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Comment of AIPPI - US Group: WHOIS Data

  • To: whois-services-comments@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comment of AIPPI - US Group: WHOIS Data
  • From: "Lackert, Clark" <CLackert@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2007 15:01:01 -0500

WHOIS records are an important tool for locating domain name registrants
for the purpose of resolving domain name disputes.  Under consideration
are revised rules that would reduce the data disclosed in WHOIS records
so that personal data identifying the registrant of the domain name
would no longer be disclosed.  Current proposals could limit disclosure
to contacts necessary to resolve technical issues, without including
contact information sufficient to resolve legal issues.  Such
limitations are undesirable for many reasons: they hinder the ability to
protect trademark rights on the Internet, shield cybersquatters from
enforcement efforts, increase the costs of investigation and dispute
resolution, and facilitate consumer fraud and deception.
In 2003, AIPPI adopted a Resolution regarding WHOIS information
(attached), which included the following statement:

        "Accurate registrant and contact information (name, postal
address, email address, telephone and fax number) should be readily
available to the public, free of charge, in an online Whois database,
which should include a local address for service of legal notice/process
and other information sufficient to assert local jurisdiction. Such
database should also include information regarding assignments
(including the registration history), original creation date,
encumbrances and security interests/pledges. The provision of false or
misleading registrant and contact information should be a ground for
rejection or cancellation of domain name registrations."

A key aspect of this statement is AIPPI's recognition that WHOIS data
must include information sufficient to locate and contact the domain
name registrant for resolution of legal disputes, not merely technical

The Federal Trade Commission has also expressed concern about proposals
to limit WHOIS disclosures in a statement issued in June 2006:

        "Whois databases [are] critical to the agency's consumer
protection mission, to other law enforcement agencies around the world,
and to consumers.
        . . . The use of these databases to protect consumers is at
        . . . any attempt to limit Whois . . . will put its ability to
protect consumers and their privacy in peril."

Thus, as demonstrated by the positions of AIPPI and the FTC, limitations
on WHOIS disclosures are contrary to the best interests of intellectual
property owners and consumers alike.  

Clark W. Lackert, Esq.
AIPPI - US Group


Clark W. Lackert, Esq.
King & Spalding LLP
1185 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10036

Direct Dial Tel.  212 556 2329
Office Tel. 212 556 2100
Fax  212 556 2222
E-mail clackert@xxxxxxxxx 
Website www.kslaw.com


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Attachment: Q173_E.pdf
Description: Q173_E.pdf

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