Domain Names

20 October 2006

za: Cybersquatting set to be outlawed IOL Technology

Cybersquatting might soon be outlawed as policy makers and lawyers thrash out the final terms of regulations to the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act that would deal with domain name disputes.

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18 October 2006

ICANN: Accountability Management Operating Principles ICANN news release

As part of the Joint Project Agreement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN, the ICANN Board of Directors approved an Affirmation of Responsibilities for ICANN's Private Sector Management. Points 2 and 3 of that document refer to ICANN's intention to continue to improve processes and procedures that encourage improved transparency and accountability. As part of this commitment to continuously improving transparency and accountability, ICANN is seeking input from the community on the development of a set of Management Operating Principles.

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JPA Agreement: Will it Change the Problems With the UDRP? by Konstantinos Komaitis Circle ID

It was rather interesting to read this new agreement between the USDoC and ICANN talking about the mechanisms, methods and procedures necessary to effect the transition of Internet domain name and DNS to the private sector. What was more interesting though was to read in this very agreement the following: “...the Department continues to support the work of ICANN as the coordinator for the technical functions related to the management of the Internet DNS”. OK, let’s be honest! Technical? Over the past few years, ICANN has been more involved in policy-making decisions than actually being engaged in the technical coordination of the Internet - or so it seems at least.

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Domain Name Site Sets Up Auction Techweb LLC plans to introduce this week an auction service for domain name sales, a company executive said Monday. Jeremiah Johnston, COO and general counsel for the online marketplace for buyers and sellers for domain names and Web sites, said the new seven-day auction platform will augment a traditional model, where domain names are posted on the site for sale and price negotiated.

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17 October 2006

Spam fighter faces attack on 'blocklists' International Herald Tribune

The International Herald Tribune runs what is effectively a profile of Spamhaus and the dispute between them and e360. Spamhaus said last week, "We are working with lawyers to find a way to both appeal the ruling and stop further nonsense by this spammer." While Linhardt for e360 has "hinted that he could challenge others, conceivably Internet service providers that use Spamhaus's blacklists. 'We think what Spamhaus needs to do is follow U.S. law and obey the U.S. courts and judgments. Certainly, our position is that if companies in the U.S. knowingly go around a court order and block our e- mails, then that's a problem for them, and we urge them not to do it.'" The article notes that "Most European countries require 'prior consent' from recipients before a sender can transmit bulk e-mail messages to them. The United States and Japan favor a 'freedom of commerce' approach that does not require advance consent but does offer a choice to 'unsubscribe' from mass mailings."

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16 October 2006

Rooney wins his fight for website BBC

England football star Wayne Rooney has won a legal battle against a Welsh TV actor for the ownership of a website in the player's name.

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14 October 2006

ICANN refuses to pull Spamhaus domain The Register

ICANN has said it does not have the authority to suspend the website of The Spamhaus Project. The Register further reports "ICANN's stance of declining authority on the affair passes the onus onto Tucows, the registrar. Since Tucows is based in Canada, and not the US, it's in a much better position to decline to apply the court's request. So the threat of the loss of Spamhaus's domain appears to have receded, at least for now."

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.nz Registrations hit 250,000 NZ Domain Name Commissioner news release

InternetNZ through the Office of the Domain Name Commissioner is pleased to announce that the number of registrations of domain names under the .nz top level domain reached 250,000 late yesterday, showing continued strong growth in the Internet space in New Zealand.

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12 October 2006

Half of domain-name servers are open to attack Computer Weekly

Half of the web's domain name servers are wrongly configured, leaving companies and large sections of the internet infrastructure open to attack. The survey found that 50% of DNS servers allow recursive name services - a form of name resolution that often requires a name server to relay requests to other name servers.

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11 October 2006 faces threat to its domain name CNet

There is extensive coverage of the possibility of Spamhaus losing their domain name from a range of sources. ZDNet/CNet note "there is legal speculation as to whether the district court has the jurisdiction to order ICANN to suspend the Spamhaus domain name, as ICANN is an independent regulator." Also see,39020375,39283978,00.htm

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Arbitration Is Weapon of Choice in Growing Number of Domain Name Disputes National Law Journal

Domain-name arbitration disputes have risen by more than a quarter since January 2005 -- despite the expansion of generic top-level domain addresses like .biz and .info -- as cybersquatters find more sophisticated ways of encroaching on legitimate Web sites.

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Value in Direct Navigation: Empirical Evidence by Alex Tajirian Domain Mart

ABSTRACT: The paper points out the limits of two empirical studies on the value of direct navigation. To more accurately predict the value created through direct navigation, these issues must be addressed.

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10 October 2006

US court threatens Spamhaus with shut down IDG

A U.S. court has threatened to shut down the Spamhaus Project, a volunteer-run antispam service, for ignoring a $11.7 million judgement against it. In a proposed court order dated Friday, Judge Charles Kocoras of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois calls on the organizations responsible for registering the Internet address to suspend the organization's Internet service. Both ICANN and Tucows Inc., the registrar, are named in the proposed order.

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06 October 2006

au: Bindi site not unethical, says squatter Sydney Morning Herald

A Brisbane man who set up an unauthorised Bindi Irwin website linked to anti-Israel material has denied his website is in poor taste.

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eu: What's in 74,000 names? Big money IHT

The International Herald Tribune reports on the court dispute between EURid and three companies who had between them registered 74,000 .eu domain names. EURid claimed the companies were hoarding them for resale. In a disappointing decision, last week a Belgian court ordered EURid to pay a fine of €25,000 per hour for each name unless it allowed the three companies to transfer ownership of the addresses. EURid has released control of the domain names and is considering appealing. The IHT reports "Thomas Schafft, a Munich-based lawyer who specializes in intellectual property at Lovells law firm, said it was 'a shame that EURid lost,' calling the three companies' attempts to register the names 'a particularly nasty attempt to abuse the dot-eu system.'" Since the introduction of dot-eu last December, 2.1 million domains have been registered by EURid. More than 250 separate disputes over ownership of individual domain names have been resolved through an arbitration mechanism.

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ICANN looks for new home Australian IT

ICANN will consider moving to a new home outside the US as part of a search for a more favourable legal jurisdiction to base its operations.

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05 October 2006

au: Bindi website squatter 'abhorrent' Sydney Morning Herald

An unauthorised Bindi Irwin website linked to anti-Israel material and the names of Federal Government ministers has been set up by a Queensland man just hours after Steve Irwin's death, appearing to be a tribute site to the Crocodile Hunter's eight-year-old daughter. However, a number of domain names including, and automatically redirect web surfers to the site. All the domains are registered to a "Wayne Smith" of Brisbane, who also owns the and names.

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04 October 2006

Neither safe nor secure on the Internet CNet

The National Academies recently completed a report titled "Signposts in Cyberspace: The Domain Name System and Internet Navigation," sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Science Foundation. The report's final recommendations advise that ICANN strengthen its agreements with the TLD operators and call for further steps to improve the security of the DNS.

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03 October 2006

Mobile net names a bit dotty The Australian/FT

here are a few stories, such as this one published in both The Australian and Financial Times, questioning the value of dotmobi. The story reports "critics across a broad swath of business, the law and academe are railing against the proliferation of new domains, which they claim are costly and a cause of fraud". While there is support across industry, a senior lawyer from Verizon Communications, Sarah Deutsch, is quoted as saying "there is no particular business need". The article also quotes Marcus Eggensperger, legal director at Lycos Europe, saying "As a registrar, we are lucky because we have new markets but, to be honest, for trademark owners it could be a problem to have to make defensive registrations."

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A New Wave of Web Addresses Business Week

Business Week reports on the DotMobi launch with 88,000 domains registered in the first two days (75,000 registrations reported elsewhere). Business Week asks who is registering these domains. Sarah Deutsch, General Counsel of VERizon, is quoted again saying big-name companies are being forced to register dotMobi domains or risk brand damage. Sarah says "Anytime one of these top-level domains is introduced, we are forced to register these domains proactively because if you don't do that, you are going to find your trademark infringed. It might be linked with pornography or phishing or fraud. Companies are forced to come in and protect their crown jewels." Sarah goes on to say that dotMobi names don't offer the domain owners anything they can't do with their existing domains. Meanwhile dotMobi CEO Neil Edwards obviously disagrees although in the article he doesn't seem to give any convincing arguments.

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Internet Law - The Initial Interest Confusion Theory: The Beginning of Liability for Search Engine Companies Internet Business Law Services

One of the leading U.S. cases on the issue of liability for the use of trademarked terms is Brookfield Communications, Inc. v. West Coast Entertainment (Brookfield). The case concluded with a remarkable decision that marked the beginning of a new liability era for those using trademarked words in their advertisements. Brookfield held that the defendant company was liable to the plaintiff company, under the Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition Laws of the U.S. Lanham Act for the defendant's use of plaintiff's trademarked term in defendant's Meta tags in Defendant's websites, even if no actual damage existed. This case introduced the Initial Interest Confusion liability theory that is still applicable in the U.S. Courts. Of the legal issues in the case, the Court considered whether there was an infringement of trademark claim; second, whether there was an unfair competition claim. These two issues were solved after intellectual property considerations in part that that related to the use of trademarked terms in domain names. Third, and most important for us in this discussion, the Court considered whether West Coast Entertainment Company (defendant) was liable for the use of the trademarked term "movieBuff" in the Meta tags in its website "" or any other website different than "" The Court decision was in the affirmative. The Court held that due to the Initial Interest Confusion theory, West Coast Entertainment Company was liable to Brookfield for the use of its trademarked term in the Meta tags of defendant's websites other than ""

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11 May 2006

ICANN Chooses Privacy for Whois Electronic Privacy Information Center

ICANN has voted to adopt a policy protecting the privacy of domain holders' personal information.

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Interesting facts about domain names Yafla

Some interesting facts about domain names such as that of of the 676 possible two-letter sequences - they're all taken. And then even allowing for digits, giving 1296 combinations, again every single variation is taken. Als, there are 253,000 non-IDN domains that are 32 characters or longer, including 538 that are 63 characters long.

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Germans lead the charge to register .eu domain names The Guardian

Since Friday, any of the European Union's 450 million citizens can register a new .eu domain name. Though the Brussels-based European Registry of Internet Domain Names (EURid) did not expect to be trampled in the stampede, it received 350,000 pre-registration applications and a further 560,000 on the first day - making .eu bigger than many small country domains, though still behind the 4.8m permutations of .uk, or the 10m .com domains.

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1,5 million .eu registrations in less than a week (news release) Eurid

In less than a week from the general launch .eu has approximately 1.5 million domain names registered. This is in addition to all the applications made during the Sunrise phase which still await validation before they are activated.

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