ICANN in Puerto Rico – Day Four Wrap

Not much coverage of Day three – Wednesday – of ICANN’s San Juan meeting. It comes down to The Register again, with Burke Hansen writing an article titled “American trademark attorneys to consume own young”, then “New breed raised in intellectual cages and fed raw meat”.Hansen, being an attorney himself, begins his article with:
“The Tuesday ICANN extravaganza continued with the ritualized slaughter of individual privacy rights in the holiest of holies for American trademark attorneys: ICANN’s Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) triannual meeting, wherein they flog their misrepresentations of American trademark law on an unsuspecting, powerless and almost entirely ignorant internet community.”That pretty much gives you a flavour of what he has to say, so for the full article, see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/28/icann_ip_community/One question asked is “So how is it that American trademark attorneys wield such power with the de facto government of the internet, ICANN?”Hansen says “[w]ell, the IPC, which should represent the entire IP community of providers – and potentially even consumers, though they don’t even merit a mention at the meetings – has been co-opted by a relatively narrow interest group, namely the one doing everything it can to extend lucrative American trademark protections around the globe, whether merited or not.”He concludes “Ultimately, restricting trademarks to a very narrow group of current rights holders is bad for the entire economy, inasmuch as it restricts both competition and innovation. It also is, cynically, bad business for the trademark lobby, because they eventually will have fewer potential clients and defendants. It’s a lobby that should be very careful what it asks for – it just might get it.”

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