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Law / Featured Blogs

GDPR Fine Enough or More Disclosure?

The UK cares about its citizens' privacy to the tune of a $229 million (US) fine of British Airways for a breach that disclosed information of approximately half a million customers. It's exciting -- a significant fine for a significant loss of data. I think GDPR will lead to improved security of information systems as companies scramble to avoid onerous fines and start to demand more from those who provide information security services and products. more

The Question of Fairness in UDRP Decision-Making

In disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), parties should be able to rely on Panels delivering predictable, consistent, and legally reasoned decisions. In large measure, this depends on Panels analyzing the facts objectively through a neutral lens and applying principles of law consistent with the jurisprudence. However, the results are not always seen by the losing party as having achieved a fair result. more

Responding to "The Case for Regulatory Capture of ICANN"

This past Monday, as ICANN65 was beginning in Marrakesh, the technical review blog Review Signal published a detailed expose, "The Case for Regulatory Capture of ICANN" authored by site founder and "geek-in-charge" Kevin Ohashi. The post was clearly the product of extensive investigative reporting – and what it reveals is deeply disturbing. more

What Modern Businesses Need to Know Regarding Geo Names and Jurisdiction in Domain Name Disputes

The Internet has provided an unprecedented number of opportunities while raising far-reaching legal issues. It has created a complex matrix of national laws, global circumstances and new definitions -- or, at least, definitions in progress. The turmoil over Brexit and the international implications of the EU General Data Protection Regulation are signs of the times; as are issues surrounding domain names. more

Words and Descriptive Phrases as Trademarks Registered as Domain Names

In a trademark context, who owns or controls, or would prevent others, from using words and phrases commonly available to speakers in a language community, is in persistent tension. While common words alone or combined may become protected from infringing uses under trademark law, their protection is contingent on factors such as linguistic choices and strength or weakness of marks in the marketplace. more

A Closer Look at the "Sovereign Runet" Law

In December 2018, a bill on the "stable operation" of the Russian segment of the Internet was introduced and got the title "Sovereign Runet" in mass media and among the public. It was adopted after 5 months later, despite doubts about the technical feasibility of its implementation. The law is very ambitious in its intent to simultaneously control Internet traffic and protect Runet from some external threats, but legislators still have no idea how it would actually work. more

UDRP Complaint: Actually, a Motion for Summary Judgment

Trademark owners (and here I'm talking about those with U.S. registrations even if they are foreign entities) have a choice of forum for challenging alleged cybersquatting domain names. They can either sue in district court under the ACPA, or get a quicker and less expensive result by filing a complaint and asserting a claim under the UDRP. But to get to a quicker and less expensive result everything about the process is accelerated, and this begins with drafting the complaint. more

Is Digital Democracy an Option – and What Is Involved in It?

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the internet Berners-Lee, the father of the internet, reiterated his suggestion for a radical change, which would improve the functionality of the internet for the benefit of society. He suggests a sort of refoundation of the web, creating a fresh set of rules, both legal and technical, to unite the world behind a process that can avoid some of the missteps of the past 30 years. While this most certainly would be an excellent development, I am rather pessimistic about a rapid implementation of such a radical change more

A Case for Regulating Social Media Platforms

There are some who see the regulation of social media platforms as an attack on the open internet and free speech and argue that the way to protect that is to let those platforms continue to self-regulate. While it is true that the open internet is the product of the same freedom to innovate that the platforms have sprung from, it is equally the product of the cooperative, multi-stakeholder organisations where common policy and norms are agreed. more

Portrait of a Single-Character Domain Name

Let's take some crayons and draw a picture of the current state of affairs regarding single-character domain names (SCDNs), and specifically O.COM. During the public comment period for the current O.COM RSEP, ICANN's own Intellectual Property and Business constituencies recommended implementation of rights protections mechanisms (RPMs) for intellectual property, including Sunrise and Priority Access periods. It is curious that such hard-won protections are being so easily set aside by Verisign and ICANN. more