Internet

Sorry, Prince George! Cyber-squatters are snatching up all your domains

July 29, 2013 at 10:36 AM ET

princegeorgeofcambridge.org
princegeorgeofcambridge.org

If you head to www.princehenryofwales.org, you'll see the official website of Prince Harry. But if you check out www.princegeorgeofcambridge.org, you'll see large letters proclaim "domain for sale." Hundreds of domains have already been registered under variations of the new prince's name — in hopes of a profit.

Cyber-squatting — or domain-squatting — is the practice of registering domains which could be of particular interest to an individual or organization. This often includes variations of trademarked names and can sometimes even involve negative content related to the user who might be interested in the the squatted domain in order to pressure him or her into purchasing it.

“I’d never done anything like this before but I’d read about someone registering the previous Pope’s name and selling it on for a profit so I thought I’d see what was available," website designer David Henderson, the current owner of www.princegeorgeofcambridge.org, told the Telegraph.

As Henderson notes, domain-squatting is not really a new practice. In the past we've seen someone register peta.org in order to create a website called "People Eating Tasty Animals," much to the dismay of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). A man named Mike Rowe got into hot water with software giant Microsoft after registering MikeRoweSoft.com. Whitehouse.org and georgewbush.org house parody websites. The list goes on.

"I’m a big fan of the Royal family so I certainly don’t intend to hold them to ransom, I just thought it might be an address I could sell to someone in the future," Henderson clarifies.

Considering that domain registrar names.co.uk tells the Telegraph that over 400 domains based on Prince George's name have already been registered, it's possible that not everyone has the same mentality.

Poor Prince George won't even have much luck on Twitter either, where a Canadian man named George Wells has been sitting on the @PrinceGeorge handle since early 2009.

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