ICANN community weighs in on UDRP status report

Internet Commerce Association among commentors on UDRP Policy Status Report.

UDRP in red on a cream background

The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) is currently conducting a review of all rights protection mechanisms in the gTLD space. The first phase examined the rights protection mechanisms created for new TLDs. Phase two, which focuses exclusively on the UDRP, is just getting rolling.

ICANN recently published data about the UDRP and asked for public comment.

The chance to change UDRP is undoubtedly something that domainers should care about. Whether you like it as it is or think it should be modified, you can be assured that interests that want to make it easier to take away your domains will try to take advantage of the opportunity.

As I posted recently, UDRP change is one of the reasons why domain investors might want to get involved in ICANN. Or at least support organizations representing domain owners; Elliot Silver noted last week that these sorts of public comment opportunities are why he joined the Internet Commerce Association (ICA).

The ICA submitted comments, as did individual domainers (myself included). In its lengthy, comprehensive response, the ICA highlighted the key factors to be examined and reassessed in phase two:

  • The review can’t last forever – it’s important to target issues that matter to mark holders and registrants, and work on those efficiently. (ICA has been working on UDRP for a long time.)
  • UDRP cannot be both shield and sword for trademark holders – the growing trend of reverse domain name hijacking decisions demonstrates that the current system is misused by “covetous” brands.
  • The UDRP is ancient, in internet terms, and much has changed since it was created. Updating the context in which the UDRP operates is critical for predictability and consistency in interpretation.
  • The ICA offers some guidelines and goals for creating an efficient, rational, and collaborative review process that can benefit both trademark owners and domain investors. One of its guidelines is that the recommendations should come from a consensus of experts on “both sides” of the fence – although the ICA also believes that reform of the UDRP is not a zero-sum game.

This is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Post link: ICANN community weighs in on UDRP status report

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