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Internet Law Terminology

Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act or “ACPA”.  The ACPA is also known in as the Truth in Domain Names Act and authorizes a trademark owner to sue an alleged cybersquatter in U.S. federal court and obtain a court order transferring the domain name back to the trademark owner. In some cases, the cybersquatter must pay money damages.

Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section or CCIPS.   CCIPS  is responsible for combating computer and intellectual property crimes worldwide.  The Computer Crime Initiative is a comprehensive program designed to combat electronic penetrations, data thefts, and cyberattacks on critical information systems.  CCIPS prevents, investigates, and prosecutes computer crimes by working with other government agencies, the private sector, academic institutions, and foreign counterparts.  Report cybercrimes to CCIPS.

Computer Privacy. In general, the term privacy implies the ability to control information one reveals about oneself over the Internet and the ability to control who can access that information.  Because there is a recognized lack of uniformity in privacy laws or because the Internet is global with multiple jurisdictions, each domain or web site may post a Privacy Policy that sets forth it own policy regarding how the privacy of each web site user will be handled.  For example, a Privacy Policy typically addresses how multimedia content or other information, whether voluntarily or involuntarily shared, by a user will be communicated over the Internet.

Cyber law.   It is the law that governs world wide web and inter-networked information technology.  Cyber law covers many areas of law and regulation including intellectual property, freedom of expression (e.g., “free speech), privacy and jurisdiction (e.g., choice of law, conflicts of law, etc.).

Cyberethics or Cybercitizenship.

Cyberethics or Cybercitizenship. refers to Internet Safety, Security and Responsibility

Cyber-squatting. United States law defines cyber-squatting as “registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad-faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.” Cybersquatters tend to have little use for these domain names, except to resell them and turn a profit against a legitimate business or trademark owner.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act or “DMCA”.  The DMCA is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as Digital Rights Management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works and it also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.

Domain Name Warehousing. This is the practice of domain name registrars “holding” expired domains instead of releasing them back into the public domain.  By preventing certain domains from being released, the registrar sometimes tries to resell the domains to the previous registrant or a new registrant at a higher rate than the market price.

Grace Period Violations.  Also known as domain name “kiting” or “tasting,” this practice occurs when a registrant registers a domain name for a temporary purpose, but then takes advantage of the domain purchase grace period to reject more permanent ownership.

Gripe web site or “Gripe Site”. A Gripe Site is a web site registered by an unhappy domain name owner to complain or otherwise express opinions about a particular company and/or the registrant’s dissatisfaction with a product or service.  While the content expressing unhappiness is likely protected by the First Amendment, the domain name may dilute or infringe the company’s trademarks.

Reverse Cyber-squatting. Reverse cyber-squatting occurs when a trademark holder attempts to wrestle a domain name from someone that lawfully registered the name at an earlier point in time.

Second Level Domain Name Disputes or “SLD”. An SLD on the world wide web is the name or text that is typically to the left of a top level domain (TLD).  For example, you are currently reading a page on http://www.patent-trademark-law.com.  In this case, the “.com” is the top level domain, but the “patent-trademark-law” is the second level domain, because is specifies which site to visit of all of the “.coms” available online.

Subdomains.  Similar to second level domain names, a subdomain dispute refers to the use of a mark in the very first portion of the domain.  For example, if our web site used the address Xerox@patent-trademark-law.com (merely an example), Xerox® may potentially have an infringement claim against Bambi Faivre Walters, PC.

Typo-squatting. A typo-squatter is one who registers a domain name with a common typographical error in order to attempt to divert traffic to a site that benefits the registrant, for instance “microsotf.com” to take advantage of people who intended to visit the Microsoft® website, but misspelled the domain name in their web browser.  This practice, also known as “URL hijacking” or “web address hacking” and takes advantage of the good name of the domain owner to send visitors somewhere else.

Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy or UDRP.  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) established this mandatory dispute resolution procedure for the resolution of disputes regarding the registration of domain names. The UDRP currently applies to all .biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, and .org top-level domains, and some country code top-level domains.  A complainant in a UDRP proceeding must establish three elements to succeed:

  • The domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
  • The registrant does not have any rights or legitimate interests in the domain name; and
  • The registrant registered the domain name and is using it in “bad faith.”

Uniform Resource Locator or URL.  A domain name or web site address is known as the “uniform resource locator” or “URL.”  The domain name actually consists of a series of numbers that are used to identify a specific computer connected to the world wide web.  A domain name is an internet protocol address (“IP address”) made of a string of four sets of numbers separated by periods such as “206.110.241.01.”  The IP address is similar to a telephone number in that it can be used to send and receive electronic communications to and from the IP address.

Last Modified: December 5th, 2009