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FW: INTA Call to Action: Whois System

  • To: <whois-comments-2007@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: FW: INTA Call to Action: Whois System
  • From: "Lance Johnson" <ljohnson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2007 12:29:24 -0400

I urge ICANN to retain the WHOIS database and adopt Motion 2 before reducing or 
restricting the database in any way.
A significant portion of my practice involves the policing of trademarks that 
may appear in domain names and filing complaints under the UDRP for those uses 
that harm the trademark owner's business. The UDRP rules require that the 
information contained in the WHOIS database be used as the named respondent.
It was bad enough when so-called privacy services introduced another barrier 
(and cost element) into the UDRP process. Elimination of the WHOIS database 
would render the UDRP system unworkable and effectively useless. Please do not 
do this without thorough and adequate consideration of its ramifications. 
Please adopt Motion 2.
Lance G. Johnson
Roylance, Abrams, Berdo & Goodman, LLP
1300 19th Street, NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 659-9076
Fax: (202) 659-9344




From: Claudio Di Gangi, INTA External Relations Manager, Internet & Judiciary 
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2007 5:50 PM
To: Richard Flynt
Subject: INTA Call to Action: Whois System


International Trademark Association - Representing Trademark Owners Since 1878

Dear Member,

As the complexity and size of the Internet grows, the International Trademark 
Association (INTA) continues to support public policy that promotes 
intellectual property as an element of international commerce and fair trade.

Today, INTA would like to draw your attention to an Internet policy development 
that concerns the open access to domain name ownership information:

ICANN, the Internet's rule-making and coordination authority, is currently 
seeking feedback from Internet stakeholders and their representatives on 
whether to change or eliminate the Whois database - the online system that 
provides free public access to contact and ownership details for all generic 
Top-Level Domain name registrations (.com, .net, .info, .biz, .org, etc.). 

What is Whois? 
The Whois system is important for trademark owners because it is used daily by 
law enforcement, businesses and consumers to manage domain names, perform due 
diligence, protect intellectual property rights, and locate and contact the 
true owners of problematic web sites. 

In many cases, free open access to domain name ownership information is a 
prerequisite for taking swift legal action that can prevent Internet fraud and 
other schemes that confuse and deceive the public in the Internet marketplace.

What is ICANN doing with Whois? 
On October 31, 2007, ICANN's policy advisory body (the Generic Names Supporting 
Organization (GNSO) Council) will vote on three motions that will determine the 
future structure of the domain name and Whois system.

Motion 1 proposes a new 'Operational Point of Contact' (OPoC) - with undefined 
legal responsibilities - to replace the current domain registration contacts. 
The 'OPoC' proposal also limits the amount of publicly displayed domain name 
ownership information - data which is often used by consumers, law enforcement 
and Internet stakeholders to manage, police and protect consumer and 
intellectual property rights on the Internet.

Motion 2, advanced and supported by INTA's Internet Committee, proposes that 
ICANN conduct an objective and comprehensive study on the legitimate abuses and 
uses of Whois data - before making policy changes that may permanently alter 
the structure of the domain name and Whois system.

Motion 3 proposes eliminating all contractual obligations which require 
registrars to display domain name ownership and contact details, effectively 
abolishing the entire Whois system for Generic-Top-Level domain names.

How can I let ICANN know that Whois is important to the brand owners I 
INTA urgently requests that you respond to ICANN by October 30, 2007 with your 
opinions on the Whois database and to support adoption of Motion 2 by sending 
your comments to: whois-comments-2007@xxxxxxxxx 

Certainly, specific information about how your company uses Whois and why it is 
important would be useful to provide in your comment. But if that is not 
possible, even a brief statement that you believe Whois is important for 
consumers and business - and to help businesses protect their consumers online 
- and that the GNSO Council should adopt Motion 2 and reject Motions 1 and 3 
would be very helpful. The important thing is to make your voice known, and 
that you do so in your own words.

Please keep in mind that you must respond to the confirming email you will 
automatically receive from ICANN, otherwise, your comments may not be posted.

Thank you. Should you have any questions or if you require further assistance, 
please contact me at: +1-212-642-1720 or cdigangi@xxxxxxxx


Claudio Di Gangi 
External Relations Manager, Internet & Judiciary

Copyright © 2007 International Trademark Association, 655 Third Avenue, 10th 
Floor, New York, NY 10017-5617 USA 
phone +1-212-768-9887 | fax +1-212-768-7796 | http://www.inta.org/ 
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