posted Aug 25, 2000

Sex.com Ruling: It Wasn't Stolen General IP Issues8/25/2000; 11:05:08 PM 'There are lots of nasty and nefarious things you can do to a website -- crack it, hijack it, black it out -- but one thing you can't do, no matter how evil your intention, is steal its domain name. Even if you take it without asking and never give it back.'Oh this is just stupid. If it's not property that can be stolen, then somebody please explain to me how it's property that can be squatted!Can it get any more obvious that all the legal system cares about in these disputes is who has the money? I do not suggest this as a wild-eyed conspiracy theory. Consider the Napster trials. Who looks more respectable to a judge, a Multi-Billion Dollar International Music Consortium with everybody in suits and lots of money, or a legal team defending, in the final analysis, a teenager? I'm suggesting that money -> respect -> won lawsuits is what is occurring.When Coca-Cola Inc. accuses Joe Shmoe of stealing domain names ('squatting'), domain names are intellectual property that can be stolen and hence Coke.com must be given up. When Joe Shmoe the First accuses Joe Shmoe the Second (neither of whom are multi-national business interests) of domain name theft, suddenly domain names don't meet the legal definition of property.Truthfully, I suspect that domain names don't meet the definition, and never have, and the laws should be revised to reflect the fact that they are. (I need to look for the definition of property... pointers appreciated.)

 

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