Is The Internet Commerce Association (the “ICA) dead?
Phil Corwin who’s Washington Law firm has represented the Association at ICANN meetings, and through its various committees and workshops, and represented domainers interests in matters from the Snowe Bill to the Kentucky Domain Seizure case, to the Uniform Rapid Suspension, contract with the ICA ended on December 31, 2009.
No one has been retained by the ICA to replace Phil.
So currently the ICA has no one representing them.
I can sum of the ramification for domainers of this in one word:
2010 ICANN will be passing more rules and regulations for the new gTLD’s which as we have said on numerous occasions very well could effect existing registries and extensions, like .com and .org.
One of the outcomes of the the new extensions are new rules pushed by trademark groups and even maybe shorter, quicker and cheaper UDRP and WIPO procedures that complaints already have a 85%+ win rate.
The immediate problem is that the comment period on STI-RT Recommendations with ICANN closes in two days, on January 26th.
The ICANN announcement is at here .
The report proposes a vastly more balanced version of the URS (Uniform Rapid Suspension) with important registrant protections, including a safe harbor defense for ownership of a domain portfolio as well as for domain parking.
Unfortunately, the only folks to comments on this proposal so far as those representing the trademark holders interests and they’re against it.
Trademark groups including the INTA and others are encouraging trademark holders to file comments against this more modest proposal in favor a the original URS.
Phil Corwin who would normally file a comment on behalf of the ICA will not be doing so.
Mr. Corwin would also be letting all domainers know about this situation and urge all domainers to submit their comments on this proposal by the due date January 26, 2010.
If we don’t support this verision trademark groups will get a stronger, brustal verision passed.
As we have pointed out on many other occassion almost every word; 2 and 3 letter combination and saying and phrase is trademarked in the US. Moreover trademarks registered in countries other than the US can and often are used by trademark holder to take away generic domains from domain owners.
(You can check out the UdrpWallOf Shame.com to see just a few of these type of decisions).
I don’t have a magic solution at this point and unless something fundamentally changes, as a group we are pretty much on our own.
You should take a minute out of your day and comment in favor of the proposal on the table and say a Hail Mary for the money and the time spent before you.