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IRT Comment - Uniform Rapid Suspension System

  • To: irt-final-report@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: IRT Comment - Uniform Rapid Suspension System
  • From: Alan Dunn <alandunn@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 3 Jul 2009 20:51:02 -0400

Uniform Rapid Suspension System is a STEP BACKWARDS and an OPEN DOOR to abuse



I’ve been a domain owner for more than a dozen years and have seen
this industry evolve each and every year. The Uniform Rapid Suspension
System proposed can only be defined as going back in time 10 years and
starting over – except this time, it will be the lawyers and the
underworld of the legal community who will have their turn trying to
take away property from people and/or companies who have invested vast
amounts of time, knowledge and money into building the property they

Fact is even the most respected domain owners in the world, large
portfolio owners and relatively new investors have been consistently
shredding their portfolios from names that are obvious trademark
infringements. The industry is adopting and learning however the
internet is still relatively knew and all of us who have been there
since the beginning have learned, modified and grew as the laws have
been put in place. It takes time to clean up an industry but
significant progress is being made day after day.

Remember, much of what is wrong today was unknown 10 years ago.

In fact, the application of laws for lesser known trademarks and how
they apply to domain names can still be argued to be a roll of the
dice since intent, use, content and many other factors (outside of
just the trademark ownership) must be used to determine whether or not
the trademark holder has a right to the name. The system for
determining abuse and, acknowledging valid trademark infringements is
still ever evolving – that is why the current UDRP process is where
ICANN should expand on rather than adopting a shorter, quicker and
“ready for abuse” system such as the Uniform Rapid Suspension System.

We need higher levels of protection and validation for domain owners
and trademark holders – not a shorter, simpler solution.

As of now, some UDRP decisions are left in the hand of a single panel
member to determine so how can you consider going 10 steps back with
the Uniform Rapid Suspension System?

The UDRP system currently in place should be expanded to allow more
room for dispute with each claim but also a minimum number of panel
members should also be present. ICANN should represent both sides
(domain owners and rights of trademark holders) so the balance is to
find a system which doesn’t put an overly burden on either of the
parties but a fair and impartial method to resolve disputes.

The majority of trademark abuse for domain names which is often
publicized is limited to a small group of registrants – registrants
which ICANN knows and is aware of.  Much of the bad press associated
with domain names stems from activities which you, I nor anyone has
any control over.  Domains are products which carry “instant
availability” so there will be always be “newcomers” who register
names in bad faith .. such as the flood of Michael Jackson domains in
the last 24 hours … but NOTHING you can ever do will stop this and
most of these are by people who only let them expire the next year.

In fact, any time or money used to try and control the abuse of new
registrations truly is a waste of time and money – almost like a dog
chasing a tail since it will never end.

The purpose of creating a better process for trademark holders is
valid and wanted by many (even domain owners) however ICANN should
focus on building a better system – not starting anew.

Almost 90% of cases already prevail with the trademark holder as the
winner –  The current system works but yes, it can improve however do
we really need to reinvent the wheel when there is a 90% success rate?

We can not afford to start over.

Regardless of ICANN’s informal position on large portfolio owners it
is not us you should be concerned about -- it is the Mom and Pop’s of
the world, the small business of the world (not just America) and the
hopes and dreams many people have bet their lives on by establishing,
building and branding domain names through the use of email, websites
or online businesses.

These owners, these people, these families should never be subject to
something as brutal and open for abuse as the proposed Uniform Rapid
Suspension System

I support rights for VALID trademark holders however it’s more than a
trademark many times and a simple one page form where the onus shifts
more on the domain owner to respond is critical, backwards and just
not in the best interest for domain owners, small business and the
internet as a whole.

We need to evolve as a community - the Uniform Rapid Suspension System
is not this symbol of change.

Alan Dunn
Newfound Names LLC

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