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    ICANN Rips VeriSign Over Whois Violations | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 70 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: ICANN Rips VeriSign Over Whois Violations
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Wednesday September 04 2002, @04:41AM (#9015)
    User #2810 Info
    As I've said many times, the WHOIS should be private, subject to a court order or a request from a UDRP panel. One could also make the information available for research purposes to look for trends, in the same way a researcher is often given access to otherwise confidential data like medical records.

    Other than that, if the only compelling reason for making the WHOIS public is to allow fishing expeditions by the IP folks, then that surely doesn't balance against keeping it private to stop widespread spamming and cases of stalking, harrassment, etc. Which is the greater public good? Put it to a vote of the entire internet community and you know which way it would go, which is one of many reasons why ICANN shuts out the atlarge at every turn. This is going against the grain seen elsewhere and users will continue to vote with their feet, leaving ICANN to its dungheap. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: ICANN Rips VeriSign Over Whois Violations by fnord
    Re: You are wrong
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Thursday September 05 2002, @12:35AM (#9041)
    User #2810 Info
    Anonymous writes:
    how is a mark owner able to put the registrant on notice of its bad faith if it cannot locate or contact the individual.
    See the .ws WHOIS. They've got it set up so that only the registrant's name is displayed and you can then use a form to contact the owner if you are alleging trademark infringement. Why wouldn't that work?
    Many cases go away before being brought to the UDRP stage because registrants admit they are wrong after receiving a cease and desist letter.
    Or they get intimidated into giving up a name that by any real world law they should not have to give up. The hardcore squatters aren't going to be intimidated by that anyway, and you know it.
    fnord, your argument is wrong.
    Sorry, you'll have to do better than that. Where and how is it wrong? Such blanket absolutist statements sound like the divine right argument of Jonathan Cohen at Accra about what intellectual property has to do with the technical co-ordination of the internet: We're in the White Paper, end of story. Ya, well so was an elected at large, so what's the real story?
    ICANN should take a strong stand against false information in Whois.
    As a computer programmer and someone who otherwise creates unique material I don't like getting ripped off any more than anyone else, it has happened to me numerous times, including in the realm of domain names. But the IP folks are going overboard, you don't speak for me, you just look like technically (and otherwise) clueless bullies. If you can't find the squatter neither can anyone else, so what harm is being caused? (S)he can't make money off you without contact, and (s)he can't offer the domain for sale to anyone else. No harm, no foul.

    Look at what happened away back in 1998. Playboy sued and won a $3 million judgement regarding others using their trademarked terms in HTML metatags. They probably never collected, or even found the defendants, but you can bet a helluva lot of sites were subsequently removing such terms from their metatags. If the expensive lawyers feeding from the IP trough had recommended that a few cybersquatters be gone after in like fashion back then, we'd have nowhere near the problems we do now. If the IP folks put together a warchest and did it even now it would go a long way towards curing the problem. Instead they get ICANN's ear and get the UDRP, get the same unpredictable, inconsistent results no-one else likes either, and the main perpetrators just get smarter and use each new ruling (for either party) to come up with new stratagems to further shield themselves. It's a losing battle.

    So, no, I don't think ICANN should take a strong stand on the WHOIS just because some lazy and/or uncreative IP protectors can't get their act together. OTOH, in the larger picture I hope ICANN does take such a strong stand because it will just lead to more migration to the ccTLDs, making them stronger and ICANN weaker. And making the IP folks have to fight battles all over the planet that will have no consistent winner and no end in sight.

    The IP folks were slow to see the danger and register their treasured names in the first place, then they spent their time and money trying to turn ICANN into the character string police, when they could have struck decisively (and perhaps still could, albeit less decisively) using existing law. They didn't listen to anyone else throughout this process, they thought they knew best, they still do, and they're still losing. Sorry, I don't have any sympathy for them. -g

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