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08|04|2007 01:19 pm EDT

Call for Domain Owner Code of Rights and Responsibilities

by Frank Michlick in Categories: ICANN / Policy

With a stronger opposition against large domain portfolio holders, especially from the corporate world, domain investors need to make sure to fight for their turf. The times where staying underground and under the radar were the best thing to do, are over. In order to secure our rights as a legitimate owner of generic domains, we will have to participate in the political process that decides what those rights are.

One possible step in this direction is a code of rights and responsibilities, as proposed by Robert A. Connor.

On CircleID he writes:

The Registrant’s Code was born out of frustration with polarized views on domain related issues. For example, let’s take the issue of trademarks. On the one hand, there is classic cybersquatting wherein someone registers a domain that is a trademarked term and tries to sell it to the trademark holder. This is wrong. On the other hand, there is classic trademark over-reaching wherein someone with a trademark on a phrase (let’s say—“Joe’s Cars”) uses legal threats to try to hijack a generic sub-string domain (let’s say—“Cars.com”). This is also wrong. A balanced Registrant’s Code of Rights and Responsibilities should say that registrants should not infringe trademarks by cybersquatting domains and trademark holders should not try to hijack domains by over-reaching trademarks.

For more information, visit the Domain Registrant’s Code of Rights and Responsibilities.

[via CircleID]

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3 Comments

Dan

August 4, 2007 @ 7:13 pm EDT

Hi,

I would add that a person or company has the “absoulute” right to “invest” in “generic” domain nanes soley has an investment…even if these domain name(s) resolve to “nothing” for years. I think domain investing should fall into its own specific tax code category (like real estate) and or qualify for short term or long term capital gains or losses and deprecation etc…

I also think…

That this “bill or rights” is a good start…but the day has also come for a national org…that would be funded and supported by “domainers” (members,sponsors)… to effect positive changes for the industry. Every industry has a least one…a “non-profit”.

Part of their function would to be to create unified and accurate information about the industry and educate the general public.

And it should not be long….were Colleges offer courses for people to learn in school about the vast aspects of the domain industry. TM Law school should not be the only place to learn about domain names.

Best,
Dan

Frank Michlick

August 4, 2007 @ 7:37 pm EDT

Dan,

Thank you for your comments. The Internet Commerce Association has been trying to step up to the plate for a while, but is lacking funds in order to do everything that they would like to do.

They have already done a great job lobbying congress and ICANN, but it’s only a start. The founders are all well known domainers and domain monetization companies. And even for the international domains – a large part of our future depends on Washington and ICANN.

I also hear about some efforts to create a similar organization in Europe, I’ll report about it when I find out more.

As for teaching about domains, I was speaking in front of a class (IT-course) here in Toronto about it from time to time. The interest was there for sure. But the business aspects go way beyond the technical details and should be taught in business and marketing courses.

/Frank

[…] A proposed “Domain Registrant’s Code of Rights and Responsibilities.”  Hat tip to Domain Name News. […]

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