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‘Hostel’ director slams Go Daddy CEO

Kevin Murphy, March 31, 2011, Domain Services

Okay, this is getting weird.

Eli Roth, director of Hostel – one of the sickest horror films of recent years – has criticized Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons for his controversial elephant-hunting video.

In a series of Twitter posts last night, Roth condemned Parsons for his video, saying, among other things: “It’s sick fucks like you that make me think Hostel could really happen.”

If you haven’t seen Hostel, it’s basically about an Eastern European gang that lets wealthy Americans torture and murder kidnapped backpackers in exchange for a hefty fee.

It’s just about as grim a movie as you could imagine.

Here’s a screenshot of some of Roth’s tweets.

Eli Roth tweets

Compounding the weirdness, Roth was later retweeted by Russell Crowe.

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Porn affiliate network to shun .xxx

Kevin Murphy, March 31, 2011, Domain Registries

The Free Speech Coalition has announced support for its .xxx boycott from what looks to be a significant player in the porn affiliate network market.

Gamma Entertainment, which runs programs such as LiveBucks.com, said it plans to defensively register some of its brands in .xxx.

But for every dollar the company spends with ICM Registry, it also plans to make a matching donation to the top-level domain’s opponents, such as the FSC.

Xbiz quotes Gamma president Karl Bernard: “Gamma is committed to using our resources to lead by example – by pledging our support in the efforts to combat ICM’s .xxx.”

The company will continue to focus development on its .com web sites, according to the article.

The FSC announced its boycott earlier this week, to signal its objection to ICANN’s approval of the TLD.

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Short .tel domains coming June 1

Kevin Murphy, March 31, 2011, Domain Registries

Telnic, the .tel registry, is to start selling short and numeric .tel domain names from June 1.

The company announced today that two-character and numeric-only .tel domains will first be subject to a premium-price landrush, followed by general availability from June 14.

It’s the first time you’ll be able to register domains containing only numerals, but you won’t be able to register anything with more than seven digits, including hyphens.

This would presumably rule out phone numbers including area codes in most if not all places.

All two-letter strings that correspond to existing country-code top-level domains are also reserved, as are all one-letter strings, whether they be numeric or alphabetic.

The release follows Telnic’s moderately controversial request to ICANN to liberalize its registration policies, which I previously covered here and here.

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New UDRP guidelines reflect unpredictability

Kevin Murphy, March 31, 2011, Domain Policy

Cybersquatting cases filed under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy have become less predictable, judging from complex new guidelines for adjudication panels.

The World Intellectual Property Organization has just published WIPO Overview 2.0, which sets out over 10 years of UDRP precedent for panelists to consider when deciding future cases.

The document is a must-read for domain investors and trademark holders.

Updated for the first time since 2005, it contains new sections covering developments such as registrar parking, automatically generated advertising and proxy/privacy services.

The Overview has quadrupled in length, from 5,000 to 20,000 words. With that, has come increased complexity. WIPO notes:

While predictability remains a key element of dispute resolution systems, neither this WIPO Overview nor prior panel decisions are binding on panelists, who will make their judgments in the particular circumstances of each individual proceeding.

The document reflects decisions already made, rather than creating new law, but as such it also reflects the tilting balance of the UDRP in favor of complainants.

For example, while the 2005 guidelines presented majority and minority views on whether [trademark]sucks.com domains meet the “confusing similarity” criterion, Overview 2.0 presents only a “consensus view” that they do, suggesting that it is now settled law.

On whether parking a domain with PPC ads meets the “legitimate interests” criterion, the guidelines refer to precedent saying that the ads must not capitalize on a trademark:

As an example of such permissible use, where domain names consisting of dictionary or common words or phrases support posted PPC links genuinely related to the generic meaning of the domain name at issue, this may be permissible and indeed consistent with recognized sources of rights or legitimate interests under the UDRP, provided there is no capitalization on trademark value

Supporting this view, the Overview states that “bad faith” can be shown even if the domain owner does not control the content of their parked pages and makes no money from the ads:

Panels have found that a domain name registrant will normally be deemed responsible for content appearing on a website at its domain name, even if such registrant may not be exercising direct control over such content – for example, in the case of advertising links appearing on an “automatically” generated basis… It may not be necessary for the registrant itself to have profited directly under such arrangement

There is a defense to this, if the respondent can show they had no knowledge of the complainant’s trademark and made no effort to control or profit from the ads.

Because the UDRP calls for “registration and use in bad faith”, the guidelines also ask: “Can bad faith be found if the disputed domain name was registered before the trademark was registered or before unregistered trademark rights were acquired?”

The original guidelines said no, with a carve-out for cases where the squatter anticipated, for example, a future corporate merger (microsoftgoogle.com) or product release (ipad4.com).

The new guidelines are a lot less clear, calling it a “developing area of UDRP jurisprudence”. The document lists several cases where panelists have chosen to essentially set aside the registration date and concentrate instead just on bad faith usage.

The question of whether a renewed domain counts as a new registration is also addressed, and also has a couple of exceptions to give panelists more flexibility in the decisions.

The Overview covers a lot of ground – 46 bullet points compared to 26 in the first version – and will no doubt prove invaluable reading for people filing or fighting UDRP cases.

The guidelines are not of course set in stone. The 2005 version read:

The UDRP does not operate on a strict doctrine of precedent. However, panels consider it desirable that their decisions are consistent with prior panel decisions dealing with similar fact situations. This ensures that the UDRP system operates in a fair, effective and predictable manner for all parties

But the new version adds a caveat to the end of the sentence: “while responding to the continuing evolution of the domain name system.”

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Kevin Murphy, March 31, 2011, Domain Services

Too many ideas, not enough time.

These are some of the stories I would have covered today, if only there were more hours in the day.

Joan Rivers dies after head transplant surgery

UK government banishes cybercrime sites to .au

Transparency review calls for ICANN reality show

UDRP panelist returns Taiwan to China

Bob Parsons shoots BigJumbo CEO

“Pigeon shit” blamed for Playboy plague

Hank Alvarez named ICANN compliance chief

Constantine Roussos says DNS needs “more cowbell”

NATO apologizes for Bit.ly bombing

Blacknight unveils leprechaun mascot

RIAA says .so domains “haven for piracy”

DomainTools merges with DomainJerks

BBC to apply for .cotton

ICANN successfully delays heat death of universe

Parsons apologizes, resurrects elephant

There’s at least 15 stupidly obscure in-jokes there. Probably more. How many did you “get” without Googling?

15 – Congratulations! You’re me. Or a potential future spouse. Call me!

10-14 – You truly are a domain name industry nerd, the depth and breadth of your knowledge covering both domaining and ICANN politicking. You’ve probably been to ICANN meetings and DomainFest. You should be both immensely proud and profoundly ashamed of yourself.

6-10 – I’m proud to have you as a reader. You’re exactly the type of well-balanced individual I’m hoping to attract to this site. Why not try visiting one of my advertisers and purchasing something?

1-5 – Must try harder! Your insight into the industry is sadly lacking. Perhaps consider subscribing to my RSS and Twitter feeds, which can be found at at the top of the left-hand sidebar, in order to bulk up your knowledge base.

0 — You appear to have visited this blog by mistake. Were you searching for “group porn”? I get a lot of hits for that. Nothing to see here, please move along.

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