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legal Duplicitous ICANN Working Group Jeopardizes Domain Owners’ Rights

A duplicitous ICANN Working Group has issued a report that is open for public comments that would have severe negative consequences for domain name owners. In particular, it would tilt the playing field in a domain name dispute (i.e. a UDRP or the URS) involving IGOs (intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations) in such a manner that it would be nearly impossible for domain owners to have their dispute decided on the merits by the courts. This would encourage consequence-free reverse domain name hijacking. Rather than accept the findings and recommendations of the prior working group, which reached a consensus, this new working group instead had tunnel vision and focused instead on ramming through an alternative recommendation (involving arbitration) for which there was an express consensus against in the prior working group!

The current deadline for comments (unless extended) is October 24, 2021.

Read more about this dangerous report and what you can do to stop its recommendations in my blog post at:
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As I noted on Twitter:

the ICANN GNSO Council will be voting on the flawed final report next week (May 19, 2022). I hope that those here who have some sway (e.g. GoDaddy and other registrars) will oppose that working group's final report, as the working group ignored the public comments opposed to it, including those that noted that the recommendations went far beyond the actual charter. Registrants will be directly harmed, as their due process protections via court will be eliminated! When that happens, you can expect IGOs to take advantage of the situation and engage in reverse domain name hijacking attempts, as an incorrect decision wouldn't be able to be corrected by the courts.

As we've seen in the UDRP and similar decisions, panelists are biased against domain name owners, and this will become even worse if they know that their decisions can't be challenged in the courts.
Here's a shocking new development --- the registrars constituency is trying to rewrite history, to claim the IGO final report's recommendations are in scope, and don't violate their own charter!

It appears folks are beginning to realize that something is wrong, and are trying to fix things by rewriting history, perhaps to later gaslight opponents.
We got a small victory today — the vote scheduled for today was deferred 1 month, at the request of the Registrars Constituency! There’s still a big hill to climb, to convince the ICANN community to reject the final report of the new IGO working group (we’d need to prevent a supermajority vote, so we don’t actually need a majority – just need to block a supermajority). Consensus policies require supermajority votes.
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