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The Cyberserk Award is bestowed annually upon an individual, company, organization or institution that is unclear on the concept of the domain name system. The winners are picked by a two-person jury--the authors of the Domain Name Handbook--who approach the task with special seriousness. It is our belief that highlighting the offbeat activities of these cyberserkers will provide an educational reality check. When progress seems elusive and candidates for these awards are plentiful, the jury reserves the exclusive right to announce Runner-Up awards. As you read about domain name activities, we genuinely encourage you to collect your nominations during the year and submit them to us for the next annual announcements.
Recognizing the Offbeat, Dubious and Bizarre



The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, despite all the fashionable buzzwords in its title, codifies a trademark agenda in cyberspace. Our view is that the legislation is an attempt to structure law to favor a particular business model, while setting aside many consumer and civil rights concerns. It grants all trademark holders vast new rights at the expense of fair use and free expression. For this reason, we bestow the 1999 Cyberserk Award upon the 106th Congress which gave us this controversial legislation. In their celebrated collective wisdom, these Congresscritters further the vision that the Internet's primary purpose is as a commercial medium and trademark owner's playground, rather than a global communication commons.


The 1998 title of Cyberserk Corporation is awarded to the Prema Toy Company which ignited an international moshpit of controversy when it challenged the rights to the POKEY.ORG domain name registration. Prema is owner of trademark rights to the character Pokey, equine sidekick of the better-known toy, Gumby. The disputed domain name was registered for a12-year old boy name Christopher "Pokey" Van Allen, who used it to develop a personal website. The dispute generated more than 4,500 e-mail messages and comments sent to the child. Eventually, the court of public opinion and reason prevailed, and Prema Toys withdrew its claims on April 21, 1998.


We bestow the title of Cyberserk Corporation for 1997 to Procter & Gamble, a multinational brand supplier. Procter & Gamble distinguished itself by registering an attenuated list of domain names that includes spelling variations of several brands, singular and plural versions of the same word, a few body parts, an amusing array of human afflictions and even DEODERANT, spelled wrong.

Elizabeth Moore, a spokesperson for the consumer retail giant, offered a rationale for the sizable list of registered domains: "We are providing ourselves with more than one avenue to reach consumers with helpful information. We make 'Sure,' 'Secret,' and 'Old Spice.' Underarms are important to us." (Source: Ani Hadjian, "What's in a Name? On the Internet You'd Never Guess," Time (1995).


We unveil the 1997/98 CyberSaver Award and name a corporation that has exercised model restraint during the frantic nationwide push to nail down trademarks, company IDs and product lines as domain names. The modest listing registered to International Business Machines belies the fact that it is a global technology leader and pioneer, with a work force of 241,000, cultivating markets in Eastern Europe, India, China, Southeast Asia, Latin America and elsewhere.

Cyberserk Awards
















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 The Domain Name Handbook: High Stakes and Strategies in Cyberspace
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