Have you ever trawled the internet to find out if account names were available for celebrities? Do you own any of them? Congratulations, you are a cybersquatter. A lot of people like to acquire accounts and domain names of celebrities just to get some attention or money. Let's take a look at some cases where Indians squatted shamelessly on the web, rather than by the roadside.
1. Tumhari beti, meri beti
Recently, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg bought the domain maxchanzuckerberg.org for $700 from a boy in Kochi. Amal Augustine, a final year engineering student told TOI that he has been doing domain registrations of such sort for quite a while.
"I have registered quite a few domain names and I have been doing it for some time. I registered this domain name when their baby was born last December", Augustine, a student of KMEA engineering college, told TOI.
2. Google.com was his—for a minute
In September 2015, Sanmay Ved owned Google.com for a minute. The former Google employee bought the domain for a mere $12 when he found that 'Google.com' was available for purchase. Later on, Google paid him $6006.13 which he donated to the Art Of Living. Later, on hearing about the cause, the search giants doubled his reward.
3. It’s hard to handle being the Prime Minister
In 2014, Qaiser Ali from Lucknow found out that @PMOIndia handle was up for grabs as officials had changed the handle to @PMOIndiaArchives for a while. So he took a chance and changed his handle to PMO India. He even tweeted out from the account once before alerting officials that the handle was with him.
4. The wrong kind of skills
A few days ago a man created a fake government website and was later arrested. A Delhi-based businessman had filed a complaint against him for posting a fake tender. The man, Tarun Gupta was arrested with ₹ 8 lakh cash in his possession. He had made a fake website of a sub-department of the Ministry of Skill Development and had conned many people.
5. Star today, gone tomorrow
In the past, techies have squatted on domain names like salmankhan.com and amitabhbacchan.com. Foreigners have also capitalized on Indian domain names. A German man called Mathias Stricker sold yoga.in for ₹1 crore. A company called Axsiom made $10000 for selling www.gurunanak.com.
On the international front, too, there have been a lot of incidents of cybersquatting. The highest deal so far was for vacationrentals.com for $35 million.