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UN body moves to ban Web squatters

But ruling on trademark infringement could favour big businesses say critics

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It looks like time is running out for cybersquatters after officials attending the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) conference in Berlin endorsed plans to outlaw the practice. But the vote of confidence by board members of ICANN is still subject to change. ICANN is the new body responsible for domain names. The proposals were published last month by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) prior to this week's conference. In the report, penned by Francis Gurry, the UN organisation outlined a series of recommendations aimed at curbing the abuse of trademarks on the Internet. But some critics of the new measures -- which would protect trademark holders from people trying to hold them to ransom -- believe them to be too draconian favouring large multinationals instead of smaller companies. ®

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