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Re: [wg-b] Second Circuit on First Amendment Analysis of Domain Names

----- Original Message -----
From: "Martin B. Schwimmer" <martys@interport.net>

> Of special interest to this group is the discussion of the interplay
> between the First amendment and domain names.  In this particular case, it
> was held that a TLD suffix would not rise to the level of protectable
> speech

The court held that the specific TLDs "com" "net" and "org" do not raise
first amendment issues because they are not expressive of anything, but it
went out of its way to note that some TLDs could indeed possess enough
content to be protected as political speech or parody. See below:

> In short, while we hold that the existing gTLDs do not constitute
> speech under the First Amendment, we do not preclude the possibility that
> certain domain names, including new gTLDs, could indeed amount to
> speech. The time may come when new gTLDs could be used for "an expressive
> purpose such as commentary, parody, news reporting or criticism,"
> comprising communicative messages by the author and/or operator of the
> website in order to influence the public's decision to visit that website,
> or even to disseminate a particular point of view. United We Stand Am.,
> Inc. v. United We Stand Am. N. Y., Inc., 128 F.3d 86, 93 (2d Cir. 1997)
> (citation omitted).