Law bans domains resembling those of U.S. agencies

By on April 23, 2007

Government Domains “Intersearch.com reported that revenue last year rose to $25.6 million from $17.5 million in 2005 and attributed most of the increase to its purchase of the irs.com Web site in September 2005. It paid $12.9 million for the domain name. ((Source: International Herald Tribune))

A 1994 law bars “any” use of the name of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service and their initials, logos and other symbols to solicit business. The law also states that a disclaimer is not a defense against either civil or criminal action.

The House vote would clarify the law by specifying that the prohibition against “any” includes Web site names. “I bet Bush would sign the law – he wants WhiteHouse.com. But it would be wrong for the law to be created, since it would just bar the use of the domain be a for-profit company. The Government should purchase the domains at fare market value instead of targeting a company that bought the domains and broke no laws at the time. I think there is a law already on the books called imminent domain. If the Government wants your property, they just take it and give you money for it. We have never seen anything like this for domain names, but the Internet is young. If the federal goverment did this, could we soon see City Governments pulling out the same trick and trying to get Local City domains?” ((Source: DomainTools Blog))

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About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.