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Old 08-06-2009, 01:17 PM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Accused Domain Name Thief Faces Jail Time

From our front-page news:
The Internet has been around for about 14 years now, which many would consider to be a while. But, despite all that time, the legal system still hasn't had time (or so it seems) to catch up, as there are still many uncertainties about what's legal, and not, online. Even things that are blatantly illegal, or should be, are not, and as you could imagine, that can cause a headache for some people.

Once such crime is theft of a domain name. That is, to physically log (or break) into the rightful owners domain account, change the information, and simply call it your own. That's just what Daniel Goncalves did with web URL P2P.com. Except, he didn't just steal it, he actually sold it from right under the real owner's noses. As you'd expect, such a domain would sell for a pretty penny, and it did... $110,000 to NBA player Mark Madsen.

It's hard to tell if the owners received the domain name back yet, or not, but it's proven to be a complicated process in having the case dealt with, since, as mentioned before, it seems that no one knows just how to handle legal cases like this. It's a legal gray area, but with the Internet what it is today, I don't think it's safe to keep on going without hardened laws. After all, the owners of P2P.com had the money to fight their case... many people do not.


The main problems affecting victims of domain name theft are lack of experience of law enforcement, lack of clear legal precedents, and the money necessary to launch an investigation. DomainNameNews, which first reported the arrest, relates the Angels' experience in reporting the crime. When the Angels called Florida police to report the theft, a uniformed officer in a squad car was sent to their home. "What's a domain?" the officer asked them, according to DomainNameNews.


Source: Ars Technica
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:35 PM   #2
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Ouchh!!!!
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:53 PM   #3
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Even things that are blatantly illegal, or should be, are not, and as you could imagine, that can cause a headache for some people.
That's why enforcement and protection is almost impossible. Even though the legal profession and police have benefited from the net, they still don't completely understand it, let alone know how to approach it "Crime? Was that actually a crime?"

However the second biggest challenge behind identifying the perpetrators is geography. Every law is geographically based...i.e. supposedly where the crime is committed. But that gets messy as it usually means where the victim was at the time.
Try extraditing an unknown individual from a country with no extradition even with a new set of laws.

As with drugs, they are mis-focused. Just as enforcement of drugs invariably focuses on mid level dealers and users, our law makers are focused on copy right abuse...laws which were rendered obsolete in the 1920's with the invention of the fax/photocopier.

Even where they are attacking serious net based crime, the resources available are a mere token.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:26 PM   #4
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LOL, gotta love the police response.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:03 PM   #5
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LOL, gotta love the police response.
agreed
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:50 PM   #6
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However the second biggest challenge behind identifying the perpetrators is geography. Every law is geographically based...i.e. supposedly where the crime is committed. But that gets messy as it usually means where the victim was at the time..
Exactly. That's why we keep seeing torrent sites skip from country to country.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:30 AM   #7
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Exactly. That's why we keep seeing torrent sites skip from country to country.
The whole Torrents issue is trivial compared to the levels of harassment and intimidation that are carried on the net every day. Lives are ruined, families are affected, careers are halted cold in their tracks... usually by total strangers operating from the comfort of total anonymity. In one case I'm familiar with it was apparently done for no other reason than "Because I can".

That law makers and the legal processes have not caught up to this is a source of constant disappointment. One of the more common attitudes I see says that anything not on paper or not said to your face is somehow not real. Email harassment isn't real, because it's just words on a screen... amazing... right out of the stone ages.

The internet may be a boon to many... but it is the bane of many others lives... which, of course, begs the question... "Are we really any better off for having this tool at our disposal?"
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:19 AM   #8
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The saddest SOBs have to be the RIAA. While working at my uni's IT department I saw several student being subjected to RIAA's harassment. They served lawsuits to some students (~$3,000), though most were "Cease and Desist" orders. What is a college student to do if he gets sued?

RIAA definitely missed a trick back in the early days of Napster. I think it was mention in an article Rob posted about the 10 worst tech blunders.
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