If you own a domain name, I implore you to read the IRT Proposal to form your own opinion of its contents. If you have any issues with it, please take a few moments to write a comment to ICANN – today is the final day to make your comments heard. You can also read other comments that were submitted.
It is my opinion that the Uniform Rapid Suspension System is dangerous to domain owners, and I submitted an email comment explaining why I believe this. The only way for my opinion to be heard is via the public comment forum, and I wanted ICANN and those who follow ICANN to see (and address) my issues.
While the odds are great that a URS dispute won’t be filed against a domain name you own, it is very likely that one will be filed against someone who owns a generic domain name. Now is the final opportunity to provide your comments about the proposal – not 6 months or a year from now when a legitimate domain name or website is taken offline by an overzealous trademark attorney.
As I stated in my submission, I do believe the intent of the proposal is good, and it probably won’t impact the majority of ordinary domain owners and small businesses such as mine. However, just like there are domain owners who don’t take the legal/ethical high ground, I believe there will be trademark interests who use the URS as a way to secure domain names in a less expensive manner than direct acquisition. For those domain names and owners that become targets, fighting URS complaints will be a very costly endeavor.
It’s likely that it won’t be your domain name that is targeted, but if you are unlucky and a large company wants your domain name, the costs associated with defending your rights could be very high.
Take some time this morning to read the report. You can also read Mike Berkens’ comments and read more information from Ron Jackson. Rick Schwartz has also weighed in as has George Kirkos. Comments from the Internet Commerce Association are also available online. Now is the time to form an opinion and make your comments known. The trademark and IP attorneys have spoken, and now is the time for domain owners to voice their opinions.