nettime's_roving_reporter on Tue, 4 May 1999 21:49:22 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> WIPO recommends ban Internet domain name "abuse"


U.N. panel recommends steps to ban Internet domain name abuse

May 3, 1999
Web posted at: 2:35 p.m. EDT (1835 GMT)

NEW YORK (AP) -- A United Nations organization has
recommended steps to effectively ban speculating and
pirating of Internet addresses, a practice known as

The recommendations by the World Intellectual Property
Organization mark the first effort by an official governing
body to set international rules for registering Internet
domain names.

The WIPO also outlined provisions that could allow owners of
internationally known trademarks the ability to claim first
rights to Internet domains bearing their names, the New York
Times reported Monday.

The report was issued Friday to the Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers, an international nonprofit
organization that will oversee the Internet's addressing
system. ICANN is opening the business of registering domain
names to competition and plans to expand the number of
so-called top level domains beyond the current .com, .net
and .org.

The WIPO report recommends the ICANN require anyone who
registers a domain name to first sign a contract that would
bar "abusive" registration practices, defined as registering
names that are identical or misleadingly similar to a trade
or service mark.

The contract would also bar selling, renting or otherwise
transferring the domain name to the owner of the trade or
service mark, or to a competitor of the owner of the trade
or service mark.

If cybersquatters were deemed to break the rules following a
mandatory arbitration process, they could lose their domain
names and be required to pay the bill for resolving the
disputes, the Times reported.

Cases between companies or people with similar names or
claims to the same domain would go either to voluntary
arbitration or to court.

Under the proposed rules, ICANN would establish a list of
protected "famous or well-known marks" that would not be
available for registration to the average Internet user.

Copyright 1999   The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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