A U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania has ordered John Zuccarini to shut down a scheme that bombarded Internet surfers with ads for porn and gambling when they mistyped Web site addresses. The Federal Trade Commission sued Zuccarini last year, accusing him of registering numerous domains that were misspellings of popular sites, including 15 variations of Cartoonnetwork.com and 41 variations on Britney Spears. Consumers who went to those sites were hit with a barrage of pop-up ads and in some cases were "mousetrapped"--that is, they couldn't close their browser or go back to the previous page.
The court barred Zuccarini from diverting or obstructing consumers on the Internet, and from launching Web sites or Web pages that belong to unrelated third parties. The court also barred him from participating in advertising affiliate programs on the Internet and has ordered him to give up more than $1.8 million in "ill-gotten gains," the FTC said.