Email Portability Approved by Knesset Committee

Barry Shein bzs at world.std.com
Tue Feb 23 00:55:07 CST 2010


 > >My initial reaction: Does the law in any way imply this mail address
 > >has to be provided for free?
 > 
 > If you had spent 10 seconds with Google Translate on the URL in Gadi's
 > message, you'd already know.

(gosh that only took 12 hours to suggest)

Obviously we're discussing a legal and regulatory system most of us
here are unfamiliar with, there may be other considerations.

But in the USofA a law like this would raise some serious trademark
issues.

When you manage a valuable trademark your lawyer lectures you about
how a trademark has to represent a particular product of a particular
quality or else a court can deem it invalid or even fraudulent.

There are only two ways this sort of law is likely to be implemented:

  a) The original ISP continues to provide email for that address.

  b) Some other ISP provides that service.

I suppose a third way, via a third party, is possible but I don't
think that defuses the trademark issue.

The exact mechanics are a different discussion.

Since the first ISP is no longer being paid the practical solution
seems to be (b), the original ISP cooperates and hands over service to
the new provider somehow.

But how can the original ISP be assured that email going out under
what appears to be their mark (consider xxx at AOL.COM or xxx at MSN.COM)
represents their product in any way the law requires?

It would be a conflict and a potential dilution of one's mark.

Particularly, as others have suggested, if that product implies
availability, spam filtering, support, storage, recovery in the event
of lost storage, TOS, etc.

In contrast, a phone number has no such trademark implications for the
provider, one generally doesn't say "oh, 555-555-1234, an AT&T phone
number!" Perhaps it's possible to know this, but it's not common
knowledge, it doesn't generally represent the public's view of the
AT&T mark.

I don't think the law would be workable in the US.

I'd be surprised if the law doesn't run into similar problems in
Israel.


-- 
        -Barry Shein

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