ICANN's New Trademark 'Clearinghouse' Resembles Mobsters' 'Insurance' Program

from the nice-trademark-you've-got-here,-wouldn't-want-anything-to-happen-to-it dept

We've pointed out for years that ICANN's new "top level domains" programs often feel much more like a way to shake down trademark holders who feel the need to buy each and every new domain with their trademarked names, just to prevent anyone else from getting them. Now, ICANN has taken this a step further, streamlining the process by launching a "trademark clearinghouse" in which companies can register a trademark and get early access to "buy" all of the new top level domains with their mark before they reach the open market. Of course, "supporters" are pushing companies to join... and the pitch really does sound like your typical mob shakedown:
The clearinghouse "doesn't necessarily prevent trademark infringement or cybersquatting, but it does help trademark owners and brand owners somewhat in mitigating the damage that might occur," he added. "We've been telling brand owners it's not that expensive to protect themselves and they ought to do it."
I mean, paying the local mob boss "doesn't necessarily prevent anyone from breaking your windows, but it does help in mitigating the likelihood that damage might occur." And "it's not that expensive to protect yourself, so you ought to do it."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2013 @ 9:00am

    So the government is wasting their time going after hackers (who they can already charge with 35-50 years) for racketeering but allow businesses to do it?


    Welcome to the Corporate States of America! Land of the fee!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Coogan (profile), Mar 28th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    The clearinghouse "doesn't necessarily prevent trademark infringement or cybersquatting, but it does help trademark owners and brand owners somewhat in mitigating the damage that might occur," he added. "We've been telling brand owners it's not that expensive to protect themselves and they ought to do it."

    That's a real nice looking trademark you got there. It'd a shame if something were to happen to it....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    technomage (profile), Mar 28th, 2013 @ 9:32am

    I'll make you an offer you can't refuse on .COM, .ORG, .NET, .US, .MOBI, ...

    For your Protection of course!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Mar 28th, 2013 @ 9:32am

    Hand over power to a corporation and it's criminal.

    Yet more evidence against corporatism, as if any was needed, but we'll never get Mike against the obvious general principle, only harping on the few corporations which he deems mis-use power. This one happens to be a unique monopoly so should be tightly regulated right out in the open (and trademark incursions dealt with according to general trademark principles), which I suppose is why Mike is stirred to criticism. But he's not at all concerned with, oh, just first name springs to mind, Google getting its code onto nearly every web page in the world with clear intent of monopoly in web advertising.

    And yes, Google IS related because like every corporation, if Google could exercise full monopoly power and outright steal, it would. It's iron law: power will be wielded as much as can get away with. Corporations are totally amoral, hide behind statutes that make their prime responsibility to get yet more unearned income for the tiny few who own stock, and public be damned.

    Whether it's "Hollywood" or ICANN or Google, corporations always act exactly Mike as shows here: a fictional person shielded from any responsibility to serve the public, end up as shakedowns for re-distribution schemes for The Rich.

    And that's the rest of the story, the part that Mike always leaves out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2013 @ 9:36am

    That's a nice trademark you got there, it'd be a shame if something were to happen to it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    technomage (profile), Mar 28th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    ootb you swing more than a hot swinger at a sex party. Sitting on the fence complaining about both sides' grass color is only gonna get you butthurt.

    First it was 'Filthy Pirates' when people stick it to the corps, now it's 'Filthy Corps' when they stick it back to the people.

    One of these days, you are gonna have to choose a side, otherwise you are no better than the 'sheeple' you always preach about.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2013 @ 9:49am

    Re:

    Tonight you'll be sleeping with the phishers...


    (...because they registered 'yourdomain.crud' and are using it to scam your users)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2013 @ 9:50am

    Easy solution. Coca-cola for example, sues Icann for trademark infringement if it sells "coke.[whatever]"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 28th, 2013 @ 10:11am

    Re:

    Coca-cola for example, sues Icann for trademark infringement if it sells "coke.[whatever]"
    What? Even if they sell it to a columbian drug dealer?
    Either way, despicable though ICANN's (government aided) practices are, the idea of them being responsible for protecting someone else's trademarks is about as sensible as holding an ISP or phone company responsible for data customers put over their infrastructure. Or holding an electricity supplier liable for the drug lab their supply powers...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2013 @ 10:17am

    I(CANN) sell 'coke.cane'!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 28th, 2013 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Hand over power to a corporation and it's criminal.

    And that's the rest of the story, the part that Mike always leaves out.


    Where is the rest of the story you leave out?

    You seem to advocate for a redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor, but never say how you would achieve that.

    Are you going to penalize people for becoming TOO successful? Who is going to determine what is too much income, you?

    Are you going to penalize corporations for becoming to big? Once again, who decides what is too big, you?

    Or would you replace our current capitalistic economy with something different? Something like Socialism? Do you want us all to be working for the state-owned entities? That didn't work out so well in Russia, you know.

    Come on Blue, enlighten us. Tell us how you would run the world if you were actually something more than just some anonymous guy in the internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2013 @ 9:53pm

    The thing is, I would actually rather pay protection money to the Mafia. If the mob really worked like insurance companies, it would go like this:
    "Godfather, the Rosetti Brothers burned down my store! They beat up my brother, insulted the memory of my sister's cat. For years I pay you money, and now I only ask that you teach them a lesson."

    "Hold on, let me check the policy. Well, I can beat up one Rosetti brother, but you have to beat up the first 4 yourself. Also you lose your no-claims bonus."

    (Thanks to comedian Mark Steel for that one.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Mar 31st, 2013 @ 3:05pm

    Re:

    One of these days, you are gonna have to choose a side, otherwise you are no better than the 'sheeple' you always preach about.

    His side is "not Mike's", even when it's an article he agrees with. Almost makes you wonder if The Anti-Mike is back.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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