Yes, I live in South Africa and my loyalties lie with South Africa and South Africans, and no-one else.
You may think that we’re part of some larger greater bigger global community and that we’re all looking out for each other, but that is a fantasy I choose not to indulge in with you.
My blog (Cape Town news) is not a brand name. It’s a completely generic phrase and people use it all over. I am not so arrogant as to think that because I registered that domain name in the co.za space that that entitles me to every variation thereof in every domain space.
I did some research and discovered that myspace.co.za, bbc.co.za and gmail.co.za are all registered to South Africans and have no association with myspace.com, bbc.co.uk and gmail.com respectively. None of these local domains even reference their famous namesakes.
I don’t think either the Americans or the Britons care a jot that the aforementioned names are being used in the co.za namespace for completely different purposes.
You say it doesn’t matter that facebook.com is American. I say it does. If facebook.com was a well-known South African company and someone else registered facebook.co.za, then I would agree that the registration was mischievous. The fact that facebook.com is well known to some South Africans does not say to me that that means they automatically have rights to facebook.co.za. They are not a registered company in South Africa. They do not have offices here. They do not employ people here. They do not pay taxes here. They do not trade on our soil in anyway. Any business they do with South Africans is legally transacted on American soil.
My argument is that the co.za namespace specifically caters to businesses operating in South Africa. If you are a registered business operating in South Africa and paying taxes to the South African government, then, yes, you may have a claim to your name in the co.za namespace. Otherwise, no, you do not enjoy any special rights to any co.za domain name. I don’t care how famous or well known you are.
I notice that as soon as facebook.co.za became known to some South Africans, there was an immediate knee-jerk reaction to side with the American company and level an accusation of cybersquatting. I am frankly amazed by that reaction. There seems to be an implicit assumption with you (the accusers) that if anyone establishes a popular domain in some other namespace, then that automatically reserves their name in the co.za namespace for their use and their use only. Even if they never take it up, you would regard anyone else using it as “wrong”.
And yes, Paul, the onus is on you to convince me that your position holds any merit. If you think you don’t have to present arguments to back up your position, then you are wasting our time and you should cease blogging your opinions.
Yes, I do question your loyalties to South Africa and South Africans when you side against your countrymen.