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IOC Plays Hardball

Fall Line
posted: 10/16/2000

If the International Olympic Committee has its way, cybersquatting will not become an Olympic sport at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games. The IOC, joined by the U.S. and Salt Lake Olympic committees, recently filed a lawsuit in U.S. Federal Court against more than 1,800 domain names that use the word Olympics¿or related terms¿without authorization. Cybersquatting has become an endurance event, with 72 pages of pirated domain names listed in the lawsuit, including, and "We're taking the domain names back," says Justin Toth, SLOC's assistant general counsel. "We will not allow people to illegally benefit from what is rightfully ours." The lawsuit represents the largest action to date under the new Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, which prevents unauthorized registration of trademarked names. Cybersquatters are nothing if not forward-looking. The domain is being challenged years before the site has been awarded. After scandals have rocked the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, there are domains the IOC has sued to own, but certainly won't use. You can bet there won't be action at, and if the IOC wins in court.

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