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What Could the RIAA's Switch in Strategy Mean?

The Wall Street Journal and others are reporting that the Recording Industry Association of America is adjusting its strategy for combating the massive infringement occasioned by the sharing of music files over the internet. Since 2003, that strategy has been to pursue copyright infringement cases against individual file sharers. The RIAA now says it will focus less on pursuing infringement litigation and more on working with internet service providers to shut down the accounts of individuals suspected of illegally trading files. more»

One Good Outcome from the Wall Street Journal: Google Flap

On Monday the Wall Street Journal published an article alleging that Google was trying to arrange a "fast lane for its own content" with telecom carriers and contending that Google and Professor Lessig were in the midst of changing their position on network neutrality policy. The WSJ reporters received a lot of flak for the piece -justifiably so. There was no real "news" in this news article. more»

Disclaimer in Trademark Registration Sinks UDRP Action

A trademark owner who notices that someone else has registered a domain name incorporating the owner's mark can file an arbitration action under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP for short). This often serves as a quicker and less expensive alternative to pursuing the cybersquatter in court. To be successful under the UDRP, the "Complainant" has to show all of the following three elements... more»

ICANN Sets the Schedule to Kill Domain Tasting

Domain tasting, as everyone probably knows by now, is the disreputable practice of registering lots of domains, seeing how much traffic they get, and then using the five day Add Grace Period (AGP) to refund the 99.9% of them that aren't worth paying for. A related abuse is front running, registrars speculatively grabbing domains that people inquire about to prevent them from using a different registrar. more»

Apple iPhone Apps Store: Refreshing Openness or Walled Garden?

Apple Computer has received high praise for the diversity of applications available for the iPhone. The company shows great willingness to accept third party software innovations. But Apple also solely decides whether to accept and make available any application. Rejected software vendors for the most part do not exist if they do not have shelf space at the Apple store. more»

Blocking BitTorrent in Britain

Virgin Media announced its intention of restricting BitTorrent traffic on its new 50Mbps service according to an article by Chris Williams in The Register. Does this mean that net neutrality is endangered in the UK? The question is important because advocates of an open Internet like me hold the UK up as a positive example of net neutrality achieved through competition rather than through regulation. more»

What If I Were Wrong About Edge-Caching?

Nicholas Thompson at Wired Blog sums up yesterday's Wall Street Journal piece on Google. To summarize his summary: Google's edge caching isn't new or evil; Lessig didn't shift gears on NN; Microsoft and Yahoo have been off the NN bandwagon since 2006; The Obama team still supports NN; Amazon's Kindle support is consistent with its NN support. Yet... yet... more»

The ICANN New Generic TLD Process (Las Vegas Edition)

I have not submitted any comments on ICANN's new gTLD process, mostly because many other people have said more diplomatically what I think, but I thought I could blog about it. My main concern from the beginning was that the process should allow any serious candidate to run with a reasonable chance to be able to actually start running a gTLD. This includes small and medium sized communities and startup companies with little seed money. This also includes registry models that may not favour mass registrations. For all these, the current model is flawed. more»

Net Neutrality and the Obama Stimulus Package

As long as US telecom is duopoly dominated, a neutral Internet is endangered if not impossible; regulation of this kind of concentrated power is necessary but is unlikely to be sufficient. The solution, IMHO, is to dilute the power of the duopoly so that consumers can buy whatever kind of Internet access they want. Countries like the UK with a competitive ISP market do not seem to have net neutrality problems nor require net neutrality regulation and have better Internet access than we do at lower prices. more»

Bogus WSJ Story on Net Neutrality

Today's Wall Street Journal has a bogus, misleading story claiming that Google has been making deals with telephone and cable carriers that violate Network Neutrality. My BS detector was triggered by paragraph five, which reads: "One major cable operator in talks with Google says it has been reluctant so far to strike a deal because of concern it might violate Federal Communications Commission guidelines on network neutrality. 'If we did this, Washington would be on fire,' says one executive at the cable company who is familiar with the talks..." more»

The Report on "Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency"

A report "Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency" has just been released. While I don't agree with everything it says (and in fact I strongly disagree with some parts of it), I regard it as required reading for anyone interested in cybersecurity and public policy. The analysis of the threat environment is, in my opinion, superb; I don't think I've seen it explicated better. Briefly, the US is facing threats at all levels, from individual cybercriminals to actions perpetrated by nation-states. The report pulls no punches... more»

The Path Towards Centralization of Internet Governance Under UN: Part 3

This essay is the third of a three-part series, written by Anonymous, and published by the Publius Project of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. It focuses on the steps of a possible roadmap for centralizing Internet governance under the United Nations. more»

Re-Examining the Domain Name Registry-Registrar Split

ICANN has released to the public a report they commissioned called "Revisiting Vertical Separation of Registries and Registrars," written by CRA International. It is being referred to as the "CRAI Report." Readers in the U.S. and the U.K. may not know it, but most top-level (TLD) domains in the world don't have registrars-you go straight to the registry and buy your domains from the source. more»

Fiber to the Home: Ideal Economic Stimulus?

This week, the headlines seem to be full of fresh doom and gloom for wireline carriers, who employ people in every congressional district across America. Sooner or later, someone is going to call for Congress to tap some of the hundreds of billions in 2009 economic stimulus to help the LECs through troubled times, save lots of jobs, and preserve the way we do business in our critical last-mile communications infrastructure. Is this wise? Is there a better way? more»

What Internet Governance Boils Down To

Listening to several of the discussions here at the IGF (so far), my post from yesterday seems to be close to what the focus of this meeting is, control and access to resources. Yesterday I highlighted areas of Governance where Governments actually could help, and make difference. Admittedly, that is not all the aspects of governance though. more»

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