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Domain Registrations in New TLDs Overwhelmingly for Defensive Purposes, INTA Study

During the ICANN meeting in South Africa last week, the impact of new gTLD rights protection mechanisms (RPMS) was the subject of key discussions, and some concerns were voiced regarding trademark owners themselves registering domain names excessively and technically abusing the sunrise period. more

New TLD Spotted - .FUD

In politics, as in Internet policy, the most effective weapons are also the oldest. So when it came time for hard-line intellectual property advocates to make a desperate last stand against the new gTLD program, it came as no surprise they turned to the atomic bomb of rhetorical devices: FUD. FUD stands for "fear, uncertainty and doubt" and it is the tool of last resort when change is coming and you want to stop it. The theory is simple: the human response to fear is to cling to what's familiar and oppose what's new. So if you can scare enough people about the potential effects of a new policy or law, you stand a pretty good chance of preventing it from ever going into effect. more

New Zealand Releases Revamped Three Strikes Proposal

The New Zealand government has released a revamped three strikes proposal that incorporates full court hearings and the possibility of financial penalties. A prior proposal, which would have resulted in subscriber access being terminated without court oversight, was dropped earlier this year following public protest. more

CIRA Creates Backdoor WHOIS Exceptions for Police and IP Owners

Earlier this year, I wrote glowingly about the new CIRA whois policy, which took effect today and which I described as striking the right balance between access and privacy. The policy was to have provided new privacy protection to individual registrants - hundreds of thousands of Canadians - by removing the public disclosure of their personal contact information... Apparently I spoke too soon. 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

Is ICANN’s .IR Response at Odds with the ACPA and ICE Domain Seizures?

An initial review of ICANN's response to litigation seeking it to turn over control of the ccTLDs of Iran, Syria and North Korea led to the conclusion that it had opened a "legal can of worms". A few more just wriggled out, and they threaten the basic assumption that underlies the U.S. statute governing cybersquatting and the practices engaged in by Federal officials seizing domain names engaged in intellectual property infringement. more

Phishing Scams: How to Spot Them and Stop Them

Phishing scams are nothing new in the online security world and show no signs of subsiding. The scam starts when a fraudster sends a communication purporting to originate from a trusted provider and encourages the recipient, often with a conveyed sense of urgency, to click a link. That link leads to a fake site, usually intended to collect confidential login credentials or other personal information. In similar scams, the mail may encourage the recipient to open an attachment loaded with malicious content. more

Domain Name Lessons from Napster

I first outline a brief history of free file-sharing technology, then draw some general and domain name lessons, then outline the what, how, and why that make your activism effective and necessary... The domain name industry is decentralized and atomic in that anyone from anywhere in the world can register a domain name, keep the ownershp name and address private, and host it from a country where the U.S. and European legal systems don't apply. Thus, legal action will only drive domain owners further underground. more

Time of Registration in Determining Cybersquatting

While Panels under the UDRP and judges under the ACPA draw upon a similar body of principles in determining infringement -- both mechanisms, after all, are crafted to combat cybersquatting -- and though arbitration panels and judges undoubtedly view alleged tortious wrongdoing by abusive registrations of domain names through similar lenses and apply laws that may be outwardly similar, each protective mechanism has developed its own distinct and separate jurisprudence. more

TLD Operators Should Not Police Content, Says EFF

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released a letter today stating "companies and organizations that run the Internet's domain name system shouldn't be in the business of policing the contents of websites, or enforcing laws that can impinge on free speech. 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

Unlawful Targeting of Trademarks and Consumers in Registering Domain Names

Unlike trademark applications which go through a lengthy examination process before advancing to registration, anyone (anywhere in the world) can register a domain name identical or confusingly similar to a trademark - instantly and no questions asked, at least, in the traditional space (the legacy gTLDs)! With the new gTLDs registrants will receive notice of possible infringement if the brands are registered with the Trademark Mark Clearing House, but notices do not function as injunctions to block registrants from registering infringing names. more

Google & eBay, Keywords & Domains, & ICANN

Sell a trademark as a keyword for directed search or online auctions and make $billions. But use a trademark in a domain name for direct search and lose the domain, or worse. The gap between how trademark law treats the two species of search has grown wider in the wake of several landmark 2010 trademark law decisions -- and provides another sound reason why ICANN should not establish any new rights protections for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) beyond those STI-RT compromise positions already included in the fourth version of its Draft Applicant Guidebook (DAGv4). more

IP And The Internet: A Growing Need to Police Online Content

The Internet and corresponding online world have radically expanded the landscape Intellectual Property professionals need to investigate when monitoring for possible infringements of their trademarks, brands and other intangible assets. With few barriers to entry, coupled with the ability to operate anonymously, the Internet has rapidly become a significant target for unscrupulous individuals hoping to take advantage of the easily accessible Intellectual Property assets of legitimate businesses. more

How Copyright Violators Are Removed from Search Engine Listings Based on DMCA

It may not be widely-known but the big 3 search engines -- Google, Yahoo! and Bing -- have established procedures for removing natural search results on the basis of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). That's good news for brand owners: if consumers can't find infringing websites via the search engines, they're less likely to come across them at all... more