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Confusion About Domain Seizures Spreads After IP Constituency Comments

Commenters confused about domain seizures under URS.

The number of comments submitted to ICANN about its proposed renewal agreement with VeriSign to run .net has exploded over the past hour.

The source of the comments appears to be a misunderstanding over what the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) proposed in its comments.

As I wrote earlier, IPC wants Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) to apply to new top level domain names.

I believe the confusion started at BoingBoing, which interpreted URS to be a mechanism to take down web sites that infringe copyrights. BoingBoing equated URS to what happened with recent domain name seizures by the Department of Homeland Security.

URS is a trademark protection tool, not a copyright protection tool.

BoingBoing also suggested that VeriSign would get into the business of being a copyright enforcer, which isn’t correct.

The article also suggests that IPC wants to do away with whois privacy services. Although I’m sure it would love to see that happen, I don’t interpret anything in its comments to suggest this for .net. It proposes a “thick” whois in which ownership data is aggregated at the registry level, but that doesn’t prevent whois privacy services from working.

I’m glad people are paying attention, and it’s good to speak out about URS on .net, but I’m concerned that this flood of comments will overshadow comments opposed to URS for the “right” reason.

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