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  1. #1
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Use misleading domain name, go to jail?


    By Declan McCullagh
    Staff Writer, CNET News.com
    March 26, 2003, 11:23 AM PT


    WASHINGTON--The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Thursday on a proposal that would criminalize using misleading domain names to lure unsuspecting people to sex sites.
    Under the proposal, a last-minute amendment to an unrelated child abduction bill, people who knowingly use an innocent-sounding domain name to drive traffic to a sexually explicit Web site could be fined and imprisoned for two to four years. An example of an innocuous-sounding domain name with pornographic content is WhiteHouse.com, which is not sponsored by the Bush administration.

    A second amendment that is scheduled for a floor vote at the same time renews Congress' campaign to outlaw "morphed" or virtual child pornography. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court slapped down Congress' first attempt to ban nude images of computer-generated minors and underage teens, saying the 1996 law violated the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of expression.



    The current proposal would ban the creation or possession of "a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image" that is "indistinguishable" from a real minor.

    The House Rules committee late Tuesday adopted a procedure that permits both amendments, and six others, to be considered during debate over an unrelated bill to create an "Amber Alert" notification network for child kidnapping cases. The Amber Alert bill encountered modest opposition when House Judiciary chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., decided to turn it into a broader proposal addressing criminal penalties, sex tourism and wiretapping.

    The amendment related to domain names is sponsored by Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and is similar to a bill he introduced during the last session of Congress and reintroduced this year.

    Pence's amendment says that anyone who uses a misleading domain name to try to lure people into visiting an obscene Web site faces up to two years in prison, and anyone who tries to lure a minor to a sexually explicit site that is "harmful to minors" faces up to four years in prison. It applies to any Internet domain name, including those in non-U.S. country codes like .uk or .nl, and a congressional source predicted it would pass easily during the expected floor vote.

    Marv Johnson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, says his organization has not taken a position on the Pence amendment.

    Johnson said, however, that the ACLU has reviewed the child pornography amendment and believes it to be unconstitutional. "It still allows prosecution for virtual child porn," Johnson said. "That flies in the face of Ashcroft vs. Free Speech Coalition."

    In that case, decided in May 2002, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that Congress' attempt to ban any image that "appears to be" an unclad youth was akin to prohibiting dirty thoughts. "First Amendment freedoms are most in danger when the government seeks to control thought or to justify its laws for that impermissible end," the majority said. "The right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought."

    Andy Rodriguez,
    Online Advertising / Affiliate Marketing Manager

    TigerDirect.com
    P: (305) 415-2313
    E: andy.rodriguez@tigerdirect.com
    ICQ: 175010
    AIM: miamitigercub

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Good to see them clamp down on the likes of those who suck pennies from the kiddies trying to find out about their Government at whitehouse.com. I'm sure a honest polling here at ABW would uncover many members who run porn sites and use the same tricks to snatch traffic for their cookie setting sites.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  3. #3
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    I probably disagree with this, but it is political so I will refrain.

  4. #4
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I'm sure a honest polling here at ABW would uncover many members who run porn sites and use the same tricks to snatch traffic for their cookie setting sites.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    HUH!......Uh, I don't think so. If you think so, it says a lot more about you than it does about the ABW members.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    SSanf you and I both know thta every dirty trick plaguing the affiliate marketing industry originates within the competitive porn industry. Popups-drive by installs -phoney domain redirects -spamm right down to the original PPC script kiddie cheats got their start in the bowls of the porn industry webmaster's quest for Eyeballs. The 200+ posters here, out of 8000, leaves some room for some who play both sides in their quest for a quick buck.

    This is the only place where the darkside can come and see which merchants perform on the legit side of affiliate marketing. Makes sense to me for legislation to be made to keep our kids and grand kids from getting a eyefull from a innocent sounding informative web site like Whitehouse.com. Then again I'm not a card carrying liberal and carefully hid my perloined copy of Playboy as a kid from some non-liberal parents.

    Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Makes sense to me for legislation to be made to keep our kids and grand kids from getting a eyefull from a innocent sounding informative web site like Whitehouse.com <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    unconstitutional!

    Let them have whitehouse.gov since that is what .gov extensions are intended for. The last I heard freedom of speech and expression was still an important part of a democracy and .com's were reserved for commercial entities.

    I do believe sites that carry sexually explicit material should give adequate warning before entry.

    It is also my own personal belief that children should not be on the Internet unattended or without a formal discussion and education on what type of materials are on the Internet and how to deal with them if and when encountered.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Makes sense to me for legislation to be made to keep our kids and grand kids from getting a eyefull from a innocent sounding informative web site like Whitehouse.com. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Again teach children that government resources are accessed via .gov domains and not .com's. Freedom of thought and expression are far more important, even if we disagree with the thoughts or expressions that are located at a URL.



    -wayne



    Wayne Porter
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  7. #7
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I don't believe it should be any more unconstitutional to require porn sites to be "flagged" somehow--including by limiting their access to domain names--any more than it is to limit physical stores which sell "adult material" to certain areas or ban them from certian communities.

    -I've been a king, and I've been a pauper, and everything there is in between ~fairly old country song

  8. #8
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jimbo2002:
    I probably disagree with this, but it is political so I will refrain.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    You know that that this type of issue was not the impetus for our decision today.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  9. #9
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    My :

    The manipulation of a source identifier like "whitehouse", or the like, whether it be a .com or whatever extension to prey on uneducated end users of the internet is wrong just like typosquating and other parasitic activities of many opportunists.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> including by limiting their access to domain names--any more than it is to limit physical stores which sell "adult material" to certain areas or ban them from certian communities.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I believe there are legal precedents set for this based on common "community values". i.e. What is tolerated by a community.

    I believe the Internet is a global community.

    I don't mean to turn this into a political or war debate. This is a freedom of information and expression debate. The very freedoms of expression that make the Internet valuable.

    Why stop at porn sites? Why not require all affiliates to identify themselves and each of their relationships as affiliates. While we are at it let's make it law that all affiliate sites prominently disclose that they use
    "web bugs" to identify when the user makes a purchase...

    Granted the analogy is not totally congruent, but there are privacy advocates who see affiliates as nothing more than "spy tracking" and "web bug" propogaters and would be more then happy to see their sites labeled in such a fashion.

    I say laissez-faire!!

    -wayne

    Wayne Porter
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  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> The manipulation of a source identifier like "whitehouse", or the like, whether it be a .com or whatever extension to prey on uneducated end users of the internet is wrong just like typosquating and other parasitic activities of many opportunists. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    so the owners or irs.com should concede their domain to the Internal Revenue Service?

    Uneducated end users will quickly figure out that whitehouse.com is a commercial site that features pornography.

    And there are others who feel they have a stronger claim...

    Reference the National Fruit Product Co. who claim they have exclusive rights to the trademark " White House" dating back to 1918.

    I believe there are several U.S. trademarks for the words "whitehouse" or "white house", none of which are owned by the U.S. govt.

    Is it distasteful? To many I am sure it is, but taste is a freedom of expression and should not be regulated by the government.

    best,
    Wayne

    Wayne Porter
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  12. #12
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    What about parody sites with clever domain names? Should we ban those too?

    What if they have nudity? Stick 'em in jail?

    What if they have 'bad' language? Stick em in jail?

    What if they promote unhealthy lifestyles (like eating high fat foods)? Stick em in jail?

  13. #13
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>so the owners or irs.com should concede their domain to the Internal Revenue Service?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If it was coke.CC or coke.ca or any extension at all they would have to for typosquating why whouldn't .gov "infringements" also be held accountable to uphold a basic UDRP?

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I believe there are several U.S. trademarks for the words "whitehouse" or "white house", none of which are owned by the U.S. govt<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Then they are entitled to the dom, not some parasite!

    "Freedom of speach" when used to exploit unsaavy surfers is manipulation, plain and simple.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  14. #14
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jimbo2002:
    What about parody sites with clever domain names? Should we ban those too? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ever been at the other end of a parody site action?

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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  15. #15
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    Haiko,

    While it is easy for Coca-Cola to prove that a domain like Coke.Ca that serves up porn might cause tarnishment to a brand it is not so easy for the National Fruit Product Co. because the vast majority of consumers have NO IDEA who they are- i.e. there is no real brand equity to tarnish.

    .Gov extensions are granted for government branches only. That is why we have .gov and not .com's assigned to government agencies. Why should the U.S. government get special treatment?

    Perhaps the goverment should work on educating the masses of "uneducated" consumers on how domain extensions work and where to find the resources they need.

    Any .com extension is inappropriate for a government website, as it implies a commercial entity.



    regards,
    -wayne

    Wayne Porter
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  16. #16
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Perhaps the government should work on educating the masses of "uneducated" consumers on how domain extensions work and where to find the resources they need.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'll agree with that! But are you willing to waste your tax dollars on doing such because some opportunist manipulates the naivety of surfers? HMMMM I'd rather my money went to affordable housing or SS or many other great programs!!! Sorry!

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


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  17. #17
    ABW Veteran jc101's Avatar
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    I have to disagree on this, because as long us you advertise adult content in search engines using keywards and advertising methods related to adult content, you should be able to make any site you want. because you own the domain. It is property and owned by you. and of course as long as you don't violate copyright laws, I have to disagree on this.

    Jason
    Santa Cruz

  18. #18
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    I'd like to add that I own:

    http://www.linksnare.com
    http://bescrewed.com
    http://conmissionjunction.com
    http://Stopmoxie.com
    http://morpheus-Pos.com
    http://www.GatorisaCrock.com

    ... and a quite few others.

    I used conmissionjunction as a parody, then I matured. GatorisaCrock.com was stopped for legal reasons.

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli
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    [This message was edited by Haiko on March 27, 2003 at 11:20 PM.]

  19. #19
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    I don't know any of the legalities, but if a person were to set up a whitehouse (or other) domain name and uses it for political satire, parody, or commentary with some bare breasts or offensive language I don't think the gov't should lock them up in jail for two years and take all they own. I also do not think they should push them to a domain where they would have less success getting their voice out.

    Less government is better.

  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> HMMMM I'd rather my money went to affordable housing or SS or many other great programs!!! Sorry! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I like parody.

    Affordable Housing- 1.2 billion
    Social Security- 3.5 trillion
    Freedom of Expression- Priceless



    -Wayne

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  21. #21
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Wayne Porter- AffTrack:I like parody.

    Affordable Housing- 1.2 billion
    Social Security- 3.5 trillion
    Freedom of Expression- Priceless
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Then never complain on the 15th of April!

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko


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  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Andy - TigerDirect:
    An example of an innocuous-sounding domain name with pornographic content is WhiteHouse.com,
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    WhiteHouse does not sound "innocent" since Bill Clinton been there!

  23. #23
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    whitehouse.org is much better

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  24. #24
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    &gt;If it was coke.CC or coke.ca or any extension at all they would have to for typosquating why whouldn't .gov "infringements" also be held accountable to uphold a basic UDRP?

    Actually, "coke" (unlike "ebay") is NOT a strong TM.

    "ebay" is a coined phrase. "coke" is not.

    "coke" is a dictionary word that existed LONG BEFORE the brown liquid appeared on the market. It's coal with most of the gasses removed.

    Don't let the TM lobby take all your rights away.

    Same with "pepsi". A greek word, IIRC. Means "stomach upset" or something.

    And Mike, I think you might find that affiliate marketing began in the "porn" industry, so don't be too harsh on them.

    And if you allow the USG to walk over other people's rights, who's going to help you, when they come after yours?

    Jimmy James fan club membership # 3312

  25. #25
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    Actually, I have the solution for porn sites , if there was a way to do it ...

    Here's my dream "law" ..

    Effective on whatever date, All porn sites shall end in the new .porn extension.

    ANY website operator found to be displaying pornographic content and operating under a .com, .org, or
    dot anything else other than .porn after such and such a date , will be subject to federal prosecution , fine , and/or imprisonment .


    In addition, any doorway pages , or link directories that contain links to .porn sites shall be considered pornographic in content by association .


    And, if there exists a genius that could create a program that parents could download to make ALL .porn sites unaccessible from specific browsers, problem solved .

    Porn site owners could have their freedom of speech , use any domain name they want , but of course, still be subject to copyright and trademark infringement suits if the domain they choose crosses that line.

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