New Zealand's political climate isn't too dissimilar from ours right now. They're mulling over plain packaging, a carbon tax, a fibre-broadband network and the controversial issue of same-sex marriage. A staunch opponent to the marriage equality movement is Family First New Zealand — a political party that recently collected 50,000 signatures against the move. Little did they know that as they passed around slips of paper to be signed, their domain name had fallen out of registration. It was then swooped on by none other than a pro-Marriage Equality movement.
This means that whenever someone goes to www.familyfirst.co.nz, they are automatically redirected to www.marriageequality.co.nz, where they'll find a whole raft of pro-marriage equality content.
We've already seen this week what not renewing your domain name can do for your business. In the University of Queensland's case, it cost everyone a day's worth of productivity. In Family First New Zealand's case it's likely to cost them a little more than that.
How much more? Try reputational damage, damage to its anti-marriage equality crusade and damage to its following who, when presented with the facts about marriage equality, might actually find it's less of a thing to be afraid of.
Is it cybersquatting if it's for a good cause?