Personal Comments on the WIPO/ICANN Process

Hosted by A. Michael Froomkin, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law

Here comes WIPO2

WIPO has announced a second 'domain name process' in which it appears WIPO will discuss the issues which even WIPO thought were too controversial for the first WIPO DNS process. As preparation for this second round of discussion, WIPO appears to have deleted all the working documents from the first process from its web site. Only the final report and the account of the regional consultations remain.

Even if other people may find it hard to learn from the first process, it is clear that WIPO itself has learned important lessons. So far at least, there is no mention of a pesky "experts group" this time -- so no fear of having a dissenting report! -- plus there appear to be no "regional consultations" scheduled for places that have large numbers of internet users -- nothing in North America, Japan, or Western Europe. Less danger of hearing something you might not like?

Unofficial copies of the outrageous Working Group B Report and the accompanying attachment. Stay tuned for commentary....

ICANN Comments

The Internet Corporation on Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) has become the place where domain name dispute issues (and other related domain name issues) are being discussed.  I invite you to visit ICANN Watch where you will read much more about ICANN-related topics.

Comments on ICANN's proposed Uniform Dispute Policy & Rules (Oct. 13, 1999)

Comments on proposed changes to ICANN By-laws (Oct. 22, 1999)

This comment produced an interesting dialog with Joe Sims, ICANN's Chief Counsel:

Other ICANN-related comments and papers

Comments on ICANN's contract with NSI

Of Governments and Governance, a paper delivered at a conference on "The Legal and Policy Framework for Global Electronic Commerce: a Progress Report".

My slides from a talk called "The Root of all Evil?" presented at the CPSR conference Sept. 25, 1999. Powerpoint .ppt file; or as HTML. CPSR has also posted an excellent summary of my talk.

A preliminary draft of my TPRC paper: Semi-Private International Rulemaking: Lessons Learned from the WIPO Domain Name Process (in .pdf format).

Some thoughts on how ICANN might introduce instant accountability by signing A Contract With The Internet.

Other ICANN Sites of Interest

Commentary on WIPO's Final Report on Domain Names

The World Intellectual Property Organization's Final Report on "The Management of Internet Names And Addresses: Intellectual Property Issues" is in most (but not all) respects a substantial improvement on the Interim Report, RFC 3.

I invite you to read version 1.0 of my Commentary on WIPO's The Management of Internet Names And Addresses: Intellectual Property Issues. Also available in a pdf version.

Recent Actions Related to WIPO Report

Official Actions
  • ICANN Board Resolution endorsing part of WIPO report in principle (and pointedly not endorsing other parts at all). (May 27, 1999)
  • ICANN Press Communiqué contradicting above and calling for expansion of WIPO ADR to all DN-related commercial disputes. (May 27, 1999)
  • ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Communiqué endorsing "general principles" of WIPO report. (May 25, 1999)
  • Unofficial (but very interesting)

  • Ralph Nader and Jamie Love's letter to Esther Dyson, chairman of ICANN querying ICANN direction.  (June 11, 1999)
  • Response by Esther Dyson & ICANN CEO Mike Roberts (saying that NSI is the main issue). (June 15, 1999)
  • Patrick Greenwell's commentary on the Dyson  & Roberts letter (June 20, 1999)
  • Other Links of Interest


    Commentary on RFC 3

    Major Flaws in the WIPO Domain Name Proposal -- A Quick Guide
    My full "Critique of WIPO RFC 3" is now available in three formats:

    Acrobat PDF version 1.0a
    This version has correct formatting, but inoperative hyperlinks.

    Word Perfect 8 version 1.0a
    Correct formatting, working hyperlinks.  Converts poorly to Word.

    HTML version 1.0a
    Imperfect formatting, working hyperlinks.  Please note that due to differences between browsers, the paragraph numbering in the HTML version may differ significantly from the original.

    revised Oct. 27, 1999 since counting restarted Nov. 10, 1999.
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