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Another Good Decision on Internet "Gripe Sites"

I want to call your attention to another court decision that upholds the right of a consumer to create a non-commercial web site criticizing a company, using the company's name as the domain name. Lucas Nursery and Landscaping v. Grosse, 2004 WL 403213 (6th Circuit March 5, 2004). This case involves Lucas Nursery, a landscaping company in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, which apparently botched work done for Michelle Gross - or at least that was her opinion. But, when she established a web site to tell her story, Lucas sued her under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ("ACPA")... more»

ICANN and the Data Quality Act: Part VI

This is the sixth part of a multi-part series reported by ICANNfocus. This part focuses on ICANN's Strategic Plan. Read previous parts: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V. "The requirement that ICANN develop a Strategic Plan offers an important opportunity for achieving meaningful reform of the organization. The Strategic Plan is one of the key new ICANN duties contained in the most recent amendment to their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Commerce. The MOU specifies in considerable detail the elements that ICANN is to include in the Plan including issues ranging from executive compensation to mechanisms for ICANN accountability..." more»

Where Did the .Root Top-Level Domain Come From?

It was pointed out to me the other day that the ICANN/NTIA/Verisign root zone file contains a previously undiscussed top level domain. The contents of this TLD suggest that it was created by Verisign, the company that actually constructs the root zone file used by the dominant set of root servers. (The same zone file is also used by at least one of the competing root systems.) That TLD is .root. It's existence is as real as any other TLD such as .com or .org... more»

Questioning Innovation: An Interview with Bob Parsons

In a press release issued Wednesday, March 03, 2004, Go Daddy Software, Inc., defended ICANN's right to regulate VeriSign's registry services and called for a formal review of the company's position as an "exclusive registry." This announcement from Go Daddy, which comes one week after VeriSign filed a lawsuit against ICANN, pledges $100,000 to ICANN for its defense of the VeriSign lawsuit. Go Daddy, which ranks among the top 3 largest domain name registrars in the world and one of VeriSign's largest customers, has also sent a letter to both the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) strongly urging both groups to undertake a formal review of VeriSign's registry position.

In this special interview, CircleID has caught up with Bob Parsons, President and Founder of Go Daddy, where he provides in-depth discussions of Internet Innovation, ICANN, VeriSign's Global Registry Services, Top-Level Domains and the current legal battles. more»

Letter from Rome

I am at the ICANN meeting in Rome. The big story here is that ICANN is under attack for not sticking to its narrow mission -- technical coordination of the DNS and IP numbering system. People here are referring obliquely to the VeriSign lawsuit as "recent events" (as in "in light of recent events"). This euphemism reminds me of words used to reference the US Civil War ("the late unpleasantness"). more»

ICANN and the Data Quality Act: Part V

This is the fifth part of a multi-part series reported by ICANNfocus. This part focuses on Securing the Quality of WHOIS Data. "Information for which ICANN has responsibility includes the WHOIS databases. ICANN has been given specific responsibilities for these databases under: 1) their contract with the U.S. government's Department of Commerce to perform the technical management of the Internet; and 2) their Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Commerce." more»

Verisign vs. ICANN: More at Stake than Sitefinder

It's easy to dismiss Verisign's antitrust suit as a ploy to push through Sitefinder. But whether one loves Sitefinder or hates Sitefinder, the complaint raises a much more significant issue that won't go away even if ICANN lets Verisign roll out Sitefinder. At the heart of Verisign's complaint is the lack of any definable process for decisionmaking, and its a complaint shared by others. A settlement between Verisign and ICANN that does not create a clear process for decisionmaking at ICANN that includes trustworthy independent review will merely delay the inevitable. Eventually, some other party will become just as frustrated and again challenge ICANN -- either in U.S. court or by enlisting the help of the U.S. Commerce Department, non-U.S. governements, or multinational treaty organizations. ICANN must recognize that the days of ad hoc decision making based on realpolitick must end and give way to stable processes that ICANN staff cannot control. more»

New Regime for Registration of .fr

Association Francaise pour le Nommage Internet en Cooperation ("AFNIC"), the domain name authority managing the French country code top level domain, is introducing a new regime for registration of .fr domain names. Among the main changes, the new regime abolishes any "right to the name". Until now an applicant for registration of a .fr domain name must prove that the domain name reflects its company name, business name or trade mark that is in force in France. more»

Registrars File Lawsuit Against ICANN and VeriSign

Newman & Newman, the law firm representing an ad hoc coalition of ICANN-accredited domain name registrars, has filed a lawsuit today against ICANN and VeriSign to Stop 'Anti-Consumer, Anti-Competitive' Wait List Service Implementation. ...The complaint attacks ICANN and VeriSign based on 1) Unfair Trade Practices Act Violations; 2) Violation of California Business & Professions Code; 3) Unlawful Tying Arrangement; 4) Attempted Monopolization; 5) Violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act; 6) Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage; 7) Breach of Contract; and 8) Declaratory Relief. more»

Zuccarini To Receive 30 Months in Prison

In a Press Release issued yesterday, February 26, 2004, it has been announced that Zuccarini (background here) will receive 30 months in prison for violating the Truth in Domain Names Act. At least two of the domain names mentioned in the press release, DINSEYLAND.COM and BOBTHEBIULDER.COM appear to have been registered by third parties and are pointing to pages of links... more»

ICANN and the Data Quality Act: Part IV

This is the fourth part of a multi-part series reported by ICANNfocus. This part focuses on the Information Correction Process. "The Data Quality Act provides affected persons the right "to seek and obtain correction of information maintained and disseminated by the agency that does not comply" with the Data Quality Act and implementing guidelines. ...The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) provides detailed instructions on how to request correction of information not meeting their Data Quality guidelines. NTIA is the operating unit of the Department of Commerce that is responsible for ICANN." more»

It's About Connectivity Not The Internet!

I've been trying to avoid writing about the Internet as such. With as "At the Edge" I'm looking at larger issues but can't escape writing more directly about the Internet. It seems as if everyone wants a say in Internet policy without distinguishing between technical and social issues. Today the term "The Internet" or, for many simply "Internet" is more of brand than a term for a specific technology and its implications. It has become too easy to talk about the Internet in lieu of understanding. We also see the converse -- a failure to recognize "Internet" issues. more»

Results of ICANN's Special Meeting

As a follow up to ICANN's Special Meeting of the Board on February 18, 2004, previously reported here on CircleID, the following resolution was reached on the WLS Negotiations with VeriSign: "During this Board Meeting, the Board authorized the public posting of the 26 January 2004 letter setting forth the results of the negotiations and asked that this matter be placed on the Board's agenda for the publicly-held Board Meeting for 6 March 2004 in Rome, Italy." more»

ICANN and the Data Quality Act: Part III

This is the third part of a multi-part series reported by ICANNfocus. In this part, the focus is on how ICANN implementation of the Data Quality Act would address congressional concerns. "Congress is deeply concerned by ICANN's management and is demanding meaningful change in how the organization governs the internet. Congressional concerns regarding ICANN and Congressional oversight activities were detailed in Part II of this series." more»

WLS Deemed Illegal by Registrar Coalition

ICANN's announcement of a "Special Meeting of the Board", to be held on February 18, 2004, includes a number of topics in its "Proposed Agenda" including: "WLS Negotiations with VeriSign". In reaction to this particular item related to WLS, Newman & Newman, the law firm representing an ad hoc coalition of ICANN-accredited domain name registrars, has sent a letter to Dr. Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN expressing... more»

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