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The Internet as a Set of Communities

Just the like world, the Internet grows as a set of communities. Many of the largest, the big portals are like the countries of the net and in order to participate in them we have to play by their rules.

EBay has just announced that it has a community of 200m. MySpace also has a huge following, Yahoo! of course is one of the superpowers as is MSN. So should disputes online be dealt with by these communities or by our more earthly communities?

EBay is in the news today for allowing people to sell .eu domains that perhaps should not belong to them. Nestle and Disney are both considering suing the website for providing a marketplace for rowntrees.eu and euroDisneyParis.eu respectively.

However, the rules of the Internet allowed people to purchase the domain names without being affiliated to the companies in question – so shouldn’t eBay be allowed to act as a provider in this way?

I suspect that in the end it may buckle in the same way that it did about Live8 tickets last year – but we shall see.

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