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Report: Snowe Bill "Trademark Legislation on Steroids"

From ComputerWorld:

An antiphishing bill that was introduced in the U.S. Senate last week could end up being used by large holders of trademarks to unfairly wrest legitimate domain names away from small businesses and individuals, according to a trade group that represents domain name investors and so-called direct search companies.

Check out ComputerWorld for the entire article.

I have spent thousands of dollars developing my domain names in addition to the cost of acquiring these names, and this bill has the potential to make it easy for companies to take them from me without much trouble. I have been careful acquiring domain names that do not infringe on the marks of other companies, but in the end, I could get burned because of this legislation.   It simply isn’t fair to small-time entrepreneurs like myself.
From what I can tell, the Internet Commerce Association is our best chance at getting the bill changed. They have a great staff working to protect the rights of people in the domain industry, and we need to support them. Please consider becoming a member of the ICA or making a (tax deductible) contribution. Now is the time we need to step up and organize.

ICA Auction: Get Your Bids In

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There are just under 24 hours to go in my auction for PuertoRicanVacation.com, which currently has a high bid of $300. All funds from this auction will go to the ICA to help protect the rights of domain investors. The auction is being held on Nameade, a new domain auction website. They are giving the ICA $1,000 on top of the high bid price for the domain name. This will be a win/win for all.
The auction ends on Wednesday, March 5th at 3pm.

Nameade to Host ICA Auction; Make Donation to ICA

Nameade, a new domain auction venue, is now hosting my auction for PuertoRicanVacation.com. Originally, I listed this charity auction on my blog, and Nameade offered to host it to increase awareness and raise more money to support the ICA. The payment and transfer of the domain name will still be done through me to make things easier.
Nameade is a new site that launched last week. They provide a full service staff that contacts domain owners who are not in or familiar with the domain industry and finds individuals or companies willing to sell their domains. The entire inventory of names secured is then auctioned every two weeks to the domain community.
The idea is to move away from domainer-to-domainer or expired domain auctions and introduce new names into the space which otherwise would not be available.
Nameade will make a $1,000 donation to the ICA in addition to providing the venue for this auction.

Digg This! Don't Let Them Take Your Domain Names!

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Please read the following ICA article and then Digg it!
http://digg.com/politics/Snowe_Bill_Threatens_Domain_Name_Registrants
And if you can, please support the ICA.
The beauty of living in the United States is that we can support an organization that will help make sure our collective voice is heard. The ICA will continue to lobby on our behalf to help change the bill to protect our domain assets. If this bill is passed as is, our domain names could be vulnerable like never before. I don’t understand the logic of not supporting them. I don’t see anyone else stepping up to the plate to lobby and get this bill changed.
I’ve said it before and I will reiterate it again. The Anti-Phishing Act is a consumer (voter) friendly bill that no elected official is going to vote against. We need it changed before it is passed because it contains language that will be detrimental to this business. You might not get sued by someone, but you better believe that if a domain owner does get sued and loses his generic domain name, ALL domain names will lose significant value since they will become much more risky assets. Currently, generic domain names are fairly safe from trademark violations, and consequently they are valued greatly. However, if this bill is passed as is, they may no longer be safe, and their value will drop.
I don’t see anyone else stepping up to represent us other than the ICA. Whether you are big time or small time, if you own domain names, I think you need to support the ICA’s efforts to change this bill before it is passed.   I urge you to read the legislation and then please support the ICA.

Email to My Domain Partners

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I am in the process of reaching out to the companies with whom I do the most business. I am thinking about only doing business with companies who are members of the Internet Commerce Association. Is this a drastic measure? Perhaps, but if we don’t stand up for our rights, do you think anyone else will?
This is the email I am sending to my partners:
“Is xxxxxx a member of the Internet Commerce Association? The recent Anti Phishing Act proposal has some scary language for domain investors, and I think the ICA is our best chance at making sure it isn’t passed as is. I am toying with only doing business with members of the ICA. Please let me know if xxxxxxxx is a member of the ICA, and if not, when they might become a member.
Thanks,
Elliot”

Domain Auction for ICA

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I am auctioning PuertoRicanVacation.com on my blog with ALL funds going to the ICA. Highest bid submitted to my blog by this coming Wednesday, March 5th at 3pm EST will get the name. Bidding will start at $1.00 and there will be $10 increments. Buyer will send payment to me and I will send funds to ICA.
Some recent sales:
CanadianVacation.com – $4,126
CaribbeanVacations.com – $130,000
EuropeanVacations.com – $85,000
IrelandVacations.com – $17,250
AustraliaVacations.com – $16,000
AsianVacations.com – $15,000
BudgetVacations.com – $10,300
CanadaVacations.com – $9,600

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