Proposal surprises working group members.
Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) has proposed making Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) a consensus policy that would apply to legacy top level domains such as .com and .net.
Uniform Rapid Suspension is a quicker, dirtier version of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). It was introduced along with new top level domain names as a way to assuage concerns that hundreds of new top level domains would lead to a massive surge in cybersquatting.
Although originally created for new top level domains, ICANN has negotiated the extension of URS into legacy top level domain names when it has renewed registry contracts with their operators. However, it did not include URS in the .com and .net contracts when it renewed them.
Yesterday, in a Right Protection Mechanisms PDP working group call, Verisign Policy Manager David McAuley made the proposal that URS be adopted as consensus policy and thus, apply to .com and .net. He stated:
Doing this — making URS consensus policy — would greatly enlarge application of what has become an important and effective tool for addressing trademark infringement and, in doing that, it also addresses other forms of abuse that can be carried along by infringing cybersquatting domains. And this includes technical DNS abuse like phishing, pharming, delivering malware, things like that, and also some forms of content abuse like selling counterfeit goods on a cybersquatted domain.
Several participants in the working group, including Zak Muscovitch of Internet Commerce Association and Kathy Kleiman of Domain Name Rights Coalition, pushed back on making it consensus policy and if it was an appropriate procedural move to make the proposal.
Phil Corwin, who previously represented Internet Commerce Association but now represents Verisign, noted that, even in the absence of consensus, Verisign could implement URS on .com. He stated that a decision not to come to a consensus on whether URS should apply to the remaining legacy top level domains doesn’t prevent Verisign from seeking an amendment directly with ICANN. However, he stated that he is not aware of any discussions within Verisign to pursue such an amendment.
The call concluded with a general consensus that there was no consensus. So we’ll see where this goes from here.