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Update: My participation rights have now been eliminated at ICANN working groups

Just to followup on the earlier blog post of today, I received the following email from Keith Drazek (GNSO Council Chair),

Dear Mr. Kirikos,

Receipt of your letter is acknowledged.

We note and regret that you have elected to not accept and agree to abide by ICANN’s Expected Standards of Behavior (ESOB).

As such, per the notice provided in the Council Leadership Team’s letter of 29 March, you will be placed in observer status in the RPM PDP WG and any other GNSO-related forum until such time we receive the necessary communication confirming acceptance of the ESOB, or until such time the ICANN Ombuds rules that you may return to member status following any appeal.

Sincerely,

Keith Drazek
GNSO Chair (on behalf of the GNSO Council Leadership Team)

So, unless I “bend the knee” and “swear an oath of fealty” (or unless the ICANN Ombudsman says I can return), I’m forever banished. Is that reasonable and proportionate?

And, this affects participation for all working groups (not just the RPM PDP), even though there’s no issue in the IGO PDP!

 

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ICANN Threatens to Restrict Participation Rights of critic George Kirikos

ICANN, in an affront to free speech and due process, has threatened to restrict my participation on important domain name policy issues, and I think it’s crucial that these topics be brought before the public for debate. Continue reading “ICANN Threatens to Restrict Participation Rights of critic George Kirikos”

Final Call To Submit Comments to ICANN To Protect Domain Name Owners’ Rights

After a Herculean effort, I’ve managed to complete my company’s comment submission to ICANN, to respond to the dangerous proposal from its working group which would have severe negative consequences for domain name owners. My company’s comment can be read below:

Comments of Leap of Faith Financial Services Inc. submitted to ICANN on October 23, 2021

The deadline for comments is Sunday, October 24, 2021 at 23:59 UTC, and can be made by going here.  That’s less than 24 hours from the time of this blog post.

You can read the comments of others (16 at the time of this blog post, including one by the Internet Commerce Association) here. It takes only a few minutes to sign up for an account to endorse/support the comments of others (that’s what some of the IGOs have done, to support the comments of WIPO).

Past blog posts on this topic can be read here, here, here, and here.

If the proposals are adopted without any changes, there would be great risk for consequence free reverse domain name hijacking. I urge people to take this seriously and to submit comments opposing the changes.

 

Unbalanced ICANN Working Group Participation Harms Domain Name Owners

In a blog post last week, I sounded the alarm about a dangerous proposal from an ICANN working group which would have severe negative consequences for domain name owners, allowing IGOs (intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations) to engage in consequence-free reverse domain name hijacking.

To understand what led to such a report, I decided to look at the actual participation of working group members, as per the mailing list activities and on the weekly calls (transcripts are available on the GNSO Calendar page). The shocking results [visible on the web via a published Google Spreadsheet, with graphs) clearly demonstrate why such one-sided proposals were arrived at by the working group. In particular, the IGOs (through the GAC) had far greater participation, via Brian Beckham of WIPO and others, with only Jay Chapman of Digimedia (participating on behalf of the Business Constituency) as a voice for domain name owners. It is clear that the output of the working group reflects capture.

Continue reading “Unbalanced ICANN Working Group Participation Harms Domain Name Owners”

If ICANN Creates An Arbitration System, It Could Not Be Limited To Just Domain Name Disputes

In a blog post last week, I sounded the alarm about a dangerous proposal from an ICANN working group which would have severe negative consequences for domain name owners, allowing IGOs (intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations) to engage in consequence-free reverse domain name hijacking.

After additional research and contemplation, it’s actually even worse than I imagined, and not just for domain name owners. It could create a system whereby an ICANN-developed arbitration system would handle employment disputes, trademark cancellation disputes, environmental disputes, sexual misconduct disputes, defamation actions, whistle-blower retaliation cases, copyright cases, and any other potential court actions, as long as an element of  the overall dispute related to domain names and alleged cybersquattingContinue reading “If ICANN Creates An Arbitration System, It Could Not Be Limited To Just Domain Name Disputes”

An Open Letter To The ICANN Board Regarding IGO Protections

Earlier this week, I sounded the alarm about a dangerous proposal from an ICANN working group which would have severe negative consequences for domain name owners, allowing IGOs (intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations) to engage in consequence-free reverse domain name hijacking.

I noticed that the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of ICANN wrote a letter to the Board that was published earlier this week which is highly misleading as to the nature of IGOs’ rights, and wrote a letter to the ICANN Board in response. I’ve published it below to show how ICANN policymaking has been held hostage via misinformation from the GAC and IGOs.

[Edited on October 15, 2021: I made 3 changes: (a) changed the date to October 15, (b) added a section on page 2 about Louis Touton’s similar analysis from 2001, which came to light after some Twitter discussions in the past day; (c) amended to note that they’ve not agreed to extend the deadline; it’s now a PDF]

Letter to ICANN

Duplicitous ICANN Working Group Jeopardizes Domain Owners’ Rights

A duplicitous ICANN Working Group has issued a report that is open for public comments that would have severe negative consequences for domain name owners.  In particular, it would tilt the playing field in a domain name dispute (i.e. a UDRP or the URS) involving IGOs (intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations) in such a manner that it would be nearly impossible for domain owners to have their dispute decided on the merits by the courts. This would encourage consequence-free reverse domain name hijacking. Rather than accept the findings and recommendations of the prior working group, which reached a consensus, this new working group instead had tunnel vision and focused instead on ramming through an alternative recommendation (involving arbitration) for which there was an express consensus against in the prior working group!

Continue reading “Duplicitous ICANN Working Group Jeopardizes Domain Owners’ Rights”

Did TransferWise pay $2 million to acquire and rebrand to the Wise.com domain name?

It has been previously reported by others that the money transfer service TransferWise rebranded to Wise, and acquired the Wise.com domain name in 2020. The transaction price for the domain name had not been made public at the time. However, a recent prospectus by Wise can shed some light on the deal.

Continue reading “Did TransferWise pay $2 million to acquire and rebrand to the Wise.com domain name?”