For a very long time, predating the birth of ICANN, there's been a running battle about what should be required when one registers domain names. To oversimplify quite a lot, one side sees domain names as an essential component of free speech, so anyone should be able to register any domain without limit, the other notes that they're primarily used for commercial purposes and they enable quite a lot of mischief, so the more control, the better. more»
While doing research for a paper on telegraph codebooks, I was reminded of something I had long known: one could have short addresses for telegrams. A short article in The New Yorker described how it worked in New York City. Briefly, one could pick more or less any name that wasn't in use, and list it with the Central Bureau for Registered Addresses... more»
The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) today announced it has adopted an eight-point member code of conduct designed to foster and promote fair and ethical business practices in the domain name industry. "We are very pleased to introduce the ICA's Member Code of Conduct," said ICA Executive Director Michael Collins. "We believe that following these best practices will go a long way toward addressing and resolving many of the important issues facing the domain name industry as it continues to grow and mature. more»
Dialogue is the only way to end cybersquatting. Distrust between brand owners and domain owners (with an assist from some cockeyed business incentives) has turned a problem into a very expensive vicious cycle. Now that ICANN is about to launch new top-level domains (TLDs), negotiations must start immediately or both sides will pile up further loses. Here's how the problem plays out now. more»
The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) recently released a statement that implied that cybersquatting is a criminal activity. It said, "CADNA has been working diligently to further international and national policies that combat the practice of cybersquatting... As brands continue to learn about the prevalence and practice of online criminal activities..." While, Internet Commerce Association (ICA) vigorously opposes cybersquatting, it is important to note that cybersquatting is a civil matter, not a criminal one. There is a good reason that cybersquatting is a civil matter... more»
As the fall of 2012 begins the implementation of rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) for new gTLDs is reaching a critical stage... Given the half year interval between the upcoming Toronto ICANN meeting and the following Beijing meeting in April 2013, it is highly desirable, and perhaps essential, that community discussion in Toronto result in a clear consensus on how RPM implementation should proceed if new gTLDs are to launch without further delay and if potential registrants are to perceive them as acceptable platforms for speech and commerce. more»
ICANN recently updated the list of reserved second level domain names. Those are names that you won't be able to register in any of the 1500 or so new domains they're planning to add. There's rather a lot of them, currently 629. The names are in three groups, the ICRC (the Red Cross), the IOC (the Olympic games) and everyone else. Several years ago the Red Cross and later the Olympics came to ICANN and insisted that they make a special list of forbidden names, separate from the various trademark registries. more»
Really ICANN? The Trademark Clearinghouse provides unprecedented protection. According to your recent announcement it does. Do tell, ICANN -- in what way does the Trademark Clearinghouse protect anything? more»
In my last post we talked about the value of introducing new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) to Tribes. We discussed what a Tribe was and how communities of people sharing knowledge and experiences can benefit from new TLDs. In the next three posts from my blog we'll discuss how brand owners can either benefit from creating a tribal home and/or come together with other tribes for the benefit of their members. more»
Cybersquatting the domain name of a celebrity and selling it for a king's ransom was one of the great get-rich-quick schemes of the early internet. But since courts now tend to favor the star over the squatter, a new kinder, gentler cybersquatting tactic has emerged.
These days, cybersquatters seek to register a star's domain before that person becomes famous, and then develop a business relationship with the new celebrity, offering website hosting or design work. These so-called soft squatters are registering the domains of hundreds of amateur athletes, musicians and other would-be stars in the hope that one or two of the names will become well-known. more»
The U.N. copyright agency (World Intellectual Property Organization) that arbitrates more than half the world's "cybersquatting" cases saw a 25 percent increase in complaints last year. WIPO received 1,823 complaints in 2006 alleging abusive registrations of trademarks as Internet domain names. more»
Internet domain name arbitration disputes have risen by more than a quarter since January 2005 -- despite the expansion of generic top-level domain addresses like .biz and .info -- as cybersquatters find more sophisticated ways of encroaching on legitimate Web sites.
...Typosquatting, a form of cybersquatting that involves capturing another company's Web traffic by registering misspelled versions of a well-known Internet site or brand name, is driving much of the growth in domain-name disputes, according to intellectual property lawyers. more»
The headlines this week say that over 200 million domain names now exist on the internet. Pretty impressive... But consider the explosive growth of Social Networks. The top twenty social networks alone have over 2 billion user names. With User Names on social networks rapidly becoming the Internet's new brand identifiers, I wonder: is it time that we apply the same trademark rules we have for domain names to user names as well? more»
ICANN has opened the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Whois study on privacy/proxy abuse for public comment. Performed by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), this study is one of many commissioned by the GNSO to examine the current, disparate, and often maligned registration directory service, and aims to measure the hypothesis that "a significant percentage of the domain names used to conduct illegal or harmful Internet activities are registered via privacy and proxy services to obscure the perpetrator's identity." more»
New regulations will make it more difficult for companies to protect their domain names from cybersquatters in China.
Under the new rules, foreign and local firms will need to prove malicious intent and act quickly to have any hope of retrieving stolen domain names, according to a regulatory official interviewed by Chinese news site Sina. The new rules appear to give a green light to cybersquatters who buy up domain names which are similar to brand names in the hope of selling later for a profit. more»