The newly expanded Pac-10 -- or Pac-12, as it's called now -- has a problem on its hands. You see, the conference already has its own happy domain, Pac-10.org, but needs a domain change to accommodate its new name, Pac-12. The conference wants Pac12.com, but the domain is currently owned by a loyal 2Pac fan. And thus, we have an issue.
The conference went the legal route in response, asking an arbitrator to hand the domain over.
The conference just filed a domain name dispute with World Intellectual Property Forum against the owner of Pac12.com to get the domain name.
But the owner of that domain is throwing up a smoke screen with a page geared to the late rapper Tupac. A visit to Pac12.com says "Tupac Lives!" and features an Amazon affiliate widget with twelve items.
It's a full-blown turf war. The Pac-12 could go the same route it has with its present website, using Pac12.org, or go a different route with the new site. 12Pac, perhaps, would work here, pleasing college students who love 12-packs while also building a brand.
When the Pac-10 announced its expansion plans, and added Colorado and Utah to the fold, it was clear something like this would happen. As soon as the rumors were announced, it appeared many were scrambling to register domains related to a potential Pac-16 and Pac-12, just in case. In some ways, it's entrepreneurial. In reality, though, it's just squatting, an ongoing problem on the Internet.
Keep an eye on the arbitration case. It's important for the Pac-12, but also could set an interesting precedent when it comes to domain squatting.