Law / Featured Blogs

Law and Disorder: When .Brand Meets .Crime

Barclays Bank is a .brand pioneer, having recently announced plans to migrate its primary online presence to two new gTLDs it will operate on its own behalf. But Barclays Bank has also just plead guilty to a major financial services felony and been fined $2.4 billion for that criminal activity. While the new gTLD Registry Agreement is clear that a registry operator must remove any officer or director convicted of a felony, it is ambiguous in regard to whether the Agreement can be terminated when the operator itself has been found to have operated a criminal enterprise. more»

Competing Processes Obfuscate Internet Policy-Making in India

Net Neutrality has become a hot topic in India, following a brief but high-profile national debate instigated by a consultation paper from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that solicited views on what net neutrality is, and whether regulations protecting it are needed in India. The paper also hinted at possible regulation of all kinds of online services (like Skype, Uber, or Google) in the future. But no-one could have predicted what happened next... more»

Should Barclays Lose the .Barclays Top-Level Domain?

According to Reuters, Barclays has plead guilty to trying to manipulate foreign exchange rates, and has agreed to pay substantial fines, along with other major banks. Barclays is also the operator of the .Barclays new top-level domain name. This is not a case where it's a single rogue employee or officer has been found guilty of a financial crime. Here, it is the entire bank (and registry operator) that has plead guilty. more»

Live Streaming Apps: Piracy Trends Are-A-Changing

Until recently, digital pirates have used both P2P sites and cyberlockers to upload and share pirated content. But as Internet connection speeds have increased, the piracy landscape has changed, and the appearance of streaming content has proliferated. In fact, 38% of online sporting fans are watching live streaming of their favorite events. However, the recent introduction of live streaming apps is further compounding issues surrounding online piracy... more»

Asking a Better Question to Uncloak the Online Copyright Debate

The proverbial Pandora's box that is opened whenever the topic of online copyright infringement is raised throws into sharp relief a host of challenges that have confounded policy makers, internet service providers and consumers for many years. Chief amongst them is how to strike an appropriate balance between protecting the rights of content owners while continuing to promote the interests of the public and preserving the benefits of the internet, given its unprecedented ability to facilitate the rapid dissemination of copyrighted content. more»

ICANN and a Lot of Other People Outsmart Themselves With .SUCKS

Good taste has never been a criterion in ICANN's new domains program, and domains including .fail and the remarkably vulgar .wtf have become part of the DNS with little comment. Now we have .sucks, which is intended to empower consumers, but does so in a way so clumsy that ICANN is asking regulators in the U.S. and Canada for an excuse to shut it down. more»

ISPs to Enforce Copyright Law

A group of major ISPs and major content providers have agreed on a a mechanism to enforce copyright laws in the network. While full details have not yet been released, the basic scheme involves using previously designed IP flags to denote public domain content. That is, given general copyright principles, it is on average a shorter code path and hence more efficient to set the flag on exempt material. more»

Simplifying Legalese

I attended a conference last week on Data Protection and one of the prime issues that cropped was that on the immanent complexity of legalese that prevents users from understanding the Terms & Conditions for which they're signing up when they join a social network, use an app or visit a website. This led to the Users being disinterested in understanding the T&Cs. This had a huge impact on Data Protection Policies since Users were ignorant about how their data was being used... more»

Your App Is Increasingly Paranoid

In Canada at the moment a fight has been engaged between Bell Canada, a major carrier, and a recent decision of its regulator, the CRTC, concerning whether the CRTC (the Commission) made the correct decision when it said that the underlying transport system was "telecommunications", while the "app" that was carried was "broadcasting". The decision appealed from (the Klass decision) is important because it marks the first time the CRTC has made a decision on the idea that lies at the core of Internet thinking: that an application floats on top of transport layers. more»

Am I Safer Within an Organization or by Myself?

An Internet Bill of Rights may or may not be a good idea. The point here is that, besides highly commendable topics such as net neutrality and privacy, some of them seem to mandate cybersecurity. Approved in Brazil last May, the Marco Civil includes the principle of preservation of stability, security and functionality of the network, via technical measures consistent with international standards.  more»