Comment - PEDNR
- To: <pednr-wg-questions@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Comment - PEDNR
- From: "Rosette, Kristina" <krosette@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 22:11:02 -0400
I submit this comment because I have been advised that it reflects
information the PEDNR Working Group will find of interest. The comment
does not respond to the five questions posed; I hope to have the
opportunity next week to do so.
Last week I encountered an "expiration" scenario that has significant
implications: A registrant canceled his domain name registration well
before the registration term expired. The registrar removed the domain
name from the registrant's "control panel" at the registrar, moved the
name to an account controlled by the registrar, did not delete the name
at the registry, and left the Whois data completely unchanged. Even
though the registrar is effectively the registrant, the Whois record
contains the registrant's data and his original registration date!
How do I know this? I sent a cease and desist letter to the registrant,
who responded by informing me that he had contacted the registrar almost
five months ago to request cancellation of the domain name and that his
control panel at the registrar no longer included the name. I then
called the registrar. The customer service representative I spoke with
was very helpful. She confirmed that the registrant had canceled the
name almost five months ago and told me that it was the registrar's
policy to move into a registrar-controlled account all names that were
cancelled or surrendered before their expiration and to leave the Whois
record unchanged. I have submitted a Registrar Complaint Form. The
Whois record still shows the domain name as being registered to the
person to whom I sent the cease and desist letter, and the name still
resolves to the same servers.
I do not have my client's permission to identify the domain name or the
registrar. However, the registrar is a related company to a "Top 15"
registrar. I base my "related company" characterization on the facts
that (a) the relevant state Secretary of State database records indicate
that both companies have the same address, same agent for service of
process, and same officers; and (b) the customer service representative
transferred me to the voicemail of a person in the legal department of
the "Top 15" registrar. That person has not returned my call.
In addition to constituting at least several RAA violations, the harm
that can and could occur through such "post expiration" conduct is
significant. The registrant was agitated and concerned that the Whois
record still shows the name as being registered to him. He would likely
have been even more so had my client bypassed the letter and filed a
UDRP Complaint against him. In addition, this type of action by
registrars could create a situation in which a registrar engages in
unlawful conduct -- criminal conduct beyond trademark infringement --
and the registrant becomes the unwitting victim.
I am submitting this comment solely in my personal capacity.
Covington & Burling LLP
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004-2401
direct fax: 202-778-5173
main fax: 202-662-6291