Term Paper: Internet's Affect on Copyright

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[. . .] A variation on this theme is the sale by search engines of banner advertising on search results depending on the search words input by the user. For example, if a search engine sells a brand name to a discount perfume distributor, the sold banner ad will pop up every time that brand name is entered. If the user then clicks on the banner ad, the user is taken to the site of the discount distributor, where a similar fragrance is advertised at a special rate.

Domain names are another manner in which the Internet poses a threat to intellectual property protection. The problem arises in whether a domain name can infringe someone else's valid trademark or service mark. Conflicts occur because registrars do not, and probably could not, search thousands of proposed domain names to determine whether conflicts may arise with existing registered and common law trademarks. Instead, registrars grant domain names on a first come, first serve basis. Furthermore, cybersquatters may have noticed that no on yet had taken a certain name, and reserve it with the sole intention of selling it. Cybersquatters attempt to profit from the Internet by reserving and later reselling or licensing domain names back to the companies that spent millions of dollars developing the goodwill of the trademark. Conflicts such as these are handled by the traditional and normal rules of trademark priority and the classic test of likelihood of confusion.

Traditional federal trademark law, including the Anti-Dilution Act, did not offer adequate protection of intellectual property on the Internet. As a result, Congress enacted the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). This was directed at preventing cybersquatting on the Internet by registering domain names similar to trademarks and person's names. The trademark related portions of the Act outlawed the act of registering, with the bad intent to profit, a domain that is confusingly similar to a registered or unregistered mark. Also part of the Act were special protections against the cybersquatting of a person's non-trademarked name.

Finally, the factual settings and Internet technology change almost daily and the laws struggle to keep up. The growth of the Internet has put pressure on traditional intellectual property protections, and some forms of information, when made accessible on the Internet, are easily copied. As policy-makers address this new environment they should tread carefully, and intellectual property protections should be limited to achieve a balance that prevents direct copying but does not stifle creativity.


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Internet's Affect on Copyright.  (2005, February 9).  Retrieved November 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/internet-affect-copyright-trademark/426850

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"Internet's Affect on Copyright."  Essaytown.com.  February 9, 2005.  Accessed November 21, 2019.