The current state of the mobile market, contrary to what some tech commenters might be opining, is anything but ponies and roses. It's a lot like coming home from a hard day of work and finding out that your toilet is leaking--leaking all over your floor, that is. You don't really have the tools to fix it, but you do have a healthy amount of duct tape sitting around.
AT&T's announcement that it's eliminating the unlimited data plans for iPhone and iPad owners is but the black, sticky tape covering up a greater disaster underneath. But that's not what the various Internet commenters would have you believe. To them, the charitable AT&T has graciously swooped down to lower everyone's monthly data fees since so very, very few people will ever push past its first-tier pricing scheme of $25 per month for two gigabytes of data.
This is not some charitable reduction that saves 98 percent of AT&T's user base an extra $5 a month. If you believe that, then by all means, let the carrier come marching right up to your front door with a new contract and a shiny golden ticket to Wonka's candy factory. Because that, sir or ma'am, is just the level of delusion we're talking about.
A federal court in Northern California had ordered a cybersquatter, OnlineNIC, to pay $33.15 million in damages to Verizon in December, 2008. The award was made in a default judgment after OnlineNIC employees eluded all attempts to summon them to court. OnlineNIC had registered more than 600 domains that contained Verizon's name and trademarks. It earned money through ads hosted on these domains, which appeared to be associated with Verizon.
The cybersquatter finally appeared before the court in February 2009. It filed a motion to set aside the default judgment. The burden of OnlineNIC’s argument was that the damages awarded by the court gave an exaggerated account of the harm its activities had caused to Verizon. It claimed to have only earned a trivial sum of $1,468.60 in profit from the 663 Verizon-related domains at issue. On August 25, the court upheld the default order while dismissing OnlineNIC’s arguments.
"OnlineNIC's reference to its alleged profit fails to take any account of the damages suffered by Verizon in the form of a likelihood of confusion surrounding Verizon's marks and the diversion of internet traffic to websites selling rival products," Judge Jeremy Fogel wrote in his verdict, making it clear that harm caused to Verizon should not be confused with OnlineNIC’s profit.