WIPO reinvents itself as part of UN

Kofi Annan rules on Harry Potter cybersquatters?

WIPO - the blinkered domain name arbitrator - has not had too good a press this year. Perhaps it's something to do with the fact that it creatively interprets the resolution rules to decide for rich people and fat corporations, thereby effectively controlling the arbitration process. Or, then again, maybe not.

Either way, we were surprised to read about Time Warner being handed a huge number of Harry Potter domains - no less than 107 of them, all registered by HarperStephens - by the United Nations. The United Nations? Eh? What has the UN ever had to do with domain arbitration?

The answer was soon forthcoming. You see WIPO isn't WIPO anymore. No, it's the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organisation, shortened to the UN, if needed. This is actually a very clever bit of rebranding.

Hear the word WIPO and you think "greed, undemocratic, flawed, arrogant". Hear the words United Nations, you get "consensus, authority, fairness, protector".

It's good to see as well that the world's press has swallowed this name change hook, line and sinker. This is because this is what was pumped out in a press release. Anyone else find this a little terrifying? ®

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