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Domain Name Theft, Fraud And Regulations

When it comes to domain name disputes, no domain name has captured more media attention than sex.com. Of course, disputes about sex often obtain a great deal of attention, and the sex.com domain name dispute can grab its share of headlines because the case involves sex, theft, declared bankruptcy, a once-thriving Internet porn business, and fraud, instead of the typical cybersquatting allegations. Indeed, this case is remarkable for its potential impact on the development of caselaw concerning whether there is a valid basis to assume that trademark interests should overwhelm all non-commercial interests in the use of domain names. The answer is no, but the caselaw to support that answer is in tension with cases that strongly imply a contrary conclusion. more»

TLD Registration Enforcement: A Call for Automation - Part I

The past year has brought a rise in so-called "open and chartered" top-level domains (TLDs). Like the traditional open TLDs of .COM, .NET, and .ORG, these namespaces encourage large-scale registrations, but they differ in that they limit who can legitimately register domains. So far, many thousands of their registrations seem to break the stated rules. It's therefore worth thinking through their respective enforcement efforts -- before the situation gets out of control. more»

ICANN And The DOC Can't

The former contract with ICANN and the US Department of Commerce (DOC) was due to expire on September 30, 2002. In the statement announcing the renewal, the DOC acknowledged that ICANN was the subject of many complaints from many sectors of the Internet community. Some of these complaints had been presented to the US Congress during a hearing held in June 2002 by a Senate Subcommittee. At the hearing, a General Accounting Office (GAO) spokesperson, Peter Guerrero, testified, noting not only that ICANN had failed in its mandate, but that the U.S. Department of Commerce was also at fault in failing to properly oversee ICANN activities. He explains... more»

September Deadline: Can The ICANN Model Be Revised?

On September 30, 2002, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the US Department of Commerce (DOC) and the corporation created to privatize the infrastructure of the Internet will expire. This corporation, known as ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has had a very contentious existence from its earliest days. On July 10, 2002, a US Department of Commerce official, Nancy Victory, sent a letter to ICANN. She wrote that the agreement between ICANN and the DOC "will expire on September 30, 2002 and in the coming weeks, the Department of Commerce will assess whether to renew, extend, or modify this agreement. To assist in this review process," Victory asked, "I request that you provide me with a report detailing ICANN's efforts in these areas, as well as any other information that might inform the Department in its decision-making with respect to this agreement." Victory said that the response to her letter should be sent no later than August 15, 2002. more»

Have You Monitored Your DNS Performance Lately?

Domain Name System (DNS) surveys such as that recently conducted by Men & Mice continually demonstrate that the DNS is riddled with errors. Since the DNS continues to work, this raises three questions:

1. Does it matter that the DNS is riddled with errors?
2. Why is it riddled with errors?
3. How can it be fixed? more»

ICANN, President Roosevelt And The Thralldom of Names

Former President Theodore Roosevelt is not one whose remarks are usually associated with the domain name industry, but his commentary in 1913 could just as easily have been written today:

"The mob leaders usually state that all that they are doing is necessary in order to advance the cause of 'liberty', while the dictator and the oligarchy are usually defended upon the ground that the course they follow is absolutely necessary so as to secure 'order'. Many excellent people are taken in by the use of the word 'liberty' at the one time, and the use of the word 'order' at the other, and ignore the simple fact that despotism is despotism, tyranny tyranny, oppression oppression, whether committed by one individual or by many individuals, by a state or by a private corporation." more»

RealNames' Termination: More Catastrophic than Anticipated!

Microsoft is a special company. By definition, its operating systems and Internet browser are no longer just "applications;" they constitute a platform. They are - for 90 percent of Internet users - the sole interface to all Internet content and services. The browser is its own little monopoly. Such is its dominance that Microsoft has the power of life and death over innovation. more»

Old Habits Die Hard!

The new domains are coming! “Dot-biz is going to be the next coming of dot-com”, I recently read in an article in the Denver Post. The buzz has begun. Seven new top-level domains have been approved by ICANN, the organization that governs domains, and could be available as early as spring of this year. The new domains approved are .biz, .info, .aero, .coop, .musuem, .pro, and .name. more»

What's My Name Got to Do With It?

For about 3 years I had been studying graphic design and finally after much searching decided to use bmw-design.com for my domain name. I chose bmw for my initials Bernadette Maria Walker. I searched for availability on Network Solutions and was happy to see that it had not been taken, so I registered my new domain name. This all seemed very innocent to me and I even designed my logo around this name. Then 5 days later I got this letter via FedEx from BMW Motor Company in Germany... more»

National Academy of Science and the Domain Name System Controversy

The National Academy of Science (NAS) has been brought into the controversy over the future development of the Internet and its domain name system, a controversy recently fueled by the creation of ICANN. The US Congress under Public Law 105-305 mandated that the NAS undertake a study of the domain name system, which is to include options for its development, and the potential impact of the various alternatives. The $800,000 expenses for the study are to be funded by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Commerce. more»

Do We Need The New Top-level Domains?

After a long and exhaustive process it was finally decided by ICANN to introduce seven new top level domains in December. Well, they are not really introduced yet because the United States Government has the final word and they have not approved of them yet. Did you understand what I just wrote - the United States Government decides what names you can have on the Internet? more»

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