Registrars meet to discuss hijacking of domains

Cybersquatting is getting more widespread with the large scale adoption of the Internet. Earlier this month a WIPO panel ruled on a dispute about the domain brucespringsteen.com. The American rock star claimed the right to the domain, which was registered by a fan. Springsteen lost the case when the panel ruled that the Canadian fan had a legitimate interest in using the address; he runs a fan Web site.

WIPO hopes that more individual registrars will conform to using its Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The UDRP is currently used to resolve intellectual property right conflicts involving .com, .net, and .org top-level domains, which are controlled by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Additionally, 18 countries have committed to the WIPO arbitration system.

At present there are 244 country domains, according to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Web site. Countries that have adopted WIPO's system include many tiny states as well as Mexico, the Philippines and Venezuela. None of the Western European countries or Canada have signed on.

"We want to create stability so the promise of e-commerce can come true," said a spokeswoman for WIPO, stressing that the United Nations body only looks at intellectual property rights aspects. Since December 1999 WIPO has handled 2000 cases of which 70 per cent was resolved, according to the spokeswoman.

Centr, the Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries, is not impressed with WIPO's efforts.

"We very much believe it is a local policy," said Centr's General Manager Fay Howard. "We welcome any good ideas and we will see which ones fit, but we don't see one policy fitting everybody."

Howard pointed out that rules and regulations differ very much from country to country. "In some countries, such as France and Norway, there are very strict rules for domain name registration so they have no disputes. In other countries, like the UK, registration is more liberal so there are disputes," she said.

Nominet, which manages the UK namespace, said WIPO's UDRP "has some merits" but it doesn't meet Nominet's standards.

"It doesn't include mediation, which has been very successful in the UK," said a spokeswoman, noting that Nominet has had it's own dispute resolution procedure for three years.

In the Netherlands, the Stichting Internet Domein Registratie Nederland (SIDN) has launched a consultation into the feasibility of a dispute procedure. Until now all conflicts regarding registered domains had to be handled in court. WIPO sees the avoiding of the courts as one of the main selling points of the UDRP.

To win a case in the WIPO system, the challenger has to prove three things, the spokeswoman for WIPO said: that the domain name in question is identical or similar to your trademark; that the person who registered it has no legitimate interest; and that he or she has registered and used the domain in bad faith.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

PC World

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?