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  • To: <whois-comments-2007@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject:
  • From: "Drummond, Frances" <Frances.Drummond@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2007 07:50:17 +1100

Dear Sir/Madam

ICANN - GNSO Council review of the WHOIS system

I am a partner at Freehills, which is a major Australian commercial law
firm, with over 200 partners and around 1,000 lawyers. Freehills has
offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Singapore as well as
corresponding offices in South-East Asia. More information is available
at www.freehills.com.

Freehills acts for a wide range of Australian companies and our comments
below on the three motions before the GNSO Council are based on our
experience in advising clients in a wide range of intellectual property

We regularly provide advice to clients in relation to a wide range of
websites and domain names, and in relation to a variety of issues and
concerns held by our clients. In our experience Whois information
generally facilitates:

*       a better understanding of who stands behind the relevant
website. This information will generally enable our clients to form a
more accurate assessment of their legal rights and position. Sometimes
it will be the case that this information leads our clients to
understand that the domain name holder in fact appears to hold
legitimate or superior rights in the relevant domain name, thus avoiding
the instigation of an unnecessary dispute.
*       contact to be made with the registrant of the domain name in
order to facilitate direct negotiation with the relevant person or
entity, thereby avoiding more expensive litigation as the relevant
necessary first step.

While Whois information may sometimes be inaccurate, in our view it is
better to have an imperfect Whois database than none at all. Whois
information facilitates the enforcement of legitimate legal rights, and
assists our clients to better understand what their true legal position
is without having to first engage in expensive and inordinate measures
such as issuing subpoenas in the jurisdiction in which the relevant
domain name registrar resides. Further, Whois information facilitates
negotiation with the relevant domain name holder which can similarly
assist in avoiding unnecessarily high legal expenses and thereby promote
a lower cost of access to justice for our clients.

For these reasons we respectfully submit that the GNSO Council should
support motion number 2.

Yours faithfully

Frances Drummond

Frances Drummond

Direct 61 2 9225 5512
Telephone 61 2 9225 5000
Facsimile 61 2 9322 4000
Mobile 0404 065 512

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