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.EU: Lucy's Football?

Those of you familiar with the American comic series "Peanuts" by the late Charles Schultz may be familiar with the recurring theme of Lucy's football. Lucy holds a football on her toe for Charlie Brown to practice a field goal kick. Charlie Brown realizes that the last 25 times Lucy has held the ball for him to kick, she pulled the ball out of the way at the last minute, causing him to trip and fall. Charlie Brown knows full well that Lucy may not keep the ball in place for him to kick, yet his determination gets him running towards that unlikely opportunity each and every time. more

A Network by Any Other Name

Last month Wired News, the online service that grew out of Wired Magazine, decided that it was going stop using an upper-case 'I' when it talked about the internet. At the same time Web became web and Net became net. According to Tony Long, the man responsible for their style guide, the change was made because 'there is no earthly reason to capitalize any of these words'. In fact, he claims, 'there never was.' ...Forgive me for saying, but those who choose 'internet' over 'Internet' are as wrong as those who would visit london, meet the queen or go for a boat trip down the river thames. more

Perfect Information: Involving Registrants in the Expiring Domain Names Market

This proposal outlines the creation of a new market for the efficient disposal of domain names that are about to expire and how Registrants are best included as an integral part of this process. This document does not make any proposals regarding the existing primary or secondary markets for domain names. Further, this proposal is not intended to criticise, condemn or make any declarations about the appropriateness of any particular primary or secondary market business models. more

Sender ID: A Tale of Open Standards and Corporate Greed? - Part II

While everything seemed fine and various participants in these discussions were celebrating the merger of these proposals into one, as well as the support of Microsoft in this endeavor, there was an elephant in the room so to speak, and a rather large one at that. When the original Caller-ID proposal was published, a patent license came along with it. Microsoft indicated that they were planning on filing patents on Caller-ID or some of its aspects, and offered a royalty-free license for the use of their intellectual property. There was some talk about the incompatibility of the license with open source software, including comments from Eben Moglen of FSF and Richard Stallman, but Microsoft employees assured the MARID WG that the licensing issue would be resolved in time for the San Diego meeting. Except that it wasn't.  more

Sender ID: A Tale of Open Standards and Corporate Greed? - Part I

A long long time ago when the Internet was still young and most people were still using clunky Apples, PCs and mainframes; two documents were published by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), part of the US Government's Department of Defense. They were called "RFC 821 - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol" and "RFC 822 - Standard for the format of ARPA Internet text messages" respectively. Written by the John Postel and Dave Crocker respectively, often referred to as some of the founding fathers of the Internet, they defined a simple text-based email system for the use of the fledging network then called the "ARPA Internet"... more

ICANN UDRP and Contract Disputes

When domain name conflicts between manufacturers and distributors rest on contractual disputes over the use of the trademark owners' marks, ICANN UDRP panels have frequently denied relief. See generally the cases cited and discussed in Western Holdings, LLC v. JPC Enterprise, LLC d/b/a Cutting Edge Fitness and d/b/a Strivectin SD Sales & Distribution, D2004-0426 (WIPO August 5, 2004) by Mark Partridge as sole panelist. The decision summarizes other ICANN UDRP decisions involving contractual disputes. For instance... more

VeriSign's Anti-Trust Claim Against ICANN Dismissed

ICANN confirmed today that Judge A. Howard Matz of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California has issued an order dismissing VeriSign, Inc.'s anti-trust claims against ICANN, with prejudice. In dismissing VeriSign's anti-trust claims, Judge Matz noted that VeriSign had failed in its first amended complaint to sufficiently allege an anti-trust claim. more

Why Mexico Lost Fight Over Mexico.com Domain Name

In a recent decision, a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) domain name arbitration panel dismissed a complaint filed by the Mexican Tourist Board (MTB) against Latin America Telecom (LAT) concerning the domain name "mexico.com." The panel went so far as to find that the complaint was brought in "bad faith" and made a finding of attempted "Reverse Domain Name Hijacking" against the MTB. ...In its complaint, the MTB argued that LAT had registered the domain name in "bad faith" in order to sell it for a profit at a later date. more

What's Wrong With Spam Prosecutions

Spam these days is more than an annoyance -- it increasingly carries malware payloads that can do serious damage to your PC, steal your identity, or turn your PC into a zombie that carries out denial of service attacks. So anything that law enforcement can do to fight spam should be a good thing, right? Well, not quite, as I'll explain. more

Open Ends: Civil Society and Internet Governance - Part III

This is the final part of a three-part series interview by Geert Lovink with Jeanette Hofmann, policy expert from Germany, where she talks about her experiences as a member of the ICANN's Nominating Committee and her current involvement as a civil society member of the German delegation for the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS). "You have been visiting WSIS as a member of the German delegation. Could you share some of your personal impressions with us? Did you primarily look at WSIS as an ICT circus for governmental officials and development experts or was there something, no matter how futile, at stake there?..." more

A Closer Look at the Katie.com Domain Name Controversy

Every time an individual logs on to the Internet a pornographer is able to copy the stream of digital bits created by the computer user's Internet connection. The data bits are used to compile a database of information about Internet user buying habits and sexual tastes. These pornographers use the information secretly collected from logged in computers to alter the category or type of pornographic images uploaded onto various websites. Pornographers, for example, know that as a result the pornography in Cyberspace is of an extremely disturbing sort when compared to porn found in "real-space." Internet users are primarily known fans of sexual images of incest, bestiality, and torture. Cyber porn -- as it is often called -- is bigger, badder, and more extreme.  more

Averting the Internet Meltdown

A call to action went out: a small, California-based organization called People for Internet Responsibility (PFIR) posted an announcement for an urgent conference - "Preventing the Internet Meltdown." The meltdown that PFIR envisioned was not an impending technical malfunction or enemy attack. Instead, conference organizers foresaw "risks of imminent disruption" to the Internet that would come from an unlikely sector: government officials and bureaucrats working on the unglamorous-sounding problems of Internet Governance. more

Open Ends: Civil Society and Internet Governance - Part II

This is the second part of a three-part series interview by Geert Lovink with Jeanette Hofmann, policy expert from Germany, where she talks about her experiences as a member of the ICANN's Nominating Committee and her current involvement as a civil society member of the German delegation for the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS). "So much in the current debates over global governance seems to go back to the issue what place governments and individual nation states have within global governance. What has been your ICANN experience? Ideally, what would be the place of the state? Do you believe in a federal structure? Should, for instance, bigger countries, in terms of its population, have a great say?..." more

Open Ends: Civil Society and Internet Governance - Part I

This is the first part of a three-part series interview by Geert Lovink with Jeanette Hofmann, policy expert from Germany, where she talks about her experiences as a member of the ICANN's Nominating Committee and her current involvement as a civil society member of the German delegation for the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS). "You recently published a paper (in German) called 'The Short Dream of Democracy on the Net.' Your conclusion is a rather sombering one. How would you describe the current situation related to ICANN? You state that nothing has been learned from the failed At-Large Membership experiment. Would you even go that far and see a backlash happening right now?..." more

Personal Names, Politics and Cybersquatting

Thinking about the www.kerryedwards.com auction reminds one of the uneasy relationship between personal names, politics and cybersquatting. When reporters learned that the domain name was taken by Kerry Edwards, the Indiana bail bondsman, at least some headlines were quick to brand Mr. Edwards' conduct as cybersquatting. The Chicago Sun-Times, for example, ran the headline "Kerry Edwards is the Name, Cybersquatting is the Game." Mr. Edwards, of course, had registered his own name as a domain name long before Kerry picked Edwards as a running mate. more

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