January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

A Swat at Cybersquatting

Thanks to the new Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, domain name speculators soon may be out of business.

The law, recently signed by President Clinton, will protect businesses from opportunists who register company names and corporate trademarks as online domain names, then attempt to sell them for a profit.

Jonathan Ezor, a legal expert in online issues, says companies doing business on the Internet often don't realize they are playing in a much larger arena. "Businesses with an online presence must be aware of national and even international implications, no matter how small the companies may be."

He cites trademark violations, site design and hosting, privacy and security of information, linking to other sites, marketing to children, and employee Internet use as areas of risk.

Violators of the new law can be punished with fines between $1,000 and $100,000.

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