August 27, 2015
The article raises a number of issues about marketing on the Web. Choose two of these issues explain why you believe they are ethically troubling (or, if you wish, why you do not find them ethically troubling). Then, please comment on the responses of at least two classmates. In expressing your own opinion, do so critically (i.e., finding both commonalities and differences) but also respectfully and thoughtfully.
Domain Name Registration Issues and Scams
The registration of domain names by both legitimate and illegitimate entities is considerably troubling from an ethical standpoint. The article does a good job of explaining how we’ve reached the point of requiring a, “first come, first served” basis for registration of domains. Given the trademark practices on the same term/name/mark being available across multiple industries, products or services, it’s logical the company or brand that gets it first is the one to use it first. It can be both challenging when developing a new branded item or company, and also in trying to ward off or prevent spoof or copycat sites attempting to complete, steal, or diminish the quality of the original brand.
While not domains, Twitter has encountered a similar challenge with trying to solicit advertising from major brands and agencies, all while allowing pseudo or mock accounts of real brands, under the guise of satire or comedy. However, the long-term effects of retweeting a falsely claimed message, or linking to a scam or illegitimate site would seem to provide more of an ethical concern for issue for brands both large and small.
Another significant ethical issue is not just the usage of copywriting information, but also sourcing content on the Internet. I’ve seen both evolve over the years, requiring companies to state they needed to have a singular year or range years for copyright on every page of content, to the alternate extreme of simply a copyright statement with ownership name and that the rights are reserved. While this might protect the content originator, in theory, it by no means limits or prevents another person from reusing the information and claiming it as their own.
Additionally, should a challenge to copyright be needed, the burden to prove originality will apply to the individual claiming copyright, and how does one determine originality when content on the web can change with the click of a button? Does copyright enforcement thus require versioning of content or archiving to ensure proper coverage? While technological possible, it’s not a standard currently required for enforcement.
Furthermore, when sourcing copyrighted information onto your own page(s), when is it required to link to the original source? And, what if that source changes domains, file structure, page names, etc.? Is the burden to maintain the linkage on the user who is linking to the sourced file to prove proper usage, or the originator of the content to ensure a successful redirect to maintain consistency in proving/providing rights reservation? The manpower or maintenance of such activity, for both parties, seems cost prohibitive and an unnecessary burden to ensure higher standards of ethics.
Copyrights, Domain Name, MMC6213, Strategic Communications,