Master of Their Domains, After a Fashion

That's your URL, not your house.

You were probably told to share, say “please,” and play nice in preschool. But, for some brokers, that message doesn’t quite stick.

David Innocenzi is a broker at Heddings Property Group. He was using for his brokerage business. But this summer, when he clicked to renew his membership of the domain name, it was mysteriously taken, according to The Real Deal.

Prudential Douglas Elliman, who itself pinched Heddings’ domain name, recently sued for having almost the exact same thing done to it. In a lawsuit against Saunders & Associates last June, Douglas Elliman made headlines for complaining that such theft exploited “the identity and goodwill earned by its competitors.”

But this is now exactly Mr. Innocenzi’s problem. And although nabbing someone’s domain name is about as common and unenforceable as nabbing someone’s seat on the train—even City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has been cyber-squatted—what is astounding is the blank stare that Douglas Elliman gave Heddings as soon as it was called out for its theft. A spokesperson for the firm claimed they had no knowledge of the matter, and the domain name was immediately returned.

Although Mr. Innocenzi  declined to name the two Douglas Elliman brokers responsible, his own Italian name, meaning “innocent,” may help score him votes on the playground.

The Real Deal has a whole series of tales about such dealings, and you can read the rest here. Master of Their Domains, After a Fashion