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Submissions on the proposals on WHOIS system reform

  • To: <whois-comments-2007@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Submissions on the proposals on WHOIS system reform
  • From: "Wong, Kenny K.S." <kenny.wong@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 14:46:08 +0800

Dear Sirs,
We, Johnson Stokes & Master of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,
are in support of Motion 2 in relation to the forthcoming vote by the
GNSO Council on the proposed reform on the domain name and WHOIS system.

As one of the largest law firms in the region, our intellectual
property/information technology group advises clients from different
industries on a large number of internet/domain-name related matters.
These include enforcement of intellectual property rights (including
trade mark/trade name rights) against "cybersquatters" or entities who
display or sell objectionable items on their websites. Although
occasionally the identity of the owner of the domain name concerned or
the operator of the website can be discerned from the contact
information posted on the webpage, more often than not (in particular
when the website is not accessible or when such contact information is
not available) the WHOIS system serves as the only practical means for
third parties to ascertain such particulars. 
In addition, from our experience, the WHOIS search results displaying
the registrant particulars are invariably admitted/regarded as prima
facie evidence of ownership of a domain name, either in commercial
transactions involving the sale and purchase of domain names or in
dispute resolution proceedings.
The WHOIS search particulars are valuable tools for achieving the above
purposes. In our opinion, efforts should be made to ensure the accuracy
of the particulars revealed, rather than to remove the disclosure
requirement. On the other hand, from our practice in this field since
the development of the Internet, we have not come across any substantive
complaint about an abuse or potential abuse of the registrant's
particulars on the WHOIS system.
For the above reasons, we are in favour of Motion 2 and urge the GNSO
Council to 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
Yours faithfully,
Johnson Stokes & Master
16th-19th Floors
Prince's Building
10 Chater Road
Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2843 2211
Fax: (852) 2845 9121
www.jsm.com <http://www.jsm.com/> 
Johnson Stokes & Master
Hong Kong Law Firm of the Year - ALB | China Law Awards | IFLR | Who's Who 
Head office : Johnson Stokes & Master, 16 - 19th Floors, Prince's Building, 10 
Chater Road, Hong Kong 
Regional offices : Beijing | Guangzhou | Shanghai | Bangkok | Phuket | Hanoi | 
Ho Chi Minh City 
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