Mark Zuckerberg may have started the online social networking revolution and made billions of dollars from his game-changing Facebook (FB). But this maverick internet entrepreneur surely didn’t reckon with city boy Amal Augustine.
Amal has ‘beaten’ the master at his own game and closed a deal with FB, trading the registration rights of maxchanzuckerberg.org on Monday.
FB approached Augustine for the domain name registered by him as it was the short form of Maxime Chan Zuckerberg, the name of FB founder Mark Zuckerberg’s daughter.
More than the money, Augustine, a final-year electronics student from a city engineering college, says he was thrilled by the fact that FB approached him.
He says his passion for filing internet domain names has earned him a small profit. He received $700 in the deal with FB.
“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,” said Amal, a student of KMEA engineering college. However, the FB team’s approach foxed Amal. The request came as a casual email from GoDaddy, an internet domain registrar and web hosting company, asking whether he would be willing to sell the domain name by the end of last month and for how much.
He replied yes and asked for a decent sum of $700.
But when the mail came closing the deal, he realised it was FB. The mail was from Sara Chapel, manager of Iconic Capital, the firm which handles the financial deals of Facebook founder.
“When the letter came officially mentioning the change of registration, I noticed the FB letterhead. But since it’s not legal to negotiate, I just went ahead and closed the deal in seven days,” he said.
An internet domain or domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the internet.Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Any name registered in DNS is a domain name.
The Amal-Zuckerberg deal has been the most interesting case of cybersquatting that took place in the state so far, say cyber experts. The deal was made through an online website, GoDaddy which bought the rights from Amal.
Cybersquatting is a process of registering or using an internet domain of a trademark belonging to someone else or an organisation or brand. The cyber squatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name.
“Internet squatting is not an illegal process. People register domains of popular names, brands or organisations and later bargain with the owners and eventually sell it back to make money,” said Mahesh C, faculty in the department of computer science and engineering, FISAT.
“Cybersquatting is quite common. Domains such as amithabbachan.com and salmankhan.com were ‘squatted’ by techies in the past, It is not considered a violation as per the Indian cyber law, but it’s a civil rights violation and action can only be taken as per World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) arbitration rules (2014),” said cyber law expert advocate Prashant Mali.