Articles by date

22 February 2007

Apple and Cisco share iPhone name (BBC)

Apple and Cisco Systems agree to share the iPhone trademark, allowing both firms to use the name.

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Big names may not prevail in domain disputes (CNet)

Looking at UDRP and the success of small firms, this article looks at how sometimes they can win. Two cases are examined - wargames.com and pig.com. In both cases they "bucked the trend" of large company/trademark holders winning their domain names. In the former, the arbitration panel found the registrant used the domain name first for pay-per-click advertising and then as an online store to sell military simulation war games. The panel found there was a bonafide offering of goods. In the latter, the panel did not find that the domain name was registered to take advantage of the claimant, New Pig's trademark. Instead, it was used to display pay-per-click links related to the generic term "pig." The panel found that Pig.com was registered in good faith based on the dictionary meaning of the word "pig."

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Cerf: Internet is a reflection of society (Info World)

IDG quotes Vint Cerf saying the internet is a mirror of the population that uses it, in reference to the proliferation of fraud, social abuse, and other online crimes. "If you stand in front of a mirror and you don't like what you see, it does not help to fix the mirror," Cerf said. For example, Cerf is quoted as saying spam is a result of the free email services readily available. While companies are putting a lot of effort into preventing abuses, Cerf claimed the problem is more social and economic than technical.

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Doubts over internet porn domain (Computer Business Review)

The resurrected proposal to open an internet domain reserved for porn web sites is looking less likely to succeed according to CBR Online, with ICANN's board of directors last week expressing 'serious concerns' about it. Concerns of ICANN directors include that the adult industry might not want .xxx. The report says 3 directors claimed to have no serious concerns, 8 did, while "Paul Twomey fence-sat." The article also notes "According to ICANN's minutes, of the 88 adult webmasters that contacted ICANN during a recent public comment period, only 23 were in favor of the domain."

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Runet: domain registration market assessed (CNews)

CNews, a Russian news outlet, examines the Russian domain name business and estimates the domain registration market in 2006 as being worth 375mln rubles ($14m). Of this, 15% was spent to support the domain RU infrastructure, the rest on registrars. The number of second-level domain names grew by 60% and is expected to reach 1mln this coming autumn. There are some interesting statistics including the average age of domain owners is 26 (previously 28); there were 718,000 domains registered in 2006 growing to 756,000 in February 2007 and there being only 5 of the 248 ccTLDs demonstrating double figures increase – these being .at, .es, .fr, .us as well as .ru.

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uk: Amnesty: ISPs must protect free speech (ZDNet)

The human rights group Amnesty International has called on internet service providers to do more to protect free speech online. Speaking at the annual awards dinner held last week by the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA), Amnesty's campaigns director, Tim Hancock, told delegates that: "Web users and service providers alike have a responsibility to keep alive the things that have made the internet great -- its democracy, its freedom and the way it gives people access to knowledge and the opportunity to participate and be heard, in a way that was unthinkable 45 years ago".

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Eli Lilly Loses Effort to Censor Zyprexa Documents Off the Internet- Judge Rescinds Injunction Against Wiki, Other Websites (Internet Business Law Services)

Judge Rescinds Injunction Against Wiki, Other Websites New York - A U.S. District Court judge today refused Eli Lilly's request to ban a number of websites from publishing leaked documents relating to Zyprexa, Eli Lilly's top-selling drug. Although the judge rejected the First Amendment arguments made by a variety of individuals eager to publish the documents, the court concluded that "it is unlikely that the court can now effectively enforce an injunction against the Internet in its various manifestations, and it would constitute a dubious manifestation of public policy were it to attempt to do so." The order is a victory for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which represents an anonymous individual who was previously barred by the court's earlier orders from posting links to the Zyprexa documents on the zyprexa.pbwiki.com wiki.

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uk: Police failing over internet paedophiles (The Observer)

Police are failing to investigate thousands of people who are suspected of accessing paedophile websites because of lack of resources, say child protection experts.

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uk: Privacy row as checks on phones and e-mails hit 439,000 (The Times)

Almost 450,000 requests were made to monitor people's telephone calls, e-mails and post by secret agencies and other authorised bodies in just over a year, the spying watchdog said yesterday. In the first report of its kind from the Interceptions of Communications Commissioner, it was also revealed that nearly 4,000 errors were reported in a 15-month period from 2005 to 2006. While most appeared to concern "lower-level data" such as requests for telephone lists and individual e-mail addresses, 67 were mistakes concerning direct interception of communications.

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Man sues IBM after internet porn dismissal (The Times)

A man who was fired by IBM for visiting an adult chat room at work is suing the company for $5 million, claiming that he is an internet addict who deserved treatment and sympathy rather than dismissal.

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Report: Survey shows growing number of Japanese fear Internet crimes (Sydney Morning Herald)

An increasing number of Japanese fear they may become the victims of crime on the Internet, according to a government survey reported by Japanese newspapers.

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Europe’s Plan to Track Phone and Net Use (New York Times)

A proposed law would require companies to keep detailed data about people's Internet and phone use.

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uk: Government backs digital lockdown (BBC)

Calls to ban Digital Rights Management to limit what people can do with digital media have been rejected.

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us: Neutrality On the Net Gets High '08 Profile (Washington Post)

Bloggers and other Internet activists made their marks in the past two presidential elections chiefly by building networks of political enthusiasts and raising money for candidates. Now, they are pushing aggressively into policymaking -- and not just over high-profile issues such as Iraq.

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us: More states move to ban Internet hunting (Chron)

A Texas businessman who wanted to allow computer users to hunt from the comfort of their homes has instead spawned dozens of state laws banning the practice.

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21 February 2007

Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of a five-day grace period to sample millions of domain names (International Herald Tribune)

This Associated Press story compares buying clothing to domain names - with the practice of domain tasting akin to buying clothes on a credit card in that one has a period in which one can return both. The article notes "entrepreneurs have turned the return policy into a loophole for generating big bucks". Further, "Experts believe spammers and scam artists are also starting to use the grace period as a source of free, disposable Web addresses." The article also notes there were an "average tasting of 1.2 million names each day in December, compared with 7,200 two years earlier" using data from Name Intelligence while "Legitimate registrations made up 2 percent of the registrations at the end of 2006, down from about half in 2004." Another point the article makes is of "A newer variant, sometimes called 'kiting,'" that "involves the same company reregistering the same name every fourth or fifth day to hang onto it in perpetuity, without ever paying for it."

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Internet is beyond political control: Cerf (The Hindu)

This article in The Hindu quotes Vint Cerf saying "It is a huge, new democratic opportunity and beyond any one agency's political control." Further, "Nations had tried to control portions of the Internet for their own national goals -- but the Net is too ubiquitous for any single agency to throttle, Dr. Cerf said. "No one owns the Internet -- but there must be some agencies to make it work."

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20 February 2007

Hard disk test 'surprises' Google (BBC)

The impact of heavy use and high temperatures on hard disk drive failure may be overstated, says a report by three Google engineers.

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Registerfly on the fly, ICANN on the run (The Register)

The Register questions the role of ICANN in this article about Registerfly - a US-based registrar that has 900,000 customers and 2 million domain names. The Register asks "just what is ICANN responsible for, anyway?" Apparently there is a power struggle between two Registerfly partners with customers left "scrambling to recover domains that were not automatically renewed as agreed, or were paid for and for no apparent reason allowed to lapse well before the agreed upon expiration date." The Register asks"what of ICANN's decision to simply refer customers back to Registerfly, when the reason they are contacting ICANN in the first place is for a problem concerning domain registration that Registerfly either cannot or will not resolve on its own? If ICANN itself is either unable or unwilling to handle a problem of this magnitude, what is the point of having ICANN around?" The Register concludes "With ICANN watching from the sidelines, customers can only hope that local or federal authorities will step in. Stay tuned.

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19 February 2007

Norwegian newspaper publisher finds the secret to profiting online (International Herald Tribune)

After catching up on the latest news flashes on the death of Anna Nicole Smith, visitors to www.vg.no, the online version of the biggest-selling tabloid newspaper in Norway, can get their minds back to business by scrolling down the page — to the oil company earnings reports. ... At a time when other newspaper companies lament a loss of readers and advertisers, Schibsted is thriving. No profit warnings here: Earnings rose 28 percent in the fourth quarter. Online operations will generate about 20 percent of the company's revenue this year, according to analysts at Kaupthing, a bank based in Reykjavik, even as many other big newspaper publishers struggle to reach the 10 percent mark. Perhaps more important, at least for investors, online businesses will provide nearly 60 percent of the company's operating earnings by next year, the Kaupthing analysts predict. Schibsted has become so emblematic of online success that Bharat Anand, a professor at Harvard Business School, is writing one of the institution's well-known case studies on the company.

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Google sues Polish poets over gmail.pl (Middle East Times)

Google has launched legal action against a group of Polish poets, demanding that they give up their Internet domain name gmail.pl, a member of the cultural collective said Friday. Google claims the group of poets, known as "Grupa Mlodych Artystow i Literatow," or Group of Young Artists and Writers, has no rights to gmail.pl. The group claims they have no intention to give up the name.

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16 February 2007

Internet Governance Forum: Is It More Than Talk? by Monika Ermert (Intellectual Property Watch)

This article in Intellectual Property Watch examines the IGF and reports on its current status noting several of the coalitions formed at the first IGF presented short progress reports at the meeting this week in Geneva. The article notes "the new UN Secretary General has yet to make his first comments on Internet governance issues." The article outlines some of the groups involved and the issues they will be highlighting such as the A2K@IGF Coalition. Towards the end ICANN gets a mention, quoting Riaz Tayob who noted that "the issues of root servers, domain name servers and Internet Protocol are among the most important issues in Internet governance," and that "if they are absent from the agenda, the core issues are absent." It was noted that ICANN and the ITU should be invited to give an update at every session.

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It’s Tax Time for Domain Name Owners - Domain names are uncharted territory for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (Domain Wire)

This article examines a new area of tax and addresses the tax implications of domain names and how domain name owners, especially those with large portfolios, and should they be included on tax returns in the USA. No doubt there will be corollaries with other jurisdictions. Issues addressed include how purchases are accounted for, registrations and sales are also examined. The article quotes a guide by a CPA called "The Domain Tax Guide, 2007 Edition". Issues the guide covers are there is only one reference to domain names by the IRS; domains can be classified as capital assets or business assets and the implications; how to organise a domain name business; how does a domainer do their tax return; the difference between domain registration and purchase fees and how to account for them; what is the useful life of a domain and how is this important; and what deductions can be made.

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Israeli Court Holds that a DNS Definition may be Retained as Security for Payment of Debts (Internet Business Law Services)

"The Israeli Magistrates Court of Tiberias held on December 17, 2006 that DNS definition is an asset which may be retained by a creditor as means to persuade a debtor to pay its debt. The Court stated that even if seemingly intangible, the DNS requires physical maintenance work and therefore can be said to be "physically held" and thus capable of being retained as security for ensuring payment." However the article also notes that "these decisions do not hold any precedential value for the Israeli courts in future cases."

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ICANN U-turn over outdated domains (Multilingual Search)

The proposal to delete some outdated ccTLDs by ICANN is addressed by an article in the Russian language Cnews and reported in English by Multilingual Search. The article claims the proposal has been derailed. Following discussions in Sao Paulo, Cnews claims "the public proceedings have been dogged by protests and threats of legal action from domain owners, less than happy at the prospect of loosing their domain, marketing and branding expenses. ICANN finally agreed to leave the extensions alone."

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