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The Internet

WIPO To Loosen Domain Names Transfer Standards 170

ethereal writes "According to Brian Livingston's column on C|Net, WIPO is considering some new rules which would make it easier for plaintiffs to get domain names which are '"geographical terms," individuals' personal names and "tradenames"'. The story also discusses how WIPO now gets the lion's share of the domain name disputes because they rule for the plaintiff the most often (surprise surprise) and have even transferred domains away from defendants who were acting in good faith (read: cybersquatting). WIPO is accepting comments on these new rules until Aug. 15."
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WIPO To Loosen Domain Names Transfer Standards

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  • Let's say I was an ISP. And let's say I setup a DNS server such that my customers could use any domain name they wanted, but only locally. That is, Joe Schmoe could call his website www.microsoft.com, but only people pointing to my DNS server would resolve that name to his page.

    Can Microsoft sue either Joe or me for trademark infringment? Wouldn't this be the same as if I ran a "Mystery Train" restaurant and gave the diner's real-life but only-locally-used names like "Davy Crockett", "Bill Gates", etc?
    --
  • Those scum, WIPO, have started already.

    http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151, 17627,00.html

    Quote: BARCELONA, Spain - The owners of Barcelona.com face a legal battle after losing their domain name in a decision issued this week. The company's tourism Web site will be handed over to the Barcelona City Council in Spain.

    The World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, in Geneva, Switzerland, ruled Wednesday that the City Council had "better rights" to the name than the company, but the decision creates uncertainty for thousands of geographic domain-name owners.
  • >He states that the crew.com case involved a "small business" and not a squatter, yet the company that registered it had 50+ domain names of registered companies it was selling. Seems to be a squatter to me.

    Procter & Gamble Co., the largest U.S. maker of household products, has bought thousands of domains. They have been sitting on many for five years. Are they squatters also?

    >Likewise, the montyroberts.com dispute involves a person using it for negative commentary about the actual plaintiff. This would be considered misuse under most arbitrators review.

    You do not believe in free speech?
  • The fault is mine as the submitter, rather than due to one of the /. editors. It figures that after several well-thought-out but rejected submissions, this one that I dashed off in haste got accepted. Thanks for good clarifications.

    What the poster is trying to say is that people who bring domain disputes get to choose which organization hears their case. WIPO has a track record of finding for the defendent 84% of the time, much more than competing organizations, so they are the favoured choice of people bringing such suits.

    I think that's what I said - I was trying to summarize the article rather than repeat it in the submission box. This is a complicated topic which is tough to explain in a few words.

    I personally don't understand how this ludricrious idea of letting the plantiff pick the court ever got off the ground! What kind of f*cked up legal system works this way?!?

    IANAL, but this is the case for many other kinds of law - it makes more sense than letting the defendant pick I think. What would be most fair would be to only have one arbitration system (so that both plaintiffs and defendants know what they're getting into) but subject it to much closer oversight. WIPO is in the process of rewriting international trademark law without legislative approval or control as we speak, which I find very disturbing. Unless some balance and consideration for the individual/small business is brought back into the discussion, WIPO could very easily eclipse NSI and the U.S. Congress as the major threat to the Internet as we know it.

  • Well, as a candidate (my page is here [devnull.net]), I hadn't prepared a specific recommendation on that. I am of the opinion that the dispute policies should be flexible depending on the charter of the TLD, while they should always try to be fair. Letting the "plaintif" select the arbiter is completely ludicrous, so I think that a set arbitration procedure and body should be included in the TLD charter. OpenNIC [unrated.net], for example, requires that domain disputes be decided by ballot of the registrants within the TLD.
  • First of all, I'm pissed that the UN has any say whatsoever over me as a US citizen.

    Don't blame the UN. Lobby YOUR congressmen about this. After all, it was they who voted the US to become a member of the UN, and applied their citizenry under it.

  • Domain names are supposed to make it easier, but in essence they're three steps away:
    [company/person]-->[ip address]-->[domain name]

    Look at a phone book; People are only two steps away:
    [company/person]--> phone number

    It may be a bit confusing at first, but if there was a directory for ip addresses, we wouldn't have all these issues.

    The idea of a domain name was that it is easier to remember. Obviously, this then allows people to skip looking up an ip address in a phone book. However, there are so many domains, and all these disputes, that it just isn't worth it. There already are laws about company names, and they should just use those here.

    Wouldn't it be nice to do a whois based on a company name rather than trying to guess their domain name?

    There only problem is that ip addresses can change quickly. But if Domain Name servers can keep up, so can another scheme.

    ----------------
  • heck my country, the US, does not even pay their bill to them

    they should remember that any one of the several hundred times a year they put motions before the UN, then.

  • When going through list, bare in mind trademark law. They had NO RIGHT to take these, as generic words have to be disclaimed:

    video net, roller blade, best locks, nitro fuel, tonsil, north face, marketing mix, 0xygen, edentist, state-farm, new-gig, video direct, iphones, open mail, traditions, open view, unicode, southern company, pc gateway, ultra pure water, time keeper, click here, current, beauty co, sound-choice, e-auto-parts, eresolution, body and soul, talk about, esquire, office specialists, crew, praline, the total package, faith net, buy PC, home interiors, big dog, euro consult, music web ...etc.

    If anybody tried to introduce libraries today, WIPO would stop them - claiming copyright infringement.

    My protest site WIPO.org.uk [wipo.org.uk] is nothing to do with power mad WIPO.org.
  • I'm skeptical that the UN is really all that seperate from the US government. The UN's in New York, a lot of it's military power comes from the US, and the US consistently abuses the UN. We owe the UN a couple billion or so $ in back dues, and no one in the UN asks for it. I think it's all just an excuse for America to pretend that they care about the rest of the world. If you live here you know that we don't. We don't even care to know what's happening in the next state. The average knowledge of international events comes from Canadian beer comercials. Unfortunately, this doesn't get much better anywhere else in the world, which is why I'm leaving the first chance I get.

    Come and get me baby! Probe me all you want, just get me off this rock!

    PS- I'm serious. I'm not staying here any longer than I have to.
  • Oh, leave stephenbooth.com alone so Stephen can build his phone booths in peace and get on with business.
  • I hate corporate America more and more every day...

    Read sig.
  • actually, i just read the complaint on the WIPO site and realized that it is much the same as the
    jcrew decision... he was also a squatter

    to think that i had sent this guy an email supporting him in his decision to take the WIPO to court.

    the more of the decisions i read, the more i figure that on the whole, the WIPO makes reasonable decisions...

    on the other hand, i think that the PETA.com website should have stayed in the hands of the parody-site
    People Eating Tasty Animals

    after all, PETA is an organization (and owned PETA.org at the time) that People.Eating... is funny

    perhaps they could still get PeopleEatingTastyAnimals.com

  • I've been investigating getting my own domain name recently, and since the one I want was registered, expired, and then re-registered, I've dealt with these issues a bit. But it's also made me reflect on the long term viability of the current naming convention.

    Consider telephones:
    Telegraph was the precursor. Address were physical address; you just wired the message to the appropriate station and the hardcopy was delivered to the recipient. Any naming convention based on that is obsolete.

    Early phones (based on watching The Andy Griffith Show :) were was on a human operated switchboard system. A number was often not needed; rather, you requested a certain person and then were connected. Naming convention: obsolete

    Party lines: Later, less populous areas got these. I'm not really familiar with them, but I think it was basically a single line shared by multiple households. I don't know if there was a unique number for each household, or one number for the whole thing. This may or may not be wholly obsolete

    7-digit local: current system; been stable for quite a while. Number *does not* stay with you when you move, generally. There is almost no constancy to a person's phone #.

    area code + 7 long distance: see above; necessary to differentiate regions

    area code + 7 (10 digit) local: Due to growing numbers of phone users, the numbering convention is being increased in many areas. This may eventually make obsolete the 7-digit number (that is, your former number will be insufficient to dial you except for your closest neighbors)

    What's next? IP telphony? Will we even have phone numbers? Will they be 10, 13, 20 digits long? Multiple phones with multiple numbers, or will we see consolidation efforts?

    If the simple U.S. phone system has seen this, should we expect the *global* WWW naming convention to remain stable over the next several decades?

    I predict major changes within 10 years, that make obsolete many of the current names, leading to a new cyber-squatting rush.

    But, IANAC (I am not a clairvoyant :)
  • This leads to a much bigger question - Whom do you trust? Do you trust the FDA to keep your personal health as the highest priority... above that of a corporation's pressure to get their product on the market in a hurry. Or the political pressures of congressmen representing their district?

    Do you trust your software to be free from defects, or if defects are found that the vendor will respond in a timely and effective manner?

    Do you trust that your government and it's law enforcement are acting in your best interests - to protect you from harm and allow you to excercise the maximum freedom afforded to you under the constitution?

    Is the WIPO the problem... or a symptom of the problem?

  • transferred domains away from defendants who were acting in good faith (read: cybersquatting)

    How do you come up with this interpretation of 'in good faith'? That phrase would suggest to me that someone had registered the domain name for their own use, not to 'squat' on it.
  • Well, as a FREE American I'd say you're paying the price for the short sighted development of the system in your country.
    How many domains are actually registered under ".us" as a domain?

    Exactly, the top level domains are Global in scope, so it is only right that a global body is responsible for settling disputes

    So, trolling loser, if you don't like a "FOREIGN power" having influence over you, then choose to use your national domain.

    Really, never ceases to amaze me how parochial [dictionary.com] some Americans can be. (link is to dictionary.com, I'm sure you'll need to look up the meaning.;)
  • Remember the kid who had his own website at gumby.com because that was the nickname his parents gave him? And then the corporation that owned the Gumby character tried to take it away from him? Ugh...I also heard about a Quake player who's handle was Sting get harrased by the musician Sting for the rights over sting.com. (Sting is not the official name of the musician, either, so it didn't hold up in court.)

    What's next? Kids' names? We can't name our kids the same thing a political figure or a movie superstar is named? "No, you can't name your child Newt." (Who would want to name their kid Newt anyway?)

    This could be abused. If you don't like someone's website, trademark their website's name or just something close to it and shut it down. Granted, something like a guy making "\ Dotmark", a school supplies company (markers, crayons, etc) won't take down Slashdot, but if Slashdot wasn't trademarked, they could use WIPO to say that Slashdot.org was too close to the tradename of "\ Dotmark" and transfer ownership.
  • Here are some of the decisions from the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center:
    Decisions (in English) [wipo.int]
    Décisions (in French) [wipo.int]
    Resoluciones (in Spanish) [wipo.int]
  • by MO! ( 13886 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @05:47AM (#862558) Homepage
    Although I am disturbed by this situation, the examples in Livingston's article are incorrect.

    He states that the crew.com case involved a "small business" and not a squatter, yet the company that registered it had 50+ domain names of registered companies it was selling. Seems to be a squatter to me.

    Likewise, the montyroberts.com dispute involves a person using it for negative commentary about the actual plaintiff. This would be considered misuse under most arbitrators review.

    I agree with his concerns, just wish he used more appropriate examples of the abuses WIPO has performed.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I hate to tell you this...
    Clause 2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof;
    and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
    (emphasis added)
    Art. VI, Section 2. See http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.htm l [house.gov] for more.

    And no, I'm not psyched about that part any more than you are.
  • There's a fine line between free speech and slander. Free speech (in the U.S. anyway) doesn't mean that you can say anything you want. There are restrictions

    Whilest its true that you cannot yell fire in a public place to create mass hysteria or *PURPOSEFULLY* give out false information about a person or company, you can still use microsoft.org to tell MS to go fuck itself and be covered under the first amendment. What we are talking about here is exactly free speech. Free speech has a lot to do with telling some government or business what their problem is and that you don't like them. Thats the problem with ICANN and WIPO, no garaunteed protection of free speech, only your corporate money. Its rather scary that mattradio.com could take away my mattradio.org (which I am fully using) just because they registered theirs before me and probably have a bit more money than me.. thank god i get free legal counsel... (note, mattradio.com guys kick ass and are not trying anything against me, just an example). Sometimes you just can't find a shovel big enough to PANG the WIPOs face.

    Gargoyle_sNake
    TheKult.org [thekult.org]


    -=Gargoyle_sNake
    -=-=-=-
  • Is it called squatting if someone purchases a lot of land in Silicon Valley, expecting to sell it for 3x the price in 2 years?

    Actually yes it is. Common sense and a little judgement and you realize that. The real estate business is bullshit. As much money as there is in it, its the end user that gets fucked over every time when the house sells for 3x what was paid for it. I'm rather sick of it, its been happening in my neighborhood for years. (ohh, but property values go up up up.. fuck that, I like this neighborhood and do not want to be stuck living with the ultra rich. very few rich geeks will come cuz this is the heart of the biblebelt.)

    Is it squatting if someone got into Ultima in the beginning and managed to build a huge castle, something which noone else can do as there's not enough land?

    Its a video game, if somebody doesn't like it, go to a different server or play a real game (Rainbow 6 - Rogue Spear: Urban Operations comes to mind, but insert any NON-monthly-fee-ripoff-of-a-game here.)

    UO is just a bad idea in the first place. You are paying to play your game. It should be open and have 100% free public servers run by anyone and everyone. Use a copy of Gamespy Lite with the game to organize the servers. Just make sure the server has a linux version and boom, you have plenty of servers (every body knows linux geeks like to run game servers).

    -=Gargoyle_sNake
    TheKult.org [thekult.org]

    -=Gargoyle_sNake
    -=-=-=-
  • Just because you haven't heard of people buying phone numbers does not mean it does not happen. It actually is not unusual for someone who got a random phone number to get a phone call from someone who decided they wanted that phone number; they negotiate and both decide what it is worth -- many phone companies have a mechanism to implement such a change request from the current user, but forcing the current user to change is a different matter. You just don't hear of most successful negotiations.
  • Eh, so sue me. I don't eat there anyways, can't stand their pizza.

    Papa Johns forever. ;)

    Mike

    "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet, tasty beer."
  • I registered the domain fashionisland.com back in 1997. A few weeks later I received calls from people claiming to represent Irvine Co in California which owns the huge shopping mall in Newport Beach california called "Fashion Island, Newport Beach". These phone calls attemped to persuade me to give up the domain or be prepared for a lawsuit. Trademark documents for Irvine Co. at the time(1997) i registered the domain included only the term "Fashion Island, Newport Beach" Well it seems in the past six months they have reapplied for a trademark of "Fashion Island" making their next objective apparent. To wrestle the domain from me. In the meantime I have been held hostage by threat from their lawyers on retainer about putting any type of ecommerce site here. Would love to hear any thoughts as to the way people think this one will go down in the long run.
  • I agree with this premise, that it should be local (city/county), state, regional, then national, then worldwide (domain.com). It makes good sense, because disputes over a name like Pillar.org would be far less likely to occur, because it might be something like pillar.la.ca.us.

    And, if we have to have .org, .com, .net, I don't see why one: registrars couldn't ask people to prove they are a non-profit organization, commercial entity (has business license) or a network (ISPs and such). I'd also like another extension or two for people who fit none of those (.per - personal domain?).

    However, a domain like bobs-stuff.portland.or.us isn't as easy to remember as bobs-stuff.com and it doesn't look as cool, so I'm not holding my breath.

  • Because he does not own the letters JT. No one does. Two awkward consonants stuck together are not even enough to make a phoneme, let alone a full word. As such it should not qualify as intellectual property of any kind. Anything below a sentence should not qualify as intellectual property.

    Anyone could randomly assemble letters and register domain names, and then wait for someone to come along wanting to use that domain and offer to 'sell' it to them. As if they owned it in the first place. Selling a domain name is in my mind a lot like selling electromagnetic frequencies, or the rights to use certain musical notes. As individual units of communication they are not, and should not be, viewed as property. They are tools and building blocks; creative people use them to make genuine intellectual property. Parasites use them to make money. There is a qualified difference. One of those activities benefits society. The other benefits no one but the parasite.
  • >I own several "generic term" domains, and had one email exchange with a troll who insisted that he owned the rights to a particular generic word. I not so politely told him to fork off.

    The trouble is - they are "GENERIC" names.

    That means they are easier to take off you - by a bigger company.

    I have protest site, WIPO.org.uk, that gives examples of the names being taken.
  • How many of you can tell me what the phone number or street address for Ford Motor Company is? Very few, I would think.

    IMHO, the real problem is that people expect that domain names should be guessable. No one would ever dream dialing 1-800-FORD-CAR and expect to be able to purchase a Ford car that way, but for some reason, every legal body in this planet thinks that Joe Six Pack is going to sit down at his computer, and instead of looking up the address, he's just going to type ford.com.

    This whole problem with domain names would go away if people just stopped expeting them to be obvious, because that's just not going to happen. That's what directories are for. Yahoo is really good at that sort of thing - in addition to being a normal web search engine, they have an index which is manually created, with descriptions and categories. Some web browsers even have this capability built-in.

    The courts don't protect phone numbers and street addresses, so why should they protect domain names? I can petition to my street changed to "Ford Lane" if I wanted, and Ford Motor Company can't do squat about it, even if I lived in Detroit.
    --

  • I cant imagine how they are going to be able to handle the massive amounts of cases this is going to generate.
  • I say we force everyone to get geographically-specific domain names...

    Honestly, I would be perfectly happy with pillars.norfolk.va.us for a domain name. Just didn't think it was possible, given the front page of the US domain registry home page [www.nic.us]. But let's find out for sure... Okay, the norfolk.va.us domain is controlled by infi.net [infi.net]. I'm calling them now....

    Apparently the receptionist has never heard of this kind of request before.

    I got referred to Tony Rolls' voicemail and left a message.

    I'll keep you posted. Maybe it IS possible to get a geographically specific subdomain, even if you're not a part of city government, but I've never seen it done before.

  • >It's the one whose brand would occur the most damage if brand "dilution" were allowed to occur.

    And which brand would suffer the most damage if brand 'dilution' were allowed to occur? Why it's the company with the most money isn't it? 1% damage to a billion dollar a year company is more than 2000% damage to a $40,000 a year company so of course the first suffers more damage right? Now what if 'Ford Musical Instruments' had the ford.com domain 3 years before ford auto recognized that there was an internet? The registrars of ford.com didn't act in bad faith. ford was a registered trademark yes, but it was a trademark OF THE COMPANY that registered it. So what does dilution have to do with it if nobody acted in bad faith?
  • Point taken. I'm *not* an "old fart" (or does 33 years old qualify?) but I'm aware that capitals is considered, in Usenet at least, as "shouting." And yes, I've also seen the star-variation. I'm not sure I'd have done it that way even if it had come to mind, but thanks for the advice anyway.

  • From www.m-w.com --- Main Entry: loosen Pronunciation: 'lü-s&n Function: verb Inflected Form(s): loosened; loosening /'lüs-ni[ng], 'lü-s&n-i[ng]/ Date: 14th century transitive senses 1 : to release from restraint 2 : to make looser 3 : to relieve (the bowels) of constipation 4 : to cause or permit to become less strict -- often used with up intransitive senses : to become loose or looser
  • Procter & Gamble Co., the largest U.S. maker of household products, has bought thousands of domains. They have been sitting on many for five years. Are they squatters also?

    Depends on your definition of squatting. Usually a cybersquatter is someone who registers a name with the intent of selling the registration for profit. Are they registering these names with the intent of selling them? Do they plan to use them at a future date? Are they trying to prevent anyone from using them? I think that if you register a name, it should have to point to some sort of content within a reasonable amount of time (say 2 months). I'm very much against the idea of allowing people to register names with the intent of selling them for profit without providing any sort of content. I'm also disgusted with the practice of registering names, not paying for them, and snatching them up again the moment they go back into the pool. Since the squatter knows exactly when that will happen, they can hold onto their "property" indefinitely for free. Registration services usually give you first and second notices over a few months, so the honest people have plenty of opportunity to pay for it. If you don't pay for a name, you shouldn't be allowed to register it again for at least a month .

    >Likewise, the montyroberts.com dispute involves a person using it for negative commentary about the actual plaintiff. This would be considered misuse under most arbitrators review.

    You do not believe in free speech?

    There's a fine line between free speech and slander. Free speech (in the U.S. anyway) doesn't mean that you can say anything you want. There are restrictions.

    -Jennifer

  • Apparently, you misinterpreted my intent. I am not arguing against the assertions of Livingston's article, just pointing out that his examples were not the most supportive of his points.

    Procter & Gamble Co., the largest U.S. maker of household products, has bought thousands of domains. They have been sitting on many for five years. Are they squatters also?

    If Procter & Gamble Co. owns thousands of domains for the purpose of reselling them, then yes, they are squatters. The point is that he used a squatter case as an example of a transfer from a non-squatter, which is an incorrect example.

    You do not believe in free speech?

    I most certainly do, I am just pointing out that the status quo in disputes seems to be that this would be a fair ruling.

    I have read through some of their other arbitration rulings, and have found some I completely disagree with - and that would have made better examples for the points Livingston made.

  • Wasn't the personal domain thing the point of the proposed .pers TLD?
    As for trademarks - well, we'll be working on uneven ground there. I could hold the trademark for 'Slashdot' here in the UK, Andover would own it in the US - who is entitled to it? I also believe there is 'Dominoes Pizza' and another 'Dominoes' company - both owning the 'Dominoes' trademark, but in different 'fields'.
    The UK had a resonable idea with it's .ltd.uk and .plc.uk where only company who have registered with the UK's Government House [companieshouse.co.uk] are entitled to one of these domains.
    Sounds good in theory - but can anyone work around, simply, the unsolved questions?
    Richy C. [beebware.com]
    --
  • "I've read twenty or so of the cases from the link supplied by ekmo above, and I still haven't found a decision that I disagree with.
    Most of the transfers happened because the current owner of the domain failed to respond to the dispute notice. "

    I don't see why not responding should be automatic proof of guilt. It seems to me the burden of proof (and a heavy burden at that) should be but upon the complainant.

    Bradley
  • by Outland Traveller ( 12138 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @05:49AM (#862578)

    Not to be a nitpicking editor, but the slashdot writeup of this article is a bit confusing.

    WIPO is considering some new rules which would make it easier for plaintiffs to get domain names which are '"geographical terms," individuals' personal names and "tradenames"'.

    I think it would be clearer to say that WIPO is considering some new rules that force people to give up domain names which are geographical terms, individuals' personal names, and fall into the loosely defined catagory of "tradenames".

    .... and have even transferred domains away from defendants who were acting in good faith (read: cybersquatting).

    I think you mean to say that WIPO is forcing people to give up their domain names even when they are NOT cybersquatting.

    The story also discusses how WIPO now gets the lion's share of the domain name disputes because they rule for the plaintiff the most often.

    What the poster is trying to say is that people who bring domain disputes get to choose which organization hears their case. WIPO has a track record of finding for the defendent 84% of the time, much more than competing organizations, so they are the favoured choice of people bringing such suits.

    I personally don't understand how this ludricrious idea of letting the plantiff pick the court ever got off the ground! What kind of f*cked up legal system works this way?!?

    -OT
  • Dude. These names that are purely for the convience of the human operator are pure money. Precisely BECUASE they are for human convience. For instance, when I wanted advice on a pet. My first instinct was to go to "www.pets.com". Millions of people do this everyday. This translates to millions of hits, and potentially a Lot Of Money. No wonder Big Business has a huge instrest in this.

    On the flip side, I would be sorta annoyed if I went to a "www.somethingorother.com" and all I got was a page saying "I'm holding this domain ransom until someone wants to pay me enough."

    There SHOULD be a way to arbitrate. I just don't know if this is a good way.
  • Polite, well worded comments are useful. Abusive, ungrammatical or threatening comments actually hurt the cause.

    Railing against the WIPO for even considering such changes are off topic. Wail here. Write purposefully there.
  • First of all, I'm pissed that the UN has any say whatsoever over me as a US citizen. Secondly, has anybody looked into the possibility of a "freenet DNS" system with new TLDs? Something distributed and anonymous and redundant?

    I own several "generic term" domains, and had one email exchange with a troll who insisted that he owned the rights to a particular generic word. I not so politely told him to fork off.

    With the WIPO, it looks now like someone like him has a real means to cause me trouble now...?

  • In the US court system, both the plaintif and the defendent have to agree to the jury members. This is done so that neither side can choose people that are obviously bias for them. However, according to the CNet article, when you have a domain name dispute, only the plaintif chooses the "jury" (the group that ends up settling the dispute), so of course they are going to choose the group that is most likely to rule for them!

    Doesn't this give more power to the plaintif than the defendent? If I created a group of /.ers, and some how got ICANN accredited, then if any one of you sued Microsoft, saying that you make small software and therefore deserve the domain microsoft.com more thant MS, you would just need to choose the /. dispute resolution to win! Is it just me, or does that seem silly? Of course you shouldn't win, but you would!

  • new rules which would make it easier for plaintiffs to get domain names which are '"geographical terms," individuals' personal names and "tradenames"'

    Have a man named George River, a company called George River, and an apartment complex called George River all file cases claiming that they should own georgeriver.com, and not the current owner, the George River Tour Group.

  • by jari ( 101626 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @05:55AM (#862584)
    if you put wipo [digital.com] through babelfish (Russian to English), it translates as "shaft"

    Seems quite appropriate really :)
  • Okay, Infinet says that they don't administrate norfolk.va.us either (They claim that the whois information is wrong). They referred me to "Pilot" which is owned by Infinet but has separate offices.

    Left a voicemail message for Natalie P. (No, not Portman, you troll!)

  • Being unable to work, I *bought* generic domains for investment. As I thought of them first, they are my Intellectual Property. The corporates make billions out of their IP, I would like return for mine.

    You and I have different philosophies about this. You're domain names were generic and you happen to get to them first. Corporations provide content (or at least have built up name recognition through advertising) to make their domain names valuable. OTOH, I also feel that domain names should be first come, first serve, as long as there is some sort of content being offered. I'm not exactly a fan of WIPO. They have a track record that shows they favor the haves.

    >There's a fine line between free speech and slander.

    There are laws in place already - why take the domain away before any crime is commited?

    I don't know exactly what was said on that site. It could be that WIPO was unjustified in taking the name away. Then again, it could have been slander. The poster implied that free speech should have protected the domain name. I don't see this to be inherently true.

    -Jennifer

  • Whilest its true that you cannot yell fire in a public place to create mass hysteria or *PURPOSEFULLY* give out false information about a person or company, you can still use microsoft.org to tell MS to go fuck itself and be covered under the first amendment. What we are talking about here is exactly free speech. Free speech has a lot to do with telling some government or business what their problem is and that you don't like them.

    You're talking about opinion. That's covered by first amendment. I was saying that it's possible that there could have been things posted that would not be covered under the first amendment.

    Thats the problem with ICANN and WIPO, no garaunteed protection of free speech, only your corporate money. Its rather scary that mattradio.com could take away my mattradio.org (which I am fully using) just because they registered theirs before me and probably have a bit more money than me.. thank god i get free legal counsel... (note, mattradio.com guys kick ass and are not trying anything against me, just an example). Sometimes you just can't find a shovel big enough to PANG the WIPOs face.

    I agree with you on this count. WIPO scares me. It is not elected and tends to act as a special interest to the corporations with the most money. The whole intellectual property thing kind of bothers me. I do think you should have an opportunity to profit off of a creative and original expression where it is clearly being used to make a profit. But I also think there should be some limitations to this. Reminds me of a Tank McNamera cartoon I saw back in the eighties. Someone copyrighted the phrase "that ball is outta here". He wanted to charge all sports commentators a nickle every time they said it.

    -Jennifer

  • Actually he's a sculptor.

    Some friends and I have looked at his work and feel that it has little merit.

    Stephen
  • And any amendment requires 2/3 vote of the populace (IIRC).

    Can you see an amendment that allows foreign rule passing that muster? I don't think so.
  • My name is Ben Sherman, which is also the name of a shirt comany in England. Will this shirt company be able to come after me now? Are the "Person's Names" mentioned in the article makde to protect buisness that have people's names or celebrities? Is anyone else in the same boat?
  • Sorry Max - you are wrong. Domain names are considered Intellectual Property.

    Ask any big business that has taken them off the legal owner.

    They uses them to make money also. Why should Bank of America pay millions for loans.com?.

    They benefit no one but themselves.

    Like you say, big business are parasites.
  • >I would be sorta annoyed if I went to a "www.somethingorother.com" and all I got was a page saying "I'm holding this domain ransom until someone wants to pay me enough."

    What is wrong with that, if it is generic "somethingorother"?

    As an individual, you pay many thousands to corporations for their Intellectual Property.

    If you owned "somethingorother.com", why should you not ask for a fair return for your Intellectual Property?

    You had the *idea* to buy it first. After all - *as you say* - This translates to millions of hits, and potentially a Lot Of Money.

    Perhaps you should go to WIPO and *give it to them for nothing.*

    The greedy corporations have got the arbitrators on their side - they don't need help.

    My protest site, WIPO.org.uk [wipo.org.uk] , is nothing to do with WIPO.org.
  • I am very happy that a body of the United Nations has been established to handle domain name disputes. I understand that WIPO is considering expanding the conditions under which a domain name registration may be considered for transfer to a dispute plaintif. As a holder of several domains, all of which I am using or intend to use for legitimate personal or business purposes, I am quite concerned that the scope remain focused on the issue of "bad faith" registrations. I do not have any explicit problem with the scope being expanded to geographical names, trade names, and so forth, so long as the plaintif must demonstrate "bad faith" registration on the part of the defendant.

    Regardless of the content WIPO's final decision, I hope that WIPO will document carefully all the arguements for and against their decision so that the process may be as open to critical review as possible. Domain names are a very valuable commodity and many people have invested significant amounts of time, money, and more importantly, hope into developing web presenses. Do not let this historical effort, these "sunk" costs to become ignored.

    Thanks,
    Mishkin.

  • Get in line, buddy! I'm suing scott.com first, and then you!

    Scott
  • From the previous post:

    "So who gets the domain name ford.com? Ford Motor Company? Ford Musical Instruments? Betty Ford? Joe Ford, the guy down the street? Why should the one with the most money have any intrinsic right to the name? The internet's not just about commerce for big corporations."
    (bold is mine)

    "I feel that a decent way to address the problem is to actually hold register-ers to the purpose of the various top level domains."

    Um... 'nuff said?
  • Here's the comment I submitted to WIPO:

    These new proposed rules tilt the scales in favor of big companies with well-funded legal departments WAY TOO MUCH. No matter what name I pick for my domain, if it is composed of prounounceable syllables, there is probably SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE, whose business or personal name contains the same string of syllables. And even if there isn't, somebody could form a business tomorrow, trademark the name, and then steal my domain from me.

    In any case where there is a limited supply of resources and no clear, universally agreed-upon way to distribute them, the only rule that makes sense is "First come, first served."

  • ...And that's what worries me. Most of the time, when arbitration is called for, it is designed to be a mediation between two sides outside the legal process. This is in the hope that it will be resolved quickly and amicably (OK, with less venom) than going to court.

    However, by my understanding, *both* sides get a say in which arbitrator is used, ususally by submiting a list of sealed names of acceptible candidates from a master list. With this arrangement, ICANN has effectively given away the store. I think one of the few cases they ruled for a defendent was in the sting.com affair.

    I worry about this with my own domain name. There are a .com and .net, though they don't seem to be particularly worrisome now. In fact, I've not talked to either of them. But, say the .com gets a wild hair and says I'm infringing on their trade name? We registered about two months apart. I've managed to keep a working site for two years, they will disappear for a bit as they jump bandwidth providers. Would my constant activity and the fact that I don't do anything like they intend to do matter?

    Three years ago, a company wanted a domain because they were late to the party, and they paid money to get it. Now, they seem to be quite willing to sue or "arbitrate" when the deck is clearly stacked in their favor. "Not only aren't we going to pay you, we are going to make your life a living hell. Screw you for not having the foresight to know we want this domain."

    Makes me nervous.

  • My years of living in the amazon have paid off. Good-bye Jeff Bezos!
    ----------------------------
  • I for one would like to see Amazon's domain returned to it's rightful owners. The native people of the Amazonian rain forests, or at the very least, they should be given a subsidy for Amazon's show of (non)profitability off of their good name. One could even argue that they have a right to the name, having lived there for thousands of years before Amazon, or even this internet thing, caught on. (Some might say Amazon hasn't even really caught on yet, and they might be right) :)
  • Can i go out and litigate whoever has graham.com because i've been called graham since 1980?

    If it applies geographically then we'll soon have a bunch of tribes people taking over the worlds largest bookstore?

    In fact I believe i've seen a place called AltaVista, cant remember where though.

    But then can the british frozen food store take iceland.com from the country?

    Surely if we had a first come first served policy then all these disputes would be easily solved.

    At the end of the day if company X want X.com then they can set up their own domain servers and ask people nicely to use them... that way they can have their domain as can everyone else that wants X.com.

    Now as for IP addresses they are more of a problem, can I get 131.47.73.33 to match my phone number?
  • WIPO supplies arbitration services. ICANN undertakes to abide by the decisions of its accredited arbitrators. WIPO just happens to rule in favour of claimants a lot, and so gets a lot of that arbitration work because claimants naturally select the softest tribunal.

    As it happens, whatever that arbitration tribunal decides, it ought in theory to be reviewable by a court of competent jurisdiction (there are some wrinkles to this one in the UK following the Arbitration Act 1996), a fortiori if the Defendant didn't submit to the jurisdiction of the arbitratori and absolutely if the defendant can demonstrate reasonable grounds for suspecting bias.

    Your hypothetical /. members' arbitration panel, if it were to take a decision like the one you mention, would not only be making a decision that most courts would laugh themselves silly over, but would probably be exposing itself for liability on the grounds of bad faith.

    Essentially, what I'm saying is that these arbitration mechanisms work a bit better than a cursory examination would suggest: there are checks and balances even if they aren't immediately obvious from news reports about the thing.

  • I would ignore any judgement from WIPO or any other UN-related organization. But, I have to admit, just the suggestion of the UN making judgements and having authority over individual's personal property scares me just a little bit; and I am not even one of those black heliocopter loons!

    And although I can ignore the UN, (heck my country, the US, does not even pay their bill to them), that does not preclude ICANN or some other organization choice to abide by WIPO's rulings which may leave some of us in the cold. I mean, who knows what this UN's bodies motivation may be?

    By the sound of the crew.com debacle, they may only side with corporations and not with individuals, for instance.

    Scary.

  • ICANN put the WIPO in charge. ICANN doesn't hear domain disputes directly. The plaintiff gets to choose from a list of recognized arbitrators to decide the domain dispute. WIPO is one of the organizations recognized by ICANN.

    • ICANN's UDRP [icann.org]
    • ICANN's list of approved arbitrators [icann.org]

      The complaintant ( the company that wants to take over a domain for example ) gets to choose the arbitrator.

      The implications of this are very serious. If WIPO makes it very easy for corporations to "take back" domains they want, think what happens to the little guy ( worse than what already has happened... ). This is generally not good news.


    ------------------------------------------------ ------------
  • I read the article and I agree that the WIPO is in bed with whoever has the most cash. For example, if The Digital Divas [digitaldivas.com] brought Micro$haft's blatant violation of the DititalDiva domain to the WIPO, guess who would win (that must be where their 16% finding for the defendent comes from).

    My question is, how many of the people crying foul on the Slashdot pages have bothered to follow the link to send a message to WIPO where somebody besides our own may actually read it.

    Do not teach Confucius to write Characters
  • Ah, more information than I knew about. Give credit where credit is due. Thanks for the correction and the heads up. I care not for squatters anymore than the next person.

  • My mistake - I meant that WIPO is transferring domains away from those defendants as if they were cybersquatting, even though they were really acting in good faith.

    I've seen CmdrTaco FUBAR submissions as badly as I did, but not very many :)

  • He could have also offered to sell it to Jethro Tull, Joth Tupper; jt-actuary.com, or Taylor Made Records - James "JT" Taylor, voice of Kool and the Gang, John Tyler Comunity College; jt.cc.va.us, or millions of others. So in a free market, what is wrong with that?
  • Blockquoth the poster:
    Companies need to be able to protect their intellectual property from people who are using it in bad faith.
    And here we see why the whole concept of intellectual "property" is on shaky ground. Can McDonalds the mega-fast-food chain really claim to "own" the word "McDonald's"? Does it make sense if we allow them to make such a claim? Why do we let anyone "own" any part of the language?

    The fact of the matter is, fraud laws are nearly enough to avoid any abuse of words requiring trademark. The trademark system -- and now, its absurd, surreal extension into domain namespace -- is merely a front for a crooked scheme, an attempt to carve out pieces of our common ideaspace. It should probably never have been allowed; it certainly should not be enshrined and expanded.

  • It certainly looks like that. I have a domain name as well: "lastname".org. I don't serve much off the web server, but I use the domain for e-mail quite a bit. Some of these rulings I have read ruled against people since they were not using the domain according to the definition of HTTP service. All other services do not appear to count. These people making the decisions are obviously ignorant of how the Internet (Global Information Infrastructure) can run. Sigh!
  • Sorry, I misinterpreted your intent.

    Procter & Gamble Co is now to sell 100 domains, including beautiful.com. So you would consider them squatters. I would consider it commerce, like when you buy and sell anything.

    This *squatting* thing is a lie - brought about by ICANN deliberately holding up new TLDs for years.

    Being unable to work, I bought generic domains for investment. Then I found people like myself branded as illegals. Which is why I started my protest site, WIPO.org.uk.
  • A competing body, eResolution, found for the plaintiffs only 47 percent of the time.

    The answer is don't accept WIPO as a binding arbitration - use eResolution. I don't think you have to use a specific body, but if someone takes you to arbitration, don't both sides get to pick the arbiter?



    Being with you, it's just one epiphany after another
  • YYANALAIS. (Yes, you are not a lawyer, and it shows ;^)

    The courts have ruled that it's not the one with the most money that get the domain name. It's the one whose brand would occur the most damage if brand "dilution" were allowed to occur.

    The courts see it like this. If you go up to most people on the street and ask them what "Ford" makes, most of the people are going to say cars.

    The fact is "Ford" is a nationally recognized brand name. And it is certainly more nationally recognized than say, "Ford Musical Instruments". So of course Ford Motor Company deserves the domain ford.com.
  • Still you have to wonder why jcrew deserves crew.com.
  • Three years ago, a company wanted a domain because they were late to the party, and they paid money to get it. Now, they seem to be quite willing to sue or "arbitrate" when the deck is clearly stacked in their favor. "Not only aren't we going to pay you, we are going to make your life a living hell. Screw you for not having the foresight to know we want this domain."

    Looking over news over the last few years, its increasingly the trend to sue rather than to pay. It seems that companies have learned that its easy and cheaper to use their attorney on retainers than it is to sit down and deal fairly. They do this with the little guy, because in that instance its GUARANTEED that he can't hire legal clout like they have and can't afford to deal with the hassles these people are paid to dish out 24h a day if need be. They also do this with competitors (ie: Patent cases) and smaller companies. Its a sad commmentary, makes me nervous too, but who said the world had to be fair?

    "I'm not a procrastinator, I'm temporally challenged" - myself

  • Go to haddock.org [haddock.org] and follow the katie.com threads.
    I would estimate that in this case the WIPO would rule in favour of Penguin, forcing the real Katie to give up her domain. I might be wrong, but this smacks of capitalistic forces squeezing out the intelligensia who built this network for them in the first place. Is it any wonder that people are looking to FreeNet as as somewhere to escape to?
  • There isn't a work-round for Companies-House filings. It's first-come-first-served for limited companies' (equivalent to US Incs) names and there's jack you can do about someone getting in first.

    Your only remedy is in trademark infringement if the company trades under a name you're using, or, if it's a squatter company, waiting until dormancy forces it off the register.

  • e.g. UN Human Rights Charter thingy, IIRC (i.e. I'm probably just making it up) the US signed this, some judge found it unconstitutional, now it isn't recognised as law.
  • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @06:16AM (#862634)
    If you don't like how ICANN operates, what alternatives do you have? Does ICANN have a government-granted monopoly on com/net/org addresses?

    I strongly urge you to use and support opennic. While not as subversive as I would prefer (I would have relegated all ICANN domains to domain.com.icann, rathar than respecting their .ocm domains, but that's just me) they do cooperate with other alternative DNS heiarchies (e.g. alternic) and are compatible with ICANN. They are also very democratic about how TLDs are given out, and are compatible with ICANN.

    This means you can still resolve all ICANN names, but in addition you can resolve alternic, opennic, and various other competitor's TLDs as well.

    ICANN has been given a monopoly by our governments, primarilly because our governments cannot (or will not) imagine a system in which there is not some central authority. It is up to us, as individuals and as ISPs, to thwart this powergrab at the grass roots level, by supporting independent, democratic, and popularist efforts to take back control of our internet.
  • OK. It is my understanding that if I have bigcompany.com registered, and some big company decides that they want my domain, then uner the resolution policy, big company can select the WIPO to arbitrate the dispute.

    I, as a defendant, don't have any choice in the selection of the arbitrator. I protest, knowing the WIPO only looks at the $$$ of the big company and isn't interested in little guys like me, and ignore the WIPO. As a result, the WIPO orders me to transfer bigcompany.com to the plaintiff and my registrar hands it over to them (according to ICANN rules).

    Now, say I have been doing business as www.bigcompany.com for a few years before that big ole company had even thought of the internet. I decide that it's not fair.

    Therefore, would I be able to REARBITRATE, and pick my own arbitrator (since I'd be the plaintiff now)... an arbitrator that's a little more partial to the "little guys" and make the same claim on the big company, which is now the defendant?

    If so, then I can see a big see-saw happening.

    What I would prefer to see is:
    1. Plaintiff wants bigcompany.com. They make a complaint and select an arbitrator.

    2. Defendant gets notified, and has the option to one of the following:
      • Answer the dispute to the selected arbitrator, or
      • Make a request to select another arbitrator, whereupon plaintiff and defendant should be able to select a more suitable arbitrator (how this is done is left as an academic excercise).
      • Ignore the complaint completely, effectively giving up his rights to further recourse in the future.


    Of course, the defendant should be notified by email and snail mail at the addresses in the WHOIS databases as well as postmaster@[the disputed domain]) in order to prevent any mishaps where a defendant that is on holiday may come home to find that he is in default because of a ridiculously short time to answer...!

    This would be a little less "quick and dirty" but would prevent looking like either the plaintiff or defendant has any edge over the other except for the merits of the actual dispute.

    --
  • I don't understand why the WIPO has
    any jurisdiction whatsoever ...
  • Anytime a new place opens up. Whether that be the DNS tree, a new patch of land, or the Ultima Online world, there will be real estate speculators. Those who go first will get the prime real estate and will sell it to others who come in later.

    Why, when this occurs in the DNS tree is it called squatting? Is it called squatting if someone purchases a lot of land in Silicon Valley, expecting to sell it for 3x the price in 2 years? Is it squatting if someone got into Ultima in the beginning and managed to build a huge castle, something which noone else can do as there's not enough land?

    The words you choose *DO* make a difference. This is DNS speculation... The only problem is that instead of a lot of rich people/companies doing it, it's individuals who got in first. The companies don't like it, and call those individuals who thought that 'sell.com' 'clean.com', 'ford.com' domain squatters. That way it's easier to steal their property from them.

    If I own ford.com, and I'm not using it for any purpose, or I purchase it to offer to sell it to them, that's NO WORSE than purchasing a lot of land next to a ford manufacturing plant, expecting them to expand a year, and buy it for 3x the price. In one case, it's called 'cybersquatting', and you have no rights. In another, it's called speculation, and stealing it is theft.

    The words you use make a difference.. Cybersquatting, Domain Speculation, Unauthorized Duplication, Piracy.

  • So what about treaties that violate the Constitution? What happens then?
  • by technos ( 73414 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @06:35AM (#862664) Homepage Journal
    While it makes sense now, wait until it is actually implemented. Corps buy up or sue for net, com and org now. In some cases they play for the country-code TLDs too. What makes you think they won't buy up or sue for beer, music, xxx, biz, parody, and cars?
  • First off, if these registrars and their related organizations would follow their own rules, most of this would not be a problem.

    The most important of these being, "One domain name per entity." The second being, ".com for commercial folk, .edu for education, .net for net-related folks, .org for (non-profit) organizations, and so on."

    But no. These people will give 40 addresses from several TLDs to the same people for the same domain. That's bull. If they'd stick to their guns, and tell em, "Uh, no. Pick *one* that you really want, and stick to it." We would not have this problem.

    Anyone ready to start up their own Top-Level domain service?

  • Blockquoth the poster:
    The fact is "Ford" is a nationally recognized brand name. And it is certainly more nationally recognized than say, "Ford Musical Instruments". So of course Ford Motor Company deserves the domain ford.com.
    I don't think that follows at all. Are you saying that success once, in a far-distant field, entitles a company to a perpetual advantage? Maybe Ford Motor Co. is more famous than Ford Music Co. because the latter isn't being given a chance to exist, to advertise, to spread its name. In the end, you're saying it still comes down to money. And maybe it does ... but it shouldn't, and we shouldn't accept rules changes that make it easier for money to dominate.
  • Normally that would be the case, but apparently not with domain name disputes.

    This looks to me like a bug in ICANN, one that should be fixed. Is this the type of kind of thing the ICANN Board of Directors (up for election in October) will have the power to change? If so, then perhaps the candidates should explain where they stand on this issue.


    ---
  • by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @05:34AM (#862679)
    Had you read the article, it explained that the ICANN allows plaintifs to pick the arbitration body. As the WIPO arbitrates such disputes and finds for plaintifs 84% of the time, plaintiffs pick WIPO. So, the WIPO has majority market share, and they are producing new guidelines. ICANN basically put WIPO in charge.

    ---
  • by dizee ( 143832 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @05:35AM (#862680) Homepage
    Really, you're almost asking for trouble with any domain name you register.

    I really really hope that none of the domains I own get disputed. I really just don't want to put up with some corporate meany conglomerate knocking on my door and threatening me with legal action because they want a domain I'm using.

    Think about it this way. Say I have the 1-800 number 1-800-dom-inoe by pure coincidence. Can Dominoes pizza come sue me take that 1-800 number from me? It's just stupid.

    I hate corporate America more and more every day...

    Mike

    "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet, tasty beer."
  • by AdamHaun ( 43173 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @05:37AM (#862681) Journal
    A problem with using trademarks in domain name disputes:

    IANAL, but IIRC(enough I's for ya?) trademarks only extend through one commercial domain. So, for example, I could start up a company called Ford's Musical Instruments, Inc. and not be breaking trademark law. However, an attempt to start up a Ford Car Company would result in a nasty lawsuit that I would most likely lose.

    So who gets the domain name ford.com? Ford Motor Company? Ford Musical Instruments? Betty Ford? Joe Ford, the guy down the street? Why should the one with the most money have any intrinsic right to the name? The internet's not just about commerce for big corporations.

    I feel that a decent way to address the problem is to actually hold register-ers to the purpose of the various top level domains. No more corporations in .edu, please! Maybe then other groups and people will be on an equal footing
  • Government House

    Or, as the page on the other side of the link (not to mention the domain itself) suggests, Companies House...

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <(imipak) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Friday August 11, 2000 @05:40AM (#862683) Homepage Journal
    For chrissakes, folks, we have MASSIVE international beurocracies squabbling over what? A bunch of characters that have NO meaning EXCEPT as a local pointer to the IPv4 and/or IPv6 address.

    Computers don't use them, they are purely for the convenience of the human operator. In addition, domain names are scoped. They are NOT necessarily global. That depends on how the DNS servers are configured and on the entry itself.

    So, WE, the users of the Internet, are funding several massive, costly organizations who do absolutely nothing than order other massive, costly organizations to move pointers around.

    Sorry, but that feels like a bit of a rip-off.

    Whilst I like the idea of overseers, the overseers CANNOT be a part of the system they are overseeing, if they are to be efficient, honest and rational.

  • Blockquoth the poster:
    The internet's not just about commerce for big corporations.
    Heretic! What Universe have you been living in?

    Actually, I agree ... commercialization of the Net is in fact Evil. Day by day we're watching something wonderful slipping away, because we tolerate these assaults by Big Business: Not only can they do these things, but they're convincing us it's right that they do them... Sad.

  • The problem is that the ICANN is not properly managing the domain name space, or these international disputes would not arise.

    If I were the ruler of the Internet inestead of that Esther woman, the domain space you could get in to would be much deeper. You'd be forced to use your country code (Even in the US.) So microsoft.com->microsoft.com.us. Et Cetera. Perhaps I'd come up with a .international TLD for companies that are international. ibm.com.international, for instance.

    I'd have to think some more on other heavy-handed policies as well. Should it be hard for Normal Mortals to get names in the high level namespace? Perhaps each country should provide some deeper domains for people. So providersofgoatporn.co.us for goat porn providers in Colorado? And bring back the days of having to prove you're a .com, .net or .org to qualify to get into those domains.

    Resolving such disputes under my draconian leadership would indeed be much more simple.

  • I know I'm an old fart, but for future reference, writing in capital letters is considered equivalent to shouting, and is therefore rude. When writing to express an opinion, especially as part of an official consultation, its best to provide emphasis *like* *this*, rather than LIKE THIS. If you have the option of using HTML or other rich formats, you can similarly do this or this.
  • If the defendant offers no evidence or argument, whatever the claimant says (within reason) has to stand as the finding of the court. That pretty much automatically discharges any burden of proof you care to impose: if the other side declines to raise reasonable doubt, the Claimant sure as buggery isn't going to do it for him. A fortiori where the burden imposed is "balance of probabilities" - if the defendant puts nothing in his side, the tribunal is again stuck with only the claimant's side of the story to go on.

  • I know this will never happen, but...

    Apparently use of the tld for actually routing information is completely dead, so there is no technical reason for any set of tlds.

    All claimnants can register "a.b" where a and b are arbitrary words. Either a or b or both may be a trademark or other word they own, but the combination a.b cannot be trademarked (if it is they must use a_b.c).

    To preserve existing value, browsers will automatically replace 'a' (no periods in it) with 'a.com', to give these existing names much more value.

    Entity 'a' can sue anybody using 'a.b' or 'b.a' if: the displayed page is blank, contains or links any kind of indication that the name is for sale, or contains content that can reasonably be confused as actually being from 'a'. Otherwise names can be bought and sold on the open market.

    I would expect there to quickly be a lot of 'b' words in common use, like .cars and .movie. Some will be as valuable as .com and will be fought bitterly over. But the individual can just pick random b words.

    MicroSoft is free to register "microsoft.sucks" and every other word they want. It costs them and they never will pick all the possible words, since this proposal squares the size of the name space.

  • If you don't like how ICANN operates, what alternatives do you have? Does ICANN have a government-granted monopoly on com/net/org addresses?

    This vaguely worries me. I run pillars.net on my home computer mainly as a permanent place to store my resume. Last week I met somebody whose last name is "Pillars". According to these rules, anybody in that family could petition ICANN for my domain name and probably get it with no recourse on my part.

    Do I have to register a trademark to protect my domain name? How much would that cost, anyway?

  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Friday August 11, 2000 @05:44AM (#862708)
    WIPO has jurisdiction in exactly the same way as a mugger has jurisdiction over your wallet when he's pointing a gun at you.

    The government, big business, the judicial system and law enforcement are basically all one big protection racket enforced at the point of a gun, and they dish out legal jurisdiction as suits them.

    Moral jurisdiction is a different matter of course, but you have to pay lip service to the immoral but legal kind occasionally if you want to retain your freedom. I don't see it changing any time soon.

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