"If copyright isn't about control, what is it about?"
Consider this quote from Justice Stewart: The immediate effect of our copyright law is to secure a fair return to an "author's" creative labor. But the ultimate aim is, by this incentive, to stimulate artistic creativity for the general public good. "The sole interest of the United States and the primary object in conferring the monopoly," this Court has said, "lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors."
Copyright always involves finding a balance between providing an economic incentive to create new works and the detrimental effect of limiting the public's ability to access and use such works. The emphasis seems to have shifted toward providing an economic incentive to the copyright holder (not necessarily the individual author) as opposed to encouraging the dissemination of an author's work for the benefit of the public.
Most if not all of the changes to US copyright law in recent times have essentially been written by the major copyright industries for their own benefit. As a result, the balance struck by the current law strongly favors the economic rights of the copyright holder over any public benefit that may be derived from the creation of new works.
Additionally, US copyright law has an extremely limited "moral rights" provision. This would be the part of the law that actually gives an author the right to control how his or her work is used (even after relinquishing the copyright). This would seem to suggest that copyright law in the US is about something other than control.
I don't really see a conflict here. Judge Kosinski's ruling in the Lexus case clearly states that sites like eTrademark.com will generally suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder. He specifically states that "the addition of 'e' merely indicates the electronic version of the brand."
In my opinion, the anti-dilution statute is not trademark law at its best, but Orr does not seem to have presented much of a defense beyond "I did not intend to dilute the Visa trademark." Intent isn't an issue in the context of dilution, actual dilution isn't even required - the likelihood of dilution is enough (intentional or not).
It seems to me that if Orr had qualified the characters comprising the Visa trademark with anything in addition to the simple "e," he would have prevailed.
Judge Kosinski seems to be open to fair use in the trademark context - which is great. But, you have to give him something to work with. Now we know that "trademark-USA.com" and "eTrademark.com" are not going to be considered fair use in his court.
I do question Judge Kosinski's inclusion of "trademark-of-glendale.com" as being of the type that does not pass muster for nominal fair use. It seems to me that if a business has the right to use a nationally protected mark within a certain geographic location, which happens relatively often, then that business should be able to register a domain name exactly like trademark-of-specific geographiclocation.com."
Except that when the laws are understood as incentivizing creativity rather than promoting sharing, the result is a tendency to favor monetary rewards for creativity over promoting progress for the public benefit. I am not arguing against financial rewards for creative efforts, I am just saying that the the underlying purpose of the law is to encourage the sharing of creative works as opposed to encouraging an increase in the production of creative works.
My understanding is that the limited monopolies granted under the copyright and patent laws were intended to promote progress in the arts and sciences by encouraging artists and inventors to share their work with the public - not to incentivize creativity.
This article makes me happy. I am glad to hear that at least some people are pushing back against the use of terms like "cyberterrorism" and "cyberwar."
It is becoming clear that at some point in the near future, the US is going to have to get out of - or at least minimize our presence in - Afghanistan. The only way the US military-industrial complex can continue to operate at its current bloated and inflated rate is by finding/creating a new war/niche market. How else can the powers-that-be continue to justify a defense budget of $700 Billion per year - especially with the economy in its current dismal state.