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How Does Whois Data Help Your Business?

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Andrew Allemann has written about the pending changes to the Whois records system. I also wrote about the changes to Whois that will be necessary for domain registrars to comply with GDPR.

Without a doubt, changes to the Whois system is going to cause major issues for anyone who buys domain names that are registered, especially domain name investors. Not only will it likely become much harder to get in touch with domain name owners to make a purchase inquiry, but it could become more difficult to track the provenance of a domain name. This could effectively make it more risky to buy a domain name from a third party.

From my perspective, drastic changes to the Whois system (more…) → Read More


Video: Braden Pollock and Nat Cohen Discuss UDRP Reform

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One of the biggest risks to domain name investors is a UDRP. Pretty much any company can file a UDRP against any domain name. Hiring a lawyer to fight a UDRP can be costly (perhaps less so than not hiring one), and even with top representation, a UDRP can be decided in favor of the complainant.

The Internet Commerce Association was created to fight for the rights and interests of domain name investors. The ICA has some great informational resources to assist domain name owners whose domain name is subject of a UDRP. The organization also makes efforts to ensure the UDRP process is fair for domain investors. In fact, it was the ICA that helped to discredit and eliminate the retroactive bad faith theory that impacted some high value domain names.

During NamesCon, Braden Pollock sat down with ICA Board Member Nat Cohen, and they chatted about the UDRP reform efforts current being undertaken by the ICA. The interview was sponsored, edited, and published by NamePros. It is absolutely worth 15 minutes of your time today.

→ Read More


Phil Corwin Leaves the ICA

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The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) just emailed its membership to notify them that longtime ICA Counsel Phil Corwin is leaving the organization to pursue another opportunity. Taking his place as Counsel on an interim basis is intellectual property (and domain industry) attorney Zak Muscovitch.

Commenting on Phil’s departure, the ICA shared the following with its members (I received permission to publish this):

"While no one can replace Phil, we will look for new counsel with particular strengths in the priorities we see ahead of us in our second decade. We see the next 18-24 months as critical for the domain industry. In the policy arena there are ongoing initiatives that have the potential to dramatically impact our ability to protect our assets and conduct business. There are large, well-funded and determined players working to change domain intellectual property law in ways that could dramatically impact our community. The ICA has been working for months to develop a comprehensive long-term strategy to counter these → Read More


ICA Successfully Advocates to Discredit the Dangerous Retroactive Bad Faith Theory Under the UDRP

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Let's say you register a domain name today. You've done your due diligence, and you see there aren't any companies that use the keyword(s) in your domain name as a trademark or for their brand name. A few years from now, some company launches with its brand matching your domain name.

The company now wants your matching domain name, but they don't want to pay you for it – they want to take it from you. Until recently the company could file a UDRP complaint seeking the transfer of your domain and reasonably hope to succeed in being awarded your domain by the UDRP panel. The company would rely on a fringe interpretation of the UDRP known as "Retroactive Bad Faith" (RBF) that some panelists used to justify the transfer of long registered domain names to owners of trademark rights that arose since the domain was registered.

RBF had been cited in a number of UDRPs. One particular case that stands out is the UDRP for Camilla.com. Here's what Andrew Allemann wrote about that UDRP decision, which ended in a transfer ruling in favor of → Read More


Nat Cohen: Why I Support the ICA

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This is a guest post about the Internet Commerce Association from domain investor Nat Cohen, President of Telepathy, Inc.

The Lord Giveth and the Lord taketh away.

For the domain industry, the part of the Lord is played by the U.S. Government and ICANN.

In the early days of the Internet, the U.S. Government policy allowed billions of dollars of domains to be registered on a first-come first-served basis for a registration fee per domain of $100 or less.

Those of us who benefited from this "landrush" know how fortunate we've been. Even those domainers who weren't involved in the early days, benefit from the tremendous value inherent in domain names that is still not fully recognized.

But it is a mistake to confuse being lucky with being smart.

Being smart is taking full advantage of the good luck that comes your way and not  taking it for granted. That is why I consider it smart to (more…) → Read More


Vanity Plate Advertising Auction to Support The Internet Commerce Association

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Abdu Tarabichi, founder of Domainsville, created a unique auction on Ebay to raise funds for the non-profit Internet Commerce Association (ICA). Abdu is auctioning one year of advertising space as a vanity license plate on his silver 2012 Honda Civic, and all funds will be donated to the ICA.

Listed below are the terms of the auction, and if you are interested in the "naming rights" to Abdu's license plate, you must adhere to them: (more…) → Read More


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