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Tag Archive for internet
How stupid does a company have to be to take an aggressive stance on a hugely controversial issue and then abruptly reverse itself — unconvincingly, to be sure — when customers start noticing? If you want to look like a gaggle of idiots, that’s perhaps the best way for a company to do it.
What was GoDaddy thinking?
Either the company had a valid reason to support SOPA — and I can think of some — or it did not. I will presume the company is less stupid and more gutless, so they had a good reason for supporting SOPA but lacked the guts to take fire when that position became known.
SOPA, depending on what side you are on, would either stop sales of counterfeit goods over the web or blow web security and privacy sky-high. While I support the noble goal stopping crime, technical troubles make SOPA unworkable. I have written elsewhere that the only way to effectively deal with piracy is to engineer a better or new Internet.
You have to wonder about the lack of corporate good sense that led GoDaddy into this mess. Did they think nobody would find out about their SOPA support or that customers wouldn’t care? Surely, they didn’t believe Internet enthusiast customers would actually welcome GoDaddy’s SOPA support?
More information at AmericanCensorship.org, including how to call your Congressman (calls will have more impact than emails).
Imagine a world in which any intellectual property holder can, without ever appearing before a judge or setting foot in a courtroom, shut down any website’s online advertising programs and block access to credit card payments. The credit card processors and the advertising networks would be required to take quick action against the named website; only the filing of a “counter notification” by the website could get service restored.
It’s the world envisioned by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) in today’s introduction of the Stop Online Piracy Act in the US House of Representatives. This isn’t some off-the-wall piece of legislation with no chance of passing, either; it’s the House equivalent to the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act, which would officially bring Internet censorship to the US as a matter of law.
Calling its plan a “market-based system to protect US customers and prevent US funding of sites dedicated to theft of US property,” the new bill gives broad powers to private actors. Any holder of intellectual property rights could simply send a letter to ad network operators like Google and to payment processors like MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal, demanding these companies cut off access to any site the IP holder names as an infringer.
The scheme is much like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) “takedown notices,” in which a copyright holder can demand some piece of content be removed from sites like YouTube with a letter. The content will be removed unless the person who posted the content objects; at that point, the copyright holder can decide if it wants to take the person to court over the issue.
Here, though, the stakes are higher. Rather than requesting the takedown of certain hosted material, intellectual property owners can go directly for the jugular: marketing and revenue for the entire site. So long as the intellectual property holders include some “specific facts” supporting their infringement claim, ad networks and payment processors will have five days to cut off contact with the website in question.
The scheme is largely targeted at foreign websites which do not recognize US law, and which therefore will often refuse to comply with takedown requests. But the potential for abuse—even inadvertent abuse—here is astonishing, given the terrifically outsized stick with which content owners can now beat on suspected infringers.
Informative videos on what SOPA is, below.
A forthcoming ruling by the board that approves Internet names and address could allow for countless new top level domain names such as “.coke,” to join the popular existing ones such as .com and .net domains.
Brand owners will soon be able to operate their own parts of the Web — such as .apple, .coke or .marlboro — after the biggest shake-up yet in how Internet domains are awarded.
After years of preparation and wrangling, ICANN, the body that coordinates Internet names, approved the move at a special board meeting in Singapore on Monday.
Prior to the vote, just 22 generic top-level domains (gTLDs) existed — .com, .org and .info are a few examples — plus about 250 country-level domains like .uk or .cn. After the change, several hundred new gTLDs are expected to be created.
Will people understand what the new “buy.iphone” domains are? Or is this move likely to bring back the “www” prefix which was just starting to fade away as irrelevant? Email and social messaging platforms like AOL’s Instant Messanger and Facebook already turn words with no space after a period into links, opening the doors for new possibilities for corporate domain squatters to take advantage of frequently made typos.
“We’re advising people to buy their brands, park them and redirect visitors to their existing site, at the very least,” says Hnarakis, whose more than 3,500 customers include Volvo, Lego and GlaxoSmithKline.
Applications for new domain names are likely to open in January for a 90-day period before closing again, potentially for years.
It will cost $185,000 to apply, and individuals or organizations will have to show a legitimate claim to the name they are buying. ICANN is taking on hundreds of consultants to whom it will outsource the job of adjudicating claims.
“The commercial participants are the most active, aggressive and articulate members of our society,” ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom told Reuters in a recent interview, saying trademark owners in particular were anxious about how the new regime would work.