" /> Domain Name Rights Coalition: February 2004 Archives

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February 25, 2004

European Parliament Considers Warped Intellectual Property Directive

"EFF is urging its members to ask their MEPs to seek an amendment to the proposed European Intellectual Property Enforcement directive because it does not distinguish large-scale commercial infringement and counterfeiting enterprises from unintentional, non-commercial infringement by individuals," said EFF Staff Attorney Gwen Hinze. "If the European Parliament adopts this directive, a person who unwittingly infringes copyright -- even if it has no effect on the market -- could potentially have her assets seized, bank accounts frozen, and home invaded." [EFF: Press]

February 24, 2004

Google, EFF rally in trademark case

[CNET News.com]

U.S. Still Mining Terror Data

When Congress deep-sixed the Total Information Awareness program for fear it would compromise individual privacy, the government simply moved its research to various intelligence offices. [Wired News]

February 10, 2004

Using Whois to Enforce Law? - CircleID

A good article attempting to explain the fallacy of using Whois in a manner that it was never intended for.

Before starting I'd like to remind you that there are two distinct Whois systems -- the one for IP address delegations and one for DNS registrations. I believe that the former is a useful system in which there are clear utility values that outweigh the privacy costs, and in which the person whose privacy is exposed has made a knowing choice. I do not believe that these arguments apply to the latter, the DNS, form of Whois. [CircleID]

February 06, 2004

Even Big Companies Forget...

Big and serious oops. The Washington Post forgot to renew its domain name, and, as is typical for non payment, Network Solutions pulled the plug. But before you think YOU can become washpost.com, keep in mind that you won't get very far, since NSI and other registrars don't always make domain names for major organizations available immediately upon expiration.

More information available from US News who didn't let its domain name expire.

February 05, 2004

Share this MP3 (MGM v. Grokster)

Also found on Wendy's Blog. There isn't much more to be said. Listen to the MP3

Here's an MP3 of yesterday's fantastic oral argument in MGM v. Grokster, before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It's public domain, so share freely on the peer-to-peer networks whose legality Fred von Lohmann and Mike Page eloquently defend.

[Wendy: The Blog]

Enhanced Penalties for Privacy

A thought provoking article by Wendy Seltzer. Well worth the read.

Talk about false and misleading identification information, the recently introduced Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act should really be called the "Slam the First Amendment Act." It bumps the penalties for trademark or copyright infringement to "willful" levels -- that's up to $150,000 in statutory damages per copyright infringement -- for the mere connection of the infringement to a domain name registered with false information. Never mind that using false information in the address or telephone number fields may be the only way for individuals to protect their privacy; or that the First Amendment rights to anononymous speech may depend on the ability to register a name with "false" pseudonymous contacts. Would Publius be slammed as a willful infringer if someone claimed that the Federalist Papers took a few too many quotations from other sources?

The maximum imprisonment other- wise provided by law for a felony offense shall be increased by 7 years if, in furtherance of that offense, the defendant knowingly provided material and misleading false contact information to a domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority in connection with a domain name registration.

Thomas Roessler blogs the hearing and Susan Crawford goes into more detail on the bill.

[Wendy: The Blog]

Privacy Alert: Watch Out For FOISA

What fun. If it's not broke, break it.

This morning, at 10 am in 2141 Rayburn, the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property is holding a hearing on "Internet Domain Name Fraud -- New Criminal and Civil Enforcement Tools." At that hearing, the Subcommittee will be considering a new Whois bill creating new penalties for people who provide false data when registering a domain name. We need to raise our collective eyebrows at this bill (which was suddenly dropped the evening before this hearing).... [CircleID]