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[comments-gtlds] Position Paper "C"
January 6, 2000
Mr. Javier Sola
Mr. Jonathan Weinberg
Domain Name Supporting Organization
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
Marina del Rey, California
Re: Request for Comments: Working Group "C".
To Whom It May Concern:
The Walt Disney Company ("Disney") submits the following comments on
the Interim Report from Working Group "C" ("Report") on new global Top Level
Domains ("gTLDs"). Disney is a member of the Business Constituency of the
Domain Name Supporting Organization.
Disney is a holding company with affiliated companies engaged in the
motion picture production and distribution business, the development and
operation of theme parks, television production and broadcasting.
Disney has also been at the forefront of Internet development.
Through the creation and development of disney.com, Disney has extended its
market for family-oriented entertainment into cyberspace. The experience
that it has developed, alone and in partnership with Infoseek - now part of
go.com - has been further refined and developed in other areas, including
some of the most popular sites online for sports information (espn.com),
television entertainment (abc.com) and news (abcnews.com).
As a result of its experience, Disney is enthusiastic about the
still untested possibilities of the Internet. These possibilities are
enhanced, not constrained, by a systematic and orderly development of the
supporting structure, including the domain name system.
As a registrant of numerous domain names and as a company engaged in
widely different commercial enterprises, Disney welcomes the prospective
addition of new gTLDs. Moreover, Disney welcomes the prospect of limited
purpose (or chartered) top-level domains. However, we can only welcome such
developments within the context of a structure within which law,
particularly those relating to intellectual property rights, are applicable
and enforceable. Accordingly, Disney supports Position Paper "C" in the
Management of the domain name space must be resolved before existing
problems are magnified through expansion of the domain name space by the
addition of new gTLDs. Specific issues which must be resolved include: (a)
the formulation and implementation of an effective uniform dispute
resolution procedure which addresses trademark infringement, including the
protection of famous trademarks, and (b) the development and maintenance of
a functioning single query WHOIS database system which ensures online
While ICANN has taken important steps in each of these areas, much
remains undone, and even that which has been done remains untested.
The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy ("Policy"), adopted October 24, 1999,
is untested and fails to meet ICANN's commitments to implement previous WIPO
proposals. Disney believes that the Policy will fail, because it addresses
only bad faith domain name registrations, because it exempts some bad faith
uses from its operation and because it imposes too many conditions of rights
holder before it can be invoked. The Names Council has implicitly recognized
some of these deficiencies by proposing a study on implementation and
results achieved under the Policy. Whether Disney is right or wrong about
the Policy, the Policy still fails to address the issue of famous trademarks
and it is wholly untested.
While ICANN has expressed support for a single query based WHOIS system and
bulk transfer of WHOIS data, at least for enforcement purposes, the
operation of WHOIS within the context of competitive registrars remains
undefined and untested. Insufficient steps have been proposed or adopted to
ensure the accuracy of WHOIS information, the timeliness of WHOIS
information or the mechanics of operating a single query system within the
framework of competitive registrars.
Disney hopes that the foregoing helps to demonstrate the problems
that afflict the existing domain name space, problems which must not be
magnified by premature expansion of the domain name space.
Very truly yours,
J. Andrew Coombs
The Walt Disney Company