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A Fairness 'Scorecard' for Trademark Protection Under the New gTLDs

In the last few years, ICANN has made huge strides in Protecting Trademarks within new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). Now much more is being asked. Is it right? Is it appropriate? Will these changes make the new gTLDs unusable for the very communities we most hope will want them: developing countries, developing communities, new businesses, growing organizations and all the people born in the future? 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

Noncommercial Users Ask ICANN Board to Review Decision to Expand Trademark Rights in New Domains

ICANN's Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG) has filed a Request for Reconsideration with ICANN's Board of Directors regarding the staff's decision to expand the scope of the trademark claims service beyond that provided by community consensus policy and in contradiction to ICANN Bylaws. Specifically at issue is ICANN staff's unilateral decision to adopt the "trademark +50" proposal for new domains, which would provide trademark holders who have previously won a UDRP or court decision with rights to 50 additional derivations of their trademark in ICANN's Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). more

Domain Name Typosquatter Still Generating Millions

Ever visit cartoonneetwork.com? Adaptac.com? Check the URLs carefully, for these aren't the "real" sites operated by the Cartoon Network cable channel or by Adaptec, manufacturer of PC storage devices. Instead, these domains -- and some 5,000+ others -- were registered by a Mr. John Zuccarini. Read on to learn what he is up to and how he has gotten away with it. 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

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

Your Trademark Sucks.com

Recent attention to the Eighth Circuit decision in Coca-Cola v. Purdy brings to mind the class of sometimes difficult cases involving the use of another's trademark as a domain name for criticism. An ICANN UDRP decision, Full Sail Inc. v. Ryan Spevack, Case No. D2003-0502 (WIPO October 3, 2003), by Mark VB Partridge, presiding panelist, with Frederick M. Abbott and G. Gervaise Davis III, included a review and analysis of the "your trademark sucks.com" cases that remains a useful reference worthy (I hope) of the lengthy quote below. more

ICA to ICANN: The IRT Must Open Up Or Be Stripped of Official Status and Support

On April 21st the Internet Commerce Association submitted a formal request to Mr. Frank Fowlie, ICANN Ombudsman, requesting an immediate investigation of the non-compliance of the Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT) with applicable provisions of ICANN's Bylaws. The IRT was created by a March Resolution adopted by the ICANN Board during its Mexico City meeting, and was charged with proposing "solutions" to the concerns of trademark holders. Unfortunately, the IRT has chosen to operate in a non-transparent manner... more

Whois Masking Considered Harmful

Whenever you register a domain name, your contact details are published in a publicly visible database called "Whois", where your contact details are instantly harvested by spambots and marketers who proceed to email and postal mail you marketing offers, deceptive "domain slamming" attempts, ads for dubious products, and perhaps even telemarketing calls. Nobody likes that, so over the years people started resorting to various tactics to protect themselves from the deluge of crap that inevitably comes with simply registering a domain name... more

Warner Brothers Loses DaisyDukes.com Complaint

Warner Brothers Entertainment, which owns the rights to The Dukes of Hazzard and related characters, including DAISY DUKE, failed in its UDRP case against the registrant of the domain name DaisyDukes.com. The Panelist determined that although WB had common law rights in the DAISY DUKE mark and the registrant lacked rights and legitimate interests in the DaisyDukes.com domain name, WB failed to demonstrate that the registrant had registered and used the domain name in bad faith. more

Domain Name Dispute Cases Increased by 6.6% in 2004

In its February 18, 2005 press release, WIPO has reported filing an average of 3.4 UDRP and UDRP-based cases per calendar day in 2004, bringing the total number of cases received in 2004 to 1,179 -- an increase of 79 cases (or 6.6%) as compared to 2003. Also mentioned in the report is a 37 percent increase in ccTLDs cases over the previous year. Listed below are a number of additional facts and figures reported... more

She Gave Me a Fake Phone Number!

The Intellectual Property Constituency, meeting at the ICANN conference in Vancouver, was interested in increasing ICANN's budget not because they thought they deserved it, but because they wanted ICANN to actually enforce the rules on the books about fake registrations. Now there's some evidence about how prevalent that is. If there's any surprise here, it's that the numbers are so low. more

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

Jurisdiction over Domain Names: Too Much Law Or Too Little?

In the prior issue of CircleID, I described registrations by John Zuccarini. Many of Zuccarini's registrations are typographic variations on well-known domain names, and Zuccarini typically redirects users to sexually-explicit content and pop-up advertisements. Despite scores of UDRP claims and ACPA suits, plus a major case brought by the Federal Trade Commission, Zuccarini's registrations remain in effect -- more than 5,000 strong, in my researchmore

Confessions of an Ex-Opponent of Whois Privacy

The following is the easyDNS response to ICANN's public comment period on GNSO Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues Working Group Initial Report. The public comment period is open until July 7, 2015. We strongly urge you to make your voice known by signing the petition over at Save Domain Privacy. I submit these comments as a CEO of an ICANN accredited registrar, a former director to CIRA and a lifelong anti spam contributor with an unblemished record of running a managed DNS provider that maintains zero tolerance for net abuse or cybercrime... more