ICANN pushes back against brand lobby

Hands were washed long ago

ICANN has stiff-armed the content lobby, writing that it's not responsible for what people do with domains registered through the international registration hierarchy.

While it agrees that registries that fail to include abuse warnings in their terms and conditions need to be brought to heel, ICANN's chair Dr Stephen Croker pushed back against the idea that the group could take action against infringing domains.

Croker's letter to Greg Shatan, president of lobby the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC), also restates ICANN's existing position that registrars need to maintain an abuse contact.

However, Croker writes, ICANN is not “required or qualified to make factual and legal determinations as to whether a Registered Name Holder or a website operator is violating applicable laws and governmental regulations”, and it won't get involved in assessing “what would constitute an appropriate remedy for such activities”.

The IPC is an ICANN member group which says it represents IP owners in Internet naming discussions, and wanted the ICANN to reverse its position that intellectual property disputes are beyond its mandate.

Its April letter to ICANN (turned up by TorrentFreak) is here.

The IPC had complained that by sanctioning generic domains (such as .coke), the ICANN had created an environment ripe for shakedowns and brand-squats.

Celebrities forestalling off such threats have proven lucrative for registrars, so it seems the IPC has a point, and El Reg doesn't suppose the argument is anywhere close to over. ®

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