[wildcard-comments] Bad idea. Also illegal.
According to 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d):
(A) A person shall be liable in a civil action by the owner of a mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section, if, without regard to the goods or services of the parties, that person (i) has a bad faith intent to profit from that mark, including a personal name which is protected as a mark under this section; and (ii) registers, traffics in, or uses a domain name that-- (I) in the case of a mark that is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to that mark; (II) in the case of a famous mark that is famous at the time of registration of the domain name, is identical or confusingly similar to or dilutive of that mark; or (III) is a trademark, word, or name protected by reason of section 706 of Title 18 or section 220506 of Title 36.
Take a good look at that. SiteFinder is designed to redirect ALL traffic
from improperly-typed domain names to VeriSign. That means that
'ttucows.com' will redirect to VeriSign. (TuCows is a direct competitor
for domain name registrations). This will lead to the idea that 'VeriSign is the internet' which will push out any competitors.
The fact that the first incarnation (and presumably also the second) went around collecting the e-mail addresses of the people who sent mail to bogus domains, and collected data from computers that accessed invalid domains shows (to me, anyway) that SiteFinder is not a way to 'help users', it's a way to 'get money' by selling user's information.
I won't go over the obvious spam-fighting methods that have been brought to a halt, as I'm sure most of you are already aware of it. As another person pointed out, http://www.sosdg.org/papers/VSGNWCD.html has a good discussion of spam and other issues.
Keep in mind that there may be a place for 'friendly' error messages, but that place is in the browser, if anywhere.
- R Wilson