Cape Cod politics reaches a new low in the 1st Barnstable District race
And it's illegal and Patrick Foran should be ashamed of himself
By Walter Brooks
Tea Party politics came to Cape Cod's political scene this month as Republican candidate for State Rep. Patrick Foran who is running to unseat incumbent Democrat Cleon Turner grabbed Mr. Turner's web domain, CleonTurner.com, whose registration had apparently lapsed briefly. They are running for the 1st Barnstable District which includes Brewster, Dennis and Precincts 1, 2, 4, & 7 in Yarmouth.
"Cybersquatting" is a federal crime punishable by fines up to $100,000
A call this morning to GoDaddy.com, a major domain registrar, confirmed the fact that the "administrative contact" for CleonTurner.com was Patrick Foran.
Respect for the law, to say nothing of common decency and common sense, should have deterred Mr. Foran from his childish act. It's more school boy than adult, and hardly the way to win voters, especially the more web savvy ones who would be turned off by this behavior.
Domain name disputes like this one which involve bad-faith registration are typically resolved using the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP) process developed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).The United States, for example, has the U.S. Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) of 1999. This expansion of the Lanham (Trademark) Act (15 U.S.C.) is intended to provide protection against cybersquatting for individuals as well as owners of distinctive trademarked names.
Under the ACPA a cybersquatter can be held liable for actual damages or statutory damages in the amount of a maximum of $100,000 for each name found to be in violation.
Mr. Foran can be forced to surrender the domain to Mr. Turner.
If he's a gentleman, he won't wait until he's forced to, but give it to his opponent with his apologies today.