Displaying posts under "Policy & Law"
Speech lays out what’s ahead and why some people are overreacting.
Lawrence Strickling, Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), gave a speech to American Enterprise Institute yesterday about the transition of internet functions away from NTIA.
The transition of the IANA functions has been hotly (and poorly) debated in some circles. People react to a brief snippet on a blog or to a talking head on TV about how “Obama is giving away the internet” and react accordingly.
I honestly believe the whole issue is quite simple, but I live and breathe this stuff. Yet no short blurb on some tech blog is enough to describe the nuance of the transition. Strickling’s prepared remarks from the speech are much better at laying out the reason for the transition, how it’s being handled, and how the process will avoid pitfalls.
True, Strickling is giving his side of the argument (if you can call it an argument). I don’t agree with everything. For example, he explains how governments won’t be able to exert more control once the NTIA steps aside. I agree that it won’t allow authoritarian governments to exert more control. But I also think governments as a whole will work to have more control, much like what they did with the new top level domain name program. Hopefully the NTIA successfully resists this, as it Strickling says it will.
It’s worth setting aside 10 minutes to read the 2,600 word speech. It’s a shame most people will rely on a snippet of debate rather than its entirety.
What if you registered a domain long ago, let it expire, and then registered it again?
The date you first registered a domain name is a critical factor in a UDRP.
Generally speaking, if your registration predates the complainant’s rights in a term, then the complainant can’t win a UDRP. That’s because it’s impossible that you registered the domain name in bad faith…unless you’re psychic.
Some complainants have argued that the renewal of a domain name can be in bad faith. Some outlying panelists have bought this argument.
Dates in a just-decided case for proquidity.com bring up another interesting question: what if you registered a domain a long time ago, let it expire, and then registered it again?
If the complainant’s rights in the matching trademark were gained after the original registration but before the new one, did the rights predate the registration?
The question is begged but not answered in the proquidity.com dispute. The re-registration of the domain name still predates the complainant’s rights, but just barely.
Common sense suggests that a panelist, in a case in which this question does need to be answered, would consider the earlier registration as evidence in the question of “registered and used in bad faith”. Of course, the circumstances of the expiration and reason for re-registration would require examination.
Domain Registry of America hits a wall.
ICANN has finally managed to suspend a scourge of the domain name registration business, Brandon Gray Internet Services (dba NameJuice.com).
You might not know the company by that name, but if you own domain names then you’ve likely received postal mailings from Domain Registry of America (DROA). The deceptive notices trick people into thinking they need to renew their domain name by responding to the notice. Doing so results in a transfer of the domain name to Brandon Gray registrar…and the pricetag is hefty.
The company has been doing this for over a decade. Register.com sued the company way back in 2002.
Many people in the ICANN community have been begging ICANN to take action for years. So why now?
For all its faults, you can credit the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement for this one.
The 2013 RAA placed stricter controls on registrars as it relates to resellers. Accredited registrars can no longer turn a blind eye to activities undertaken by their resellers (or to hide behind resellers, as may be the case). This includes resellers undertaking deceptive advertising practices.
ICANN is also questioning (pdf) how the company obtained mailing addresses for so many domain name registrants. (In other words, it scraped whois to get the records).
The registrar is immediately suspended (although it hasn’t updated its website to reflect this) and may be terminated soon. ICANN sent a breach notice (pdf) along with the suspension notice. It has onerous requirements to cure the breach, including providing details behind all of its marketing activities.
MyArt.com owner can keep domain name and some cash.
In April I wrote about how the owner of My-Art.com filed its second UDRP against the domain name MyArt.com and won.
It was a bad decision based, in part, on a incorrect claim that the domain name was transferred to a new owner after the first decision.
The owner of MyArt.com didn’t respond to the UDRP filing, but sued after the decision was handed down.
The lawsuit, filed by law firm Lewis & Lin LLC, claimed reverse domain name hijacking under the Lanham Act, as well as related state unfair competition claims.
My Art SAS, the French company that filed the UDRP, settled after the lawsuit was filed. It won’t get the MyArt.com domain name and also agreed to pay statutory damages, attorney’s fees and litigation costs.
Court records show the payment was just $7,500. Not much, but a nice turnaround from having to give your domain name away to getting paid for your inconvenience and legal fees.
Reserved three letter .link domains won’t be suspended.
Frank Schilling’s North Sound Names, the company under which he registers premium domains in his new TLDs, has defended two such domain names from a URS filed by IBM.
IBM filed a Uniform Rapid Suspension case against the domain names DB2.link and AIX.link.
North Sound, with the help of attorney John Berryhill, successfully convinced the URS panelist that it registered the domain names as part of a collection of three letter domain names rather than to infringe IBM’s marks. It pointed out that multiple companies use DB2 and AIX in their names or as acronyms.
The panel noted that IBM’s rights in the terms relate only to specific products and services. They are not universal.
The parked pages for the domains don’t seem to be targeting IBM’s usage, either.
As a result, IBM lost the cast.