Cybersquatting is an old, old crime in internet history. But that doesn't make it any less attractive to cybersquatters.
But, as with so many issues on the net, there are grey areas and shady edges that make resolving cybersquatting disputes that much harder.
In short, a cybersquatter is someone who registers a domain name that someone else, usually a company or celebrity, could justifiably lay claim to.
If someone had registered startrek.com first, the creators of the Star Trek TV show would probably be quite annoyed. In the old days, cybersquatters tried to make money. They'd register something of value to someone else, then try and sell the domain name to them for as much as possible. And in a few instances, it worked.
These days that's much less likely to happen, but cybersquatters are still around.
Rogers Cadenhead, a writer from Florida, has been accused of being a cybersquatter in recent weeks, but actually his activities fall into one of the shady areas mentioned above.
Weeks before the announcement of a new Pope in the Vatican, he perused the list of names of previous Popes, and made some guesses about what name the new Pope would choose for himself.
Benedict XVI was one of his choices, and he registered the benedictxvi.com domain, as well as innocentxiv.com and paulvii.com.
On finding the Pope had indeed picked Benedict as his official name, Rogers was first pleased, then concerned that people might think he was up to something fishy.
He took the time to post a lengthy explanation on his w e b s i t e (www.cadenhead.org) in which he declared: "A few news reports suggest that I might have popesquatted benedictxvi.com to sell it to pornographers. For the love of God, people, that's not
XVI. going to happen. I will be running any plans I have for this domain by my own Catholic doctrinal enforcer, my never-miss-a-Sunday grandmother Rita."
That domain, at any rate, is not being squatted upon. At the time of writing, it points to a charity web site.
But cybersquatters also make a habit of exploiting people's tendency to make mistakes while typing. They often register domains of famous names or brands, but with two letters transposed. So someone wishing to lure in Tesco customers might register tecso.com instead.
Sure enough, at the time of writing, someone had registered benedictxiv. com (where the final 'i' and 'v' are the wrong way round), although it was not pointing at anything other than a blank page.
Why do they do this? Because simply by putting a few adverts on the target page, they can often rake in a sizeable sum, simply from people typing the wrong thing into their web browsers and pressing 'enter'.
The official Vatican web site, www.vatican.va, is an impressive one.
Although the design is hardly modern or groundbreaking, it's clear that a huge team of people must work very hard to keep the content up-to-date. Within hours of the new Pope's election, the site carried news of this event and a biography of Pope Benedict
Much of the content on the site, which goes into great detail about Vatican policy and official business, is published in several different languages.
But the cybersquatters are never very far away. While vatican.va is the official site, an unofficial one at www.vatican.com is nothing more than a list of ( admittedly fairly restrained) advertisements, aimed at exploiting people who go online looking for information about travelling to the Vatican City.
Giles Turnbull has a web site at gilest.org