From W3C Wiki

Namespace Squatting is the practice of defining and/or using previously unused terms in someone else's namespace without their permission. It's a special case of UriSpaceSquatting.

For example:

  (Copy from older NamespaceHijacking, or something)

Things like this have actually happened:

  Namespace squatting: please don't DanConnolly Sep 14 2000

There are several problems with this practice:

  • Squatters can't really know that a name is unused when they start to use it. Someone else may be squating the same name already, or the owner may be using it in private.
  • If they owner later wants to use the term, there is a risk of conflict with content authored using the squatter's ontology.
  • Without a namespace document, users wont have any place to look for an authoritative description of what a term means.

The first two drawbacks can be arbitrarily reduced by using suitably chosen names, such as ones containing 128-bit cryptographically random numbers.

bash-2.05b$ dd if=/dev/random bs=16 count=1 2> /dev/null | uuencode -m - | head -2 | tail -1 | cut -c1-22


  1. Is there anything in any IETF or W3C specification which forbids this practice?
  2. Should there be? Which Specs? RFC:2616?