I sure wish I could get worked up about some of these cases, but I can't. I don't see where this is a free speech issue at all, unless one could make the case that the USG via ICANN via the UDRP is infringing on one of its citizen's Constitutional Rights, and if so, the Respondent is free to avail himself of US opportunites for redress. This ruling doesn't particularily lower the bar below that set by this decision regarding 31 domain names similar/identical to Canadian government departments.|
It isn't as though the Government of Germany was reaching out across national boundaries to claim names that the Respondent had a reasonable right to. Nor were they going transborder after a name that might have a restricted use in Germany like nazi.org.
Free speech here is a red herring, the Respondent could have left the site non-resolving, or marked for sale, or put up a pr0n site, or sold Pokemon cards (such examples covering about 80% of extant .com names) and the same ruling would be equally relevant. Otherwise it just opens another loophole for all squatters to put up sites with some rant on them and claim that (their) freedom of speech is absolute. Look at martinlutherking.org, owned by a neo-nazi. Should his rights trump those of, say, the Martin Luther King estate? I don't think so.
The Respondent in the current case hasn't been muzzled anyway, amongst other URLs he's still using the bundesinnenministerium sLD, this time in ICANN's shiny new .biz extension (you know, the TLD that was going to be like an up-market .com, motto: nothing personal, just business ...ya right) as a throwaway pointer to his main site (like another 10% of the .com space).
BTW, the Respondent in the Canadian case, AKA the Domain Baron, AKA the Athiest Messiah (perhaps Joe Baptista or another alt root could interest him in no.g*d), at least put up a game self-defence (Canuck spelling). Is it just me, or is ICANNWatching becoming increasingly theological?
Seriously though folks, I'm much more interested in the US Federal Judge's ruling in the US Court Thumps UDRP cello.com case than in nitpicking for, or against, those who won't play nice. -g