According to one of the decisions taken by ICANN Board at
Bucharest, ICANN has proposed that a grace period of 30 days should be
provided for renewal of Domain names so that those who miss renewals would be
able to wake up.
The proposal will be called "Redemption Grace Period" and
will be implemented by instituting an extended Delete Pending Period and
a new Restore capability, which will be a new Registry Service for which
registry operators will be able to charge a cost-based service fee. Necessary
changes will be done to the registry agreements to give effect to this
It was also decided that a final proposal was to be
finalized regarding the "Wait Listing" mechanism where by, whenever a new TLD
is introduced, existing Trade Mark owners would be provided a certain period
they alone would be allowed to register the domain names and thereafter the
domain name would be thrown open to the public.
Unfortunately, both these proposals will create more
problems than solving.
The risk in the proposal is that they tend to legitimize
the domain name booking at the end of the grace/waiting period and provide a
false hope to the domain name registrant who picks up the domain name after
the said period that his title is sustainable.
However, it is unlikely that domain name owners would give
up their brand rights either because they have slept over the renewal for 30
days instead of 14 days. Nor it is reasonable for a brand owner to register
any TLD that ICANN may introduce from time to time just because their right to
the name may get compromised after the wait listed period.
The first is a fraud on the registrant public and the
second is coercion on the Trade mark owners.
Why It is a Fraud?
If the problem of forgotten renewal persists today, the
reasons for that are many and not all of them would be removed by giving an
additional 15 days time for registration. (Some registrars are already
providing a 14 day grace period for renewal without cost). The late renewal
now will cost additional money now without much of a difference to their
rights. There is every possibility that the registrars may charge fancy fees
for the delayed renewal. The domain name disputes will therefore persist
even after the waiting period since, non renewal cannot extinguish the rights
if any for the first registrant on the domain name.
A standing example is that the name www.ciisr.org can never
be claimed as a matter of right by the owners of www.asiannasty.com just
because CII forgot to renew their domain name for 30 days.
If ICANN by its actions provides a ground for
legitimization of such domain name hijackings, ICANN can be charged as an
"Accomplice" in the crime. ICANN will therefore claim that it is not
responsible to determine the ownership of domain names and it is only advising
the registrars on certain basic functionalities as their accredited
Under such scenario, the second registrants therefore,
(p.s: I am referring here to cases of registration of an existing un
renewed domain name by those other than by Porno sites) would be
lured in to registering the domain name thinking that the non renewal has
permanently extinguished the right of the first registrant. ICANN will be a
party to facilitate such misrepresentation and fraud.
Why It is a Coercion?
Now let us take the wait listing issue. Imagine that
if the wait listing proposal has to be given respect, every company in India
from Wipro, to Infosys, to Tata, should register their every brand name as a
domain name in over 250 ccTLDs and gTLDs. Further they have to renew it year
after year at whatever cost the registrars fix.
If not, it may be considered as a prima-facie intention of
voluntary giving up of the right on a particular name. I am sure that none of
these Companies will either agree to such a proposal nor they can be persuaded
to register 250 names in every brand they create.
If ICANN tries to provide a support to this proposal, it
would tantamount to coercion and since the pecuniary benefit would flow to the
"Accredited registrars" of ICANN, it will also be considered as an indirect
It is therefore considered that both the proposals of ICANN
are untenable and issued under an improper legal consideration of the issues
ICANN should to take a look at www.verify4lookalikes.com
naavi.org once again urges all those who are interested in
resolving domain name disputes with the least bit of fuss to take a look at
the proposal contained in
www.verify4lookalikes.com. This free service will answer many of the
problems arising out of the present Meta Society-Cyber Society interactions,
in a manner where the " Un resolvable Problems" will be converted into "
Problems which the community will agree to live with"
July 01, 2002
Those of you who want to sign a petition opposing the Grace period system can
sign an online petition here.
ICANN proposes reforms to fight Web squatters
Preliminary Report of the ICANN Board Meeting at Bucharest
ERC Blueprint for Reform,
can be sent here