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UDRP Resources from the ICA

On occasion, I receive emails from domain registrants who have either received a UDRP notice from WIPO or NAF or have been threatened with a UDRP filing. I know a fair amount of information about the UDRP, but I do not have the legal expertise necessary to offer actionable advice about responding to a UDRP or a legal threat.

When I am asked for advice, I typically suggest that the person reach out to a domain name attorney who can offer professional advice on the threat or legal filing. There are a handful of attorneys who I have sought out advice from over the years, including John Berryhill, Jason Schaeffer, Zak Muscovitch, Stevan Lieberman, and Brett Lewis (apologies to anyone I have forgotten), depending on the circumstances.

Jeff Gabriel: “Join the ICA”

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Jeff Gabriel, founder of Saw.com, posted a video to discuss why he thinks domain investors should join the Internet Commerce Association (ICA). The ICA recently announced a lower membership tier, which costs $300/year. Saw.com is a Bronze-level member of the ICA.

In the video, Jeff discussed some of the ICA’s recent activities. I did not hear Jeff discuss this, but I still think one of the biggest wins for the ICA was its successful advocacy to discredit the retroactive bad faith theory many complainants referenced in UDRP proceedings.

Here’s Jeff’s appeal to domain investors:

ICA Adds Lower Price Membership Tier

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In an effort to expand its membership base to include a wider group of domain investors and registrants, the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) announced a new, lower cost membership tier. The ICA Board of Directors voted to add a Basic level membership at a cost of $25/month or an annual membership fee of $300. The ICA is an organization that advocates for the rights and interests of domain name registrants.

All ICA membership levels include access to ICA email alerts, webinars, and other important updates from ICA leadership. Basic members of the ICA will be included in the ICA member directory (with name only) and will have weighted voting for ICA Board elections with half the voting weight of an Individual member. You can see all membership tiers on the ICA’s membership sign-up page.

ICA Starts #DomainAssist Initiative

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Inspired by Roxane Gay’s tweet about helping people in economic need during the coronavirus pandemic, the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) has started a social media initiative to enable domain investors to assist people in need:

Namecheap: “Help Us Avoid .COM Price Increases”

Namecheap sent out an email to customers this afternoon to warn them about the potential for price increases on .com domain names. The company’s warning comes shortly after Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall penned an article on the company blog, which has been trending on Hacker News this afternoon.

As you can see below, Namecheap is letting its customers know about the reason prices may increase to buy and renew .com domain name, and the company is advising customers about how they can share their opinions with ICANN to voice opposition to the price increases. Over the weekend, Dynadot and NameBright also sent similar emails to their customers, and I hope other domain registrars do the same. The ICA created a tool to make it easier for domain registrants to comment to ICANN.

Here’s the email Namecheap sent to customers this afternoon (thanks to Prakhar Bindal for sharing this with me):

ICA: “Oppose Price Hikes on .COM”

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The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) is urging its members and other domain name registrants to let ICANN know they oppose price hikes on .com domain names. Just like the organization did when it opposed the removal of price caps on .org domain names, the ICA has created an easy to use tool to allow people to submit a comment to ICANN voicing their opposition. For what it’s worth, people in favor of allowing price hikes could also use the tool.

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