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Comments of Elman Technology Law, P.C. on Proposed Changes to Whois Data Accessibility

  • To: <whois-services-comments@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Comments of Elman Technology Law, P.C. on Proposed Changes to Whois Data Accessibility
  • From: "Gerry Elman" <gerry@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2007 19:18:24 -0500


Elman Technology Law, P.C. is a law firm in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania,
U.S.A., working primarily in intellectual property and Internet law, serving
clients located in the United States, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, the
United Kingdom, and elsewhere.  We are the registrant of the domains
elman.com and internet-atty.com, and from time to time we advise clients on
matters related to their Internet presence and the presence of others who
may be infringing their trademarks.


We find it essential to be able to obtain the identity of registrants of
domains via the WHOIS database.  Without it, the use of ICANN-mandated
arbitration procedures and judicial and law-enforcement remedies to deal
with improprieties committed via the Web would be stymied.  Such
improprieties include not only cybersquatting and trademark infringement but
also range to sources of counterfeit products, and extend to various online
frauds including phishing schemes.


We favor changes that would increase rather than decrease the validity and
availability of complete information as to the identity, location and
contact information of registrants of domains.  We submit that those who
seek to communicate publicly via the Web or offer services via the Internet
should be readily identifiable.  This is analogous to the principle of
requiring public filings of their whereaboutsw by those who choose to use
"fictitious names" to do business or to do so via a corporate entity.


Of the proposals of which we are aware, if there is to be a change from
present practice, we would favor the Special Circumstances Proposal over the
oPOC Proposal.  We acknowledge that there may sometimes be circumstances
wherein individual, non-commercial registrants could demonstrate a specific
need to suppress their personal contact data on the grounds of personal
safety, as provided for in the Special Circumstances Proposal.  However,
those circumstances should be the rare exception rather than a general rule.


We submit that the oPOC proposal would be detrimental to the public interest
by removing essential information from accessibility without providing
safeguards which would protect those harmed by the activities of those
thereby cloaked in anonymity.  If any elements of data regarding a domain
registrant are to be withheld from the public under proposed changes, we
urge that procedures be implemented to ensure that those elements be made
available promptly to interested parties.  Moreover, registrars should be
mandated to implement porocedures to ensure that registrant contact
information be accurate and maintained current, now noticeably lacking.


We thank ICANN for the opportunity to comment on the present proposals.


-Gerry J. Elman

Elman Technology Law, P.C.
Swarthmore, PA, U.S.A.   <http://www.elman.com> www.elman.com


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