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Comments on DENIC's .NET Proposal

  • To: net-rfp-general@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comments on DENIC's .NET Proposal
  • From: Michael Heltzer <mheltzer@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2005 13:46:26 -0500

Below are some observations concerning the Whois provisions in DENIC's


*       Appendix E, Section A(12):  The definition of "whois Service" is
limited to services "running on TCP port 43."  However, Appendix O states
that there are three types of Whois services, only two of which rely on port
43.  The third is the "public web-whois service."  Thus, it is unclear what
provisions of DENIC's proposals really apply to the "public web" whois
service, since DENIC has defined "whois Service" to not cover such service.


*       Appendix O, Section 2(a):  DENIC proposes that some Whois fields
will be "mandatory" and others "optional."  After the transition period is
over and DENIC is operating as a "thick" registry (i.e. all Whois
information is centralized at the registry rather than being distributed
among the registrars), only certain fields for the "contact" will be
mandatory, namely:  (1) handle, (2) name, (3) address, and (4) created (note
that "created" seems out of place for information pertaining to the contact,
whereas it is also a mandatory field for the domain itself).  The major
problem with this is that the "address" only includes the street address.
The fields for city, state, postal code, and even country are all
"optional."  Thus, a domain name registrant's name and street address, such
as John Smith at 24 Maple Street, might appear, but without knowing the city
or even country this information is essentially useless.  


*       Appendix O, Section 2(a):  The "contact information" provided is not
necessarily that of the domain name registrant.  Thus, even if one could
figure out a contact address, that may not be sufficient for the service of
legal papers upon the domain name registrant.  Further, there is no
guarantee that any communications sent to the contact will be routed to the
domain name registrant.  


*       Appendix O, Section 2(a):  In its "Note to reviewers," DENIC states
that "[t]he mandatory information fields will ensure that the registrant can
be identified and contacted.  Yet by providing only information on how to
contact the registrant via postal mail will [be] establish[ed] sufficiently
high hurdles to protect the registrant from unsolicited phone calls or
e-mails."  However, as demonstrated above, DENIC's proposal does not provide
for the availability of either the full postal address, nor guarantee that
whatever contact information is available is for the registrant.  


*       Appendix P:  DENIC proposes not to provide "bulk access" to Whois
data.  This will essentially make it impossible for third parties to provide
reverse Whois look-up services, thereby making it very difficult, if not
impossible, to know what domain names a particular registrant owns.  This
has the effect of essentially nullifying Section 4(b)(ii) of the UDRP noting
that evidence of bad faith may consist of engaging in a "pattern" of
registering domain names in order to prevent trademark owners from
reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain.  


*       Section 2:5.b.xii(a):  For the "public whois via web servlet," DENIC
states that access will be a "two-step" process.  The first step gives only
the "availability information" for the domain.  For receiving "additional
information" the user has to agree to terms and conditions.  Included in the
terms and conditions in Figure 4 of Section 2:5.b.xii of DENIC's proposal is
a recognition that it is permitted to use the Whois contact information
(such that it is) "to contact the domain holder over legal problems."  INTA
agrees that any Whois system should have ready access to accurate and
complete contact data for the domain name registrant.  DENIC's Figure 5
gives the impression that such information is readily available.  However,
as noted above, DENIC's actual proposal for the .net domain in Appendix O
does not provide for the availability of either the full postal address, nor
guarantee that whatever contact information is available is for the


Michael Heltzer

External Relations Manager

International Trademark Association








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