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Domain Name Hijacking Affects Local Illinois Campaign in Will County

We’ve previously noted here the challenge of dealing with domain name disputes based on personal names, particularly in the political arena.

Now that the campaigns are over and all are taking a deep breath, we can reflect back on one of the domain name disputes arising in the political campaign this year for the office of State’s Attorney in Will County Illinois.

Shortly after he announced his candidacy, Jim Glasgow’s name was registered in various forms with various gTLDs without his consent and used to redirect Internet users to a website dedicated to the incumbent Jeff Tomczak.

Curiously, Jim was listed as the registrant.

Jim consulted with us and we were able to assist him because the registrations of domain names in his name without his consent violated the registrar’s agreement.

The problem attracted local media attention as reported by Stewart Warren in her article in the Suburban Chicago News, “Fight over Web sites could play into battle for state’s attorney’s office”.

Why was this done? Only to interfere with another’s legitimate use of his own identity and to confuse the public, it appears. No other rationale seem plausible.

Jim went on to victory on last Tuesday.

Here’s to avoiding deception and confusion on the Internet. Cheers.

By Mark Partridge, Managing Partner at Partridge IP Law

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