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[registrars] Dispute Policy & Statement

For those of you registrars that do not know me, I am the Interim
Secretariat of the DNSO Registrar Constituency. Listed below is the proposed
Domain Name Dispute Policy and Policy Statement that a group of registrars
have been collectively drafting. Although ICANN and WIPO have participated
in these drafting meetings, this has been a collective effort on behalf of
the registrar industry.

I will be the first to say that these documents are not perfect. However, I
believe that this is an important step in the right direction and that
failure not to take this step may be a greater harm than good. In Santiago
at the Registrar Constituency meeting we will be harmonizing this document
with the report prepared by Working Group A to address certain differences.
I will keep those registrars that are not able to attend apprised of the
constituency's discussions.

For those of you that may have any questions, please do not hesitate to
contact me either via e-mail or phone +1 (561) 630-8060. I have participated
in most of the teleconferences over the past couple of weeks and I attended
the meeting in Washington over three weeks ago. Therefore I should be able
to answer most of your questions and/or concerns.  For those of you that
have expressed a dissatisfaction over the need and/or content of this
policy, I respect your decision not to adopt this policy.

At this time, the policy listed below has been adopted by America Online,
Register.com, Network Solutions, and InfoNetworks. ICANN will be releasing
this document and a list of registrars that voluntarily support this policy
some time this evening. If you are interested in having your company
associated with this document please contact myself.  And for those
companies that at this time do not wish to adopt this policy please let me
know so that I can voice these concerns in Santiago.

Best regards,

Michael Palage


The Model Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy for Voluntary Adoption by
Registrars (the "Policy") represents the efforts of the registrars listed
below (collectively, the "Registrars") to establish a uniform policy to
govern disputes regarding domain name registrations.  The Registrars believe
that the adoption of a uniform policy will best further the interests of the
Internet community, as it will provide certainty regarding the resolution of
such disputes and foster competition between registrars based upon the
quality and cost of their services, and not on their administration of
domain name disputes.
The Policy is the result of collaborative efforts among the Registrars and
incorporates suggestions from a variety of additional sources, including
various commentators and the World Intellectual Property Organization
The goal of the Policy is to remove the Registrars from the process of
adjudicating domain name disputes, and relegate resolution of such disputes
to courts, arbitration panels, or administrative panels which are better
suited to adjudi-cate these claims.  To that end, Registrars will no longer
change the status of a disputed domain name registration until the dispute
has been resolved.
The Policy incorporates WIPO's proposal regarding the use of a mandatory
administrative proceeding in cases where a domain name holder is alleged to
have registered and used a domain name in bad faith and in violation of
another party's trademark rights.  In the past, these so-called
"cybersquatters" have tried to convince trademark owners that it would be
cheaper and faster to buy the applicable domain name from a cybersquatter
rather than engage in costly and protracted litigation.  The Registrars
believe that an inexpensive and expedited mandatory administrative
proceeding should eliminate this cybersquatter strategy, and thereby benefit
the Internet community.
Domain name holders alleged to have registered and used a domain name in bad
faith must submit to an administrative proceeding before an approved dispute
resolution service provider.  These providers cannot award monetary
dam-ages, but can direct that a domain name may be cancelled or transferred.
While this process is mandatory if invoked, nothing prevents a domain name
holder or a complainant from going to court before the administrative
proceeding is commenced, or to seek relief from the judgment of the
administrative proceeding after it is concluded.
The Registrars are working to establish an agreed upon set of proce-dural
rules to be applied by the dispute resolution service providers.  Those
proce-dural rules are intended to balance the due process interests of the
domain name holder with the rights of a complainant to resolve expeditiously
disputes where their trademark or service mark may have been registered as a
domain name in bad faith.


1.	Purpose.  This Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (the "Policy") is
incorporated by reference into your Registration Agreement, and sets forth
the terms and conditions in connection with a dispute between you and any
party other than us (the regis-trar) over the registration and use of an
Internet domain name registered by you.

2.	Your Representations.  By applying to register a domain name, or by
asking us to maintain or renew a domain name registration, you hereby
represent and warrant to us that (a) the statements that you made in your
Registration Agreement are complete and accu-rate; (b) to your knowledge,
the registration of the domain name will not infringe upon or otherwise
violate the rights of any third party; (c) you are not registering the
domain name for an unlawful purpose; and (d) you will not knowingly use the
domain name in violation of any applicable laws or regulations.  We do not
check to verify, and it is your responsibility to determine, whether your
domain name registration infringes or violates someone else's rights.

3.	Cancellations, Transfers, and Changes.    We will cancel, transfer or
otherwise make changes to domain name registrations under the following

1.	subject to the provisions of Paragraph 8, our receipt of written or
appropriate electronic instructions from you or your authorized agent to
take such action;

2.	our receipt of an order from a court or arbitral tribunal, in each case
of competent jurisdiction, requiring such action;

3.	our receipt of a decision of an Administrative Panel requir-ing such
action in any administrative proceeding to which you were a party (as
explained in Paragraph 4 below); and/or

4.	to comply with the resolution of a dispute concerning your domain name
under another registrar's domain name dispute resolution policy that is
identical to this policy in all mate-rial respects.

We may also cancel, transfer or otherwise make changes to a domain name
registration in accordance with the terms of your Registration Agreement or
other legal requirements.

4.	Mandatory Administrative Proceeding.

This Paragraph sets forth the type of disputes for which you are required to
submit to a mandatory administrative proceeding.  These proceedings will be
conducted before one of the administrative dispute resolution service
providers listed at <URL> (each, a "Provider").

1.	Applicable Disputes.  You are required to submit to a mandatory
administrative proceeding in the event that a third party (a "complainant")
asserts to the applicable Pro-vider, in compliance with that Provider's
rules of procedure, that (i) your domain name is identical or misleadingly
simi-lar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights;
and (ii) you have no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain
name; and (iii) your domain name has been registered and is being used in
bad faith.
2.	Evidence of Registration and Use in Bad Faith.  For the purposes of
Paragraph 4(a)(iii), the following, in particular but without limitation,
shall be evidence of the registration and use of a domain name in bad faith:
(i) your offer to sell, rent or otherwise transfer the domain name
registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or
ser-vice mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for valu-able
consideration; or (ii) your attempt to attract, for finan-cial gain,
Internet users to your website or other on-line location, by creating
confusion with the trademark or ser-vice mark of the complainant; or (iii)
your registration of a domain name in order to prevent the owner of the
trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain
name, provided that a pattern of such conduct has been established on your
part; or (iv) your registration of a domain name in order to disrupt the
business of a competi-tor.

3.	Selection of Provider.  The Provider who will administer a particular
proceeding shall be choose one [selected by the complainant] or [assigned by

4.	Initiation of Proceeding and Process.   Each Provider's rules of
procedure state the process for initiating and con-ducting a proceeding and
for selecting the panel that will decide the dispute (the "Administrative
Panel").  The rules of procedure for each Provider appear at <URL>.

5.	Consolidation.  In the event of multiple disputes between you and a
complainant, either you or the complainant may petition to consolidate the
disputes before a single Adminis-trative Panel.  This petition shall be made
to the first Ad-ministrative Panel selected to hear a pending dispute
be-tween the parties.  This Administrative Panel may consoli-date before it
all such disputes in its sole discretion, pro-vided that (i) such domain
name registrations are governed by a domain name dispute resolution policy
identical to this Policy in all material respects; and (ii) all of the
disputes are before Providers listed at <URL>.

6.	Fees.  All fees incurred in connection with any dispute before an
Administrative Panel pursuant to this Policy shall be paid as set forth in
the relevant Provider's rules of proce-dure.

7.	Our Involvement in Administrative Proceedings.  We do not, and will not,
participate in the administration or con-duct of any proceeding before an
Administrative Panel.  In addition, we will not be liable as a result of any
decisions rendered by the Administrative Panel.

8.	Remedies.  The remedies available to a complainant pursu-ant to any
proceeding before an Administrative Panel shall be limited to requiring the
cancellation of your domain name or the transfer of your domain name
registration to the complainant.

9.	Notification and Publication.  The Provider shall notify us of any
decision made by one of its Administrative Panels with respect to a domain
name you have registered with us. All decisions under this Policy will be
published over the Internet, except when an Administrative Panel determines
in its sole discretion not to have its decision published.

10.	Availability of Court Proceedings.  The mandatory admin-istrative
proceeding requirements set forth in Paragraph 4 shall not prevent either
you or the complainant from submit-ting the dispute to a court of competent
jurisdiction for independent resolution before such mandatory
administra-tive proceeding is commenced or after such proceeding is
concluded.  If an Administrative Panel decides that your domain name
registration should be cancelled or trans-ferred, we will wait ten (10)
calendar days after being in-formed by the applicable Provider of the
Administrative Panel's decision before implementing that decision.  We will
then implement the decision unless we have received from you during such ten
(10) calendar day period a copy of a complaint, file-stamped by the clerk of
the court, against the complainant regarding your right to use your domain
name.  If we receive such a complaint, we will not implement the
Administrative Panel's decision, and we will take no further action, until
(i) we are informed of a resolution between the parties; (ii) we are
informed that your lawsuit has been dismissed or withdrawn; or (iii) we
receive a copy of an order from such court dismissing your lawsuit or
ordering that you do not have the right to continue to use your do-main

5.	All Other Disputes and Litigation.  All other disputes between you and
any party other than us regarding your domain name registration that are not
brought pursuant to the mandatory admin-istrative proceeding provisions of
Paragraph 4 shall be resolved between you and such other party through any
court, arbitration or other proceeding that may be available.

6.	Our Involvement in Disputes.  We will not participate in any way in any
dispute between you and any party other than us re-garding the registration
and use of your domain name.  You shall not name us as a party or otherwise
include us in any such pro-ceeding.  In the event that we are named as a
party in any such proceeding, we reserve the right to raise any and all
defenses deemed appropriate, and to take any other action necessary to
defend ourselves.

7.	Maintaining the Status Quo.  We will not cancel, transfer, activate,
deactivate, or otherwise change the status of any domain name registration
under this Policy except as provided in Para-graph 3 above.

8.	Transfers During a Dispute.

1.	Transfers of a Domain Name to a New Holder.  You may not transfer your
domain name registration to another holder (i) during a pending
administrative proceeding brought pursuant to Paragraph 4 or for a period of
fifteen (15) calen-dar days after such proceeding is concluded; or (ii)
during a pending court proceeding or arbitration commenced regard-ing your
domain name unless the party to whom the domain name registration is being
transferred agrees, in writing, to be bound by the decision of the court or
arbitrator.  We reserve the right to cancel any transfer of a domain name
registration to another holder that is made in violation of this

2.	Changing Registrars.  You may not transfer your domain name registration
to another registrar during a pending administrative proceeding brought
pursuant to Paragraph 4 or for a period of fifteen (15) calendar days after
such pro-ceeding is concluded.  You may transfer administration of your
domain name registration to another registrar during a pending court action
or arbitration, provided that (i) the domain name you have registered with
us shall continue to be subject to the proceedings commenced against you in
accordance with the terms of this Policy; and (ii) the new registrar has a
domain name dispute policy under which it will recognize and implement any
decision rendered in any such proceeding.  In the event that you transfer a
domain name registration to us during the pendency of an adminis-trative
proceeding, court action, or arbitration, such dispute shall remain subject
to the domain name dispute policy of the registrar from which the domain
name registration was transferred.

9.	Policy Modifications.  We reserve the right to modify this Policy at any
time.  We will post our revised Policy at <URL> at least thirty (30)
calendar days before it becomes effective. Unless this Policy has already
been invoked, in which event the version of the  Policy in effect at the
time it was invoked will apply to you until the dispute is over, all such
changes will be binding upon you with respect to any domain name
registration dispute, whether the dispute arose before, on or after the
effective date of our change.  In the event that you object to a change in
this Policy, your sole remedy is to cancel your domain name registration or
transfer your domain name registration to another registrar, provided that
in the event of a transfer, you will not be entitled to a refund of any fees
you paid to us.  The revised Policy will apply to you until you cancel or
transfer your domain name registration.


World Intellectual Property Organization