Law

Law / Featured Blogs

Likely and Behind the Scenes Changes at the FCC

It should come as no surprise that the Federal Communications Commission will substantially change its regulatory approach, wingspan and philosophy under a Trump appointed Chairman. One can readily predict that the new FCC will largely undo what has transpired in previous years. However, that conclusion warrants greater calibration. more»

Excessive Offers to Sell Domain Names: Evidence of Bad Faith or Bona Fide Business Practice?

Not infrequently heard in domain name disputes are cries of shock and gnashing of teeth that domain name holders may lawfully offer their inventory at excessive prices. Take for example TOBAM v. M. Thestrup / Best Identity, D2016-1990 (WIPO November 21, 2016) (<tobam.com>). Respondent accused Complainant of bullying which Complainant denied... more»

UDRP Standing: Proving Unregistered Trademark Rights

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy is a non-exclusive arbitral proceeding (alternative to a statutory action under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act) implemented for trademark rights' owners to challenge domain names allegedly registered for unlawful purposes. Policy, paragraph 4(a) states that a registrant is "required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third-party... more»

The Sharing Economy and Sec. 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act

The sharing economy is a challenge for local communities. On the good, it creates economic opportunity and reduces the price. On the bad, it circumvents public safety and welfare protection. Such is the clash between Airbnb and local jurisdictions. San Francisco implemented a local ordinance that permits short-term rentals on the condition that the rental property is registered. In order to register the property, the resident must provide proof of liability insurance... more»

When CDA Immunity is Not CDA Immunity

Here's a question: If 47 USC 230(c) (the Good Samaritan provision of the Communications Decency Act) says that online services are not liable for third party content, then can you even sue the online service? Shouldn't the online service be immune from lawsuit? Because, after all, what would be the point of being sued for something for which you cannot be liable? more»

What Steps Can Africans Take and Lead in Internet Governance and Social Justice?

Almost three years ago, I published a blog post on CircleID titled "Internet Governance: Why Africa Should Take the Lead." I argued that African Internet stakeholders use a 'wait and see approach' in matters as critical as Internet governance," and that African voices are missing in key Internet governance discussion fora. Additionally, I suggested that some reasons for this approach, including that Africa lacks well-trained Internet governance experts and Africans see foreign affairs and international relations as an East versus West dynamic. more»

Can the Internet Work Across Borders?

On the face of it, the answer is a rather obvious and simple "yes"! The Internet obviously works across borders. Technically, it is a global network servicing its users wherever they may be on the planet. But it is this very nature -- the fact that the Internet is not bound to a specific country or territory -- which has more and more people asking themselves whether it can really work across borders. more»

Certifying to Merit and Proper Purpose in Alleging and Defending Cybersquatting Claims

Parties to a UDRP proceeding must include a certification similar in U.S. practice to Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (and undoubtedly a feature in procedural codes in other judicial jurisdictions) "that the information contained in this [Complaint or Response] is to the best of [Complainant's or Respondent's] knowledge complete and accurate, that this [Complaint or Response] is not being presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass... more»

The Strength of Top-Level Domains in UDRP Decisions

Another domain name dispute decision -- this one for '24hour.fitness' -- has highlighted the increasing (potential) relevance of the top-level domain (TLD) under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). As I have written before, the proliferation of new TLDs is having an impact on whether and how UDRP panels consider the TLD in their decisions. more»

Corresponding to Trademarks, But Nonactionable Claims for Cybersquatting

The threshold for an actionable claim under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is a trademark in which complainant has rights. "Rights" means a trademark that could have been newly minted a moment before filing the complaint. This is different from the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) in which trademark owners must have a "mark that is distinctive at the time of registration of the domain name." The difference is important... more»