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One of the most critical things a domain investor needs to do is stay apprised of domain-related subject matters, especially UDRP decisions. Domain investors can learn quite a bit from various UDRP rulings, and it is pertinent that everyone who has any money invested in domain names should stay on top of these.

I just found out that WIPO allows people to subscribe to receive UDRP updates and decisions posted by panelists. I recommend that people subscribe here: http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/subscribe/decisions.html

House Approves Senate’s Ban on Internet Taxes

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Michael and Judi BerkensThanks to Mike for sending me this link this morning: House Approves Senate’s Ban on Internet Taxes

In an unanimous vote (402-0), the US House of Representatives approved an extension of The Internet Tax Freedom Act yesterday, prohibiting local and state governments from collecting taxes on various Internet services, including email and instant messages. This is good news, as a taxation on these types of services would have impacted just about everyone on the Internet, and it would have caused some drastic measures to police.

For the article, please click here.

Photo courtesy of Barbary Neu, borrowed from DNJournal

Visions.com WIPO – Big Risk Rewarded

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Weather Shield Mfg., Inc., of Medford, Wisconsin filed a WIPO for the domain name Visions.com, owned by Lori Phan. In a decision reached on October 10, 2007, the single WIPO panelist found in favor of the Respondent, and the complaint was denied.

I believe the domain owner took a risk by not requesting a 3 member panel. Although she did a great job of presenting her case, it could have easily gone the other way based on some previous decisions. I think it is always best to ask (and pay) for a 3 member WIPO panel because it means the Complainant needs to convince 2 of 3 people that they are right. Having a single panelist is more risky, in my opinion, especially for a high value name like Visions.com.

If the domain name is worth much more than the cost of the 3 member WIPO panel, I would think it would be best to request it.

Observation About WIPO Decisions

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I spend a fair amount of time researching WIPO decisions, and I think anyone who is serious about this business should, too.    I’ve noticed that I hardly ever recognize any of the names or companies that are the Respondents in these decisions.    It’s probably a good thing, but there are an awful lot of people out there registering unquestionable trademarks, and I rarely recognize their names.    The only names I ever recognize are typically Respondents in cases where the Complainant shouldn’t have a chance in hell at winning (FCC.com for example).

I’m not claiming to know a large portion of domain owners in the world, but I know alot of the names of people via their posts in domain forums and Whois searches.    To me, it looks like there is a group of legitimate domain owners whose reputations are being sullied by less ethical domain owners.

I don’t know if anyone has made the same observation before, but this needs to be stopped.

Good Reason to Use the Registrant Search Tool

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There have been some complaints within the domain community about the new Registrant Search Tool introduced by DomainTools.    Some people are afraid that information in the database could be used against them, and at this juncture, there isn’t an opt-out method.

There is one way in which the domain community can be helped by this tool: tracking a domain thief.    I recently read about a specific domain name that may be stolen.    By plugging the PO Box # and City from the Whois information, I can trace it to several other domain registrations.    Not only would this allow someone to contact the former owners of those names to possibly discover other thefts, it could also potentially allow someone to track the thief down based on names he already sold.

The expense is still too great for me to volunteer to do this, but if it were to be less expensive, it might be worth an effort.

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