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[registrars] Re: Domain Name Dispute Policy -- Next Steps

Thank you for your interest in and suggestions for the domain name dispute 
policy that AOL and register.com have been preparing.

As you may know, the accredited registrars are obligated under contract with 
ICANN to formulate a domain name dispute policy.  Following a lengthy, open 
process WIPO issued a report last spring attempting to balance the various 
positions articulated during the WIPO process. The report recommends a 
thoughtful framework to be used by the registrars for a dispute policy.  The 
ICANN Board has commended WIPO on the report and referred the report to the 
DNSO for consideration.

In the interim, the ICANN Board has "endorse[d] the principle that a uniform 
dispute resolution policy should be adopted for Registrars in the .com, .net, 
and .org Top-Level Domains (TLDs)" and "encourage[d] the testbed registrars 
to work together to formulate a model dispute resolution policy for voluntary 

The draft policy you have seen has been a cooperative effort to meet that 
direction from ICANN.  You will notice that the proposed policy substantially 
reflects the WIPO report, putting responsibility for changes in the status of 
domain names in the hands of ADR authorities and the courts.  Additional 
points have been included in the policy to maximize voluntary adoption by the 
testbed and subsequent registrars.  Despite probable imperfections in the 
policy, a significant priority in this effort is the uniform adoption of a 
single policy by registrars.  If that does not occur, inconsistencies will 
surely be exploited and lead to problems even greater than the ones currently 
experienced by those who have had to rely on the NSI dispute policy.

Jim Bramson
America Online, Inc.