UDRP / Most Commented

Conflict of Opinion

If a UDRP panelist believes domainers are the same thing as cybersquatters, is he fit to arbitrate? I came across an editorial on CNET today by Doug Isenberg, an attorney in Atlanta and founder of GigaLaw.com, and a domain name panelist for the World Intellectual Property Organization. The guest editorial focuses on Whois privacy and why it's imperative to maintain open access to registrant data for intellectual property and legal purposes. That's a common opinion I've read a million times. Nothing groundbreaking there. But then I was shocked to read that Isenberg generalizes domainers as cybersquatters: "Today, cybersquatters have rebranded themselves as 'domainers.' Popular blogs and news sites track their activities..." more

ICANN and Its Responsibilities to the Global Public Interest

In 1998, the United States government might have taken a different path in asserting its control over the technical administration of the DNS. It might have asserted full U.S. governmental control, or it might have turned over the functions to an international body such as the International Telecommunications Union. Instead, it created a "private-public partnership", incorporated as a California "nonprofit public benefit corporation", with a charter giving the company a dual mission of quasi-governmental functions combined with responsibility for operational stability of the Internet. more


By now anyone who's part of the domain investment or broader ICANN community is aware of the curious saga of the recently launched .XYZ registry. Soon after its young CEO boldly stated, "we hope to reach 1 million .XYZ registrations in the first year and 5 million registrations in the first three years", the registry launched with a remarkable total of nearly 18,000 registrations on its first day, a total that has quickly grown to more than 100,000. But it was soon noted that "the zone files showed that over 70% of all .XYZ registrations had been made at NetworkSolutions... more

ICANN's gTLD Proposal Hits a Wall: Now What?

ICANN's plan to begin accepting applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in mid-2009 may have been derailed by last week's outpouring of opposition from the global business community and the United States Government (USG). Having been involved with ICANN for over a decade and having served on its Board for three years, I've never seen such strong and broad opposition to one of ICANN's proposals. more

New York Passing New Domain Name Law

In a move that flies in the face of established international guidelines, the New York Senate is pushing through a bill that would forbid registering the name of a living person with the purpose of selling the domain to that person. The New York Senate's bill is called "domain names cyber piracy protections act" and is championed by State Senator Betty Little (S2306). Generally speaking, registering a person's name solely to sell the domain to that person is a losing cause in UDRP arbitrations. But the New York bill is scary for a few reasons... more

Wall Street Journal Article on Whois Privacy

Today's Wall Street Journal discusses the fight over Whois privacy. The article on the front page of the Marketplace section starts by discussing how the American Red Cross and eBay use the Whois database to track down scammers: "Last fall, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross used an Internet database called "Whois" that lists names and numbers of Web-site owners to shut down dozens of unauthorized Web sites that were soliciting money under the Red Cross logo. Online marketplace eBay Inc. says its investigators use Whois hundreds of times a day..." more

The Non-Parity of the UDRP

The UDRP is obviously not working. Two websites, fundamentally the same (criticism at trademark.tld), two opposite decisions, both within weeks of each other! A Complainant (Biocryst Pharmaceuticals Inc) initiated a complaint to WIPO about one of my criticism websites (biocrystpharmaceuticals.com). The Panel found in my favour. Another Complainant (Eastman Chemical Inc) meanwhile made a complaint to NAF regarding another of my criticism websites (eastman-chemical.com). The Panel found against me. The two websites are fundamentally the same, both websites in criticism of the practices of the individual companies concerned... more

Who Really Cares About New gTLDs?

ICANN's recent announcement of what it called "an exciting milestone in the evolution of the domain name system" - the delegation of the 1,000th new generic top-level domain (gTLD) - went largely unnoticed. While that's consistent with the new gTLD program in general (at least from the perspective of the general public), that doesn't mean trademark owners should forget about them. more

The Real Facts About New gTLDs

Many with financial interests in new gTLDs, such as Donuts, have painted a rosy picture of how new gTLDs create greater availability of meaningful domain name options that the global masses have been waiting for. Their message seems to be: FINALLY, there is an alternative to .com in new domain extensions like .guru, .photography, .blackfriday and .tips. But, the reality is that we have always had options other than .com to choose from when registering a domain name. The challenge isn't choice, its relevance and credibility. more

NAF Panelists and Complainants Caught Systematically Copying/Pasting Nonsense Into UDRP Decisions

In a recent article at DomainNameWire.com, CitizenHawk was called out by a National Arbitration Forum (NAF) panelist for the submission of automated complaints which contained complete nonsense. Through the discussion in the comments to that article, the community discovered that the problem is far deeper. It turns out that UDRP panelists at NAF have been churning out boilerplate cut/paste decisions of their own, with utter nonsense of their own, and that this has been going on for years. more

Measuring Typosquatting Perpetrators and Funders

For more than a decade, aggressive website registrants have been engaged in 'typosquatting' -- the intentional registration of misspellings of popular website addresses. Uses for the diverted traffic have evolved over time, ranging from hosting sexually-explicit content to phishing. Several countermeasures have been implemented, including developing policies for resolving disputes. Despite these efforts, typosquatting remains rife. But just how prevalent is typosquatting today, and why is it so pervasive? (Co-authored by Tyler Moore and Benjamin Edelman) more

The Empire Strikes Back: "New" Verisign Hums a Familiar Tune

Losing your monopoly must be hard. True, few companies ever experience that particular breed of angst, but if Verisign's reply to even modest success in the new gTLD marketplace is any indication, it must be very hard to say goodbye. We understand why they're worried... The quality of newly registered .COM names is dropping and has been for years. And there is nothing Verisign can do about it. So welcome to the fire sale. more

Confirmed: Bill Clinton to Address ICANN Meeting in SF

A personal source close to Bill Clinton has confirmed to us that the former president will give the keynote speech ICANN meeting in San Francisco March 14-18. The meeting promises to produce far more electricity than sleepy NGO-lawyer-techie-academic-lobbyist ICANN attendees are used to. more

Do We Need Title Insurance for Domain Names?

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I read an article in Forbes (November 13, page 148) about real estate title insurance. The article was about how real estate title insurance is a joke and overpriced. But as I read in the article how titles are investigated, in dawned on me that a title check service for domain names would be helpful. Title checks and title insurance would prevent you from losing money when you bought a stolen domain. Last year I almost got bilked for $5,000 buying domains...before I discovered they were stolen... more

Domain Name Disputes Break Two Records in 2017

The year 2017 turned out to be a record-setting year for domain name disputes, in two ways: The number of complaints filed as well as the total number of domain names in those complaints. Specifically: The number of cases at WIPO crept up to 3,073 from 3,036 in 2016 (the previous record), a modest gain of just over 1 percent. Those cases included 6,370 domain names, up from 5,354 in 2016 (also a record-setting year), a spike of nearly 19 percent. more