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Zuccarini To Receive 30 Months in Prison

In a Press Release [PDF] issued yesterday, February 26, 2004, it has been announced that Zuccarini (background here) will receive 30 months in prison for violating the Truth in Domain Names Act.

At least two of the domain names mentioned in the press release, DINSEYLAND.COM and BOBTHEBIULDER.COM appear to have been registered by third parties and are pointing to pages of links:

On December 10, 2003, ZUCCARINI pled guilty before Chief United States District Court Judge MICHAEL B. MUKASEY to 49 counts of violating the Truth in Domain Names Act. In addition, ZUCCARINI pled guilty to one count of possessing child pornography. The prosecution, guilty plea, and sentencing is the first of its kind to be brought under the Truth in Domain Names Act, which was enacted on April 30, 2003, as part of the "Amber Alert" legislation.

As described in the Complaint, ZUCCARINI's activities in directing Internet users to Web Sites depicting pornography were the subject of numerous consumer complaints, lawsuits by legitimate domain name holders, and an enforcement action by the Federal Trade Commission for unfair and deceptive practices.

In civil lawsuits brought against ZUCCARINI by private citizens whose domain names he has used misleading versions of, ZUCCARINI admitted that one reason why he registered domain names of Web sites popular with children was because children are more likely than adults to make spelling errors and to mistype Web site addresses.

In addition, in those civil lawsuits, ZUCCARINI admitted that he earned between $.10 and $.25 for every viewer who he brought to the Web sites which advertised for pornography, and admitted earning a total of as much as $800,000 to $1 million per year from his use of misleading domain names.

Attorney General JOHN ASHCROFT stated: "Individuals who use trickery and deceit to lure children to X-rated websites must know that they will pay a price for their criminal conduct. The Truth in Domain Names Act was designed to create a safer, cleaner online environment for children. As today's sentence demonstrates, those who violate that law and expose innocent children to pornography for their own financial gain will be prosecuted, and they will serve time in jail."

Editor's Note: Other related stories on Zuccarini
- Report on Reaction to Zuccarini's Arrest
- Domain Name Typosquatter Still Generating Millions

By Martin Schwimmer, Attorney
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Related topics: Cybercrime, DNS, Domain Names, Law
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