us: Snowe Bill Threatens Domain Name Registrants

Internet Commerce Association logoThe Internet Commerce Association (ICA) has posted a position paper and analysis of S. 2661, introduced on 2/25/08 in the US Senate. While we are firmly opposed to phishing and other criminal activities that may utilize domain names we are very concerned about the provisions of the proposal that appear to provide trademark owners with a means to avoid both UDRP and ACPA actions and alternatively bring private claims against domain names with a lower burden of proof and the potential for far higher monetary damages, without even requiring an allegation that the DN was in any way being utilized in a phishing scheme writes Philip S. Corwin on CircleID.

The proposal also contains a provision regarding access to WHOIS information that will likely generate major heartburn for free speech and privacy advocates.

We are carefully reviewing the legislation with an eye toward supporting and perfecting those provisions that fill existing gaps in anti-phishing law while striking or amending those provisions that provide an end run around UDRP and ACPA. If trademark owners believe that existing procedures do not give them adequate recourse against truly infringing websites they should make their case to ICANN and the Judiciary Committees, and not seek to establish a parallel and biased enforcement system nestled within the Federal Trade Commission Act.
— Philip S, Corwin, Counsel, Internet Commerce Association

To read the ICA position paper, see: