Registrar Constituency Meeting - PM
[Posted to Random Bytes on March 24, 2003 03:50 PM| Links to this post ]
Our afternoon session had a slightly different tenor. Food is a wonderful drug.

We kicked things off with a visit from Jennifer <bad hearing, bad hearing> from the USPTO who had wonderful things to tell us about how WIPO was going to save us from the world or from governments, or evil pirates or something.

Point is that WIPO thinks that they have something to save someone from - which can never mean anything good. In this case, it means that they want ICANN to bless UDRP II, which amongst other things, starts treating country names like trademarks.

[fast forward to BC meeting] "These recommendations make the existing UDRP vulnerable."

<aside>I couldn't agree more. As someone pointed out to me this week, I don't speak for Tucows on this blog. Keep that in mind when you read this next bit. I hate the idea of UDRP II a lot. On principle, I hate the UDRP I just a little bit more. The argument that I hear against UDRP II is that it provides a certain class of mark holders with extra-legal protections that are better found elsewhere. Exactly what I would say about the UDRP. I would go one step further and say that providing any entity or class of entities with special protections in the DNS (that aren't available to all classes that need varying types of protection) sets a bad precedent *and* if there are precedents out there that do this, maybe we should all take a deep breath and revisit the wisdom of those precedents.

<deep breath> You see what I mean here?</deep breath

The UDRP was the thin edge of the wedge and this is an example of why it is a bad wedge. I wouldn't advocate that we tear apart the UDRP - it does have some utility for a certain class of users - we just need something that's more equitable for all classes of users (and that doesn't mean what WIPO might think it means).

So yes, WIPO's UDRP II proposal makes UDRP I very vulnerable. The community needs to think carefully about exactly what is at stake so that we don't have to run through these gymnastics every time WIPO stretches its legs.></aside>

[Rewind to Registrar meeting] The general consensus of the constituency is that this proposal is "A Bad Idea" (TM) I would tend to agree. Regardless of what we (the "ICANN we") think of the UDRP, let's make sure that we keep the discussion focused on UDRP II. The WIPO proposal makes it very clear that there are worse alternatives to the UDRP - lets not help them make it happen.

Next, Bruce Tonkin provided the constituency with a brief overview of how policies get made in the new GNSO. Hopefully educational briefs like these reduce the perception that policy development in ICANN is a black-art reserved for only the most skilled wizards.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty unremarkable - discussions around credit card fraud, new gTLDs and IDNs. Lots of opinion, but no strong proposals. I suspect that those will come soon based on the number of action items I got sucked into.

There was nascent support for the idea of accrediting registries. Another Good Thing(TM). We'll see how the idea fares tonight.

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