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Support for Motion 2

  • To: <whois-comments-2007@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Support for Motion 2
  • From: "Fabio Silva" <fsilva@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 19:15:50 -0400

Dear GNSO Council:

   Burberry Limited urges the Council to adopt Motion 2 during its vote
on Wednesday, October 31, 2007.

   Burberry invests significant resources in anti-counterfeiting - an
increasing portion of which occurs on the Internet.  

   Often, the only method of identifying the owner of a website selling
counterfeit merchandise is through the whois database.  We use this
information for purposes of addressing demand letters and giving the
owners of these websites an opportunity to cooperate with Burberry's
demands.  Without access to owner name and address information, it will
only encourage more counterfeiting activity on the Internet.  This does
not simply come at a disadvantage to brand owners like Burberry, but
also to consumers, which are making more of their purchases on the
Internet with every passing year.

    By requiring the owners of ecommerce sites to list their contact
information in the whois database, and to publish that information for
consumers and brand owners to see, it merely places Internet retailers
on equal footing with brick-and-mortar retailers.  Anyone who wishes to
engage in commerce on the Internet should reasonably have to disclose
their identity.  Individuals or businesses that are not comfortable
publishing their information in the whois database have the choice not
to create an online market for their goods.  This is a reasonable
trade-off, and does not deny anyone any right to engage in commerce on
the Internet.  

    To permit Internet retailers to designate an OPoC (Motion 1) will
permit counterfeiters to designate parties with no real obligations to
forward legal correspondence or authority to engage in settlement
discussions.  And, to remove all obligations of registrars to collect
and publish whois data (Motion 3) will only serve to diminish the
already weak obligations registrars have to provide consumers and brand
owners basic contact information of the seller at the other end of an
offer to engage in a commercial transaction.  

    Brand owners have either not participated sufficiently in the
discussions on this issue, or have been disenfranchised, if GNSO is now
considering doing away with whois data obligations.  I encourage GNSO to
gather more information on this issue, and to meet with more brand
owners.  Burberry will certainly assist in whatever way it can to help
GNSO understand that access to whois data is vital in order to keep the
number of counterfeiting websites at a minimum, so that less of this
counterfeit merchandise makes it into the hands of unsuspecting

   I invite any of the members of the GNSO Council to call me with any




Fabio R. Silva

Corporate & Intellectual Property Counsel

1350 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY  10019
212-707-6500 main
212-707-6545 direct dial
212-246-2486 fax


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