Chuck Kisselburg at the ICANNblog makes a good point about he so-called Anti-Phishing Bill, Senate Bill 2661. While the bill is not close to becoming a law at this juncture, Chuck correctly notes that "the bill feels like a fox in sheep’s clothing as the bill’s name suggests a bill against anti-phishing. Instead the bill not only discusses anti-phishing but seems to be based around the use, or misuse of domain names."
Everyone is against phishing and spam; the trademark issues are much more controversial. I agree that the phishing and spam protions of the bill need to be separated so the trademark provisions can be debated standing alone. Otherwise, it does appear that the trademark provisions are being disguised in hope that they will 'slide by' without notice.
We all know that our Congressmen rarely read the bills in full. Trademark holders and their lobbyists are losing credibility by what appears to be senatorial “sleight of hand."
In earlier posts (“Skipping Through the Senate Bill 2661 Mine Field” and “The Opportunity Surrounding Senate Bill 2661”) I discussed, or questioned the need for the Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act of 2008 (APCPA), introduced by Senator Snowe, other wise known as S. 2661. The bill’s title leads one to see that the bill’s title indicates the bill is geared around anti-phishing. I am all for this. In fact I received a phishing e-mail today. However, I objected, or more accurately, could not find the need to include a rather large section that addressed domain names. To me the bill feels like a fox in sheep’s clothing as the bill’s name suggests a bill against anti-phishing. Instead the bill not only discusses anti-phishing but seems to be based around the use, or misuse of domain names. What I objected to most was what I consider to be the vaguely-worded definition of what constitutes abuse. To be specific:
Section 3. Phishing; Related Deceptive Practices, (b), (2), (H).
…acquisition of multiple domain names which the person knows are identical or is confusingly similar to the name or brand name of a government office, nonprofit organization, business, or other entity…
So I started researching and found current procedures and laws in place today that rely on similar verbiage.