I’ve been looking at dropping auctions more regularly on NameJet and SnapNames, and I frequently come across generic typo domain names that are enticing. They seem generic enough that they would avoid any type of trademark violation, and they could potentially get traffic based on some analytics I’ve done. These are typically misspelled words where one letter is replaced with a letter that’s next to the correct letter on the keyboard.
Today I found a typo domain name that I was considering, and I went to the website to see if I could find some analytic information – like Compete.com traffic. When I got there, I saw that it was a porn site, and it got me concerned. I know that a domain owner may not be liable for what a previous owner did, but that wouldn’t necessarily stop a company from filing suit under the assumption that you had something to do with its prior usage.
Now if you are sued for misuse on a high value domain name, that’s another story and a cost of doing business in most cases. However, if you are sued because of a cheap typo name you bought hoping to make enough PPC revenues to cover the drop price, you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth the effort.
Furthermore, you should ask if the domain name is really worth acquiring if it’s currently a porn site, as it wouldn’t make sense for the domain owner to monetize it this way if it received traffic (it’s unrelated to porn).