Internet domain names: where should the power lie?
Benjamin Weste Pearre (email@example.com)
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 11:14:38 -0800
The current system of internet domain name resolution makes it easy
for there to be a gap between real-world trademarks and internet
domain names. In particular, people acting in bad faith can register
as domain names words that are trademarks of companies in the "real
world". You are currently trying to fix this problem.
The current version of the comments will certainly prevent individuals
from abusing corporations. There will always be a few individuals who
act in bad faith, trying to take advantage of corporations. However,
the proposals now being considered would put all of the power of
domain name dispute resolution into the hands of those corporations.
Individuals will have _no_ rights. The arbitration procedures and
subsequent legal actions will only be accessible to trademark holders
and people who have unlimited resources to throw at the system. The
current system has a little balance; the proposal has none.
Corporations should not be allowed to use bullying and intimidation
against their enemies. Individuals should not have more rights than
corporations, but neither should they have fewer rights. That means
that money or resources or access to good lawyers should not have any
bearing on deciding the merit of a case. Any recommendation which
does not set down simple, firm rules on this subject, such that anyone
can easily understand them, is unacceptable.
Domain names that are "similar" to a registered trademark _cannot_ be
allowed to be subject to trademark suits. As the internet expands,
there will be tens of millions of domain names, or more. If a company
lays claim to anything that sounds a little bit like its own domain
name, it will be almost impossible to find a new legal domain name.
Should a small company that sells glass windows be allowed to register
windows.com? Should someone named Veronica be able to register
veronica.org? These issues are not satisfactorally addressed in the
Please read http://www.law.miami.edu/~amf/critique.htm for some more
examples of the failings of the current draft. If the internet is to
become a global communication medium, corporations must not be the
only ones with power.
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