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[Comment-Ip] WIPO Internet Domain Name Process Final Report: Preliminary Reactions of the Copyright Industries (reposting)

WIPO Internet Domain Name Process Final Report:
Preliminary Reactions of the Copyright Industries1

While we have not thoroughly reviewed the April 30 WIPO Final Report, we
have these preliminary reactions to it.2 

Registrant Data Availability

*	We agree with WIPO that "the collection and availability of
accurate and reliable contact details of domain name holders is an
essential tool for facilitating the protection of intellectual property
rights" on the Internet.  We commend WIPO for calling for unrestricted
real-time public access to this data, and for rejecting proposals such
as "filtered access" that would have weakened this tool.  

*	We are also glad that WIPO called for further study before
acting on the concept of establishing a special domain which would
welcome anonymous registration.  Despite any "non-commercial" moniker,
such a domain would immediately become a haven for online pirates and
other criminals. 

*	However, care must be taken to implement WIPO's recommendations
in ways that maximize public access to registrant data.  For example,
restricting uses of this data to "limited" purposes, as WIPO proposes,
could interfere with many beneficial uses, including protection of
intellectual property rights.  Domain name registrars should not seek to
bar any lawful use of registrant data.  Additionally, ICANN's plan to
allow ISP's to license domains to anonymous parties, which the WIPO
report endorses, invites abuse if it is not implemented with great

Registrant Data Quality

*	Because the usefulness of DNS registrant data for anti-piracy
purposes depends on its accuracy and reliability, we are glad that WIPO
recommended some measures to improve registrant data quality, such as
requiring pre-payment from registrants and allowing registrations to be
cancelled if bogus contact information is supplied.  

*	We are disappointed, however, that WIPO's recommendations did
not go further in this regard, by requiring registrars to use simple,
low-cost automated measures to screen out bogus data.  In addition,
authorizing cancellation of registrations only if data inaccuracies are
shown to be "willful" undermines the value of this incentive for
submitting accurate information.  

Dispute Resolution

*	Because it is limited to clear cases of cybersquatting, the
final version of the WIPO dispute resolution proposal will not be of
much value in protecting copyright online, since pirate sites do not
often incorporate legitimate trademark-protected material in their
names.  Even when dispute resolution applies, the elimination of any
provision for quick suspension of an objectionable site renders it
basically useless to the copyright industries.

In sum, we applaud WIPO for a careful examination of the major issues.
We urge ICANN and other players to adopt many of the key recommendations
promptly.  (Within the ICANN DNSO, review of the WIPO Final Report
should be delegated to the Intellectual Property Constituency,
representing owners of copyrights and trademarks.)  


1 These comments were prepared on behalf of the following organizations:
Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA); Business Software
Alliance (BSA); Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA); Motion
Picture Association of America (MPAA); National Music Publishers
Association (NMPA); AFMA (formerly American Film Marketing Association);
Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA); American Society
of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); and Broadcast Music, Inc.

2 While companies in the copyright industries own many valuable marks,
slogans, character names, and the like, and have strong interests in
preventing trademark infringement, dilution and tarnishment in the
Domain Name System [DNS], the main focus of these comments is on
maintaining the continued use of DNS registrant data in fighting online
copyright piracy.