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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

In Historic Vote on WHOIS Purpose, Reformers Win by 2/3 Majority

It has taken almost three years -- by some counts, more than 6 years -- but ICANN's domain name policy making organization has finally taken a stand on Whois and privacy. And the results were a decisive defeat for the copyright and trademark interests and the US government, and a stunning victory for advocates of the rights of individual domain name registrants... more

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

Domain Name Association Outlines Healthy Practices as Part of Key Initiative

The domain name system is in good health. But it's about to get even better. The Domain Name Association (DNA), the Internet domain industry's trade association, undertook an effort in 2016 it named the Healthy Domains Initiative (HDI). It's an ambitious, self-motivated effort to build on the DNS' already secure and stable platform and meet select challenges head-on, before they develop. more

How SOPA Will Destroy The Internet

As you read this, please keep in mind that I say it all with a track record nearly 14 years of being proactive and having a zero-tolerance policy toward criminal activity and network abuse on our system. We have great relationships with Law Enforcement Agencies both here in Canada and abroad. We are always helpful and (usually) happy to answer questions, and help LEA understand the complexities and nuances of the internet. We've had the good fortune to meet some really intelligent and clued in cybercrime units. We participate in numerous communities in combating net.abuse and cybercrime. more

Criticism of Trademark Owner Deemed Legitimate Interest under ICANN UDRP

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of Birmingham, Alabama, challenged registration of domain name www.biocrystpharmaceuticals.com. Respondent used domain name to criticize the Complainant's business (BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Kumar Patel, Case No. D2005-0674). Panelist Daniel Gervais denied relief, stating... more

Problems With Defining Jurisdiction on the Internet

The term "jurisdiction" has various definitions in law, but for our purposes here we can say it is the power of some legal body to exercise its authority over a person or subject matter or territory. In the Internet today, it is territory that gives rise to many major issues. As in real estate, what matters in jurisdiction is "location, location, location". When the Internet and trademark rights began to intersect, it quickly became apparent that traditional concepts of the jurisdiction of courts and legislatures would be seriously strained by situations where a registrant in one country could use a registrar in a second country to register a domain name in yet a third country. more

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

ICANN's WDPRS system has been defeated. The system is intended to remove or correct fraudulently registered domains, but it does not work anymore. Yesterday I submitted a memo to the leadership of the ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the greater At-Large community. The memo concerns the details of a 214-day saga of complaints about a single domain used for trafficking opioids. more

DNS Policy is Hop by Hop; DNS Security is End to End

The debate continues as to whether ISP's can effectively filter DNS results in order to protect brand and copyright holders from online infringement. It's noteworthy that there is no argument as to whether these rights holders and their properties deserve protection - nobody is saying "content wants to be free" and there is general agreement that it is harder to protect rights in the Internet era where perfect copies of can be made and distributed instantaneously. What we're debating now is just whether controlling DNS at the ISP level would work at all and whether the attempt to insert such controls would damage Secure DNS (sometimes called DNSSEC). more

ICANN Responsible for Domain Name Trademark Mess

It is ICANN's responsibility to make sure domain names do not infringe on trademarks. To determine infringement, ICANN should rely in the short term on predictive models. Thus, domain name and trademark owners must start putting pressure on ICANN to assume its trademark responsibility. more

Over 80 Internet Inventors and Engineers Send Open Letter to US Congress

A group of 83 Internet inventors and prominent engineers sent an open letter today to the members of the United States Congress, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate respectively. more

ICANN Board Approves ‘Thick’ Whois Requirement for .COM and .NET

The ICANN Board has approved the community recommendation that "the provision of Thick Whois services should become a requirement for all gTLD registries, both existing and future." We have long supported the migration from 'thin' to 'thick' Whois, which will improve both quality and ease of access to Whois data, thereby further facilitating intellectual property enforcement online. The ICANN community has debated the merits of migration from 'thin' to 'thick' Whois for years, as part of the larger Whois Review process. 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

The Future of the Internet Economy: Chapter 2

The OECD held a "high-level" meeting in June 2011 that was intended to build upon the OECD Ministerial on The Future of the Internet Economy held in Seoul, Korea in June 2008. I was invited to attend this meeting as part of the delegation from the Internet Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC), and here I'd like to share my impressions of this meeting. This 2 day meeting, "The Internet Economy: Generating Innovation and Growth", had the objective of exploring a number of current issues in the public policy space... more

Curbing Cyber- and Typosquatting

We need a tax. You don't hear that too often. But right now a tax is the weapon needed by the domain name community. We face way too many cyber- and typosquatters. To drive them back, let's tax parked and unused domain names. Done right -- sized properly and phased in -- the tax will make it much harder for speculators to turn a profit while they keep domains sitting idle or parked. more