From the "muscles flexing" category comes a short note this week (courtesy of Professional-Poker.com) that PartyGaming PLC, the owners of Party and all like things, was successful in an action against a Delaware firm who had registered and used the domain "partypokerplay.com" for their own profit.
The purchasing of domains that can be confused with much larger entities is a facet of a long-running practice called domain squatting, which has been part of the Internet ever since the 'Net itself became the next hot thing. Virtually every company that hits the big time on the web then has to defend its territory against people who'd like to siphon those profits away. A related practice, perfected by porn-peddling organizations in Florida and California, was to purchase domain names only a typo away from a famous portal --- creating something like "yahho.com" --- then set up that site's main page with browser disablers and pop-up windows that generated multiple, bogus hits and brought in stolen ad revenue while trapping the unwitting user's computer.
The big names pushed back, suing the squatters and demanding that the like-styled domains be turned over to the main site, since these other sites were vulturing traffic away based on the famous site's attraction. It's an ongoing process; Party is one firm in a hundred thousand faced with this type of challenge.
Sure, a site name such as "party-poker.com" would be an obvious attempt to borrow from Party's fame, and there are countless variations on the theme. I haven't visited partypokerplay.com (nor do I plan to), but the mere fact that this site was identified points to something else: Deep within the bowels of Party Poker, in a cubicle lined with Internic contact lists and photos of famous Indian actresses, there's an underpaid legal clerk whose job is it to ferret out possible domain-name interlopers.
Poor guy. So, in a salute to our unsung, nameless hero, here's a Top Ten list of possible domain-squatting URLs that a truly, truly energetic domain-name sleuth defending Party's honor should check. After all, they just might be cashing in on the Party name: