The Internet and Ethiopia’s IP Law, Internet Governance and Legal Education 155
Digital Rights Management systems
European Patent Office
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
Information and Communication Technology
Intellectual Property Rights
Online Service Providers
Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
World Intellectual Property Organization
“The registration of a domain name does not have any trademark status. It is up to
the requestor to be sure he is not violating anyone else’s Trademark.”
The rapid technological changes over the last decades have provided an
enormous number of new and innovative goods and services. The advent of
Internet, in particular, has dramatically transformed the way of doing business.
Along with all these opportunities, the Internet is also bringing new set of
challenges to existing legal regimes around the world. Intellectual property law
is arguably among the legal regimes challenged by the rapid development of the
Internet. It has become very easy to infringe intellectual property rights (“IPRs”)
through the use of electronic technologies.1 In this context, the first three
sections of this short article examine the main challenges and loopholes of the
major Ethiopian intellectual property laws in the context of the Internet.
The fourth section outlines the state of Internet governance in Ethiopia by
briefly addressing issues such as Ethiopia’s role in the global and regional
Internet governance frameworks as well as domestic multi-stakeholder
initiatives, if any. Section 5 considers the need for enabling Ethiopian legal
education to prepare law students to a legal profession which is increasingly
oriented by the Internet. A case is made towards introducing a new ma ndatory
‘cyber law’ course within the present law school curriculum in order to make
the legal education system fit for purpose in the digital age.
1 Copyrights and the Internet
The advancement of the internet has changed the underlying assumptions of
traditional copyright law since tech nological developments have made copyright
John Postel (1994), Domain Name Structure and Delegation, Request for Comments 1591,
March 1994, p. 6.
1 Philip Weiser (2003), The Internet, Innovation, and Intellectual Property Policy, Columbia
Law Review, Vol. 1 03, No. 3, pp. 534-613.