Essay Title: 

Domain Names as internet properties

March 28, 2016 | Author: | Posted in history, latin-american studies

Domain Names as Internet Properties

What are your long term plans for your domain name ? Do you expect to convey the name and the goodwill associated with it to an interested buyer or bequeath it your heirs ? Perhaps you intend to use the domain name to secure a loan for a business expansion or for your child ‘s college tuition . You may be in for a surprise

The intellectual property community asserts that domain names , as source indicators , are akin to trademarks . However , trademark law cannot be effectively grafted on to domain [banner_entry_middle]

names because of the discrepancies over geographical boundaries and context-sensitive use . In for a trademark registration to issue , the mark must be used in interstate commerce to identify the source of a class of goods or services Identical trademarks can co-exist so long as they are associated with non-competing types of goods or services or are used in different geographic areas

Domain names are registered on a first-come , first-served basis . The first individual or company to complete the registration template for an available name gets the sole right to be associated with it . For a reasonable fee , currently hovering at 10 a year , the registrant can brand and propagate the name in a worldwide marketplace . The registrant receives the exclusive right to use that name for a website presence global e-mail , and network transfers

But every domain name must be unique , and it is this technical requirement that makes domain names potentially valuable resources which are substantively different from trademarks . Compaq Computer Corp paid 3 .35 million in July 1998 for rights to ALTAVISTA .COM , purchased from a California start-up called Alta Vista Technology . The transaction included existing traffic of a half million visitors a day who were already expecting to find the Alta Vista search engine at that domain name

As the price bar for domain names rises , NSI ‘s customers may resist being subject to the vagaries of the registrar ‘s feudal regime . Simple and unencumbered ownership endows the registrant with a type of predictable , if limited , sovereignty . Through legislation and judicial acknowledgment , registrants who meet certain individual responsibilities should be allowed a perpetually renewable and assignable right to enjoy this new source of wealth

Many domain names have become the cornerstone of multimillion-dollar business plans . In the fall of 1999 , VirtualVineyard of Palo Alto California , acquired Wine .Com of Napa , primarily for its domain name While the 3 .3M-plus acquisition included an operating business , the CEO of Wine .Com estimated that about 70 percent of his company ‘s value was its name

The current controversies over domain names highlight the interplay of technology , law , economics and politics . Court opinions trail society ‘s changes and conundrums resulting from technology of recent vintage . Yet nearly everyone agrees on one point : domain names are caught in a legal thicket . If domain names are property , then existing contracts such as NSI ‘s harsh Service Agreement must be rewritten . Although the implications of the Umbro decision are yet… [banner_entry_footer]

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