–Dan Kelly, Attorney
Back in April, I explained a little bit about how typosquatters can capitalize on direct navigation Internet traffic. I offered an example of the “omitted letter” typo: www.kellggs.com. Well, one omitted letter typo variant of .com is becoming widely available: .cm.
The TLD “.cm” is the country code top-level domain (“ccTLD”) for the country of Cameroon. It appears that in November of 2008, a company called Netcom.cm Sarl launched a registry for com.cm, co.cm, and net.cm domain names. The company has since contracted with NameJet for the landrush of all other second-level registrations in the .cm domain space. The landrush started July 15 and runs through July 31, at which point second-level .cm registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Unlike some other domain landrushes, there appears to be no premium for registration during the landrush period, but a two-year registration is required. If multiple parties seek the same second-level domains during the landrush, such domains will be auctioned beginning August 4. NameJet has a FAQ page here and does not hide the fact that .cm registrations are “just one letter and keystroke away from a few of the most highly recognizable domains.” Really? I’m not sure that it is wise to encourage domainers in this direction.
By the way, of the other two omitted-letter .com typos, “.co” belongs to Colombia, and it does not appear that widespread commericalizaiton is in the works. The ccTLD “.om” belongs to Oman, and also appears to be territorially limited for now. Interestingly, the .om space could also be used in transposed-letter typos, like www.youtubec.om. I suspect that it will be just a matter of time before entrepreneurs in these countries see the possibilities, and second-level domains start opening up in these spaces.