IP Justice Opposes the IRT Report Proposals
- To: irt-final-report@xxxxxxxxx
- Subject: IP Justice Opposes the IRT Report Proposals
- From: Robin Gross <robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 18:49:41 -0700
IP Justice is a nonprofit public benefit organization based in San
Francisco that promotes balanced intellectual property rights in
Internet law and policy. Founded in 2002, IP Justice has an
international board of directors and members in countries from all
corners of the globe. IP Justice participates at ICANN via the
Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC).
IP Justice is opposed to all the major proposals contained within the
IRT Report as being beyond the bounds of trademark law and beyond
the scope of ICANN's technical mandate. We are concerned about the
harmful impact on freedom of expression - particularly criticism and
noncommercial speech by the proposed rules. IP Justice is further
opposed to the biased composition of the IRT Team and the secretive
manner in which it did its work. A true "bottom-up" policy
development process would have included representatives of domain
name registrants in the creation of the policy proposal.
Despite its hard work and long hours, which we all recognize and
appreciate, the IRT Team failed its mandate to find a solution
acceptable to all; and it failed in its own stated mission by
attempting to create substantive rights for trademark claimants that
do not exist in law.
Furthermore, the IRT Report proposes to shift the burden and the cost
of protecting brands over to Internet users and away from the private
companies who benefit from the privileges of trademark protection.
The law does not do this.
ICANN should endeavor to provide a more balanced discussion as it
takes the IRT Report on its summer world tour. In particular, ICANN
must ensure other stakeholders' views can be heard (and not only the
IP Constituency) by providing travel support to noncommercial users
and others who have significant concerns with the proposals but no
resources to participate.
ICANN is an inappropriate forum for creating these new substantive
trademark rights, despite its appeal to brand owners as a one-stop-
shop for obtaining global policies for only the cost of a few
thousand dollars in lobbyists. This should not be the message ICANN
sends the world about how policy is made at ICANN.
ICANN must not allow the constant threats from intellectual property
lobbyists prevent the organization from introducing new gTLDs and
creating an Internet that benefits everyone. Remember these are the
same lobbyists who promised the VCR would be the death to the movie
industry in 1980, and who tried to sue MP3 players off the market 10
years ago. They have a solid track record of being wrong on these
overblown claims (threats). Their story that "the sky is falling
because of new gtlds" should be easy to see through at this point.
Please do not allow their threats to hold up the process any further
by continuing with the IRT Report in any form.
Robin Gross, Executive Director
1192 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117 USA
p: +1-415-553-6261 f: +1-415-462-6451
w: http://www.ipjustice.org e: robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx