Free Expression Threatened by Policy to Ban Controversial Ideas in Domain Names

By |May 30th, 2007|

ICANN’s current proposal for evaluating new top-level domains will result in massive censorship on the Internet, since controversial or offensive ideas will not be allowed in a top-level domain. And the proposal vastly expands the rights of large trademark holders to control the use of language on the Internet, well beyond what US or international trademark law grants to trademark owners. ICANN’s historical practice of deferring to the intellectual property lobby in setting global domain name policy has consistently provided ammunition to those who would question ICANN’s legitimacy and its ability to govern in the global public interest. ICANN will continue to grapple with a perception of illegitimacy, particularly from the developing world, as long as it operates for the benefit of narrow special interests, while disregarding fundamental freedoms in its policy development process. For ICANN to remain the appropriate international forum to be entrusted with managing the Internet’s root server, ICANN must stick to its narrow technical mission and keep the core neutral on national policy issues.

ICANN Board Vote Signals Era of Censorship in Domain Names

By |April 2nd, 2007|

"While Friday's vote was specific to the application for a .XXX domain name space, the Board Members' vote signals their position as to whether they are comfortable with ICANN expanding its mission to become a regulator of online human behavior. By voting to turn down the .XXX application for public policy reasons, the Board indicated it will go beyond its technical mission of DNS coordination and seek to decide what ideas are allowed to be given a voice in the new domain name space. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be impossible for any idea that is politically or culturally controversial to be permitted a new domain name space by ICANN. ICANN is setting itself up as an institution of censorship and subordination to the conflicting goals of governments...."

Milton Mueller & Bruce Tonkin Discuss Censorship and New gTLD Policy

By |April 2nd, 2007|

>>MILTON MUELLER: And I think that's tragic, that you are basically saying -- you are creating a political process of censorship. You're sort of abandoning 300 years of liberal ideology about freedom of expression and saying that we are going to decide what is allowed to be uttered at the top level based on an alleged universality that doesn't exist. And I would just remind you that one of the ways that we ended several centuries of religious warfare was not by deciding which religion was right; it was by the principle of tolerance, which allowed all the religions to exist and separated state power from expression and conscious and belief. And that's, I'd suggest, a direction we have to go. ....

ICANN Board Member Susan Crawford’s Remarks on Vote to Prevent .xxx Domain Name Space Application

By |April 2nd, 2007|

Excellent comments on new gTLD process: "... I note as a side point that such a requirement in the U.S. would violate the first amendment to our Constitution. But this content-related censorship should not be ICANN's concern and ICANN should not allow itself to be used as a private lever for government chokepoint content control by making up reasons to avoid the creation of such a TLD in the first place. To the extent there are public policy concerns with this TLD, they can be dealt with through local laws. ... We should be examining generic TLD applicants on the basis of their technical and financial strength. We should avoid dealing with content concerns to the maximum extent possible. We should be opening up new TLDs. ..."

Chinese Govt. tells IGF: “We do not have [Internet] restrictions at all” & IGF Questions Balance of IPR in Cyberspace

By |October 31st, 2006|

The inaugural meeting of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF) hosted lively discussion during today's "Openness" session, which focused on online freedom of expression, the free flow of information, and access to knowledge. During the session, a representative from the government of China had the audacity to tell a room of 800 IGF participants that China doesn't restrict access to websites. The audience hissed with disapproval upon hearing this massive bold-face lie and several people even shouted out "liar" in a number of languages. Read more and see video clips...

Circumvention Prohibitions Reconsidered: Why America’s Mistake is Europe’s Future

By |July 6th, 2004|

Circumvention Prohibitions Reconsidered:
Why America’s Mistake is Europe’s Future
By Robin D. Gross, IP Justice
I.  US and EU Pressured to Outlaw Consumer Circumvention
Today lawmakers all over the world are both dreaming of the opportunities and grappling with the challenges that digital technology creates for authors and distributors of intellectual property.  At the same time, consumers express excitement […]

DeCSS Litigation Timeline (Hollywood’s war on DVD software and consumers)

By |February 27th, 2004|

DeCSS Litigation Timeline

Below is a table that outlines Hollywood’s various legal battles to outlaw DeCSS software.

v. Mathew Pavlovich
Filed by DVD-CCAIn California State Courts under trade secret misappropriation claim.(Jurisdictional question).

v. Andrew Bunner
Filed by DVD-CCAIn California State Courts under trade secret misappropriation claim.(First Amendment issue).

v. 2600 Magazine
Filed by Eight Hollywood movie studios in NY Federal Court under […]

IP Justice Statement to German Judicial Committee on Proposed Legislation to Implement Technological Circumvention Prohibitions

By |January 28th, 2003|

IP Justice statement to the German Judicial Committee regarding the proposed legislation to implement European Union Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC) (view as .pdf)

28 January 2003

By Robin D. Gross