Right-wing lobbyist group the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) undoubtedly isn’t thrilled that the domain name australianchristianlobby.org has been registered by Australian Cat Ladies, a group which shares the same initials but vocally supports marriage equality, a cause the Christian ACL has repeatedly argued against. I’m very willing to enjoy any embarrassment heaped on the narrow-minded bigots at the Christian ACL, but the situation doesn’t demonstrate that all organisations need to register every possible URL associated with their cause.
Advising businesses to register URL variations of their name is a commonplace, often couched in terms of trademark protection. However, it’s not a cost-free business. While .org and .com domain names are relatively cheap, the same isn’t true of country domains.
The value of multiple domains is questionable in a world where the most common search terms include common sites. For many people, the domain name simply isn’t something that registers. In that scenario, registering minor variants seems like a pointless waste of time.
A news report on the Australian Cat Ladies site describes the genesis of the site:
The writers, calling themselves the Australian Cat Ladies, pounced on the domain name AustralianChristianLobby.org when the ACL, which only uses acl.org.au, failed to buy the domain.
Saying the Christian ACL “failed to buy the domain” feels like a stretch to me. The group might equally have decided it didn’t want any domains that didn’t end with .au. With that said, should it decide to contest the registration of the .org site, I don’t think it will have much ground: despite the name, the site doesn’t attempt to pass itself off as the Christian ACL in any way, and there are many other global organisations with the same initials.