Cybersquatting

Cybersquatting / Recently Commented

Domains and the Freedom to Speak

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»

The Trembling Trademark Owners

Why is so much fear being created in the name of protecting trademark owners? Say, if ICANN allowed some third party a generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) called .panasonic will the sky fall? No, not at all, as Panasonic, the true and rightful TM holder will hit the unauthorized gTLD with a 2x4 and no judge would oppose issuing a cease-and-desist order. Now the other question is... more»

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

We have just returned from the Brussels, Belgium ICANN meeting where we released our Registrar audit, the Internet "Doomsday Book." There are many topics covered in the report, but we wanted to follow up specifically on the issue of WHOIS access and add data to our previous column Who Is Blocking WHOIS? which covered Registrar denial of their contracted obligation to support Port 43 WHOIS access. more»

Wildcarding Subdomains Is OK; Reverse Domain Name Hijacking Isn't - Goforit v. Digimedia

This is a super-interesting dispute involving two not-so-interesting litigants. The plaintiff Goforit runs a type of meta-search engine at goforit.com. After spending 5 minutes at the site, I couldn't identify a single reason why anyone would want to use it. Also inexplicably, Goforit appears to be quite pleased with its trademark rights in "Goforit," a term that seems more like an exhortation than a trademark. more»

Implications of ICANN's New TLD Disqualification Policies and Cybersquatting 3-Strike Law

ICANN's proposed final applicant guidebook unraveled some new policies that would disqualify applicants from the new TLD program. ICANN states that if you lose 3 UDRP cases, you will be disqualified from being a major shareholder, partner, officer, director of a new top-level domain registry... Has ICANN opened a new can of worms with the 3-strike rule? more»

Understand the Value of Defensive Domain Registrations

The bulk of corporate domain portfolios largely consist of defensive registrations which often include common misspellings, product names, and abbreviations in countries where they may not even be doing business. More than ever, with the launch of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) expected to occur next year, companies are now taking a hard look at their defensive holdings and asking themselves whether or not they really need all of these registrations. more»

NAF Panelists and Complainants Caught Systematically Copying/Pasting Nonsense Into UDRP Decisions

In a recent article at DomainNameWire.com, CitizenHawk was called out by a National Arbitration Forum (NAF) panelist for the submission of automated complaints which contained complete nonsense. Through the discussion in the comments to that article, the community discovered that the problem is far deeper. It turns out that UDRP panelists at NAF have been churning out boilerplate cut/paste decisions of their own, with utter nonsense of their own, and that this has been going on for years. more»

U.S. Uses Domain Names As New Way to Regulate the Net

Governments have long sought ways to regulate Internet activity, whether for the purposes of taxation, content regulation, or the application of national laws. Effective regulatory measures have often proven elusive, however, since, unlike the Internet, national laws typically end at the border. Earlier this month, the United States began to move aggressively toward a new way of confronting the Internet's jurisdictional limitations - the domain name system. more»

Policy Failure Enables Mass Malware: Part II (ICANN and OnlineNIC)

On Wednesday September 29th at 1PM there will be a meeting in the Old Executive Building in Washington D.C. with Registries and domain Registrars to discuss illegal Internet sales of prescription drugs. ICANN was originally invited but declined because citing "inappropriateness" . One "U.S." Registrar who definitely will not be in attendance is OnlineNIC more»

ccIDNs: So Many Choices, So Little Time

As a result of ICANN's IDN ccTLD Fast Track process, which was launched in November of last year, a number of new ccIDNs (Country Code Internationalized Domain Names) have been successfully added to the root including: China (.中国, .中國), Egypt (.مصر), Hong Kong (.香港 ), Russia (.рф), Saudi Arabia (.السعودية), Taiwan (.台湾, .台灣) and the UAE (.امارات). ... With so many new registration possibilities available, and several Sunrise periods quickly approaching, many corporate domain managers are asking themselves whether new registrations should be added to portfolios which are already bursting at the seams. more»

Domain Names as Second-Class Citizens

A new book by Dr. Konstantinos Komaitis (Lecturer in Law at the University of Strathclyde) provides a passionate yet legalistic and well-researched overview of the legal, institutional and ethical problems caused by the clash between domain names and trademarks. This is really the first decent book-length treatment of what is now a decade and a half of legal and political conflict between domain name registrants and trademark holders. more»

Brand Protection Domain Registrations: There Are More Than You Think

One of the major problems for brand owners is protecting the brand in new TLDs. Most new Top-Level Domain (TLD) registries will depend on brand protection registrations for a major part of their registration volume and some may become almost completely dependent on these registrations if the new TLD fails to capture the public's imagination. Short of comparing the registrant data for each individual domain, there is no 100% accurate method of measuring the level of brand protection registrations in a TLD. more»

".Pol", a ".Com" for Political Candidates

In the coming months, ICANN will ambitiously expand the number of top-level domains (TLDs). ICANN could add ".movie" and ".paris", among others, to the existing ranks of ".com", ".org", ".gov", and ".edu". Here's another they should consider: a new ".pol" TLD that is reserved exclusively for political candidates and entities. A ".pol" TLD is needed to alleviate problems linked to a now-common phenomenon called political cybersquatting... more»

Domain Name Theft Part II: Did ICANN Leave Foxes Guarding the Chicken COOP?

When it comes to stealing domain names, I suspect that there are two reasons why so many web bandits appear to be immune from ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers uses the acronym ICANN): the first reason I discussed in my last column on domain name theft (where I described a substantive void in domain name "regulation" as a primary factor for the increasing incidence of domain name theft), the second reason, which is the focus of this column, is the procedural anomaly that currently infuses ICANN's uniform dispute resolution process (UDRP) by providing no administrative forum for domain name registrants who become victims of domain name theft carried out by ICANN's registrars. more»

Who is Blocking WHOIS?

On April 16 ICANN issued a breach notice to Turkish Registrar Alantron for not consistently providing access to its WHOIS database via Port 43, a command-line query location that all Registrars are required to supply under conditions of their contract with ICANN under section 3.3.1. Four days later they issued a breach to Internet Group do Brazil for the same problem. ... The WHOIS record, as we all know, is a massive fraud with illicit parties filling records with bogus information and hiding behind anonymity. more»