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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

Prudential Settlements for Alleged Cybersquatting/Reverse Domain Name Hijacking Under the ACPA

Given the number of awards endlessly arriving from Panels appointed to decide cybersquatting disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) (ten to fifteen published daily), the sum total of grievants filing de novo challenges under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protect Act (ACPA) is remarkably small -- one or two at most in any single year; and those rarely proceeding to summary judgment or trial. more

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2018

It is once again time for our annual review of posts that received the most attention on CircleID during the past year. Congratulations to all the 2018 participants for sharing their thoughts and making a difference in the industry. more

Typosquatting as Per Se Cybersquatting Unless Proved Otherwise

The quintessence of typosquatting is syntactical variation: adding, omitting, replacing, substituting, and transposing words and letters. Since these minor variations are mostly indefensible, respondents rarely respond to complaints, although as I will explain in a moment there can also be innocent and good faith syntactical variations which are not typosquatting. It follows that if there are defenses, respondents should prudently respond and explain their choices because default generally favors complainants. more

2018 Domain Name Year in Review

Well, it's that time of year again. The time of year when I look back at all of the biggest domain news stories from the last twelve months, and also reflect on my predictions from last year. As expected, GDPR has had a major impact on the ability to access domain ownership information. And we did indeed see a number of M&A transactions over this last year. However, there wasn't a lot of new .Brand activity. This is one prediction where I may have missed the mark... more

The Hidden Perils of Filing a Baseless UDRP Complaint

When properly used, the UDRP enables trademark owners to take control of abusive domain names. Yet sometimes the UDRP itself is misused by trademark owners to try to seize desirable domain names to which they have no legal entitlement. Is there a downside to misusing the UDRP to attempt a domain name hijacking? Unscrupulous companies at times misuse the UDRP by improperly invoking its power to compel a transfer of ownership in order to seize inherently valuable, non-infringing domain names that the companies desire for their own use. more

Abusive Conduct: Domain Name Registrants and Rights Holders

Abusive conduct or cybersquatting is the essence of disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), usually by domain name registrants violating their warranties of registration but also (in appreciable numbers) by trademark holders overreaching their statutory rights. The UDRP remedies are asynchronous: there is forfeiture of offending domain names; for abusive use of the process there is reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH), essentially a shaming remedy that substitutes for a monetary penalty. more

Has President Macron Thrown Multistakeholderism Under the Bus at UN IGF 2018 Paris?

Today, President Macron threw down the gauntlet to President Trump and the US administration on Multistakeholderism. In his welcome address to IGF 2018 Paris a few hours ago, President Macron challenged IGF to become more relevant by reinventing itself in factoring in multilateralism into IGF's non-decision-making body and to move beyond the mere talk-ship lip service it has been for the last 13 years. more

Internet Watch Foundation Uses Hashes to Block Child Abuse Material

Last week during the ICANN meeting in Barcelona I attended a short presentation from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). Their mission is pretty simple: ...eliminate child sexual abuse imagery online. Fortunately, the presentation I was at did not include any of the actual material (which would have been illegal anyway) but even without seeing any of it the topic is one that I think most people find deeply disturbing. more

Law Enforcement Agencies Will Have Authority on Registries and Registrars

Accessing Whois information and acting on a litigious domain name is becoming a nightmare for law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies must have an access to the information provided by registrants in the Whois database and, in specific cases, have authority to act FAST on a domain name. The EU has a solution for this and it's coming in 2020. more

Addressing Infringement: Developments in Content Regulation in the US and the DNS

Over the course of the last decade, in response to significant pressure from the US government and other governments, service providers have assumed private obligations to regulate online content that have no basis in public law. For US tech companies, a robust regime of "voluntary agreements" to resolve content-related disputes has grown up on the margins of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Communications Decency Act (CDA). more

The Road Less Traveled: Time Is Running Out for NTIA-Verisign Cooperative Agreement

It is remarkable  -  for all the wrong reasons  -  that only two months remain before the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) must make a fateful decision on how it will address its' long-standing Cooperative Agreement with Verisign  -  the private-sector corporation that edits the authoritative address book of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), maintains two of the DNS root servers, and operates the .com and .net registries of the Internet, undoubtedly one of the most lucrative concessions ever granted. more

The Emergence and Consolidation of a Jurisprudence of Domain Names

One of the fallouts of disruptive inventions is the need for new laws to counter their unexpected consequences. As it concerned the Internet, these consequences included a new tort of registering domain names identical or confusingly similar to trademarks and service marks with the intention of taking unlawful advantage of rights owners. Prior to 2000 the only civil remedy for "cybersquatting" or "cyber piracy" was expensive and time-consuming plenary actions in courts of competent jurisdiction under national trademark laws. more

News Briefs

US House of Representatives Pass a Bill to Restore Net Neutrality Rules Repealed by Trump's FCC

Thailand Passes Law Giving Sweeping Powers to State Cyber Agencies

Canada Considering Right to Repair Legislation Tackling Repair Monopoly Over Brand-Name Devices

Government Officials, Academia, and Advocacy Groups Say Time for US to Get Its Own GDPR

US Senate to Hold Hearing on Consumer Data Privacy Issues

Biggest Fine Yet: French Watchdog Slaps Google With a $57M Fine Under the New GDPR Law

US Tech Firm Cloudflare Accused of Providing Cybersecurity Services to Foreign Terrorist Groups

Facebook Used VPN App to Collect Competitive Data on App Usage, According to Reports on Leaked Docs

FCC to Classify Text Messaging as Information Service to Fight Spam Texts, Others Oppose the Move

EU Should Not Be Setting US WHOIS and Privacy Policy, Says MPAA

US Senator Wyden Proposes Bill That Could Jail Executives Over Repeated Data Privacy Violations

US Copyright Office Expands Security Researchers' Ability to Hack Without Going to Jail

Yahoo Agrees to Pay $50M and Other Costs for the Massive Security Breach Disclosed in 2016

Easy Access to ICANN, IP Address Data Beats Info on Encrypted Data, Says Telstra Cybersecurity Head

US Department of Justice Sues California Over Its New Net Neutrality Law

"Seven Dirty Words" Restriction Policy Lifted from .US Domain Name Registrations

New Zealand's Domain Name Commission Wins Injunction in a Lawsuit Against DomainTools

EU Authorities to Give Internet Companies 1 Hour to Take Down Extremist Content or Face Hefty Fines

Special Interests Circulating Draft Legislation to Cut Short ICANN's Whois Policy Process

DomainTools Sued for Misusing New Zealand's .NZ Domain Name Registration Information

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