Monday, September 12, 2005

UN Confiscates American's Registered Web Domain

Some distasteful fellow apparently registered the website fatalbert.org and used it to direct people to a commercial site that sells sex toys and such. As you would expect, Bill Cosby made a ruckus.

Bill Cosby has a right to keep his creations free from association with possibly immoral products. Unfortunately, Mr Cosby complained to the World Intellectual Property Organization. This WIPO is an arm of the UN. Who, may I ask, gave the International Organization of Evil any rights to arbitrate anything related to the American invented internet and web? No one, of course. Did these Turtle Bay Tyrants self-appoint WIPO as the law on who owns what? What does American law say? I believe that those who register first own the name.

As a result of the distasteful registrant's lack of response to the complaint, this tin-pot group ruled that he had no right to the fatalbert.org site and awarded the domain name to Bill Cosby.

The story goes on to say that, "Anyone can register a domain name for as little as a few dollars. The arbitration system, which started in 1999, allows those who think they have the right to a domain to claim it without a costly court battle or payment of large fees to buy the name. Critics say the system favors trademark holders and not individuals who also may have legitimate rights to the names for parody, criticism and other purposes."

Indeed, a person can't really copyright a name can they? Who started this arbitration system? Who assents to their rulings? How do they enforce their decrees? Is this scheme just a way for the powerful and famous to bully a domain name from some lone blogger or sole proprietor who has the same name as some internationally known half=witted actress or hack writer? I certainly hope not, but with UN involvement, I fear the tendencies of that group towards evildoing means this group does exactly that.

Perhaps a follow up post is called for.


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