Opportunists Profit From Domain Names and Tragedy in Austria

By April 30, 2008 ENUM No Comments

With Amstetten in Lower Austria making the headlines around the world, the domain name world opportunists are quickly registering domain names relating to the Fritzl family and attempting to sell them on eBay and elsewhere. Others are registering domain names of the family and regularly updating the websites with news and information on the happenings.

One registrant hoping to profit from the tragedy, Stefan M from the Austrian state of Voralberg, has registered three domain names relating to the victim, Elizabeth Fritzl, with a reserve price on each of €20 reports the German FOCUS Online. Elsewhere on Sedo, other domain names have been listed with a minimum price of €1,000 each.

However the addresses up for auction on Sedo may not stay there long, with Sedo spokeswoman Semra Yilmaz telling FOCUS Online domain names relating to the victims will be removed for moral reasons as soon as possible and these domain names will not be able to be offered for sale on Sedo again.

The registration of domain names relating to the Fritzl family in Austria follows a similar pattern following the escape from captivity by Natalie Kampusch in Vienna. Following her escape and the subsequent international coverage of events, kampusch.de and brigitte-mohnhaupt.de were registered and offered for sale. However several letters and warnings from lawyers followed, and Stefan M. can expect similar action.

It is likely if legal action were taken against people such as Stefan M. that damages would be payable and the domain name deleted if he were to profit from the domain name says Georg Seeberger, lawyer and author on law, communications and media.

To read the original article in FOCUS Online in German, click here.