Netwatch

News, Culture, Controversy on the Internet

What's in a Name?

The uncertainties of copyright law as it pertains to the Internet have created opportunities for sneaky entrepreneurs. Many companies, it seems, haven't laid claim in cyberspace to their most important assets: their names. Thus a few savvy Net surfers have adopted already famous trademarks for their own use. For instance, the address (http://mcdonalds.com) is owned by a writer from Long Island; (http://coke.com) is registered to a fellow in California. Presumably they wouldn't be too upset if McDonald's and Coca-Cola were willing to pay for the privilege of using their own names on the...

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