A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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January 27, 2005

Beware of cheap imitations

SpamCop beware logo When Microsoft announced last December that it was acquiring Giant Software Inc., some fans of the popular SpamCop.net spam-reporting service openly began to fret.

They knew about Giant from a copycat site called SpamCop.com. For years, the mysterious operators of SpamCop.com capitalized on misdirected SpamCop.net traffic by advertising Giant's Spam Inspector software on the front page of SpamCop.com. Julian Haight, who founded SpamCop.net in 1998, at one point took to posting a message at his site advising visitors to "beware of cheap imitations."

So, when Giant Software fell into Microsoft's hands, some SpamCop.net users feared that Microsoft would take over the deceit and use SpamCop.com to "embrace, extend, and extinguish" the venerable SpamCop.net.

No worries, says Haight. By email, he told us this week that Giant Software apparently doesn't own SpamCop.com. In fact, the Spam Inspector ads disappeared from the site months before Microsoft's deal for Giant.

The domain registration is ambiguous, but SpamCop.com is likely still operated by Dave Lahoti, who has a history of cybersquatting on sound-alike domains.

Posted by brian at January 27, 2005 9:35 AM


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