegal in the UK and perhaps all of Europe.

This practice is very similar to the fake blogs that marketers made in the United States recently.

I don't really know why they had to specifically illegalize this… Wasn't it already fraud?

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Youtube to Share Ad Revenue with Video Posters?

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This should encourage people to post more videos. Of course, it will encourage people to download a video and repost it as their own (as happens already). But it's the thought that counts. Of course, it would be better if they share the revenue from the page ads shown around the video instead of adding a stupid ad to the front of any video you try to play.

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Bluetooth Spam is Coming

Hijacking your Bluetooth headset to send ads is apparently ok in some countries with lax regulations
(Image used under: Creative Commons 2.0 [SRC])

Slashdot points to an article about companies who have figured out a way to send commercials to nearby bluetooth devices. So now if you're walking near a fast food spot, you get a instant message on your phone offering a lunchtime special.

According to the article, the Netherlands (where the practice is widespread) has refused to classify it as Spam giving advertisers the legal green light to start jumping unsuspecting bluetooth phone users. Coming soon to America.

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FTC Cracks Down on Fake Word of Mouth Marketing

Marketing hiding as natural recommendations. Lovely.
(Image used under: Creative Commons 2.0 [SRC])

The Washington Post reports that the FTC has begun to crack down on false word-of-mouth advertising. This is where a company pays people to tell friends about their products. From the article:

As the practice has taken hold over the past several years, however, some advocacy groups have questioned whether marketers are using such tactics to dupe consumers into believing they are getting unbiased information.

Ya' think?

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