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eBay Inc., Comments on Domain Tasting

  • To: <domain-tasting-motion@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: eBay Inc., Comments on Domain Tasting
  • From: "Kawaguchi, Susan" <skawaguc@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 18:57:36 -0600

eBay Inc., respectfully submits the following comments:

eBay Inc. appreciates this opportunity to comment on the draft motion
under consideration in the GNSO council regarding domain name tasting.
eBay is the world's largest online trading community and has the world's
leading e-commerce brand.  Domain name registrations incorporating
eBay's trademarks are a serious and persistent problem. eBay must devote
considerable resources to policing its marks against such registrations.
In many instances, such registrations constitute cybersquatting, and
eBay must invest additional resources in preparing and prosecuting
actions under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy to combat them.  
Domain tasting facilitates and enables cybersquatting on eBay's marks
because it is a way for abusive registrants to identify, at no cost or
risk to themselves,  domain names that can be easily monetized in a
pay-per-click or similar environment.  Even more disturbing, domain
tasting plays a facilitating role in phishing schemes.  Domain names
incorporating eBay's marks have repeatedly been used in phishing
schemes.  Oftentimes, malicious registrants use domain names for
phishing schemes during the grace period itself and, thereafter, simply
abandon the registrations.  Overall, these frauds are directed at
members of the eBay community, expose honest consumers to significant
risks, and undermine public confidence in the e-commerce environment
that eBay and many others have worked so hard, for so many years, to
develop and strengthen.  
eBay welcomes the motion now under consideration by the GNSO Council as
part of the solution to the domain tasting problem.  It would build on
the steps already taken (or proposed) by registries operating TLDs such
as .org, .info and .biz, and would urge the ICANN Board to apply similar
policies across the board to all gTLD registries.  Notably, the motion
would apply policies to avoid abuse of the "Add Grace Period" to the
.com and .net registries, where such abuse is far more widespread, and
is more likely to have harmful consequences, than in smaller gTLD
registries.  In particular, phishing activity is disproportionately
concentrated in .com and .net, so failure to address domain tasting as
an enabling technique for phishing in these domains would be
irresponsible.  In our experience, these domains also attract the vast
majority of cybersquatting incidents.  eBay supports elimination of the
add grace period, but the draft motion would be an important step in the
right direction.  
eBay urges the GNSO council to adopt the motion and urges the ICANN
Board to heed the advice which the motion contains.  Thank you for
considering our views.  

Richard Nessary
Associate General Counsel, Intellectual Property

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