Domain Name Wars

Domain Name Wars

By Go to networksolutions.com, or register.com and type in a word/phrase like ‘ilovewindows.com’ (I Love Windows, if you couldn’t figure it out), if its available you can purchase the domain name. Set-up a Web site showing how much you love double-pane windows (kinda weird, but its your right).

Go to networksolutions.com, or register.com and type in a word/phrase like ‘ilovewindows.com’ (I Love Windows, if you couldn’t figure it out), if its available you can purchase the domain name. Set-up a Web site showing how much you love double-pane windows (kinda weird, but its your right). A couple months goes buy and you get a letter from WIPO (World Intellectual Property organization) stating that you are to give up your domain name to Microsoft because they own the trademark on the word Windows.

Don’t believe this can’t happen, it does everyday to people like you and me.

Go to the Web site www.barcelona.com and you can read the latest news from Spain, buy jewelry and check out the Spanish weather.

But maybe not for much longer, because the WIPO has ordered the New York company that runs the site to hand over the domain name to Barcelona’s city council. The city claimed the web site was being used in bad faith. The WIPO agreed with the city, ruling that a “non-official” city site whose confuse the public, who would expect to find the official city site at the domain.

The Barcelona.com decision is not a isolated case. The WIPO have made several questionable decisions over the past few months, including orders transferring the generic domain crew.com to J. Crew, and corinthians.com, a book of the Bible, to a Brazilian soccer team.

Since the system was introduced last December, WIPO has received 1,110 complaints about domain names. Of the 525 cases completed by August, almost 80 percent of decisions went in favor of the complainant.

Winners at WIPO have including names like Microsoft, Yahoo! and Motorola. Actress Julia Roberts won the rights to juliaroberts.com and pop star Madonna is waiting to hear if she will get control of madonna.com.

Here’s the problem I have, how many Julia Roberts are in the world?, why does the famous, rich Julia Roberts get the domain name. Also, 275 worldwide trademarks incorporate the word ‘Madonna’, including 75 federal and state trademarks in the United States and Canada alone. There are 87 active Web sites using ‘Madonna’ in their Web address, including the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital’s site at madonna.org. But Madonna the singer should get the domain name (somethings very wrong about that).

Here’s another example, type in mikesmith.com and you’ll see a Web site for a realtor named Mike Smith. Should all the Mike Smiths (including the 15 in the Rockford phonebook) be able to file a complaint and sue this Mike Smith just because he bought the domain name first.

Let’s get real, it’s called FREE ENTERPRISE, if you don’t like it, buy yournamehere.net, .org, .cc, .ws, .tv, etc, or maybe change your name (that might be easier!)

Check out the Web site tldlobby.com for more information on online free speech and wipo.org for a list of all the on-going domain name disputes.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at questions@iwebwerks.com

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