I have had a long chat with WIPO concerning our
proposals. Their comments on our proposals are:
1. easy to implement from their end as they
generally inform the parties of the expiry date anyway.
2. although generally registrars inform them
of the expiry date when they respond to the verification request, this isn't
one of the things which registrars have to confirm. So we should amend
our rules to include this.
They commented that currently most registrars pay
the renewal fee themselves on the relatively rare occasion that a domain is
about to lapse during UDRP proceedings. From the large registrars Tucows
is the only one that doesn't do this. They commented that it might be
cheaper from the registrars' perspective to all adopt this approach (of
renewing themselves) rather than what we were proposing. Their reason
for saying this was because of the hassle of dealing with refunds (which they
have some experience of due to .info sunrise challenges). This is
something which the registrar constituency should give some thought to.
The only cases where the registrar would lose out under this scenario is where
the complainant loses (so doesn't get to renew) and someone else snaps the
name up using a different registrar before the complainant has the chance to
register it. I think if we end up going back to this sort of system, the
whois data should be amended to show that it is on hold pending UDRP
One concern they had was that under our system we
are effectively forcing the complainant to stay with the same registrar if
they win - or they have to pay twice.
More fundamental was a question they raised as to
what should happen to the UDRP proceedings where the registrants opts not to
renew the domain. They suggested that the domain should go by default to
the complainant. I know we discussed this and someone (probably John)
raised the point that a default scenario in these circumstances would be open
to abuse. I think that is unlikely for the following reasons:
1. A udrp complaint goes through a formality
check prior to being accepted - therefore if there is not prima facie case
made out (eg there is no right claimed), it is rejected.
2. A udrp complainant when deciding to
initiate an action would not know whether the domain name was going to be
renewed. If they guessed it wasn't it would be far cheaper to file a WLS
than to file a UDRP claim.
Therefore, I would certainly support a simplified
rule that the if the respondent hasn't paid 30 days after the renewal grace
period, the domain goes to the complainant and if the complainant chooses
another registrar, they have to refund the original registrar's renewal
OK, it would
have been helpful if I'd discussed this with WIPO before now, but if you would
like me to draft a couple of paragraphs saying "Alternatively, this problem
could be solved by ...." I would be happy (well that's slightly too strong a
word given what else I have to try to get done today) to do so.
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