DNA releases Healthy Domain Initiative recommendations, including a way to take down domain names with pervasive copyright infringement.
Most industries have a choice: do an effective job regulating themselves or face outside regulation.
Domain Name Association (DNA), a trade group made up of domain name registrars and registries, has published its first rev of proposed practices under its Healthy Domains Initiative. The idea is to promote a healthy domain name ecosystem that cuts down on malicious use of domain names, fake pharmacies and copyright infringements. In other words, cut down on the bad stuff using industry-derived recommendations rather than facing the outside hammer.
The proposed practices are voluntary and cover four areas:
1. Online security abuses
2. Child abuse mitigation
3. Rogue online pharmacies
4. Copyright infringement
Many of the recommended practices (large PDF), including 20 recommendations for security abuse, will not create controversy. These include best practices for password management, data storage, and breach notification.
Some registrars and registries already follow many of the recommendations in the report, and Donuts even has a “trusted notifier” relationship with the MPAA for trademark infringement.
The proposal also addresses concerns of registrars and registries having to serve is judge, jury and executioner. It proposes standards and third-party decision makers to determine if domain names are suspended or deleted.
One of the more interesting proposals is to create a copyright infringement mechanism modeled after UDRP. This would allow copyright owners to appeal to an expert panel if a site is infringing its copyright.
In the United States, the easiest way to get copyrighted content removed is to file a complaint with the host using DMCA. But this doesn’t always work, and the only other option is a lawsuit.
A “Copyright” UDRP would be somewhat handcuffed by the action taking place at the registry and registrar level. There’s no way for either of these entities to remove just the infringing content; they can only nuke the entire domain name. The proposal says this policy should be crafted to address sites where the infringement is pervasive.
The guidelines are sure to create some backlash, but it seems to be carefully crafted to keep the interests of domain registrars and registries in mind.