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The Internet

Cybersquatting Disputes Resolved Online? 90

worth writes "Network Solutions, Inc. has launched a new site to help resolve domain disputes online. They call it the online center for Domain Name Dispute Assistance." sounds like a very good, much-needed service. If it works.
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Cybersquatting Disputes Resolved Online?

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  • It's nice to see that they've essentially admitted that there are problems with the existing system and are taking steps to rectify the situation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @01:18AM (#1408064)
    FCFS is a relief when its you that gets the name ... and harsh when you don't. I'm so gutted that someone managed to get a domain just before me, where they want to sell it for loads of money (i.e., do nothing with it) whereas I had loads of plans to develop it.

    Also, have you looked at some of the prices of domain names on online auction houses (ebay, etc)? they are crazy! some guy (or gal) is trying to sell really rubbish domains like e4banks.org for thousands and thousands of dollars. Its ludicrous! Just because a nifty domain like business.com sold for millions, they reckon they can get a slice of the cake too. Well, its not going to happen, dudes! The only domain that actually had any bids at all was jenniferaniston.co.uk ...

    I'd like to see some sort of clause whereby you cannot sell a domain within a certain period of buying it (say 1 to 3 years) that would hopefully discourage these get-rich-quick merchants.

    cheers...

  • by Anonymous Coward
    NSI's lazy authoritarian policies that were in favor of the attacker, really had to go.

    However, I still see problems such as the etoy case happening because the courts are so clueless as to the establishment of domain names.
  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @01:28AM (#1408066) Homepage Journal
    Let's hope that they run it a bit more professionally than their current business. With my domain name, I had to put in MULTIPLE change forms over a period of SIX MONTHS before the damnable domain name finally moved.


    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!
  • ...that the site is at www.domainmagistrate.com instead of the more appropriate domainmagistrate.networksolutions.com?

    Otherwise its basically sound. Let's just hope that they follow their own rules. I don't like all aspects of the domain name rules, but .com stands for commersial, and therefore we will have to accept commercial rules there.

    Very high on my wish list is a top domain not ruled by the needs and greeds of big coropration.

  • I think that a better way to resolve domain name disputes would be an online voting booth with the bandwidth of kernel.org.

    We could even have a new slashdot section called 'Domain Jihad', where every article would be about some domain, somewhere that needs our help.

    (Did I mention that the online voting booth wouldn't require cookies?)

    ------

  • by swerdloff ( 16397 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @01:43AM (#1408071) Homepage
    Joel Reidenberg would be proud (he wrote the article Lex Informatica, that before we go legislating solutions, someone ought to pay attention to the fact that we can code solutions...)

    This still doesn't solve the fundamental problem: domain names are unique, while you can have multiple identical trademarks, assuming varying locations or products. Acme auto vs. Acme fishing tackle, but only one acme dot com.

    A start, but not a good enough one.
  • by ariux ( 95093 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @02:04AM (#1408073)
    For those who don't want to sift thru legalese, under their new policy you lose a domain to someone if:
    (1) you have it only to sell it back to them;
    (2) you have it only to stop them from using it;
    (3) they're your business competitor and you're using it to "disrupt" their business; or
    (4) you're impersonating them or faking their sponsorship for commercial gain.

    1 and 2 are reasonable, 3 would be a problem if it applied to just anyone (people satirizing or criticizing the trademark owner a la gwbush.com) but is OK restricted to business competitors, and 4 is alright in spirit but could be misused by broad interpretation ("That guy whose last name matches our paint company's trademark is using the disputed domain name to attract customers to his tax consulting business", etc.)

    Mostly seems a pretty fair set of rules against both cybersquatting and domain bullying. Exception is that vague 4 may still allow some bullying.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Section 2d smacks similars of etoy versus etoys...


    The new Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy allows the complainant to include any domain name that is confusingly similar to their trademark as well as identical to their trademark.
    /snip

    I wonder if the motivation for the new policy is to actually help resolve disputes, or to give some leverage to big money companies. Commerce on the Intenet is good, but the commercialization of it isn't.
  • you may or may not have heard the domain name http://www.year2000.com just sold for ten million dollars....perhaps they are getting their slice of the cake and eating it too!!

    although i don't encourage (or discourage) the sale of domain names, some companies do deem it to be sufficiently feasible and profitable to own domain names relating to their businesses.
  • Looking at their critereon for "Applicable Dispute", one wonders why they couldn't have used this as a basis for determining whether or not to get involved in the eToy case, yanking their domain from them for no good reason. It was pretty clear that II and III did not apply to eToy, and they say that all 3 elements must be proven to exist before they step in and get involved.

    a.Applicable Disputes. You are required to submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a "complainant") asserts to the applicable Provider, in compliance with the Rules of Procedure, that

    i.your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights; and

    ii.you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and

    iii.your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.

    In the administrative proceeding, the complainant must prove that each of these three elements are present.


  • Gee, maybe you could like add an 's' to the end or something.

    Seriously, a domain name doesn't make millions, a GOOD business plan does. If you have a good business plan, and a good product/service, people you won't need some special name to visit you and spend their money.
    The fact that your desired domain name isn't even running should be a bonus - no competition. Get off your duff and go for it. It's working for me.
  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @03:12AM (#1408078)
    NSI is throwing out a bone to the comunity, but in the end they're just providing a forum for people to log their disputes.

    While this is an interesting PR move, it doesn't solve the underlying problem of domain squaters, and their practice of scalping a name.

    Actually, I'm curious why more states haven't tried enforcing their scalping laws (i.e. some laws allow for no more than ~10% over the retail price). Scalpers are an interesting breed. They make money off of someone elses (often short lived) brand name. When a record company hears someone scalping a ticket, they often don't take action because it's good PR in that the person hearing story thinks "wow, they payed X to see Y?, they *must* be good). Similarly, this is often the case in domain squating (i.e. ~X million for blahblahblah.com? wow..e-commerce must be hot).

    Now allow me to be clear here, I'm not talking obvios domain names without brand name investment, I'm talking about names that people (companies) have spent a lot of money to build brand awarness. Scalping this well built up name is wrong and more states should use the scalping laws already on the books.
    _________________________

  • I tried to reg a domain 4 years ago and it was alredy taken. I have yet to see anything on that domain. I could have had my e-business set by now and making millions.

    If you tried to start an "e-business" with nothing but a cool domain name, you certanly don't deserve any millions.

    "amazon.com" was worth exactly zero bucks until that book$tore moved in. Slashdot would still be slashdot even if I had to type "http://209.207.224.42" before bookmarking.

  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @03:33AM (#1408080) Homepage Journal
    Looking through the FAQ they expect it to cost $1000-$2500 to resolve a cyber-squatting issue, that must be, ooh, 90% profit for Network Solutions (how hard can it be to demonstrate that a domain is being held by a cybersquatter). Further, surely those costs should be borne by the cybersquatter, not the organisation whose domain was pirated!

    --

  • Very high on my wish list is a top domain not ruled by the needs and greeds of big coropration.

    You mean like .net and .org?

    Cheers,

    Tim
  • I still think many of these problems could be avoided if we had something other than .com, .net and .org

    I'll admit that I'm a purist - I think that .com should be reserved for buisness purposes, .net for internet buisness, and .org for organazations (sp). So what we need is .web and .per (personal). The .per is really important as the internet grows. The .per could be reserved for familes and individuals who just want a page. It isn't commercial, it isn't an organazation, it's simply their "home" on the web.

  • Under #2 above, does that mean that I can get etoyssucks.com from etoys? The only reason that they registered it was to keep anybody else from using it.
  • At this point, due to netsol's track record along these matters, I'm too skeptical not to believe that things will continue to go the way of anyone who has a bigger wallet, and this is simply eye candy that's designed to merely put an air of legitimacy on this whole thing.

    If someone doesn't want his domain to be yanked out from under him, the only way to assure that is to take his business to a different registrar that has much more sane dispute resolution policies.

    This brings up a related point: I just happen to notice that aol.com is now registered by AOL's own domain registrar. Of course, there's no way in hell that anyone would permit aol.com to be reregistered in such a way as to make the domain vulnerable even for a split second, like what happened to races.com.

    Which begs the following question: how can Joe Shmoe have his domain moved to a competing registrar without any chance of losing it due to netsol's usual fuckage, or is this a privilege that's only reserved for huge corporations with a fleet of lawyers?
    --

  • Haven't you learned the lesson from DEC? They used the "appropriate" name altavista.digital.com for their search engine, and then had to spend 3 million dollars to buy the "inappropriate" domain name altavista.com. Plus, who can type domainmagistrate.networksolutions.com without making a typo?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Considering the multi-million dollar monopoly that Network Solutions was provided, it seems really offensive that they are just *now* getting around to providing this. It has been their own brain-dead policies that has cause this problem to reach the degree it has. I am not going to praise them for getting around to actually move forward in really addressing this issue. They should have considered it part of their job long ago.
  • We've already coded a solution. The solution was part of the DNS system design. It's just clueless people refuse to see the simplicity of the system (and NSI wouldn't make nearly as much money or have nearly as much power).

    I'm referring of course to geographic TLDs. The rule is simple. Names are first come first serve unless you present proof of a trademark in a given region. In the case of two companies having the same trademark in the same region, but in different businesses, the second applicant will just have to use a qualifier (Acme auto got there first so it got www.Acme.raleigh.nc.us, Acme fishing tackle will just have to settle for www.AcmeFishing.raleigh.nc.us)

    Why do companies continuously look for solutions to problems that were solved years ago?
  • by ibanix ( 79102 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @04:25AM (#1408089)
    Jan 4th, 2000-

    Following the lead of several other companies, NSI announced today that it was patenting it's "flagship product", domain names.

    "It was a logical move in today's patent-centric world", said the CEO of NSI. "We will be requiring that each person who acquires a domain name from us agree to the new license and pay a new fee; starting rates are $100,000."
    On mention that this seemed steep, he replied, "Hey, nobody is _forced_ to purchase a domain name. "

    The new license requires, among other new terms, that the domain can not be used to publish information about internet domain names-- unless authorized by NSI.




  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm with you all the way there! .xxx for, er, naughty sites is also something i'd encourage (you don't type them in by accident then).

    it would also please me if US companies started becoming a bit more geographical and using .co.us like we do here in the UK. the recent whoha with etoy vs etoys just shows the whole concensus that seems to exist that only north americans should own those domains (re: judge suggested that etoy.com should be moved to etoy.ch or some such, because one of the guys was swiss). there are several reasons for this:

    (a) i don't want to order stuff from america. international organisations who sell in several countries should be allowed to own a .com, so that way you know that they can trade in your country (its tiresome finding this out, and also tiresome all those offers and competitions open only to residents of the US and canada)

    (b) i happen to be "into" security and i would like to download encryption products from time to time. there is open source stuff available on many .org sites that contains stuff i would like to download ... however, not being an expert in US law, i don't know who the responsibility lies with when i get something that is apparently not exportable. i don't want the nsa or fbi (or whatever) knocking down my door because i downloaded a secure ftp client. (and for that matter, are there any non-americans who have found a windows client that can do scp and that is also free?). if the stuff is meant to remain within the US, then the author should make sure that people are informed of this! and have, like, .org.us or something

    I also think its unfair that Americans hog the top level domains (.gov, .edu, etc., - this is part why people assume that .com's should be exclusive to america too I guess).

    My last point is a question: who controls the .com .org .net top level domains? supposedly it is network solutions but they are controlled by the US government, but dammit, they are meant to be for people across the whole world, so just what is going on? and does the trade embargo the US has with various countries (libya and north korea i expect) mean that companies there cannot have a .com address if they choose?

  • Right...but "Joe Sixpack" is much more likely to remember amazon.com on a 10 second radio ad than i2wantchermonee.com

    And even when I hear these "clever" names it doesn't spark my interest because it seems cheesy. I would actually prefer 209.207.224.42

    I s'pose I could use the news media for free advertising...then my name would be all over the search engines. But that's a tricky game.

    Gone are the days of just hanging a sign on the door.

    Troll?
    .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._.:*~*:._ .:*~*:._.:*~*:._.
  • How whould http://www.toys-r-us.co.uk [toys-r-us.co.uk] do under these rules? This has to be one of the best examples of very similar domanin names - it is polite, to the point and is useful. I would not like to see the people running this site changed.
  • While it wasn't always the case... you can't register a .com.au domain unless the domain is directly related to your business name or a trade-mark registered to your business.

    This doesn't change the fact that all of my preferred domains are already gone but it does make cyber-squatting that much harder.

    It also doesn't do anything to help situations where multiple tradmarks exist across different industries, but I don't think DNS can ever fix that.

    FWIW, even if you banned the registration of trademarks as top-level domains, there would still be conflicts on name similarities, and the larger corporations would start dummy companies just to get the domains anyway...

    M@T
  • Actually, having the complainant have to pay the costs is more than fair. If a big business deems an individual's domain somehow infringes on their trademark (i.e. pokey.org) then they could simply threaten to submit the complaint to intimidate the little guy. Who has $1000+ to spare just cause big business feels like rolling the dice and trying their luck.

    If they feel their business is so impacted, they will justify spending the money themselves to their management and they will be required to prove their case.

    Let the Big Guy put their money where their mouth is.

  • you may or may not have heard the domain name http://www.year2000.com just sold for ten million dollars....perhaps they are getting their slice of the cake and eating it too!!
    Problem is, The person that made that bid didn't contact the current holder with payment details - it is looking like a hoax.
    --
  • you may or may not have heard the domain name http://www.year2000.com just sold for ten million dollars....

    Whoa there... it's true that someone bid $10 million for it on eBay, but we don't know yet if it's for real.

    If it's true, the buyer is very foolish... Y2K is yesterday's news, and this domain has already lost most of its value.

  • Actually, having the complainant have to pay the costs is more than fair. If a big business deems an individual's domain somehow infringes on their trademark (i.e. pokey.org) then they could simply threaten to submit the complaint to intimidate the little guy. Who has $1000+ to spare just cause big business feels like rolling the dice and trying their luck.
    Assuming it is a Big Firm that is making the complaint - there are plenty of cases of big, international firms coming into .uk with what is admittedly an established Trademark in their home country, but finding an existing firm already trades under that name, but hasn't been big enough for the Large Corporation to notice before. Imagine for instance you are Jim McDonald, and have been trading under the name "McDonalds Foods" for years in scotland; when "McDonalds" comes to the UK, are they entitled to use that name? If you come to set up yourwebsite, and find that, not only McDonalds.co.uk but McDonaldsFoods.co.uk is taken, just to (in the words of a marketdroid) "avoid confusion" by the american company. $1000 might be three month's profit for a small firm, especially if they have just had to fight a Legal battle to keep their name :+)
    --
  • Isn't it funny that the same NSI that gives special priority to customers who buy loads of domain names should now set up to resolve cybersquatting disputes? Hmm.

    Anyway, I'm more than a little leery of this, given NSI's track record. It took me three hours on the phone, long distance, and five phone calls, to get my NAMESERVERS changed. And I'm supposed to trust these people to resolve a domain name dispute for me? I don't think so. Also, NSI is a corporate entity. Their contracts essentially say that they have no liability to provide you with the service you're paying for. Why would I want a commercial company to decide whether or not I get/keep my domain name? *Particularly* a company that registered that domain name in the first place?

    Or, particularly, a company that *didn't* register that domain name in the first place. What if you got your domain name through, say, register.com instead? Would they be more likely to say you were a cybersquatter?

    I haven't had time to carefully read the document where they outline the policies, just glanced at it briefly (got to get to work). But I don't trust NSI as far as I can throw 'em.
  • They first make sure they're the only dispute resolution forum around [slashdot.org] and then they set up Email accounts [slashdot.org] with passwords that are the same as the usernames - they do this for all disputing parties - and the first party to be driven to insanity and register with another accredited registrar [internic.net] wins.
  • Read the original eToy vs. eToys story [slashdot.org] on slashdot and you'll notice where it is mentioned that NSI would not implement ICANN's Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy until January.

    Quote from slashdot story
    Those rules are ICANN's Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. This policy ensures that the conditions under which a domain name can be disputed are strictly limited. For such a dispute even to proceed, a complainant must assert that each of three things is true:
    • your domain name infringes on a trademark;
    • you have "no rights or legitimate interests" to your domain;
    • and your domain name is being used "in bad faith."
    As long as you're operating in good faith, or you have any legitimate interest in your domain, there is not even cause to bring up a dispute over a domain. Clearly this puts etoy.com on firm ground, because regardless of the trademark issue (which should be resolved once their mark registration is granted) they win on the other two points. This doesn't stop clueless judges from issuing injuctions, of course. But having these rules codified as official policy will give the legal system better guidelines to operate by.
    These rules went into effect for some domain name registries on Wednesday, but will not apply to the most popular registry, Network Solutions, until January.
  • You mean like .net and .org?

    Also run by network solutions unfortunately.

    Try to register $BIGCOMPANY.net|org and see if they invite you to join the fun lawsuit game...

  • Remember that the true test of a rule or legislation is not what good it could do if properly implimented, but what damage it could do if improperly exploited or implimented!

    NSI has 2 "good" rules here, 1 "okay" one, and a elastic #4 of which they might as well have sent up a flare to the critics of their system as it so blatantly screams "Hey look, we've changed! We just rewrote the rules to keep doing what we're doing!"

  • no. Net and org are run by the same registrars as com. It is commonplace for a corporation to register all 3, even if their business has nothing whatsoever to do with network infrastructure. Witness google.com/net/org. NSI will allow you to register any of the 3 with no restrictions other than ability to pay.
  • In related news, the NSI captured the Enterprise (NCC-1701D), flagship for the Federation of Planets. This move comes shortly after the intergalactic DNS conference at Kitamir. Apparently, the use of lawyers was outlawed... however NSI simply decloaked and shot the sh*t out of the Enterprise claiming it was not respecting it's authority.. oh yeah, and there was some mention of a trademark violation...
  • I'm referring of course to geographic TLDs. The rule is simple. Names are first come first serve unless you present proof of a trademark in a given region. In the case of two companies having the same trademark in the same region, but in different businesses, the second applicant will just have to use a qualifier (Acme auto got there first so it got www.Acme.raleigh.nc.us, Acme fishing tackle will just have to settle for www.AcmeFishing.raleigh.nc.us)

    This actually isn't a good solution. Unless you have a good way to lookup domains. Better then a search engine anyways. Or a national domain. Otherwise, what kind of domain would Amazon.com have? amazon.seattle.wa.us?? What if they move?

    -Brent
  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @06:07AM (#1408111) Homepage Journal
    Interesting interpretations you have there, the problem I have with your interpretations of the domain rules is that you make it seem like the rules are either-or when in fact they are and-and.
    Let me explain...
    From the ICANN Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy [icann.org] , where NSI got their rules, it states that applicable disputes occur when
    • (i) your domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
    • and
    • (ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name;
    • and
    • (iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith.
    The points 1 thru 4 you mentioned in your post are paragraph 4b [icann.org] of ICANN's policy, this paragraph is described as definitions of what bad faith from point (iii) in my post are. Therefore not only should there be bad faith but also the complainant needs to also prove that the violator has no legitimate interest in the website as well as is in violation of a trademark. This is slightly more than just proving either of the 4 points you mentioned.

    Secondly a clarification, you said
    you lose a domain to someone if...
    (2) you have it only to stop them from using it;


    the ICANN rule is actually you have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct ;

    PS: NSI's policy [domainmagistrate.com] is identical to the one on the ICANN page.
  • Except that your option doesn't make it any easier to FIND the damn site. Now, if I want to look up intel stuff, I know I could well go to 'http://www.intel.com/'. Now, I have NO idea where the main intel office is located, so I would have no way to guess (for example) 'http://www.intel.miami.us.com/'. Back to the already over-stuffed search engines who turn up ever more spurious pages which try to register as useful sites.
  • I agree with that wholeheartedly. The NSI (or someone) needs to do a little better enforcement if just anyone can have a .com, .net, .web, or whatever. If there's an Acme Widgets, they are acme.com, and Acme Internet gets acme.net, etc. The new TLDs need to get in soon, and who is allowed to use which TLD needs to be better regulated.

    It would also help if everyone had to use the geographical TLDs. Right now, .com and the others are a mish-mash of everyone in the world.

  • NSI doesn't run stuff with a .co.uk suffix, so I don't think they would be able to do anything about it. Just one of those safe things about being outside the US.
  • Is everybody on slasdot completely clueless?? Network Solutions is one of several registrars and is a private profit-making company with stockholders. They are not a dispute resolution body or Internet governance board. The only reason they got involved in domain disputes at all was because they were being sued by several companies in the mid 90's.

    All they did was put a web site that describes the ICANN dispute policy. the same policy that governs register.com, CORE, Name secure, AOL, an a whole bunch of companies wo register domains (listed at Internic.net). Their site is a FAQ about this policy and nothing more.

  • Since NSI has a ?new? boss, who feels strongly about squatters, now there is an emphasis on resolving these issues.

    Since the prior emphasis was on keeping cost's down, there was not any reason to arbitrate who got what. If there is a reason to give a domain to one group or another, it will be because it will generate money for NSI.

    Do it right, do it now, look good doing it.
  • What happens if I go to another one, like Register.com??? I can still disrupt somebody else's business. This idea would be fine as long as Network Solutions had a monopoly on the domain name registration process. Now that it doesn't, some Internet authority (ICANN maybe?) should be setting up a web site for this kind of conflicts, instead of letting Network Solutions establish its own (and somewhat arbitrary) rules.

  • The problem really isn't the greed of corporations; it's their litigiousness. Network Solutions Inc. has been the proverbial jellyfish in response to domain name challenges in the past, but that's mostly because it has no motivation to challenge court orders sought by corporations - really, it has no desire to even stand up to the threat of a court order. If you want to change the system, make it a lot harder for a corporation to get a cease and desist order on the use of a domain name. The courts should consider an active domain name to be a de facto business address, which it is, rather than a promotional widget, which it isn't.

    (If it sounds like I have no patience for gold-digging cybersquatters, you'd be entirely correct).

    I wrote a slashdot post recently on the foolishness of letting NSI arbitrate valuable domain names with no legislative muscle behind it. Click on my user info and look at the article entitled "Capital Wins, News at 11" if you'd like to read it.

    --
  • So where do I go if I want to dispute the registration of http://www.domainmagistrate.com?
  • My family is an organization of individuals. That's why I registered a .org domain for my family website.
    --
  • Anybody realize that networksolutions.com and register.com both censor domain names? Niether will register supposedly offensive domain names. In fact, register.com won't even tell you they're censoring unless you call their support number () and give them hell. Read more on my site [autobahn.org]. Corporate censorship must be stopped!
  • Anybody realize that networksolutions.com and register.com both censor domain names? Niether will register supposedly offensive domain names. In fact, register.com won't even tell you they're censoring unless you call their support number and give them hell. Read more on my site [autobahn.org]. Corporate censorship must be stopped!
  • Lets just register every variation of http://www.domainmagistrate.com...
    http://www.domainmagistrate.net
    http://www.domainmagistrate.org
    http://www.domainmagistrate.gov
    http://www.domainmagistrate.mil (those last two might be a little tricky)...
    and not to mention spelling and other variations.



  • Today, as it happens, marks the opening of the Disputes.org/eResolution.ca Consortium. We'll be providing the first wholly online domain name dispute resolution system, and we have a very distinguished panel of arbitrators. It's all explained in our press release [eresolution.ca] or you can go straight to either the eResolution [eresolution.ca] or Disputes.org [disputes.org] homepages.

    The Consortium is accredited by ICANN [icann.org], which means you will be able to use our services for all gTLD-related disputes in the legacy root, including domains registered by NSI. I expect we will be listed on the NSI "Domain Magistrate" page soon (as I understand it, that page is really just a front end for the ICANN-mandated dispute process [icann.org]).

    I'm a founding member of disputes.org, so I'm biased, but I think our international panel of arbitrators is pretty impressive [disputes.org] and the online complaint forms [eresolution.ca] are handsome and functional. What do you think?

    P.S. For this purpose, ignore my automatic .sig below. My participation in disputes.org is not connected with my day job....


    A. Michael Froomkin [mailto],
    U. Miami School of Law,POB 248087
    Coral Gables, FL 33124,USA
  • Once there was a young man, full of Vim and Vigor (Not to Mention Extremely High Percentages of Caffienated Beverages). His name was say, oh, Slashdot. One day, after seeing THE MATRIX and feeling rather clever that he saw the "Hidden Theology" of Neo being Jesus, he walked into the street, where he promptly was hit by a big, red truck. Happily, however, His palm V survived in its nifty A-Bomb proof case. Slashdot didn't.
  • Would anyone object if there were simply a prohibition on registering a domain name exclusively for resale purposes?

    I should think you have to demonstrate a legitimate interest in the domain (i.e., be using it, and not put up a squat site) - and should it be demonstrated that you are a squatter, the domain name is revoked. This is conceptually simple, since the distinction between legitimate use and a squat is pretty clear...

    Of course the chances of this happening are slim, since it means less money/more work for whatever registrar takes up this policy. I fear only a legislative solution will repair this... if only Clinton wasn't such a dumb shit about this.

    SA
  • There are six billion people in the world that all want one of maybe 100,000 "good" .com domain names. Face it, everyone in the world wants $NAME.com , not $NAME.kr or $NAME.BIZ or $NAME.WHATEVER

    What's going to happen? Maybe 10,000+ people are all sad about not getting a SINGLE domain name.

    Think of how *FEW* people can _own_ $LASTNAME.com ... only *ONE* per last name.

    TIP TO DOMAIN NAME REGISTRARS: Register your name outside of the US, and claim that NSI rules aren't enforceable in your country of incorporation.

    When will people finally realize that $100 domain names was like the US land grant? It's almost over. Domain names will *Never* be $100 again. If you're upset AT YOURSELF for not registering names for $100, don't expect NSI to step in and MAKE RULES that somehow allow you to have "your" domainname for only $100!
  • Would Slashdot still be Slashdot if people had to remember/bookmark an IP address? I doubt it very much. For example, if you wanted to go to the (hopefully not) former etoy.com right now, could you? Not likely. Unless you have it bookmarked, you would have to search through a search engine (or more likely the /. articles archive) and find the IP address there. The entire point of DNS is to make server addresses easier to remember.
  • From the domainmagistrate.com homepage:

    Here's how the new Policy differs from the old:

    • Under the new Policy, domain names will not be placed on "Hold."
    • The new Policy applies to all state and common law trademarks, as well as to nationally registered trademarks.
    • The new Policy allows complainants to include any domain name that is confusingly similar to their trademark - as well as identical to their trademark.

    "State and common law" trademarks? What if my .com trademark is registered in another country?

    "Nationally registered trademarks" is an interesting notion. Are we to automatically assume that they're referring to the US? Is the US the only "nation" in the world, or is if the only thing to be associated with .com?

    "confusingly similar" is what started this whole etoy/Etoys thing. I find this unbelievable. Can I sue someone that has a "confusingly similar" telephone number?

  • Yes, year2000.com has lost most of its value for Y2K Bug issues. But maybe the buyer has a really nifty calendar business or a company called "Year 2000" which is worth a lot. We don't know...but we know where to look soon to find out.
  • If you who think that etoy would win in court against eToys would do well to examine some of the prior cases of this kind. Take the ucla.com case, for example. In this case, someone registered ucla.com and put up a bunch of links to porn sites. The University of California Los Angeles (ucla.edu) sued them and won, based on the fact that the ucla.com site was taking advantage of the name confusion.

    Now, I know what you're thinking: etoy registered their domain name sooner, so this doesn't apply to them. The thing is, etoy did some things that certainly look like taking advantage of name confusion. For example, they put pictures of toys on their front page, and their selling of "shares" looks like it was prompted by the eToys IPO. That makes it much harder for them to claim there is no confusion or dillution of the eToys trademark, which is what the suit was about.

    I think that who would win the court case is very unclear, but it's also unclear what would happen if etoy lost. The judge might simply tell them to stop putting pictures of toys on their site, put up a link to eToys, and go about their business. Taking the site off-line was just a temporary measure until the case was heard.
  • 1) .per, .biz, .xxx, .ent, .mus, etc. (personal, business, porno, entertainment, music, etc..)
    2) .org for org. No one should need .org, .com, and .net. If we wanted to do that, we wouldn't have needed the distinction in the first place.
    3) Use it or lose it. I would like to own, or even be able to purchase moc.com from Marathon Oil Company, especially since they do all their business through marathon.com. Other great unused domains? Think.com and toys.com are growiing dust. toy.com is considered so invaluable that it's owners are taking the much more popular etoy.com to court.

    On another note. I'm wishing I was fast enough to purchase passport.com when it wasn't renewed. I would have used it and loved it. (That's a joke. Laugh.)

  • If you who think that etoy would win in court against eToys would do well to examine some of the prior cases of this kind. Take the ucla.com case, for example. In this case, someone registered ucla.com and put up a bunch of links to porn sites. The University of California Los Angeles (ucla.edu) sued them and won, based on the fact that the ucla.com site was taking advantage of the name confusion.

    The difference, of course, is that UCLA was in operation long before ucla.com was registered, while etoy.com was registered before eToys even existed (not just before they registered etoys.com). Unless someone in Switzerland has a time machine, the domain name can not possibly have been chosen to cause or exploit confusion with eToys.

  • This is not the point. We're not talking about not using domain names at all, just about the relative importance of domain names.


    if slashdot was called karma72.com, we'd all be
    used to it and it would be just as successfull.

  • Yeah. I'm just lucky that Wilcoxon is not a common enough name for Wilcoxon.Org to have been grabbed before I got it.

    But then who's going to be the judge of whether a "family organization" was really created for the family or not? Some families have very active groups, while others just have someone who organizes a family reunion every ten years. Hard to separate a "real" family organization from a simulation.

    At least I'm not a McDonald and all the name complications that could have.

  • This is old news. The much-discussed ICANN [icann.org] Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy has now been implemented. This is ICANN's scheme, not NSI's, and it applies to all domain registrars.

    Whether this is a good idea remains to be seen. The arbitration system used is unusual (compare the American Arbitration Association [adr.org]), and the laws under which disputes are to be decided is unclear. Major disputes will probably still lead to litigation. We'll have to see how this works in practice. But don't blame NSI for this one. Esther Dyson, maybe.

  • The difference, of course, is that UCLA was in operation long before ucla.com was registered, while etoy.com was registered before eToys even existed (not just before they registered etoys.com). Unless someone in Switzerland has a time machine, the domain name can not possibly have been chosen to cause or exploit confusion with eToys

    I think you missed my point. What I'm saying is that the etoy case is muddied by their bahavior with regard to name confusion with etoys.com. Their purpose or timing in registering the domain is irrelevant if they later intentionally took advantage of name confusion with a trademarked entity.

  • also, amazon doesn't exactly imply books. interestingly, there was already an american bookseller called amazon in america before the amazon.com lot came online ... would things have been different if it had all happened in australia, i wonder?

    Probably not. As long as Amazon was already a registered business name, they would have a legitimate claim to register the domain.

    In situations where a particular domain name might be sought after, its still a case of first in first served, but you need to have a legitimate claim to it, such as a registered business name or trade mark - you can't register a .com.au domain for the hell of it.

    Note: this is only for .com.au, not .org.au or .net.au etc.

    Also, Amazon own amazon.com.au [amazon.com.au].

    M@T
  • Sorry if I did not make it clear (in fact very little in my first post was clear). I was thinking more of the general issue (ie just imagine the site did end .com). I am sure there are similar examples in .com land but the site I linked to made my point particulaly well (the site is worth a look).
  • The thing is, etoy did some things that certainly look like taking advantage of name confusion. For example, they put pictures of toys on their front page, and their selling of "shares" looks like it was prompted by the eToys IPO.

    not necessarily. the fact that they are named eToy already shows that they have some kind of affinity for toys, and did so long before eToys. just because eToys shows up doesn't mean they somehow lose their right to display toys on their page. and it's not at all surprising that they'd want to do something related to IPOs as a social commentary/parody, that doesn't have anything to do with eToys.

    The judge might simply tell them to stop putting pictures of toys on their site, put up a link to eToys, and go about their business.

    for your sake and mine, I sure hope not! a judge has no place in regulating the content of an artist's website in any way, either in saying there's things they can't display there (toys) or saying there's something they MUST display there (a link to eToys).

    Taking the site off-line was just a temporary measure until the case was heard.

    sure, take their domain down for a couple of months. it's only a temporary measure. yeah, that's fair. maybe to be really fair both eToy AND eToys should have had their domains revoked until the dispute was resolved. now THAT would be a good way to resolve the dispute in a hurry...


  • Maybe, but the fact that the policy doesn't officially go into effect until January doesn't preclude NSI from doing the right thing until then and/or arbitrarily shutting down domains when they feel like it.

  • Further, not only do the geographic TLDs not solve the problem, imagine the URLs:

    acme.motors.11fernstreet.westhartford.ct.us

    A dot com domain has massive prestige value relative to the .11fernstreet.westhartford.ct.us domains. How would you find those, anyway, unless you know that they're exactly there?

    And multinational corporations?
  • The new policy posted by NSI contains the same the policies, arbitration rules, and pool of arbitrators as those in the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy [icann.org] adopted by ICANN several months ago.

    NSI appears to have simply repackaged the ICANN material and branded it as "domainmagistrate.com." Every other ICANN accredited registrar has the same policy. It is required by their accreditation agreements with ICANN [icann.org]. Give the NSI marketing department credit though for getting all the press on this one.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire

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