Domain Names

01 June 2007

Legal Issues About Trademarks And Domain Names uPublish.info

With each country having its own trade mark system, the effect is the trademark system is territorial. So a brand name may be owned by one person in the United Kingdom and by another, totally unrelated, person in the United States. This article notes as the DNS puts "most of its emphasis on the .com title as the international domain, [this] does not really jive well with the trade mark system because of the latter's fundamental definition of 'ownership'." The article uses as an example the domain prince.com where the sports good manufacturer Prince challenged a British computer consultancy who registered the name in good faith. The computer consultancy won the case. However it was different when Marks & Spencer challenged One In A Million who had registered the domains of registered trade marks such as Marks & Spencer, Sainsburys, Virgin and Cellnet for the express purpose of selling the domains to the trade mark holders. The High Court decided One In A Million relinquish their claim on the said domain names, a decision further upheld by the Court of Appeal. The concludes, in part "Based on the two actual court cases we can build up a clear picture about the interrelation of trademarks and domain names. In general, domains that have no trademark significance can be acquired by the entity who registered them first."

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Phishing URLs skyrocket: Cybercrooks try to overwhelm browser blacklists by multiplying malicious addresses Computer World

The Anti-Phishing Working Group says the number of phishing domains nearly tripled from March to April “as cybercriminals returned to a late-2006 tactic designed to do an end run around browser-based antiphishing filters. In one month, the number of unique sites soared 166%, from 20,871 in March to 55,643 in April” reports Computer World. The article notes "Phishers using the tactic don't register any more domains than usual but simply craft unique URLs by randomizing the subdomain to create new addresses."

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31 May 2007

VeriSign replaces CEO Sclavos InfoWorld

VeriSign has replaced CEO Stratton Sclavos with a member of its board of directors, William Roper Jr. Roper is a former executive vice president and chief financial officer at Science Applications International, and will take over as VeriSign's president and CEO.

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GoDaddy Agrees to Run Domains in Limbo The Age

There is wide coverage of GoDaddy.com agreeing to take over and manage more than 850,000 domain names belonging to customers of RegisterFly according to announcements from ICANN and GoDaddy.com.

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29 May 2007

RegisterFly held in contempt of court as injunction is made permanent The Register

The Register asks if "the RegisterFly mess be wrapping up at last?" Noting a posting on the ICANN Blog they say this "appears to be the case".

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28 May 2007

Sex.com and a web of intrigue The Sunday Times

Two men's battle over a domain name shows how far the net has come says The Sunday Times: It is not the pornography that has landed Cohen in court, but the theft of something with no physical existence. That something was a website, more precisely a domain name that a geeky 31-year-old called Gary Kremen registered back in 1994 simply because he could: sex.com. It turned out to be worth a fortune. Except that it was Cohen who made the fortune, and for more than 10 years Kremen has been fighting to get it back. The case has cost millions of dollars, involved a trashed mansion, a phantom gunfight between bounty hunters, forgery and disappearing bank accounts and forever altered the development of the internet. Kremen vs Cohen finally established that property in cyberspace can be at least as valuable as in the real world.

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26 May 2007

RegisterFly domain transfer imminent, ICANN reports The Register

ICANN has finally found a registrar with a track record to take over renegade registrar RegisterFly's domains reports The Register. But, it doesn't say who the registrar is.

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25 May 2007

Debate over Confidentiality of Web Site Registration Information Continues Law.com

Privacy advocates will have to wait a little longer before they can rest assured that most Web site registration information will be kept confidential according to this article in Law.com. Milton Mueller says "We have the votes to basically just push this thing through, but people are being very delicate about not wanting it to look like we're saying, 'Ha ha, we outvoted you.' They want to build consensus." The article notes "For privacy advocates the proposed operational point of contact system was a compromise, because they would prefer even more privacy. They argue that keeping registrant information confidential is no different than an individual exercising the option to get an unlisted phone number."

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ICANN’s At-Large Process: Exit, Without Voice by Wendy Seltzer Circle ID

Thomas Roessler and Patrick Vande Walle are supposedly frustrated "at interference and infighting in the formation of the European Regional At-Large Organization". Roessler "suggests it's 'Time to Reconsider' the structure of ICANN's At-Large, as he feels compelled to promise himself not to get involved with ICANN again." While Vande Walle is "concerned that a push for 'diversity' became a stereotyped exclusion of experienced participants." Seltzer claims ICANN needs people such as Roessler and Vande Walle as they've "good ideas about how to respond to the public interest in domain name management. But, controlled by commercial interests who'd rather raise prices on their domain-name monopolies or shield trademarks against potential dilution, ICANN doesn't have the inclination to listen to the individuals who make up the public."

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Satisfaction with ICANN Wanes Domain Name Wire

ICANN is losing popularity claims Domain Name Wire as a result of their latest survey. Approval declined to 24% of survey respondents who approve of ICANN, down from 33% last year. However "50% of respondents say ICANN's performance is acceptable, while 26% say it is poor." What the survey doesn't say is that 74% of respondents say ICANN is doing an acceptable or good job. In explaining the survey results, Domain Name Wire says unpopular new contracts with registries and "ICANN's inaction during the RegisterFly domain registrar implosion" contribute to the decline in ICANN's approval.

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24 May 2007

au: Latest reports on Jobs.com.au domain name sale

The Now Hiring blog reports the sale of the domain name jobs.com.au for around A$500,000. This, if true, will be interesting to follow. In the .au namespace it is not possible to simply buy, sell or transfer domain names. There exceptions such as with the sale of a business one is able to transfer the domain name.

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Academic Group Releases Plan to Share Power Over Internet Root Zone Keys (news release) Syracuse University

A group of scholars centered at Syracuse University has published a plan to decentralize authority over the DNS as it transitions to a new, more secure technology known as DNSSEC.

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The man who owns the Internet CNN

Kevin Ham is the most powerful dotcom mogul you've never heard of, reports Business 2.0 Magazine. Here's how the master of domains built a $300 million empire: Kevin Ham leans forward, sits up tall, closes his eyes, and begins to type -- into the air. He's seated along the rear wall of a packed ballroom in Las Vegas's Venetian Hotel. Up front, an auctioneer is running through a list of domain names, building excitement the same way he might if vintage cars were on the block.

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CitizenHawk TypoAlert: Over 10,000 Cybersquatting Domains on Ten Top US Retail Bank Sites (news release) CitizenHawk

CitizenHawk reported that there are over 10,000 cybersquatting domains infringing on the trademarks of ten of the top US retail bank web sites. These statistics include typo domains as well as other potential trademark-infringing domains.

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23 May 2007

Asian Pop: Dot Community San Francisco Chronicle

The impending launch of .asia is covered by the San Francisco Chronicle. The article begins by asking "Is .asia the harbinger of -- or a bridge to -- a new era of social, cultural and commercial cross-pollination on the world's fastest-growing and most populous continent?" The article notes .asia is the first TLD "to be awarded to a transnational entity without some kind of a formal government structure." While a large part of Europe, which uses .eu, has a common currency and government, none of this applies to Asia.

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The Impending Internet Address Shortage Information Week

Sometime in the next 6 years, the Internet will run out of space says Information Week. The impending crisis that many discuss can be easily averted through the migration to IPv6, and sooner rather than later.

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22 May 2007

Good News from ICANN – opinion by Larry Seltzer eWeek

A deal to resolve the Registerfly crisis, attention to important technical problems and an appearance in the United States are on tap for ICANN writes Larry Seltzer in eWeek. Seltzer notes there's been a lot of action on the ICANN site and blog in the last couple of days. First, the Registerfly deal. Seltzer says he's confused, because if it is possible to make all domains available to registrants, "then RegisterFly really has been stalling, perhaps for negotiating reasons, which is truly appalling." Seltzer also writes "in the finest ICANN bureaucratese, they have announced that research and a report will be issued on the subject of domain tasting" and that ICANN "has also requested proposals for Registrar Data Escrow Services" following RegisterFly's collapse.

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Swiss Supreme Court examines domain name jurisdiction issues DomainNews.com

The Swiss Supreme Court, confirming a lower court's decision, that Swiss courts have jurisdiction to rule on a trademark infringement case against an individual living in the UK who had registered domain names using the Swiss insurance company's trademarks "SWISS LIFE" and "LA SUISSE". The registrant claimed as he was living in the UK the Swiss courts had no right to rule since he was living in the UK.

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19 May 2007

Cybersquatters exploit Madeleine campaign The Times

Following the disappearance of the British girl Madeleine McCann in Portugal, there has been unprecedented media interest in such case. And with such interest, typosquatters have been active as is usual when any event – good or bad – hits the headlines. The Times notes that last Friday there were more than 20 websites created since Madeleine’s disappearance promoting businesses including chat rooms, estate agents and dating sites. The Times quotes Emily Taylor from Nominet saying if a website had been registered with a view to taking advantage of another site’s popularity, then the internet service provider hosting it could take it down for breach of an “acceptable use policy”. A technology lawyer with Pinsent Masons is said “Each of these bogus websites will generate a small amount of revenue. It is selfish and mean-spirited but there is nothing illegal about it and it would be very diffiult to stop.”

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auDA Panel releases Issues Paper for public comment auDA

auDA's 2007 Names Policy Panel is currently reviewing the policy framework for .au domain names, including: whether .au should be opened up to direct registrations; whether policy rules for domain names should be changed; whether registrants should be allowed to sell their .au domain names. The Panel has released an Issues Paper, May 2007 which sets out the current situation and invites comment on suggestions and options for change.

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Location of Third ICANN Meeting for 2007 ICANN

ICANN has advised the public meeting scheduled to be held from 29 October through 2 November 2007 will take place in Los Angeles, California, USA.

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Survey: Biggest Threats to Domain Name Industry Domain Name Wire

The domain name industry is worried about changes in the pay-per-click market and new registry contracts that allow for wholesale domain name price increases, according to the 2007 Domain Name Wire survey. 36% of respondents rated "changes in the pay-per-click market" as the top concern when asked "What do you think is the biggest issue facing the domain name market in 2007?"

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Is Eastern Europe's cyberwar the shape of things to come? The Guardian

It reads like a John le Carre script. An eastern European country being attacked on an unprecedented scale with Nato sending in its top terrorism experts. Except the attack was a cyber-assault - disabling the websites of government ministries, political parties, newspapers and banks. The crisis was triggered by a Distributed Denial of Service. This is where hackers hijack masses of computers using malware (basically, evil software) and, at a specific point in time, launch a concerted burst of traffic to overwhelm computer servers and bring them to a halt.

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18 May 2007

Positions on Icann, the Internet addressing agency, are open International Herald Tribune

Has the novelty of the Internet worn off? Vinton Cerf suspects that after 30-some years, it may well have. The International Herald Tribune reports that "[f]or this reason and others, Cerf recorded a video", available on YouTube, "in which he tries to drum up enthusiasm for applying for one of the nine open positions at Icann." The article quotes Cerf as saying there are few higher callings than helping to keep the Internet running smoothly and securely as a board member. However it's time consuming and hard work.

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Domain name Porn.com sells for US$9.5M PC World

The sale of porn.com for US$9.5 million gets wide coverage. This is the second highest sale of a domain name, coming after the US$12m for sex.com. It's also reported to be the highest for a cash sale for a domain name as the sale of sex.com included equity. Monte Cahn, co-founder and CEO of Moniker.com, said "[t]he sale of Porn.com further reinforces the growing trend of businesses that place a high strategic value on generic domains related to their industry."

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