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WHOIS - things to consider

  • To: whois-accuracy-study@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: WHOIS - things to consider
  • From: Vadim Kolosov <vadim@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2010 19:09:01 +0300

Hi, everyone!

As a lawyer specializing in Internet law I can assure that WHOIS is very 
important in cases of protecting 3rd parties' rights (be it trademark, 
copyright, other intellectual property rights, rights to privacy or publicity - 
any rights).
1. Indeed, as a private domain name owner I would prefer to hide my personal 
details from the public. Moreover, that is actually what laws in most countries 
allow for – private persons have a right to prohibit 3rd parties to make their 
personal information available to the public. In this part, I support the 
suggestion of Keith Dunbar in respect of an option to hide personal details. 
This is implemented in RU zone by nic.ru for instance. This is law, so actually 
registrars should just ease the process for private persons and make it free of 
charge, of course.
2. However, it should be otherwise when the domain name registrant is a 
company. There is no private information in that case. Thus, I would say, such 
registrants should be directly prohibited from hiding their information AND 
from using WHOIS proxies. Because in that cases, WHOIS disguising is aimed only 
for making obstacles to right holders and to those who have suffered from the 
domain name owner infringements.
3. Quite often, WHOIS information contains wrong e-mail addresses. As a 
suggestion, registrars could be obliged to send annually e-mails to all e-mail 
addresses given in WHOIS asking the recipients to confirm the receipt by 
visiting a unique link. And if the domain name owner fails to do so, then such 
e-mail address is changed to the domain name owner's e-mail address, but if the 
latter is not confirmed during, say, one-two months, then the domain name 
registration is cancelled. 
A thing everyone should understand is that Internet – indeed a great sphere and 
fount of information but the sources of information should be identified or at 
least there should be an easy procedure to identify the source. You can not 
negotiate with "no one" and you can not sue unidentified domain name owner. A 
failure to identify an owner leaves only a way to sue the registrar, which is 
not correct and of course such claim would fail, but in some cases this could 
be the only way to identify the owner.

Best regards,
Vadim Kolosov
Tel.: +7 (812) 4544656
ICQ: 688 585 29
Skype: vadim.kolosov

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