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URS and .Net registry agreement

  • To: <net-agreement-renewal@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: URS and .Net registry agreement
  • From: "Bill Sweetman" <bsweetman@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 10 May 2011 14:30:00 -0400

As an ICANN-accredited registrar with nearly 1 million .Net domain names
under management, Tucows is deeply concerned to learn that ICANN is being
urged to impose the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) and Trademark Claims
Service (TCS) developed for the still-unapproved new gTLD program through
further amendment of the .Net registry agreement. 

Tucows Inc. is the third largest domain name registrar in the world, a large
domain portfolio holder, and a significant trademark owner, and as such we
deal daily with all sides of intellectual property issues. 

Tucows is also committed to preserving the rights of .Net (and all other
TLD) registrants and is against imposing URS on .Net through this registry
contract renewal for the following reasons:

* The URS details are still in flux and it is a totally untested mechanism,
but clearly the URS provides registrants with fewer rights than the UDRP.
* There is no foundation in any ICANN policy process for imposing new gTLD
"rights protections" on incumbent gTLDs without careful study and
deliberation -- after seeing how they work, or don't, with new gTLDs.
* This is a big deal -- .Net is the third largest TLD after .Com and .De,
with almost 14 million registrations. 
* It's fundamentally unfair to impose URS on .Net registrants through this
kind of backdoor procedure. If individuals want to acquire domains in the
new gTLDs they do so with advance notice that they will be subject to URS -
but .Net domains have been acquired, often at considerable expense, with the
understanding that a registrant's registration and use would only be subject
to possible UDRP review.
* If trademark interests can get the URS imposed on .Net now, and .Com next
year through its contract renewal, then they are likely to scuttle the
entire UDRP reform process that ICANN is initiating and that provides the
only real prospect for balanced and comprehensive UDRP reform. 

Tucows urges ICANN to resist the call to impose URS on .Net through this
registry contract renewal.


Bill Sweetman
General Manager, Domain Portfolio
Tucows Inc.

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