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Addressing Infringement: Developments in Content Regulation in the US and the DNS

Over the course of the last decade, in response to significant pressure from the US government and other governments, service providers have assumed private obligations to regulate online content that have no basis in public law. For US tech companies, a robust regime of "voluntary agreements" to resolve content-related disputes has grown up on the margins of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Communications Decency Act (CDA). more

The Road Less Traveled: Time Is Running Out for NTIA-Verisign Cooperative Agreement

It is remarkable  -  for all the wrong reasons  -  that only two months remain before the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) must make a fateful decision on how it will address its' long-standing Cooperative Agreement with Verisign  -  the private-sector corporation that edits the authoritative address book of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), maintains two of the DNS root servers, and operates the .com and .net registries of the Internet, undoubtedly one of the most lucrative concessions ever granted. more

The Emergence and Consolidation of a Jurisprudence of Domain Names

One of the fallouts of disruptive inventions is the need for new laws to counter their unexpected consequences. As it concerned the Internet, these consequences included a new tort of registering domain names identical or confusingly similar to trademarks and service marks with the intention of taking unlawful advantage of rights owners. Prior to 2000 the only civil remedy for "cybersquatting" or "cyber piracy" was expensive and time-consuming plenary actions in courts of competent jurisdiction under national trademark laws. more

Respondent Had Rights or Legitimate Interests in Domain Name by Using It to Promote Genuine Business

In the case of Avon Products, Inc. v. Jenika Mukoro, Heirs Holdings, a 3-member WIPO Panel denied the Complainant's efforts to have the domain name avonhealthcare.com transferred because the Complainant failed to sustain its burden of establishing that the Respondent had no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel found that the Complainant proved that its trademark AVON (which has been in use since 1929) is well-known in the field of cosmetics... more

What Do UDRP Panels Look for in Assessing Parties' Rights to Disputed Domain Names?

Panels appointed to adjudicate domain name disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) have written in the region of 50,000 decisions involving over 75,000 domain names (minuscule of course when measured against the number of registered domain names). What may surprise some parties, their representatives, and counsel is that these publicly accessible decisions have fueled the emergence and development of a jurisprudence of domain names. more

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

News Briefs

Yahoo Agrees to Pay $50M and Other Costs for the Massive Security Breach Disclosed in 2016

Easy Access to ICANN, IP Address Data Beats Info on Encrypted Data, Says Telstra Cybersecurity Head

US Department of Justice Sues California Over Its New Net Neutrality Law

"Seven Dirty Words" Restriction Policy Lifted from .US Domain Name Registrations

New Zealand's Domain Name Commission Wins Injunction in a Lawsuit Against DomainTools

EU Authorities to Give Internet Companies 1 Hour to Take Down Extremist Content or Face Hefty Fines

Special Interests Circulating Draft Legislation to Cut Short ICANN's Whois Policy Process

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

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