FTAA Might Mandate UDRP
Date: Tuesday July 03 2001, @10:27AM
Topic: Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

The intellectual property section of the draft Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) (warning: proprietary document format) contains proposals that would obligate countries by law to use ICANN's horribly flawed UDRP for domain name dispute resolution. Repeat - this is only a draft, and the text is in [square brackets] meaning that different points of view exist on this subject. So it's not too late to speak out against the idea of governments requiring a procedure that lacks basic due process.

The alert on the FTAA comes via an email making the rounds, originally from Robert Weissman at essential.org. Weissman writes:

The relevant text follows below, from the trademark section. This is all still subject to negotiation.

Article XX. [Domain names on the Internet

1. Parties shall participate in the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to promote appropriate country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) administration and delegation practices and appropriate contractual relationships for the administration of the ccTLDs in the Hemisphere.

2. Parties shall have their domestic Network Information Centers (NICs) participate in the ICANN Uniform Dispute Resolution Procedure (UDRP) to address the problem of cyber-piracy of trademarks.]

Article XX. [Cancellation and transfer of domain name

In the event that a well known distinctive sign has been inappropriately registered in the country of the Party, as part of a domain name or electronic mail address of an unauthorized third party, on request by the owner or legitimate rightholder of that sign, the competent authority shall consider the matter and, where appropriate, shall order cancellation or amendment of the registration of such domain name or electronic mail address, in accordance with the respective national law, provided that use thereof would be liable to have one of the following effects:

1. Risk confusion or association with the owner or legitimate rightholder of the sign, or with his or her establishments, activities, products or services;

2. Cause unfair economic or commercial injury to the owner or lawful rightholder of the sign, arising from a dilution of its distinctive force or commercial or publicity value;

3. Make unfair use of the prestige of the sign, or of the good name of its owner or lawful rightholder.

The action of cancellation or amendment shall prescribe, for a period of five (5) years from the date on which the disputed domain name or electronic mail address was registered, or from the date on which electronic media, whichever period expires later, except where the registration was made in bad faith, in which case the action shall not be prescribed. This action shall not affect any other action that might be available with respect to injuries and damages under common law.]

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Re: FTAA Might Mandate UDRP
by friedrich on Wednesday July 04 2001, @11:12PM (#1088)
User #2783 Info
Dear Prof. Froomkin

The endless repetition of - in my opinion - wrong arguments finally leads me to send you this commentary. I am sure you can comment on it, as I know that even if you helped develop the UDRP, you are not its "best friend".

>>1. Risk confusion or association with the owner or legitimate rightholder of the sign, or with his or her establishments, activities, products or services;>2. Cause unfair economic or commercial injury to the owner or lawful rightholder of the sign, arising from a dilution of its distinctive force or commercial or publicity value;>3. Make unfair use of the prestige of the sign, or of the good name of its owner or lawful rightholder.<<

I don't make any unfair use, if by chance I was able to register cocacola.com and put up a website for my dog, which is called "coca cola", do I?
No harm for Coca Cola so far, but certainly a remarkable loss of a good NEW marketing occasion.
Maybe they want to buy my dog, then?

Respectfully,
Friedrich Kisters
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Re: FTAA Might Mandate UDRP
by love@cptech.org on Wednesday July 04 2001, @10:10AM (#1085)
User #1652 Info
This is really quite an important development for ecommerce, and really part of a larger agenda to have private bodies take over both the making of policy and the enforcement of rights. It is very important that this provision be eliminated from the FTAA text. Jamie Love
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