Law

Law / Featured Blogs

Offering Price as Evidence of Bad Faith Domain Name Registration: A False (UDRP) Factor

I have pointed out in earlier posts that some panelists disapprove of the business of speculating in domain names. There have been a succession of decisions expressing this view beginning with <crew.com> discussed below. Forfeiture has been justified with a mixture of theories. If the offering price is allegedly "excessive" or the domain name is passively held, or the respondent has renewed its registration after the mark is first used in commerce, the panelists find respondents have engaged in unlawful conduct and must forfeit their domain names. more

ICANN Is Violating Its Legal Agreements with the U.S. Government – Who’s Next?

In April, I published an article, The Multistakeholder Moment of Truth: Will Stakeholders Hold ICANN Accountable?, alerting stakeholders that ICANN is violating its legal agreements with the U.S. Government -- namely the InterNIC licensing agreement and merged Memorandum of Understanding. At that time, I warned that it is essential for stakeholders not to remain silent in the face of this transgression, "hoping that such behavior left unchecked will end of its own accord." more

Anticompetitive and Predatory Misconduct by ICANN and Contracted Parties Must End

On May 26, 2021, I submitted a complaint to ICANN's Complaints Officer, Krista Papac. In a nutshell, my complaint centers on ICANN's blatant violation of its Bylaws, specifically Section 2.2, named Restrictions, which expressly prohibits ICANN from acting as a registrar. However, despite the absence of any exceptions to this unambiguous prohibition, ICANN is acting improperly as a registrar for the purposes of warehousing and cybersquatting on certain domain names in the .com and .net registries. more

Mistrust of ICANN Is Fully Vindicated

Recently, I have been reporting on a highly questionable auction scheme for a single domain name, o.com, which is currently being improperly warehoused by ICANN along with a number of other .com and .net domain names. This violates ICANN's Bylaws -- but, so what? more

Facebook’s “Supreme Court” Has Implications for International Law

Last year, Facebook created its widely dubbed "Supreme Court" (officially the Oversight Board) in an effort to outsource some of the platform's most difficult content decisions. By all accounts, Facebook hoped the Board would have global legitimacy to make the toughest content decisions and help avoid reputational damage for being biased, arbitrary, tone-deaf, or worse. more

The Insult and Injury of the U.S. Government’s Failure to Enforce ICANN’s Contractual Obligation

Someone recently observed that many stakeholders have fallen victim to a "chilling effect" resulting from fear of retaliation by the rich and powerful bullies currently infecting the multistakeholder community, ICANN, and Internet governance. I related to what I was hearing because I've been personally targeted and libelously attacked and it is deeply dismaying enough having to worry about threats to revenue and reputation along with other harmful effects of such thuggery. more

The Supreme Court Decides that Compatible Software is Still Legal

Back in the 1980s, everyone used the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet on their PCs. In 1989, Borland released a competitor, Quattro Pro. It used the same menu commands as 1-2-3 so that users could import their 1-2-3 spreadsheets with keyboard macros. Lotus sued Borland, and after a loss in the district court, Borland won on appeal, arguing that the keyboard commands are a "method of operation" and not subject to copyright. Lotus appealed to the Supreme Court... more

An Anti-Competitive .com Fait Accompli?

In a recent article, Is ICANN Staff Misleading the Board Into Violating Obligations to the U.S. Government, I wrote: The referenced Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is the vehicle by which the U.S. government delegates to ICANN the responsibilities for overseeing the technical management of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS)... This is important for many reasons, and much remains to be analyzed for additional context that can help expose the rot at the Internet's root. 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

Is ICANN Staff Misleading the Board Into Violating Contractual Obligations to the U.S. Government?

Recently, I had time to reflect on various matters after the alternator in my vehicle decided that the middle of a mountain pass was the appropriate time and place to go to that great big pick-and-pull scrapyard in the sky while leaving me stranded with no cell signal on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Until that point, I had been seriously considering applying to ICANN's Nominating Committee for one of the three open seats on ICANN's Board of Directors. more