Facebook has earned a victory in its case against typosquatters — people with domain names similar to a popular site who aim to confuse and potentially profit from web users.
The US District Court for Northern California ruled in favour of the social network, which earned a hefty payout of almost $2.8 million (£1.8m) and gained control of more than 100 domains.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook is the first big company to win liability damages in a case tried under America's Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
The list of "misspelled" domains included dacebook.com, facebokook.com, faceboocklogin.com, faacebok.com, facebookfreezer.com, facebooll.com, facegbook.com, gfacebook.com, and zh-facebook.com. Some are understandably similar to possible typos, while others seem out of left field. The US District Court's ruling reported that many of the sites were registered in batches by single entities, like Newgate, which registered 50 domains.
Each defendant racked up a different bill, based on a formula that takes into account the number of domains held, how they were used, and other factors. The per-defendant breakdown ranges from $5,000 (£3,215) to $1.34 million (£861,800), TechCrunch said.
The suit dates back to July 2011, giving Facebook plenty of time to recover hundreds of domains. The social network is, according to a study by Sophos's Naked Security, one of the most popular sites to rip off.
"We are pleased with the court's recommendation," Craig Clark, Facebook's associate general counsel, said in a statement. "We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to enforce against those who attempt to take advantage of the people who use our service."