ICANN Responds To My Open Letter Regarding IGO Protections

In mid-October, I sent an open letter to the ICANN Board regarding IGO protections.  Today, they responded with the following letter (which should find its way to the ICANN Correspondence page shortly):

Maarten Botterman letter to George Kirikos Dated December 9, 2021 re: PROTECTIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

In response, I wrote the following:


BY EMAIL ONLY

December 9, 2021

Dear Mr. Botterman,

I have received your letter of today, responding to my prior correspondence.

I am encouraged by your statement that “it will not be appropriate to
provide greater protection to IGOs than what exists under
international law”. However it’s a fact that current policy already
provides greater protection to IGOs than what exists under
international law. Similarly, the current EPDP’s work threatens to go
much further, thereby harming domain name registrants’ rights by
providing IGOs with greater rights than exist under international law.

If your statement that “it will not be appropriate to provide greater
protection to IGOs than what exists under international law” is
correct (and it’s a statement I agree with), then ICANN should
terminate the EPDP and roll back the policies that exceed the actual
rights of IGOs under international law.

As for the “Reply Period Public Comments”, it is not correct that
their discontinuation in 2014 represented any “improvement” of the
process. Furthermore, that change continues to violate the Bylaws,
which literally require a reasonable opportunity to reply to the
comments of others. If a comment is submitted on the final day, for
example, or even in the last 30 minutes of a comment period, it is
unreasonable to require the public to respond within that same day or
within 30 minutes, as the case may be. Indeed, your own reply to my
short correspondence took nearly 2 months, which demonstrates that the
public generally needs weeks to read and consider their own responses.

Sincerely,

George Kirikos
416-588-0269
http://www.leap.com/


 

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.

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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!

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ICANN Incompetence On Full Display With the RPM PDP Phase 1 Final Report

ICANN holds themselves out as an organization that is highly competent, but that could not be further from the truth. More evidence of their utter incompetence can be seen in the ICANN RPM PDP Phase 1 final report, which has a deadline for public comments of May 21, 2021 (this coming Friday). [Originally the deadline was going to be April 30, 2021, but I demonstrated how that was unacceptable, and they changed it.] I scanned through the document quickly this afternoon, and was appalled that it is replete with glaring and obvious errors. ICANN staff, GNSO Council, and anyone associated with this report should be ashamed that their names are attached to it. Of course, I’m unfairly banished from all ICANN working groups, so I have no responsibility for their obvious errors.

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ICANN Staff Have Repeatedly Violated Public Comment Period Requirements in Bylaws

I noticed earlier today that the ICANN public comment period for Phase 1 of the RPM PDP was unreasonably short, going from April 7, 2021 to April 30, 2021, a mere 23 days. As I noted on Twitter:

this didn’t make sense, and seemed to me to be an attempt to stifle public input. I submitted a complaint to the relevant ICANN staff, and even submitted a supporting spreadsheet analysis which proved that 23 days is inconsistent with past comment periods.

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Verisign Wants The URS To Apply To Dot-com Registrants

Verisign, the abusive monopolist that operates the registries for  dot-com and dot-net, wants to impose the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) policy on dot-com and dot-net registrants, which will put valuable legacy domain names at risk via a flawed dispute resolution procedure that was designed only for low stakes “throwaway” and worthless new gTLD domains.

Continue reading “Verisign Wants The URS To Apply To Dot-com Registrants”