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Affidavit Shows Errors in Homeland Security Domain Seizures

TechDirt reviewed the affidavit filed by the United States Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement division when seizing various hip-hop and bittorrent-related domain names recently, and discovered some very deep misunderstandings of how content appears on web sites. more»

Ron Paul Caught in Domain Dispute with Supporters

Former U.S. presidential candidate and congressman Rob Paul has filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization against the registrants of and in order to gain control of the domains. more»

Continued Controversy Over Google Ads on Typosquatted Domains

Regular readers of this site would be familiar with the ongoing legal battles involving the practice of typosquatting; the registration of misspelled domain names of well know brands with the intention of making a profit. Taking advantage of the fact that millions of online users mistype addresses of websites they intend to visit, typosquatters register common misspelled versions of popular sites and make money by displaying ads. Google's AdSense for Domains (AFD) program, often used for displaying such ads, has been particularly targeted by trademark owners which according to McAfee's SiteAdvisor, serves ads on more than 80% of typosquatting sites recently uncovered. more»

Dot Travel Still Isn't Dead Yet

I've writen several blog entries about the continued downward swirling motion of Tralliance, the company that runs the registry for .TRAVEL. In this month's installment, as told in their quarterly 10-Q SEC filing, they flirt with bankruptcy but may well end up more stable than before. One of the more eye-catching paragraphs says... more»

Who Needs More TLDs?

ICANN's Sydney meeting has come and gone, with the promised flood of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) claimed to be ever closer to reality. Does the world need more TLDs? Well, no. Way back in the mid 1990s, it seemed obvious that Internet users would use the DNS as a directory, particularly once early web browsers started to add .COM to words typed in the address bar. This led to the first Internet land rush, with heavy hitters like Procter and Gamble registering in 1995... more»

A Modest Proposal for ICANN

When it comes to accountability, ICANN would rather be compared to other U.S. nonprofit companies than to the regulatory bodies it more closely resembles. If they truly wish to be treated like a nonprofit, rather than a regulator, there is a very simple solution: make all contributions strictly voluntary. more»

Decision Day for ICANN: The End of the Beginning, or the Beginning of the End?

I've just arrived in Singapore, where ICANN's board will almost surely vote to launch an unprecedented expansion plan for generic top-level domains (gTLDs). As the new gTLDs start lighting-up over the next two years, we'll look back on this week as the "end of the beginning" since it ended several years of planning for the actual expansion. After the vote the real work begins: evaluating applications, implementing new mechanisms, and contract compliance on a scale far greater than ICANN has ever seen. more»

IANA Up For Grabs?

The US government wants to hear from organizations interested in running some of the internet's key resources, including the master lists of IP address space and domain names.

The Department of Commerce last week published a request for information, a step before potentially putting a contract out to bidding, soliciting interest from anybody interested in taking over the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. more»

The 'Domain Rights Dozen' - ICA's RPM Revision Review Principles

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»

Really? A Hearing on New gTLDs at this Late Stage?

To the dismay of many (and the chagrin of some), it appears as though the US House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet will be conducting a hearing on New generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). Meanwhile, ICANN is careening towards the finish line of the new gTLD Program with a vote by the ICANN Board scheduled for June 20th. Just what this all means remains to be seen. more»

When Did CIRA Become the Commercial Internet Registration Authority?

Nearly ten years ago, the Government of Canada wrote a letter to the chair of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) that set out the framework for the management of the dot-ca domain. The government articulated a vision of the dot-ca domain as a “key public resource” and called on CIRA to act in an open and transparent manner. CIRA has long sought to live up to those standards, but in recent months the organization has shown an unmistakable shift toward prioritizing commercial gain over the public interest along with a troubling move toward secret decision making... more»

US Continues to Lead As Top Country Hosting Phishing Attacks

Recent study indicates that US continues to widen its lead as the number one country when it comes to hosting phishing sites. According to the latest Brandjacking Index just released by MarkMonitor, US-hosted phishing sites grew by ten percent from last quarter -- up from 36 percent to 46 percent. Canada is now at second position with 4.7 percent of all phishing attacks, followed by the Russian Federation (4.5 percent), France (4 percent), and Denmark (4 percent). more»

Kentucky and the Gambling Domains

A recent law suit in Kentucky has attracted world-wide attention because it could create a very dangerous precedent – the application of local law to the domain name system and Internet web sites that are available globally... Even though the Kentucky case only involves Kentucky gambling laws, the dangerous precedent is that regimes around the world with oppressive local laws restricting speech or religion might attempt similar litigation. more»

Big Brands Shooting Themselves In The Foot?

One of the topics that keeps coming up in ICANN policy discussions and as part of the new TLD application process is "transparency". ICANN, and the internet community in general, has had plenty of issues in the past with "bad actors" who have caused a lot of issues for everyone (think of many of the registrars who have lost accreditation in the last couple of years for example). On more than one conference call or policy discussion the issue of a company or a person's track record has come up. more»

How Many TLD Applications Will ICANN Receive?

This post could be subtitled: "The Wisdom of Elites." I polled some people I know in the domain field (plus Andrew Goodman, who wondered what the hell I was going on about). I asked them a simple question: "For the record, how many new TLD applications do you think there'll be?" Most of these people know the domain name world very well, but from different perspectives. Journalists, registrars, intellectual property attorneys, domainers, registry operators, TLD aspirants, entrepreneurs, domain aftermarket auctioneers, civil society activists... more»