Law

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What’s in a Name?

Internet domain names are truly bizarre. There is nothing especially remarkable about them from a technical perspective, but from a social and political perspective they are all sorts of fun. We can have arguments over control of the DNS root, arguments over whether names are property, arguments over innate rights to specific names, arguments over a registrar's right (or lack thereof) to exploit unregistered names for private gain, and many more arguments besides. In this article, I'd like to explore the argument-space rather than defend any particular position in it. In so doing, I hope to illuminate some novel (or under-emphasised) perspectives on the matter. more

Top Domain Name News Stories of 2006

Record-breaking domain sales, acquisitions, and growing industry credibility all highlight a critical year for the domain name industry. The domain name industry had a heck of a year. It's impossible to rank the top news stories of 2006, but I'm going to make an attempt... Let's talk about it before the end of the year; then let's look forward to a fantastic 2007. more

Brand Complementors: Implementing a Cooperative Domain-Name Use

The essay expands a cooperative solution to third-party use of brands in domain names. Like any approach that depends on cooperation, the solution will require both sides to change behavior but also allow both sides to take credit for the resulting benefits, i.e. a triangular solution. If not immediately addressed, the problem of third-party use can become a major threat to the industry. But we already know one thing: when it comes to this issue, legal action and bullying don't work. more

Google Loses Another Domain Name Dispute

For the benefit of trademark owners, ICANN has something called the UDRP (Uniform Dispute Resolution Process) that allows the owner to file a complaint against an allegedly infringing domain name, to be resolved by one of a small set of arbitrators. About 90% of UDRP cases that proceed to a decision are decided in favor of the complainant; opinions differ as to whether that's because of the merit of the complaints or the institutional bias of the arbitrators. more

Why I Voted for .XXX

The ICANN Board voted today 9-5, with Paul Twomey abstaining, to reject a proposal to open .xxx. This is my statement in connection with that vote. I found the resolution adopted by the Board (rejecting xxx) both weak and unprincipled... I am troubled by the path the Board has followed on this issue since I joined the Board in December of 2005. I would like to make two points. First, ICANN only creates problems for itself when it acts in an ad hoc fashion in response to political pressures. Second, ICANN should take itself seriously as a private governance institution with a limited mandate and should resist efforts by governments to veto what it does. more

Implications of Canada’s CASL - Toughest Anti-Spam Law the World Has Ever Seen

While Canada was dragging the chain when it came to introducing anti-spam legislation, it is now making up for lost time. Ottawa's new law -- expected to be operational early this year -- has severe fines for violations and is viewed by some as too tough. Known as CASL, the new law aims to crack down on spammers and mailing list companies but in doing so, tightly regulates the way businesses can market to prospective customers via email and online. more

IPv6, 5G and Mesh Networks Heightening Law Enforcement Challenges, Says Australian Government

In a submission to the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement's inquiry into Impact of new and emerging information and communications technology, the Department of Home Affairs and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) warn law enforcement will be degraded by a number of new technologies. more

Obama’s Missed Opportunity

According to National Journal, Susan Crawford is joining the Obama administration in a significant new role... This does not make me happy. Crawford is not a technologist, and the job that's been created for her needs to be filled by a person with deep knowledge of technology, the technology business, and the dynamics in research and business that promote innovation... more

NETmundial Multistakeholder Statement Concludes Act One of 2014 Internet Governance Trifecta

On April 24th the NETmundial "Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance" concluded with the issuance of an eight-page statement. This non-binding document falls short of the "Magna Carta for the Internet" called for in an opening statement delivered by Tim Berners Lee, but it does set the stage for the other two major 2014 events that will affect the course of Internet Governance (IG) - the IGF meeting in Istanbul, Turkey and the ITU meeting in Busan, Korea. more

What’s Driving Spam and Domain Fraud? Illicit Drug Traffic

Spam is not about who sent it, it's about who benefits from it. For a moment forget everything you know about filters, zombie PCs, firewalls, spoofing, viruses, beisyan algorithms, header forgery, botnets, or blacklists. These are all methods for sending spam or preventing spam delivery. None of these explain why spam is sent and for far too long all the attention has been paid to the effects and not the driving force. Under the endless onslaught of junk mail it is easy to feel that the goal of the game is send spam and annoy us all. more

WIPO Crowing Again About “Cybersquatting”

Most of us would be put off if a court issued a press release cheering the number of prisoners its judges had put behind bars or the number of tenants it had helped landlords to evict. That seems antithetical to the neutral adjudication of disputes, and ethical rules regularly decry such "appearance of bias." Yet WIPO seems to think it perfectly natural to crow about its arbitrators' favoritism for complainants against "cybersquatters" in UDRP proceedings. It issued a release that reads like a solicitation for trademark claimants' business, not a promotion of neutral arbitration services... more

Mooning the Porn Stars

Steve DelBianco did a great job of discussing the rocky relationship between ICANN's Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and the Board of Directors, in his piece entitled ".XXX Exposes the Naked Truth for ICANN". I've been keeping an eye on the adult industry press to see what their reaction is to the .XXX debacle. But before we start, let's get something out of the way. more

Abusive and Malicious Registrations of Domain Names

When ICANN implemented the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) in 1999, it explained its purpose as combating "abusive registrations" of domain names which it defined as registrations "made with bad-faith intent to profit commercially from others' trademarks... Bad actors employ a palette of stratagems, such as combining marks with generic qualifiers, truncating or varying marks or by removing, reversing, and rearranging letters within the second level domain (typosquatting). more

Petition Against Site Finder

We Internet users, who either own domain names or have an interest in the domain name system, wish to object to the VeriSign's Site Finder system. We believe that the system: 1) Breaks technical standards, by rewriting the expected error codes to instead point to VeriSign's pay-per-click web directory, and threatens the security and stability of the Internet; 2) Breaks technical standards affecting email services, and other Internet systems... more

The Catalonian Matter: Law and Order, Democracy and Freedom of Speech, Censorship and Trust

I'm an engineer, and I firmly believe that Internet matters and, in general, Information Society, should be kept separate from politics, so usually, I'm very skeptical to talk about those and mix things. Let's start by saying that I'm Catalonian. Despite the dictatorial regime when I was born, forbidden teaching Catalonian, I learned it, even despite, initially for family reasons and now for work reasons, I live in Madrid. However, I keep saying everywhere I go, that I was born in Barcelona... more