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If It Walks Like A Duck And Quacks Like A Duck It's Probably A…?

It is time to revisit the old question regarding whether or not a domain name is actually 'property' and what this means to domain name registrants, registrations, ISPs and ICANN itself. What type of rights does a domain name confer? What responsibilities will the act of registering domain names suddenly bestow? more»

Internet Governance: There Are No Masterplans

Please pardon me if I start this story by telling about an incident that happened to me at the Madrid airport while flying to the ICANN meetings in Rio.

It was about midnight when, after flying in from Turin, my hometown, I had to go through the passport control to reach my gate for the flight to Rio. The war between the US/UK and Iraq had started two days before, and even if the Spanish government was among its supporters, security checks were apparently proceeding as usual. Passport controls inside the EU for EU citizens usually take a few seconds, and the line ahead of me was proceeding quickly. more»

Brownian Motion And ICANN's Latest Status Report To The United States

Brownian motion is the ceaseless random movement of particles suspended in a warm fluid. The particles move because they are buffeted by random collisions with molecules and atoms speeding this way and that under the impetus of heat. The greater the heat, the greater the motion. But no matter how much motion and how much heat, Brownian motion brings no progress.

Today I learned from Bret Fausett's ICANN Blog that ICANN has just published its Sixth Status Report Under ICANN/US Government Memorandum of Understanding, dated March 31, 2003. This report is subtitled "Report by ICANN to United States Department of Commerce Re: Progress Toward Objectives of Memorandum of Understanding" (emphasis added.) more»

With No Privacy Standards Who Knows Who Is Abusing The Whois Database

John Banks is a loan officer in New York. John's supervisor recently warned John about the potential number of bad loans he may be carrying as part of his portfolio. To dump some of the bad loans he might be carrying, John came up with a scheme. He pointed his web browser to www.whois.org and entered terms denoting disease or poor health such as 'cancer' and 'illness'. This query on the Internet's WHOIS database reported results of names and addresses of domain name owners who had developed websites devoted to providing information on certain serious illnesses. John compared these names and addresses with those in his portfolio of loans. For the matches, he canceled the loans and required immediate payment-in-full. more»

Time For ICANN/IANA To Squarely Face The Question Of Privacy

Various people whose judgment I value [M. Mueller, B. Fausett] have suggested that ICANN/IANA may finally get to the issue of privacy.

The ICANN Board is establishing a "President's Standing Committee on Privacy" (why the committee is possessed by ICANN's "president" and not the Board is something we can deal with at another time and another place.)

Privacy is a hard question. It is a matter that pervades all aspects of information handling. It would be entirely inappropriate, and ultimately futile, to try to deal with privacy as an after-the-fact adjustment to the existing DNS Whois system. It is necessary to examine the most fundamental questions -- such as what reasons, if any, justify there being a Whois database at all. more»

Introduction Of A New Domain: The Sweden Way

Network Information Centre Sweden AB (NIC-SE), which is the organization that administers .se domain names, will be introducing a new regime for registration of .se domain names.

Under the new regime, applicants from all over the world will be able to apply for registration of a .se domain name without needing to prove that the desired domain name reflects a company or organization name. There will no longer be preliminary examination of applications for registration of .se domain names nor any restriction on the number of .se domain names per applicant. It will also be possible to register geographical names as .se domain names. However, non-Swedish applicants (those without a permanent business place or address in Sweden) must provide a local contact (i.e. person or entity who is permanently resident in Sweden). more»

In Defense Of Face To Face

I recently caused a stir in a small but passionate community. I was speaking about a topic I've discussed many times before: the need for more effective public input into the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit corporation that controls the Internet's protocols, addresses and domain name system. "We want public input into ICANN," I had said at a conference at Oxford University. Then, I referred to ICANN's new At-Large Advisory Committee, set up to foster public input and on which I sit: "We've got a mechanism where (the public) can have a seat on the task forces, liaisons to working groups, be part of the policy making process -- I see that in many ways as more important than having a seat on the board." more»

Why ICANN Needs Fresh Blood: A Deeper View

I grew up in a utopian community in India.

I make this statement -- which may seem at best tangential to an article on the DNS -- at the outset because it suggests that I know something about ideology and ideologically charged debates.

Like the town where I grew up, the Internet was the product of dreamers, people who believed in the possibility of surmounting reality. In Code, Lessig compared early Internet euphoria to the euphoria that met the downfall of communism. He could just as well have compared it to the utopianism that accompanied the birth of communism. The point is that Internet pioneers were inspired by ideology, by a fervor to change the world. more»

UDRP Does Not Apply To Bad Faith Domain Name Renewals: Part II

The first part of this article offered background examination on why Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) fails to apply to domain name renewals. Here, in the second part of this two part series, we will examine UDRP further by reviewing cases involving the renewal of domain name registrations. more»

Trend Towards Liberalization Of Country Domain Names: Enters .CN

On Monday 17 March, domain name registrations under the new Chinese Internet address, .cn, were available for the first time to registrants both inside and outside of China. As China's equivalent of .uk, or .us, the .cn domain space will be the Internet address of choice for Chinese consumers and for corporations interested in operating in one of the largest Internet markets. more»

A Sustainable Framework For The Deployment Of New gTLDs - Part II

Part I of this article explored some of the current thinking and direction that key policy-makers seem to be headed with the creation of new gTLDS. This part focuses on a new alternative plan for the ongoing deployment of new gTLDs.

ICANN is likely to see many proposals over the coming weeks that attempt to deal with the thorny issue of how to rollout new gTLDs. Any plan that deals with the rollout of new generic top-level domain names must ensure that the expansion of the namespace does not disrupt the existing infrastructure and services. more»

Jurisdiction over Domain Names: Too Much Law Or Too Little?

In the prior issue of CircleID, I described registrations by John Zuccarini. Many of Zuccarini's registrations are typographic variations on well-known domain names, and Zuccarini typically redirects users to sexually-explicit content and pop-up advertisements. Despite scores of UDRP claims and ACPA suits, plus a major case brought by the Federal Trade Commission, Zuccarini's registrations remain in effect -- more than 5,000 strong, in my researchmore»

Exposing A Famous Secret: Well-known Trademarks Are Not Easily Diluted

Regarding a domain name dispute involving famous authors, the novelist, Louis Sachar, observed that "if some unrelated person is going to co-opt my name in cyberspace, and fails to use it to identify a web site related to my books or myself, that's going to endanger my career, as well as my reputation." Louis Sachar is one of nine famous authors for whom the Authors Guild, recently successfully snatched personal name domain names from a United Kingdom domain name registrant known as Old Barn Studios... more»

Thinking Outside The ICANN Box: Creating A Prototype Based On Internet Experience - Part II

The proposal "The Internet an International Public Treasure" ("Public Treasure") offers a means of creating a prototype for an international collaborative management structure for the Internet (see Part I of this article).
 more»

UDRP Does Not Apply To Bad Faith Domain Name Renewals: Part I

The purpose of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy, known as the UDRP (hereafter the "Policy"), is to determine disputes relating to the registration or acquisition of domain names in bad faith. To succeed in a UDRP action (i.e. to obtain cancellation or transfer of the disputed domain name) it is necessary for the party bringing the complaint (the complainant) to show that (i) the disputed domain name is identical with or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; (ii) the domain name holder (known as the respondent) has no right or legitimate interest in respect of the domain name; and (iii) the domain name was registered and is being used in bad faith. Each of the aforesaid three elements must be proved by the complainant to warrant relief.
 more»

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