Arab Center for Domain Name Dispute Resolution (ACDR)
Greetings,In this e-mail i intend outline the issue of potential acceptance of ACDR as one of the official dispute resolution providers under the UDRP. This is not a vote for or against, but rather a critical and subjective view on the matter.
Before i start i shall confess that i am not familiar with the process the other providers were chosen with, and as such i am not comparing ACDR to other bodies, but rather comparing it to the standards of becoming an arbiter for the domain name resolutions.
Although the first submitted comment voices the consern that the Center is based in the arab region of the world, it should be viewed as a positive, rather than negative side of the proposal. It creates a more ballanced process as long as there is no provision that limits people to use that rather than another despute resolution provider. Internet is a global network and it should be expected that not all the views on the state of affairs should come from North America and Western Europe.
The question of "Intellectual Property Rights" is the negative aspect of the proposal. The despute resolution should include views from all strata of the Internet community, not only law firms and large corporations which support such a legal construct. Domain names are owned by different people, and some of them oppose to "Intellectual Property" for many reasons (some ethical, some political, some economic). Creating a body for domain name resolution which has a specific non-neutral belief that "only through strong protection of Intellectual Property Rights that the region can truly develop a dynamic and innovative business environment" breaks the expectation that the panelists chosen will be truly neutral on the matter.
Also on the vision, it is not clear if that vision will have to be shared by the panelists; and if an individual is otherwise qualified, but (for example) believes that the growth in GNP does not necessitate the increase in social welfare, will that individual be allowed to serve as a neutral on the board?
Multilanguage provision shows the dedication to the international nature of the internet as the whole and the domain name registration process specifically.
The fact that ACDR has access to "spacious facilit[ie]s in one of the most sophisticated office buildings" should be considered neither positive nor negative. Quality resolution process can occur in all kinds of facilities, and the same can be said about the poor resolution.
The selection of Advasory Board once again conflicts with any neutrality that should be demanded from the arbitration body. Since "[t]heir selection will be according to experience and knowledge in the field of intellectual property *protection* [...]" (emphasis added), they are likely to lack the knowledge of the other side of the issue.
The fact that the "initial panelists are multinational, multilingual [...] residents of d[i]fferent countries around the world and are capable of conducting proceedings in several languages" once again highlights the positive side of this proposal.
The screening requirements show that it is possible for somebody who does not openly show support for Intellectual Property to become a panelist, which is a positive development, but non-the-less many professional bodies listed show open support for the Intellectual Property, and that is not well ballanced. While on its own accord this unballanced nature of the screening requirements can be written off as a lack of professional bodies that represent anti-IP in Arabic countries, the language of the rest of the documents suggests that it is a deliberate attempt to derail the neutral process of domain name resolution.
The decision whether the panalist is impartial is made by the center itself, coupled with the fact that it is not clear what information about the panelist will be provided to each party in dispute this can create a case where arbitrations will become biased towards one party (or against one party).
To summarise:ACDR appears to be a wonderful international agency which has horribly little understanding of complexity of the IP debate in the world.
- Volodya -- http://freedom.libsyn.com/ Echo of Freedom, Radical Podcast "None of us are free until all of us are free." ~ Mihail Bakunin