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Challenging UDRP Awards in Federal Court: Recent Outcomes

Challenging UDRP awards in actions under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) is infrequent though steady. There are currently a number of court filings in U.S. district courts that are in the early stages, most notably the ADO.com case reported on in an earlier essay and several others have either been referred to mediation (the IMI.case) or settled or discontinued. more

What's Abusive in Registering Domain Names, and the Reverse?

The two major providers of arbitration services for adjudicating cybersquatting complaints under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Forum, issue daily lists of decisions. In approximately 90% of those disputes, the registrations cannot be described as anything less than mischievous in acquiring second level domains incorporating well-known or famous marks. more

Short Strings of Alphabet Letters in Domain Names: Random to Some, Identifiers to Others

What is the intrinsic (as opposed to trademark) value of short string domain names? It depends, of course. Rights holders have been willing to challenge domain name registrants even if they have no actionable claim for cybersquatting... UDRP Panels have over the years, and in many cases, affirmed that short strings are "inherently valuable in themselves precisely because they are (a) short and (b) can reflect a wide range of different uses." This does not mean it is open season against rights holders for short strings, but it does mean the facts and proof of cybersquatting must be in proper alignment, and this calls for some sober thinking about the evidentiary demands of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). more

ITU’s Critical Cybersecurity Role and the 2018 Plenipotentiary

In the rather unique world of public international law for cybersecurity, the treaty provisions of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) stand alone. They form the multilateral basis for the existence of all communication networks, internets, and services worldwide and have obtained the assent by every nation in the world. They also contain the only meaningful multilateral cybersecurity provisions that have endured over a century and a half through all manner of technological change. more

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency Channels Considered by European Interests to Bypass U.S. Sanctions

Bitcoin's unreal hype has obscured that it is mostly used to facilitate drug deals, ransomware, tax evasion, and even the occasional murder for hire. After the 60% price drop, demand for bitcoin mining gear has fallen so much TSMC has to lower sales estimates for 2018... Now, Austrian Ambassador in Tehran Stefan Scholz has suggested it could be a powerful boost to the European intent to bypass the U.S. economic blockade. That could provide demand for $billions of bitcoins. more

ICANN at a Crossroads: GDPR and Human Rights

The European Data Protection Board certainly has been keeping its records straight. Its 27 May statement starts with the following: "WP29 has been offering guidance to ICANN on how to bring WHOIS in compliance with European data protection law since 2003." All internet users have dealings with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, yet the vast majority have never heard of ICANN. more

Combinations of Dictionary Words in Domain Names: Common vs. Distinctive Phrases

The lexicon of domain names consists of letters, words, numbers, dots, and dashes. When the characters correspond in whole (identical) or in part (confusingly similar) to trademarks or service marks and their registrations postdate the first use of marks in commerce registrants become challengeable under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) as cybersquatters. more

Comcast Sneaks in Another Billing Line Item and "Earns" an Additional $1 Billion

My Comcast bill arrived today with a sneaky new $2.68 charge, $2.50 for leasing one (and only one) set-top box and $0.18 for the remote. This new billing line item, like the many others Comcast has introduced, adds to its bottom line with no additional capital expenditure. It shows how resisting the obligation to return to accepting set-top box free, "cable ready" sets was a smart strategy. more

Should Domain Names be Considered 'Contracts for Service' or 'Property Rights'?

The legal status of domain names is one of the most hotly debated topics with regards to evolving property rights and how they should be applied to technological and intellectual property 'innovations' in cyberspace. At present, there are two opposing factions on this topic: On one hand, there are those who maintain that domain names should be considered as contracts for services, which originate from the contractual agreement between the registrant and the registrar. more

WHOIS Users Facing Serious Challenges Caused by Post-GDPR Fragmentation

On May 25, 2018, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect, meaning that European data protection authorities (DPAs) can begin enforcing the regulation against non-compliant parties. In preparation, the ICANN Board passed a Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data - essentially a temporary policy amendment to its registrar and registry contracts to facilitate GDPR compliance while also preserving certain aspects of the WHOIS system of domain name registration data. more

What Happens If Two Applications for a New gTLD Are a City and a Family Name?

When applying for a new gTLD, what happens if two applications for the same extension are a city and a family name? Which one wins? Let's imagine that a person whose family name is "Marseille" applied for the .MARSEILLE new gTLD in the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program. What if there was a .MARSEILLE new gTLD too but as the name of the French city? more

A Trebuchet Defence in the Age of the Augmented Reality Cyberwarrior

I've been ruminating on this for a while, this follow-up that was a decade in the offing. My article Trench Warfare in the Age of The Laser-Guided Missile from January 2007 did pretty good in terms of views since I wrote it. Less so in terms of how well the ideas aged or didn't, but that's the nature of the beast. Everything gets worse, and simultaneously, better, and so here we are: Using embarrassingly ancient approaches to next-generation threats. Plus ça change. more

Why Getting Awards Wrong Undermines the Integrity of the UDRP

The integrity of any legal system depends on the quality of mind of those appointed to administer it. There are expectations that the one judging the facts and applying the law knows what the facts are and what law to apply. Panels appointed to adjudicate disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) are not held to any lower standard than the judges of courts of competent jurisdiction. more

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today we remember that the Nazis rounded up Jews, Roma, political dissidents, and other "undesirables" using the best data and technology of the day and sent them off to concentration camps. We don't normally deal with this type of political reality in ICANN, but now is the time to do so. In 1995, the recently formed European Union passed the EU Data Protection Directive. more

Parsing Predatory and Parasitical from Innocent and Good Faith Domain Name Registrants

When the World Intellectual Property Organization began deliberating in 1998 and 1999 about creating an arbitral regime that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers transformed into the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy the curse words of choice were "predators" and "parasites" to describe cybersquatters. (In an early UDRP decision a Respondent who had also featured as a defendant in a trademark case asserted he had "just as much right to own the Domain Names [with typographic variations of the mark] as the person who owns the correct spelling of [the mark]" more

News Briefs

DomainTools Sued for Misusing New Zealand's .NZ Domain Name Registration Information

Domain Registrars Fined Over $2M for Scamming Australians

ACLU Released Guide for Developers on How to Respond to Government Demands That Compromise Security

ICANN Files Legal Action Against Domain Registrar for Refusal to Collect WHOIS Data

Washington State Passes Country's Toughest Net Neutrality Legislation

IPv6, 5G and Mesh Networks Heightening Law Enforcement Challenges, Says Australian Government

US Congress Considering Legislation to Authorize Faster Access to International Electronic Data

U.S. Lawmakers Moving to Consider New Rules Imposing Stricter Federal Oversight on Cryptocurrencies

DOJ Closes Probe of VeriSign Over .Web TLD

ISPs in UK Legally Obliged to Provide High-Speed Broadband Upon Request, Starting 2020

Twitter Worker Who Disabled Trump Account Likely Violated Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Says Lawyer

EU Privacy Case Could Backfire, Turn EU into Data Island, Say Experts

Russia Demands Facebook to Store Citizens' Data on Russian Servers or Be Blocked

U.S. Department of Justice Demands IP Addresses, Other Details on Visitors to Trump Resistance Site

U.S. Senators to Introduce IoT Security Bill

EFF Cautions Against Unfair TLD Policies, Offers Advice on Choosing New gTLDs for Best Protection

Afghanistan Enacts Law Targeting Online Crime and Militancy

U.S. Lawmakers Wary of Kaspersky Lab, the Russian Cybersecurity Firm

Cycling Legend Greg LeMond Sues Cybersquatters Upward of $6.6 Million

Trump Administration Doubles Down on Surveillance

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