An American tubes and pipes manufacturer whose website is registered at utube.com is suing YouTube after being deluged with traffic from millions of users mistakenly seeking the video sharing network.
Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment Corporation said the cost of hosting utube.com had skyrocketed in the last couple of months thanks to the word-of-mouth popularity of youtube.com.
Now the Ohio firm has filed papers at a district court demanding the video site, bought by Google in October for $US1.65bn, stop using its youtube.com domain or else pay the company’s costs for setting up at a different online location.
Owning a domain name bearing resemblance to that of a high-traffic destination is usually seen as an asset for some entrepreneurial folk. Utube’s predicament was recently called a “lucky break“.
But company president Ralph Girkins told the AP the deluge of traffic – 68m hits in August alone – had knocked his site offline, causing the 17-employee business to lose trade.
“We’ve had to move our site five times in an effort to stay ahead of the youtube.com visitors,” he said. “[But] we were there first by 10 years.”
Girkins previously told CNN the situation was “killing us“, but was recently reported to be seeking and receiving offers in the region of US$1m for the domain name. The genuine YouTube receives around 72m visitors per month.
What do you think? Which mis-typed domains would you like to own? And what would you do with utube.com if you owned it?