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Is Booking.com a Generic Term?

A fundamental rule of trademarks is that they have to be distinctive, and that nobody can register a trademark on a generic term like "wine" or "plastic." In a case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court decided 8-1 that online travel agent Booking.com could register its domain name as a trademark. In this case, I think the majority got it wrong, and Justice Breyer's lone dissent is correct. more

Asserting but Not Proving Cybersquatting Under the UDRP

Having trademarks (registered or unregistered) is the prerequisite for maintaining a UDRP, but having one is not conclusive of either Respondent’s lack of rights or legitimate interests or that it registered and is using the domain name in bad faith. The cautionary tale in many of these cases, especially for the Complainant who has the burden of proof, is that it has to satisfy each of the elements in the three subsections... more

Article 22 of the GDPR Should Not Preclude Contemplated Automation

There is an ongoing disagreement among various members and groups in the ICANN community regarding automation -- namely, whether and to what extent automation can be used to disclose registrant data in response to legitimate data disclosure requests. A major contributing factor to the complications around automation has been confusion about how to interpret and apply Article 22 of the GDPR. more

Surveillance Capitalist in Chief

Surveillance capitalism monetizes private data that it collects without consent of the individuals concerned, data to analyze and sell to advertisers and opinion-makers. There was always an intricate relationship between governments and surveillance capitalists. Governments have the duty to protect their citizens from the excesses of surveillance capitalism. On the other hand, governments use that data, and surveillance capitalism's services and techniques. more

CircleID Launches the First in a Series of Community Dialogues on COVID-19 and the Internet

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rapid migration of the world's workforce and consumer services to virtual spaces, has amplified the Internet governance and policy issues including infrastructure, access, exponential instances of fraud and abuse, global cooperation and data privacy, to name but a few. The need for practical, scalable and efficient solutions has risen dramatically. more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 5: Article 15-17

Internet Governance, like all governance, needs to be founded in guiding principles from which all policy making is derived. There are no more fundamental principles to guide our policy making than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR). This article as Part 5 of the series of articles (published in installments), and we are revisiting Article 15 to look at empowered Digital Citizenship and Internet Governance, to move on to the rights to a family and property more

The Price of Lack of Clarity

As anyone reading this blog, assuredly knows, the world is in the grip of a deadly pandemic. One way to contain it is contact-tracing: finding those who have been near infected people and getting them to self-quarantine. Some experts think that because of how rapidly newly infected individuals themselves become contagious, we need some sort of automated scheme. That is, traditional contact tracing is labor-intensive and time-consuming - a time we don't have. more

Preserving ICANN's Independence Through Bold Action – Not Inaction

This week, the ICANN Board will vote on whether to approve the transfer of control of the .ORG domain to a private equity firm called Ethos Capital. This is a weighty decision for ICANN, since in order to approve the sale, it will have to convince itself that this is the right choice in the face of tremendous and widespread opposition, including from those who will be most affected by the sale. more

Cybersquatting and Reverse Domain Name Hijacking: UDRP to ACPA

Trademark owners in the U.S. have a choice in suing for alleged cybersquatting: either the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). Of the two, the UDRP is far and away the forum of choice for a very good reason: it is speedy, efficient, and inexpensive. Complaint to award can be concluded in less than 45 days. more

Malware Detection Provider Gets Important Victory Allowing It to Flag Unwanted Driver Installer

Despite a recent Ninth Circuit decision denying immunity to malware detection software for targeting competitor's software, court holds that Section 230 protected Malwarebytes from liability for designating software driver program as potentially unwanted program. Plaintiff provided software that works in real-time in the background of the operating system to optimize processing and locate and install missing and outdated software drivers. more

Technology Vendors Must Be Proactive in Dealing With COVID-19 Problems

Early action now on possible performance issues will "flatten the curve" of customer problems in the coming weeks and months. Here are three things technology and software vendors can do right now to get ahead of problems that may appear (if they are not already) with services such as development, implementation and support... Check your contracts to see whether there are any "material assumptions" that have failed or will fail - perhaps because of some governmental action or unavailability of personnel... more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 4: Article 13-15

This is Part 4 of a series of articles published (here in CircleID) on the UDHR and human rights in the cyberspaces of the Internet Ecosystem. Here we discuss Articles 13-15 and touch on other topics such as the role of cyber governance, empowered digital citizenship, and whistleblowers. At this point in this series of articles on the UDHR in the digital age, it is useful to pause and remind ourselves of the purpose of this analysis. more

Why Are Internet Security Standards Badly Deployed and What to Do About It?

In 2019 under the aegis of the Internet Governance Forum, a pilot project was conducted into the causes of and solutions for the, in general, slow deployment of internet security standards. Standards that on mass deployment make the Internet and all its users safer, indiscriminately, immediately... Recently the report 'Setting the standard. For a more Secure and Trustworthy Internet. The Identification of Pressure Points in Society to Speed up Internet Standards Deployment', was published on the IGF website. more

False Expectations: Attorney's Fees and Statutory Damages in ACPA Actions

There is a degree of dread in the investor community that prized domain names will be forfeited to trademark owners in proceedings under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Since the UDRP has no internal appeal mechanism to correct errors of law or judgment, the sole recourse is an action in a court of competent jurisdiction as spelled out in UDRP paragraph 4(k). In the U.S., this would be a district court under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 3: Article 6-12

Internet Governance like all governance needs to be founded in guiding principles from which all policy making is derived. There are no better fundamental principles to guide our policy making than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR). This article is Part 3 of a series exploring the UDHR as a guide and template for the digital governance and digital citizenship. We discuss UDHR Articles 6 through 12 and address topics such as fundamental digital values, cyberlaw, policymaking and the role of tribunals in digital governance. more

News Briefs

Russia Bans Sale of Smartphones, Computers and Other Devices Not Pre-Installed With Russian Software

China to Require Face Scan for Internet Access and New Phone Numbers Starting December

US Court Upholds FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal But Says States Can't Be Barred from Passing Own Rules

51 CEOs Call on US Congress for Urgent Nationwide Data Privacy Law Overriding State-Level Laws

WIPO Becomes First Non-Chinese Entity to Provide Domain Dispute Resolution Services for China's .cn

New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission Wins Appeal in Lawsuit Against US DomainTools

EU Court of Justice Ruling Could Result in Cutting Off Data Flows to US

Huawei Files Motion in US Federal Court Calling Ban Unconstitutional, an Assault on Human Rights

Qualcomm’s Licensing Practices Are Illegal, U.S. Judge Rules

Microsoft Sees Serious Appetite for Revised Privacy Laws in US, Says It's Time to Match EU's GDPR

US Federal Trade Commission Says It Lacks Resources to Go After Privacy Violations Effectively

No GDPR Action Against Any Big Tech Firms Since Law Imposed Last Year, Doubts Escalate Over Enforcer

UK Government Planning on New Laws for IoT Devices Including a Mandatory Security Labelling Scheme

Canada Says Facebook Has Refused to Address Serious Privacy Deficiencies Concerning Its Local Laws

US House of Representatives Pass a Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Rules Repealed by Trump's FCC

Thailand Passes Law Giving Sweeping Powers to State Cyber Agencies

Canada Considering Right to Repair Legislation Tackling Repair Monopoly Over Brand-Name Devices

Government Officials, Academia, and Advocacy Groups Say Time for US to Get Its Own GDPR

US Senate to Hold Hearing on Consumer Data Privacy Issues

Biggest Fine Yet: French Watchdog Slaps Google With a $57M Fine Under the New GDPR Law

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