Feeds

WIPO tries to place itself above the law

Will someone please put an end to this madness

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

ICANN-approved domain dispute registrar WIPO has got ideas above its station (again) with its review of the current system of resolution. It has come up with some recommendations for the future "misuse of certain names and identifiers in the Internet domain name system".

These recommendations ride roughshod over international law, and if adopted will make WIPO an autonomous legal body when dealing with the Internet.

WIPO is one of four arbitration bodies entitled to rule in cases where an individual or organisation feels it ought to have possession of a particular Web address. A complainant goes to the arbitrator, both sides state their case and a one or three-person panel rules for or against handing the domain name over.

However, ever since the system was created, it has been subject to heavy criticism for favouring big companies and famous people over and above ordinary Internet users. WIPO, and fellow arbitrator NAF, have also been accused of twisting the set of rules for handing over domains - the uniform dispute resolution policy (UDRP) - to fit their own agendas.

A re-hash of these rules has been due for months but WIPO has consistently delayed publication. Now, however, rather than simply strengthen the existing system, it is attempting to extend its powers to different sorts of domain name disputes.

Studiously ignoring the fact that the current UDRP rules were set up with the explicit intention of avoiding certain disputed words (the idea was that they would only allow for trademark holders to take domains from non-trademark holders cheaply and efficiency), WIPO says it has "noted that certain issues relating to intellectual property still remained unresolved".

These are: pharmaceutical substances (drug names); intergovernmental organisations (quangoes etc); personal names; geographical identifiers (cities etc); and trade names.

WIPO has decided it ought to have jurisdiction over countries, geographical areas, ethnic groups and pharmaceutical substances. The ones it doesn't feel so comfortable with overseeing are international organisations and non-trademark names of drugs. Famous people, it points out, have already been covered under its parallel universe of case law.

The old argument - and one we adhere to entirely - is that most of these cases can be run through the law courts as has always been the case. In terms of organisations, especially governmental, what is wrong with the current system of allowing them exclusive access to certain TLDs like .gov? Plus who exactly has the right to London.com? Does that also give them the right to every TLD for London?

Plus, with trade names, there are millions of companies working with the same name, but they work either in different areas or in different trades - isn't allowing someone like WIPO to decide on them contrary to the free market and capitalism?

WIPO points out that current legal systems are incapable of dealing with the global aspect of the Internet; the truth is that there isn't a legal system capable of controlling what WIPO wants to make itself.
®

Related Link

WIPO's report

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.