Articles by date

29 January 2007

Names as Domains, Names as Marks: Issues Concerning the Interface Between Internet Domain Names and Trademark Rights by Zohar Efroni (Intellectual Property and Information Wealth: Issues and Practices in the Digital Age, Peter K. Yu, ed) (Social Science Research Network)

Abstract: This book chapter addresses various domain name issues and the interface between registration of domain names and trademark rights. It provides technical and historical background to domain names disputes and moves to focus on particular matters of interest such as regulation in the U.S. and via ICANN, conflict of laws, international aspects, potential abuse of regulatory mechanisms, litigation strategies and freedom of speech issues.

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Distributed Denial of Service: Law, Technology & Policy by Meiring de Villiers (World Jurist Law/Technology Journal)

Abstract: A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack aims to deprive legitimate users of a resource or service provided by a system, by overloading the system with a flood of data packets, thus preventing it from processing legitimate requests. This article analyzes the doctrines governing the allocation of liability among key players in a DDoS attack. The doctrines are well established and based on common law tort principles and policy considerations. The main contribution of the article is the adaptation of these principles to the novel technological environment in which DDoS attacks occur. The analysis shows that detailed understanding of the technologies and analysis of their role in DDoS attacks are essential to effective judicial decisionmaking.

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fr: (nearly) All registrars violate French consumer law! (Domaine Blogspot)

This blog article concludes that "All registrars which do not let their French customers use a payment tool which is not free of charge, are subject to fines, as Sony UK was.

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Internet giants bow to human rights protests (The Observer)

Campaigners for freedom of speech on the internet have hailed a major breakthrough after Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! agreed to join a working group to draw up a code of conduct for protecting human rights online.

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Google's founding duo say net will not kill newspapers (The Daily Telegraph)

Newspapers will not be killed off by the internet, say Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google. Mr Page, who declared at the World Economic Forum in Davos: "I think that newspapers have a good future," said his company was working "really hard" on helping advertisers using Google to also put their adverts in newspapers.

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28 January 2007

Addressing the Issues of Internet Governance for Development: A Framework for Setting an Agenda for Effective Coordination by William H. Dutton (Oxford Internet Institute)

This paper outlines a framework for agenda setting that could help the Forum to ensure these processes identify and attend to the key substantive issues that merit discussion at the Forum. It is anchored on the view that most issues of Internet governance for development are being grappled with by many separate but interdependent actors and agencies at various levels. However, this creates a need to identify issues that are not 'owned', or not well understood, in order to facilitate the creation of bridges between actors and agencies trying to tackle the same or similar issues. It draws on various research initiatives at Oxford University's Oxford Internet Institute (OII), particularly an international forum on Internet governance and a series of seminars reflecting on civil society participation in the WSIS.

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uk: 'No more smoke-filled rooms' (The Guardian)

Gordon Brown said today that the days of the "smoke-filled room" were over and that politicians had to involve the public in decision-making in order to win the arguments for free trade, globalisation and the fight against terrorism. Speaking in Davos in a debate about leadership, the chancellor said that politicians were "in the slow lane of the super-information highway" and had failed to recognise how the internet had revolutionised the nature of political debate.

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27 January 2007

Why the .xxx would anyone want a top-level domain for porn? by Seth Finkelstein (The Guardian)

The idea of a ".xxx" web suffix for porn sites is the internet's vampire: it seems nothing can kill it. Censors often oppose it because they believe anything that can be construed as legitimisation of pornography will hinder their efforts against it. Civil libertarians oppose it on grounds such as the threat of it being used to marginalise a wide range of material having to do with sexuality. Adult webmasters widely view it with suspicion, as anyone who has a ghettoisation scheme to "help" them usually isn't doing them a favour.

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Lack of space may force world wide web to implode (The Times)

Massive demands being placed on the internet could soon see the network run out of web addresses, technology experts, including Vint Cerf, said yesterday at Davos. The internet was being threatened by mounting technological challenges, including increasingly malign software viruses and "botnets".

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Criminals 'may overwhelm the web' (BBC)

Criminals controlling millions of personal computers are threatening the internet's future, experts have warned. Up to a quarter of computers on the net may be used by cyber criminals in so-called botnets, said Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet. Technology writer John Markoff said: "It's as bad as you can imagine, it puts the whole internet at risk."

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26 January 2007

Firms helped to make PCs greener (BBC)

The Green Advisory Service has been launched to help businesses reduce the carbon footprint left by PCs and other equipment. Its research found that a single PC left on overnight and at weekends racks up an annual electricity bill of £53. In addition a typical PC left on for 24 hours a day, 220 days of the year, is responsible for up to a tonne of CO2 over a 3-year period.

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Unused Domain Name for U.S. Isles Gone (Sydney Morning Herald/AP)

The list of Internet domain names just got shorter. ICANN decided recently to yank ".um" - for U.S. "minor outlying islands." No one was using it anyhow, and the organization that has run ".um" - the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute - no longer wanted to bother.

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25 January 2007

Online fraud 'now major concern' (BBC)

Britons fear being ripped-off online more than gun crime, climate change or even contracting MRSA in hospital, a survey has suggested.

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Google.de Snatched by Cyber-Squatters (Der Spiegel)

On Tuesday of this week Google's .de domain name was temporarily hijacked. A transfer for the domain name was requested, and through Denic's automated transfer service, the request was completed without anyone realising what had happened until... too late! Der Spiegel reports that "In Germany, if the old domain name provider does not reject the transfer request, the transfer is automatically carried out after a few days -- even if the owner did not ask for it." Previously ebay.de suffered a similar fate.

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Domain Tasting: Hard to Swallow (SEO Chat)

SEO Chat has an article on domain tasting/kiting, noting "they're the bane of trademark holders, though they don't always have to be." If you're wondering what these practices are, why they're so profitable, and whether you need to worry about them, keep reading. The article explains what domain tasting/kiting is, and the circumstances that make it profitable - that is the "grace period" that was introduced by ICANN in 2000 and then the move from updating the root file every 12 hours to almost immediately a domain is registered by VeriSign. Then along came Google's AdSense and AdWords. The article notes that the number of domains being sampled on anyone day has gone from around 100,000 in late 2004 to around 4 million today. The article notes that domain tasters claim they provide a service - redirecting users to a relevant page where one is otherwise not available - but also notes that he's not encountered any research that bears this out. The article concludes that with VeriSign and ICANN not acting to stamp out the process, then there isn't going to be change anytime soon. But the article claims large companies are pressuring ICANN and VeriSign, so there may be some action.

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Google, Yahoo! commit to ethical code (Out-Law)

Some of technology's biggest names are joining together to create a code of conduct to protect freedom of expression online. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Vodafone will create a human rights charter along with academics and social groups.

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us: MySpace to send U.S. users missing-children alerts (ZDNet)

Popular online social network MySpace said Tuesday it will begin sending online alerts to users in certain U.S. regions to help find missing children as part of an expansion of plans to expand safeguards for users.

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uk: Police struggling to cope with rise of cyber-crime (The Independent)

Police cannot cope with the huge rise in cyber-crime, such as computer viruses, fraud and the online grooming of children, Scotland Yard has admitted. And the scale of the problem has become so large that not all allegations can be investigated.

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China net use may soon surpass US (BBC)

China could soon overtake the US to have the world's largest number of internet users, according to a state-controlled think-tank. "We believe it will take two years at most for China to overtake the US," an official at the China Internet Network Information Center told state media.

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Italian court rules downloading isn't a crime if not for profit (Silicon Valley (AP))

Italy's top criminal court has ruled that downloading music, movies and software over the Internet isn't a crime if profit wasn't the motivation, though analysts questioned Monday whether the ruling would have much effect on copyright laws.

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Vista to play second fiddle to XP until 2009: Gartner (IT Wire)

Windows XP will continue to reign supreme, while Vista will have scant market share until 2009, according to new projections from technology research group Gartner. According to Gartner, Vista is just catching up to Mac OS X in the consumer space but will make steady progress as the years roll by.

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24 January 2007

Cyber criminals move focus to web (BBC)

Cyber criminals will increasingly turn their attention to the web and away from e-mail security in 2007, according to a new report. Security firm Sophos found that the US hosts more than a third of websites hosting malicious code, as well as sending more spam than other nations.

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Domain Tasting: Hard to Swallow (SEO Chat)

Domain tasting and domain kiting have been highlighted by the press lately. They're the bane of trademark holders, though they don't always have to be. If you're wondering what these practices are, why they're so profitable, and whether you need to worry about them, keep reading.

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MySpace files law suit against 'Spam King' (InfoWorld/IDG)

MySpace.com has filed a lawsuit against the self-proclaimed "Spam King", Scott Richter, for allegedly blasting the portal with spam through the use of compromised user accounts, the Web site said on Monday.

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23 January 2007

The Fragile Network by Bill Thompson (Circle ID)

One of the more persistent founding myths around the internet is that it was designed to be able to withstand a nuclear war, built by the US military to ensure that even after the bombs had fallen there would still be communications between surviving military bases. It isn't true, of course.

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