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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

Crime vs. Cybercrime: Is the Law Adequate?

In 2001, I published an article on "virtual crime." It analyzed the extent to which we needed to create a new vocabulary -- and a new law -- of "cybercrimes." The article consequently focused on whether there is a difference between "crime" and "cybercrime." It's been a long time, and cybercrime has come a long way, since I wrote that article. I thought I'd use this post to look at what I said then and see how it's held up, i.e., see if we have any additional perspective on the relationship between crime and cybercrime... 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

ICANN Should Curb Anonymous Domain Name Abuses

E-commerce has revolutionized how businesses sell to consumers -- including those involved in illicit activities, such as websites peddling illegal narcotics, pirated movies and music, or counterfeit handbags. For example, 96 percent of Internet pharmacies do not comply with U.S. laws, and as they ship pills tainted with paint thinner, arsenic, and rat poison, they put the health and safety of consumers at risk. Why don't law enforcement officials do more to combat this problem? Partly because of the difficulty of identifying who is actually operating the illegal pharmacies. It is time to fix this, while allowing anonymity for those who deserve it. more

ICANN Fails Consumers (Again)

In its bid to be free of U.S. government oversight ICANN is leaning on the global multistakeholder community as proof positive that its policy-making comes from the ground up. ICANN's recent response to three U.S. senators invokes the input of "end users from all over the world" as a way of explaining how the organization is driven. Regardless of the invocation of the end user (and it must be instinct) ICANN cannot seem to help reaching back and slapping that end user across the face. more

Latest Cybersquatting Stats from WIPO

According to latest reports from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), allegations of cybersquatting by trademark holders continued to rise in 2008, with a record 2,329 complaints filed under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). This represented an 8% increase over 2007 in the number of generic and country code Top-Level Domain (gTLDs and ccTLDs) disputes handled and brings the total number of WIPO cases filed under the UDRP since it was launched ten years ago to over 14,000. To improve efficiency and respond to growing demand, WIPO has proposed an "eUDRP Initiative" to render the UDRP paperless... 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

CAN SPAM and Affiliate Mailer Opt-Out

Many online businesses use affiliates to drum up business. The affiliate finds a lead somewhere, passes it to the business, and gets a commission if the lead turns into a sale. Web based affiliates are relatively uncontroversial, but affiliates who advertise by e-mail are a chronic problem due to their propensity to send spam, both spam as normally defined and as defined by CAN SPAM. Is it possible to do legitimate e-mail affiliate marketing? Maybe... more

Typosquatting: A Solution

Typosquatting's negative effect on the surfing experience can be easily eliminated, and in a way that allows all parties to make money. What's called for is an affiliate program. You would not be happy if you typed a domain name into your browser and wound up in nowhere land because of a simple misspelling. That's the negative surfing effect of typosquatting... 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

No Fines for Comcast

Note: this is an update on my earlier story, which incorrectly said that the AP reported that Chairman Martin was seeking to impose "fines" on Comcast. In fact, the story used the word "punish" rather than "fine," and a headline writer at the New York Times added "penalty" to it "F.C.C. Chairman Favors Penalty on Comcast" (I won't quote the story because I'm a blogger and the AP is the AP, so click through.) Much of the initial reaction to the story was obviously colored by the headline. more

A Closer Look at the Katie.com Domain Name Controversy

Every time an individual logs on to the Internet a pornographer is able to copy the stream of digital bits created by the computer user's Internet connection. The data bits are used to compile a database of information about Internet user buying habits and sexual tastes. These pornographers use the information secretly collected from logged in computers to alter the category or type of pornographic images uploaded onto various websites. Pornographers, for example, know that as a result the pornography in Cyberspace is of an extremely disturbing sort when compared to porn found in "real-space." Internet users are primarily known fans of sexual images of incest, bestiality, and torture. Cyber porn -- as it is often called -- is bigger, badder, and more extreme.  more

Wal-Mart on the Domain Name War Path

Wal-Mart seems to have been particularly vigilant lately about protecting itself from third parties setting up websites critiquing Wal-Mart and its practices. ...Wal-Mart recently scored a victory in an arbitration proceeding under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("UDRP") before the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") against Jeff Milchen, a self-proclaimed critic of Wal-Mart from Bozeman, Montana who registered the domain name "walmartfacts.biz". more

Has the FCC Created a Stone Too Heavy for It to Lift?

After five years of bickering, the FCC passed an Open Internet Report & Order on a partisan 3-2 vote this week. The order is meant to guarantee that the Internet of the future will be just as free and open as the Internet of the past. Its success depends on how fast the Commission can transform itself from an old school telecom regulator wired to resist change into an innovation stimulator embracing opportunity. One thing we can be sure about is that the order hasn't tamped down the hyperbole that's fueled the fight to control the Internet's constituent parts for all these years. more

Trademarking .generics - the .bank Fiasco!

I, for one, have been a proponent of new gTLDs from the early days of their policy development process within ICANN. I always believed that the existing gTLDs -- and mainly the .com space -- have created artificial scarcity, which is primarily responsible for much of the cybersquatting and the abuse trademarks experience. I do not share the same fears as those who argue that new gTLDs will create intolerable levels of cybersquatting or will necessitate defensive registrations from brand and trademark owners alike. more