URGENT: Last call to submit comments on RPM PDP Initial Report

The comment period for the Phase 1 Initial Report of the Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms in All gTLDs Policy Development Process ends 23:39 UTC on May 4, 2020, just a day from now (which is not sufficient time to do a thorough analysis). I have previously written about it (see my prior blog posts hereherehere and here).

[Update: I finished my final comments at 1:30 am Toronto time on May 4, so I’ve updated the article below with links to the newer PDF; the changes were relatively minor since the earlier draft, with just some tweaks on the TMCH comments, and stylistic changes, typos, etc.]

To help those who wish to submit public comments, or who wish to refine their own, I’m posting a draft the final version of my extensive comments here. My answers are all in RED text. I’m unable to use the broken online forms, so I’ll need to submit via a DOCX file by tomorrow instead.

Others in the domain name industry like Zak Muscovitch of the ICA, Nat Cohen of Telepathy, and Jay Chapman of Digimedia have also submitted comments (mostly much shorter than my own; scroll down in the spreadsheet, and scroll right to see answers to each topic/question; Pro Tip: you can expand the formula bar vertically, by dragging the bar above the column names so that it’s not just 1 line, to view comments more easily at the top rather than in the lower grid where it’s all cramped. ICANN’s staff disabled the ability to export, download or print the document)

I strongly encourage everyone who cares about domain name registrants’ rights to take this seriously, as your rights might be negatively impacted if bad policies are adopted by ICANN. You can make brief, or longer comments (I write longer comments, as all too often I see in the the working groups that members participating “live” will twist and attack brief written comments; even Verisign has called them “spam”!)

I would pay particular attention to:

  • Q129 through Q133, about URS Individual Proposal #15 which would  weaponize the URS by suspending entire portfolios of domain names and having other enhanced penalties if 2 domain disputes are lost. I write against this in detail on pages 59-67 of my final PDF comments.
  • Q134 through Q136, about URS Individual Proposal #16, which would add a transfer option to the URS, thus effectively turning it into a replacement for the UDRP, but with fewer due process protections for registrants. I write against this in detail on pages 67-70 of the draft PDF comments.
  •  Q137 through Q142 about URS Individual Proposal #22 on “Loser Pays”, which I write against in detail on pages 70-75 of the draft PDF comments.
  • Q154 on URS Individual Proposal #31 by Verisign, attempting to make the URS a consensus policy that would then apply to dot-com. I write against this on pages 82-84 of the draft PDF comments.
  • Q183 through Q184 asking again whether URS and other RPMs should be Consensus Policies applicable to dot-com. I write against that on pages 102-104 of the draft PDF comments.
  • Q191 asks about other recommendations, and I wrote extensively on pages 109-113 about various proposals that the captured working group would not publish in the initial report, but deserve to become adopted policies (such as a limitation period, elimination of the URS for dot-org, opt-out of the URS, proposals related to access to the courts, and so on.

Those are the “highlights” in my opinion, if you’re pressed for time. But, I leave you to decide what are the most important issues for you, and make up your own mind independently. If there are topics/issues that aren’t important to you, you can certainly skip those questions on the form, and instead answer just the questions related to topics that you do care about.