I have launched this new blog today at FreeSpeech.com, in order to better educate the public about domain names, internet governance, ICANN, free speech, and other topics.
While I have an active Twitter account, this blog will allow me to express thoughts longer than 280 characters.
I’ve been a long-time critic of ICANN, and have actively participated in internet policy debates regarding domain names for over 15 years. For example, I was an opponent of Verisign’s WLS proposal, which would have given them a monopoly over expiring dot-com domain names.
I initiated and led the successful opposition against the dangerous Expedited Transfer Reversal Policy proposal of the IRTP-B working group of ICANN, which would have seriously disrupted the secondary market for domain names by allowing transfers to be undone without any due process, allowing prior owners with seller’s remorse to snatch back previously owned domains.
I raised the alarm concerning Verisign’s proposal to suspend or even cancel domain names without due process for registrants, without a court order, which led to the withdrawal of that proposal.
I have also participated in ICANN working groups. For example, I’ve been an active member (for over 4 years) of the IGO-INGO Access to Curative Rights Protection Mechanisms PDP working group, examining how IGOs and INGOs can access the UDRP and URS, and whether a separate procedure should be examined. That working group successfully reached consensus on all policy recommendations last summer (July 2018) and issued a final report. However, those recommendations have been held back by GNSO Council (normally it’s done in a few weeks or a couple of months), as opponents attempt to sabotage the working group’s output (I’ll have more to say about this in future blog posts).
Most recently, I’ve been an active member (for over 3 years) of the Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms in All gTLDs PDP Working Group (“RPM PDP”), examining rights protections mechanisms for new gTLDs in phase 1 (e.g. URS, Trademark Clearinghouse, sunrise, etc.) and once phase 1 is completed (sometime next year), would proceed to examine the UDRP. Perspectives of domain name registrants like myself are underrepresented in this working group, as pro-complainant trademark attorneys tend to dominate discussions.
I hope that you will find this blog worth reading.