Anonymous writes "Responses are needed to WIPO-2...especially if you oppose some or all of the conclusions in the Interim Report.
I have submitted a response, and a summary of my comments is below."
The response is also posted at:
The Interim Report recommends that the protection of personal names in the Domain Name System (DNS) be added to the scope of protections that may be resolved through arbitration under the UDRP. The basis of WIPO’s recommendation is an apparent concern that celebrities or people of famous or notorious standing might be conspicuous targets for Cybersquatting. This conclusion is ill advised, and should be flatly rejected by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
In sum, the WIPO-2 preliminary recommendation should not be adopted in the final report. In the event that it is adopted by WIPO, ICANN should reject the recommendation for the following reasons:
(1) The completion of bottom-up substantive discussions concerning the UDRP and a review of the effectiveness of the existing implementation of the UDRP must occur prior to any consideration of expanding the scope of the UDRP;
(2) That existing laws of the States of the world adequately protect personal names, and to the extent that they do not the legislation of new law should only be effected through representative and legitimate law-making authority, not ICANN;
(3) The recommendation does not accord sufficient respect for rights outside of the intellectual property area and, in particular, the creation of a right of personality in domain names will have a direct and significant chilling effect on free expression as to matters of popular culture and public policy;
(4) The current UDRP and the arbitration decisions interpreting it provide no basis to distinguish common names from “famous” or notorious names. Nor is this fundamental shortcoming answered by direction or instruction from the Interim Report; and
(5) After a thorough-going review of the existing UDRP, it may well-serve the consensus of ICANN participants to modify the UDRP to protect the names of any individuals who can demonstrate that the name qualifies as a trademark under the law of a relevant State.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
Rutgers University Law School - Camden
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