[Air-l] query about commercial regulation of internet chat

Peter T. ptimusk at sympatico.ca
Thu Jul 28 08:22:56 PDT 2005

There are numerous cases of Intellectual Property grabs in terms of URL 
names enough in fact that I took a whole course basically in domain dispute 
resolution. You can find this in the policies of domain regiasters for 
various countries. For instance in Canada for awhile you could only register 
a dot ca address if the domain name was the name of your company. But this 
aspect is very well known. This has probably been thouroughly discussed here 
too I am sure.

But about chat's I am not sure. But there have been cases of insiders 
chating or posting comments about companies they work at, such as 
disparaging comments and being taken to court and one case where yahoo was 
forced to revile user id information.

Also Lessig in his book Code meantions that AOL rooms are not true free 
speech (ie soap boxes) for technical reasons because the rooms have user 
limits on the order of magnitude of 25 users thus anyone person in a chat 
can only reach a limited audience.

But look for battles concerning ISP's having to keep and revile user ID's in 
court cases.

You might study the adverts in chat clients like yahoo's messenger. Because 
this is commerical chat. Albite a more subtle form of regulation.

Peter Timusk B.Math Just trying to stay linear
www.crystalcomputing.net >blog> http://logbook.crystalcomputing.net
www.webpagex.org >blog> http://notebook.webpagex.org
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jonathan Marshall" <Jonathan.Marshall at uts.edu.au>
To: <air-l at listserv.aoir.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 1:56 AM
Subject: [Air-l] query about commercial regulation of internet chat

> I wonder if anyone knows of any academic writings on the commercial 
> regulation of chatrooms, mailing lists etc.
> I remember and can find heaps of annecdotal evidence of AOL regulating the 
> use of posts with 'vulgar' terms in them.  This has supposedly lead to the 
> discontinuance of serious discussion on homosexuality, breast cancer and 
> so on. However i've not yet found any academic discussion of this, or 
> articles which put this in historical context.  For example, does AOL 
> still behave in this kind of way, if it ever did.
> I also remember that Prodigy was accused of obliterating complaints 
> against itself.
> In one book i saw mention that one supplier simply replaced any word it 
> did not like with a series of #s, but the source does not mention either 
> where or when this occured.
> I've also heard of companies attempting regulate comment about them in 
> internet groups by threatening legal action over the use of trade marks, 
> but cannot remember any details, and again don't know anything about the 
> historical trajectory.
> thanks for any help with this.
> jon
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