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The Courts Government News

IFPI Domain Dispute Likely to Go To Court 90

fgaliegue writes "Ars Technica has a follow-up on the domain takeover by The Pirate Bay. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry,, is quite unhappy that the .com is now a link to the (still not live) International Federation of Pirates Interests. The domain has been free as soon as March of this year, according to WebArchive. Nevertheless, the "real" IFPI wants to take it to the WIPO under the accusation of cybersquatting."
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IFPI Domain Dispute Likely to Go To Court

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  • by tietokone-olmi ( 26595 ) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @09:08AM (#21062445)
    They're putting it to good use, right? Besides, claims of squatting would sound rather strange considering had lapsed in March already, and they're only twitching now that it's become a mite embarrassing.

    Still, one shouldn't underestimate the potential for corruption in organizations like the WIPO. Especially since they have their hands in the large and varied jar of "intellectual property".
  • by RaigetheFury ( 1000827 ) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @09:10AM (#21062457) []

    First, the premise behind Cybersquatting is to obtain money or some other form of compensation. The Pirate Bay has no intention and no desire to obtain any compensation from them. While the site being made may be satirical or "nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah" in focus... it's still not cybersquatting.

    Looks like someone forgot to pay for the domain, the name lapsed and somebody picked it up then gave it to Pirate Bay. And unless the law changes... Pirate Bay wins.
  • by Undead Ed ( 1068120 ) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @09:23AM (#21062513)
    I applaud Pirate Bay their sense of irony and their sense of humor!

    Now if we could just get a photograph of Mickey Mouse smoking a dube.

  • by mazarin5 ( 309432 ) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @09:45AM (#21062603) Journal
    Is shooting up in the middle of an orgy [] good enough?
  • by julesh ( 229690 ) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @10:08AM (#21062701)

    However, IANAL, and but they can probably convince some judge of part (iii) and (iv) below.
    (iii) you have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or

    The IFPI is not a business. Pirate Bay is not its competitor. This clearly doesn't apply.

    (iv) by using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a product or service on your web site or location.

    This is harder. However, the site has a prominent link to along with a disclaimer pointing out that they are not affiliated. Such disclaimers and links have, I believe, been successful in the past at protecting against claims under this term.

    I think TPB have a fairly good case to keep the domain.
  • Re:Pretty Cheesy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mike89 ( 1006497 ) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @11:39AM (#21063277)

    I do not think this would be a good idea (for TPB), since it would strengthen the argument that TPB just wanted to rip off the (old) IPFI.
    Correct, this would not be a good idea. See Mike Rowe Soft []

    Relevant quote:

    He responded, asking instead for $10,000. However, in doing this, he unwittingly fulfilled one of the criteria for proving a bad faith domain registration as set out in the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy; namely, that as Rowe had offered to sell the domain name to the company for profit, it was considered evidence that he had no right or legitimate interest in the domain name.
  • by TheVelvetFlamebait ( 986083 ) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @12:09PM (#21063547) Journal

    The Pirate Bay and others like it are fighting a battle where the clashing ideologies are essentially based on who has a right to make how much money. The *AA believe they have the right to profit the most from music and have the system of law to back them up. The opposing group believes that this system of law squelches art and freedom and may well eventually destroy the ability of the artist to have music, movies or other art distributed in a fair manner to the masses.
    Agreed so far. There has been certain doubt been shown about certain parties of both sides, and the altruism of their intentions, but I'm happy to take them on face value so far. (Oh good. Someone who's prepared to debate rationally!)

    Since there is a body of law in question, the issue is not so simple as just two groups arguing, the one without the legal backing must by definition break the laws in order to do what they feel is ethically right. It is immoral and unethical to follow a bad law, and they believe the laws concerning copyright are bad ones.
    No, I disagree. I believe that civil disobedience is highly immoral most of the time. This is a democracy, you do have a voice, you can change the laws. All you need to do is convince people that this is a problem that needs fixing, and no matter how much lobbying goes on, a politician simply isn't going to get work unless they address the issue. Of course, it's hard and takes a long time, but it's no excuse just to ignore the law, and hope that before you get punished, they change it. Civil disobedience only works when democracy isn't present or has failed so much that the will of the people is making no difference. It is important, though, to realise that a people who are apathetic to your cause don't represent oppression against you. It just shows that, well, no-one cares about your specific problem.

    I also find civil disobedience highly selfish, because you're refusing to play by society's rules to your benefit and often to the detriment of others. Civil disobedience may seem like a righteous cause, but it's rather infuriating to be on the other side of. For example, I once expressed my opinions on driving on Slashdot, about how I drive on or below the speed limit (on it if people want me to go fast), and how I don't mind which lane I'm in when I do it. IIRC, I received two death threats, and a few people trying to convince me that not only is it immoral, but somehow illegal. My example wasn't civil disobedience so much as civil obedience, and Slashdotters did not like it.

    Radiohead and make convincing arguments that the current system does in fact depress creative and free expression.
    Not as far as I can tell. They just seem to be running a music business independent of the RIAA. They don't seem to be making any arguments, let alone convincing ones. The business who's making the arguments is the PirateBay, who constantly claims it's for free expression, which just gets on my nerves. They champion extremist libertarianism, where despite all the evidence and reasoning in favour of copyrights, they maintain will somehow be good for art. They come off sounding as extreme as Sony does when its representatives claim that ripping a CD is stealing. I'm all for them arguing, but they are going ahead and undermining copyrights, and they've managed to do so from a legally defensible position. They know what they're helping to do, they know what most of their users are doing, and that it's illegal in most countries (including their own), but they also know that they're legal. I think it's a tragedy.

    [Mods: I've had too many of my posts modded down today by people who don't like discussions to contain opposing viewpoints. Please just leave me alone if you don't agree. Thanks in advance]
  • by Sancho ( 17056 ) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @01:04PM (#21064017) Homepage
    Guess I hit 'submit' too quickly--how's that for a political joke?

    I wanted to add that your views on civil disobedience, particularly the selfish nature of them, are skewed. Most people who cry "civil disobedience!" aren't enacting true civil disobedience. It's not just about breaking the law that you feel is unjust. It's about dealing with the consequences, and using the attention you get from those consequences to fuel your cause and get people on your side.

    If I pirate a movie, that's not civil disobedience. If I pirate a movie, get caught, refuse to pay the fine, go to court, refuse to pay out THERE, and get thrown in jail, that's civil disobedience. Folding the second you're offered a settlement so that you can get on with your life is just getting caught and trying to get out of trouble.

    True civil disobedience is a huge gambit. You're risking your future and your freedom for a cause you believe in. I daresay that no one who promotes copyright-infringement disobedience really cares that much about copyright reform--they just use that to justify their actions.

    They champion extremist libertarianism, where despite all the evidence and reasoning in favour of copyrights, they maintain will somehow be good for art. They come off sounding as extreme as Sony does when its representatives claim that ripping a CD is stealing.
    There isn't a lot of evidence and reasoning in favour of copyrights now. We live in a very prosperous age where few people have to work 16 hours/day in order to survive. In an age like this, where there is a lot of leisure time, art can flourish without the protection that copyright offers. We also have easy access to tools which can be used to make high-quality art and an unlimited distribution mechanism, both of which used to be very hard to do. Without this, copyright makes sense, because it's really quite hard to make and promote your product. But with computers and the Internet, anyone with an idea can basically create their work and promote it. Remember, promotion of the arts is the reason for copyright, not so that one can earn money off of their creativity. Being able to earn money was the original way that the arts were expected to be promoted, since writing a book or creating a painting would take a long time, and people just couldn't afford to create while working in the fields all day. Times have changed, but instead of copyright laws lessening (which they should given the times in which we are living), copyright is becoming more strict. It is wrong, based upon the entire basis for copyright.
  • Who's arguing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ancientt ( 569920 ) <> on Sunday October 21, 2007 @03:25PM (#21065165) Homepage Journal

    Sancho: You have some valid points. It isn't that democracy itself is bad, but rather that the people who have the most control of the government, and the laws created by the government, are not for the most part in the control of the people supposedly represented. If you educate 10,000 people about the issue, then get their opinions, I'd be shocked to hear that most of them think the current system of content distribution is fair. If the will of the people, as determined by an educated majority were to actually be followed by the legislative branch and enforced, then The Pirate Bay would have to change their name.

    It is by this definition that I call the the body of law bad from TPB's perspective. I'm don't think I have the education to make that call myself. The problem with law and government is that there isn't really much of a good way to do it. I can certainly see problems with our form of government (I do live in the US) but I've really not been able to determine how to fix it. Personally, I'm not willing to pay the penalties so I'm not willing to break the law to make a point. I'm also not willing to give my own money to those I believe are abusing their position, so I do without. I can live with that. I simply don't desire the content at the lower price and higher risk enough to break the law. I'm not making much of a difference, but it is a small one and isn't motivated by selfishness. I choose in this instance first to vote with my wallet. Second though, I'll vote with a ballot, as much as I can given other matters of conscience. I have been fairly consistent in voting for a primary of the two parties here, but if one came out and espoused a desire to see the system changed, providing they weren't otherwise too horribly objectionable, I'd vote for that party. No parties have come out with that position though, because they cannot, they either alienate their financial supporters or they alienate the voters. It's lose/lose for them, so I'm not holding my breath that my ballot will affect this issue any time soon.

    TheVelvetFlamebait: That segues nicely into the question of whether allowing people to use your service to break the law in their own country is immoral. If you believe your laws are moral and the laws of another country are immoral, then how is it wrong to assist people in other countries if they choose to break their own laws? I think this is what TPB is actually doing. The real problem is that a huge number of the citizens of the US are willing to break the laws. If they weren't, then there would be no profit for TPB. If you're ticked off because it affects you negatively, well, that's where you get the opportunity to get your country's laws changed to stop allowing TPB to be able to do business with the US. If there is no jurisdiction to directly affect them, then censorship (blocking their IPs) would be sufficient alternative. I think China has done a good bit of research on how to control their citizens' Internet use, so it's not even uncharted territory.

    Of course the obvious rebuttal to that is to more rigidly enforce the existing laws, track down the criminals and make them pay. If a significant enough portion of the population of any governed people starts breaking a law though, it is probably time to reconsider that law. Until I thought this through for this very post, I was still a fence sitter, but now I believe the laws are immoral and need to be changed and I do not believe it will happen in the reasonable future due to the reasons that Sancho clearly defined. Essentially I've decided that this is not an issue that is caused by some people doing something they know is wrong, but by a huge number of people who are willing to take significant risks (and I don't know how stupid you'd have to be to not realize that pirating content is a significant risk) because they feel the system is wrong. I don't know if your average pirate would be able to express it clearly without prompting, but starting asking those who do download, "Do you pirate the music because the record c

  • by Dare nMc ( 468959 ) on Sunday October 21, 2007 @04:02PM (#21065487)

    competition? (IV) says "...intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain..."

    you left out the important part:

    "by creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant's mark"

    of course almost all domain names would qualify as attempting to gain traffic with their domain name choice, thats the point. pirate bay likely has no interest in those attempting to contact the, they do whoever want to get all the publicity possible out of the website name.

    this would easily be shown simply with the traffic logs from before and after piratebay took over, a likely 100 fold increase in traffic after transitioned should put a end to thoughts that the previous visitors were the target.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford