updated 06:00 pm EST, Wed December 21, 2011
Wants thousands for name similar to Apple's
Hoping to cash in on the similarity to Apple's cloud-services suite, a North Attleboro man has put up the domain name icl0ud.com for auction on Ebay, asking a minimum bid of $7,000. The domain currently points to a generic business site called cloudstoragedrive.com that offers to help digitize, manage and secure files stored on a cloud storage system. The business is also for sale for the same asking price.
The owner of icl0ud.com, who is not identified, says he originally registered the domain to build a "guild website" for an MMORPG game he was playing, but "given the popularity of the name" he was now looking to sell the URL, which could conceivably be a "misspelling variant" for Apple's new web-services and cloud-storage portal. The business the name redirects to has very little original content and appears to be a front with no actual company behind it.
It is not unusual for owners of similar-looking domains to try and sell their URLs, either to the company whose name they share or to third-party ad or sex sites that want to capitalize on misspelled attempts to get to the original URL. For example, two more common misspellings of "iCloud" might be "iClod" and "iClowd," both of which redirect to unrelated domains (the former to a site promoting a business simulation game, the latter simply a "for sale" placeholder domain).
Apple has been known to buy or go to court to obtain domain names if it believes the current owner is "squatting" on a domain. For example, at present the domain "appleicloud.com" features a promo for a fake app called "App Lei Cloud" that will "keep the doctor away." Unsurprisingly, the page notes that the domain is for sale.
The icl0ud.com domain is also offered at a $10,000 "Buy It Now" price. Two days into the seven-day auction, the name has attracted no bids so far.