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VeriSign is now working with Bruce Tonkin, one of the Registrar Constituency's representatives to the GNSO Council, to facilitate the process of developing a solution for an industry-wide com/net deleted names handling process, which facilitates an open auction during the pending delete period.
In January 2005, VeriSign will begin surveying end users in the Internet community to get input on various types of auction house solutions and price sensitivity for deleted name auctions. VeriSign anticipates providing the feedback received from end users, along with a revised deleted names proposed auction model in February 2005. The proposed model will be further vetted with registrars and other stakeholders to ensure that it adequately addresses the needs of registrars, registrants, and other impacted parties.
Tipped off by: IcannWatch [icannwatch.org]
It'll be interesting to see what auction model they go with.
For a long time I assumed when I registered a domain name that I had a license to use it and I was therefore a licensee. Implicit in this assumption was that some other entity was the licensor/owner. But I'm not so sure anymore.
You could say that. What many people don't know (and I'm sure want to hear, either) is
that, in reality, they don't really own the domain name.
The registrar is selling you the right to use a name and manage it for you. But you create
the name and can do with it as you see fit as long as it's still paid.
I think one does own a domain name during the term of its registration.
As long as it's paid, you have rights to it. Once expired, you don't have rights except to
renew it or let it go.
An analogy would be club membership: if you don't pay your monthly or annual dues, you
eventually won't be able to avail of the club's amenities.
Unfortunately, dissents aren't the law. So the legal nature of domain names is still unresolved, and no one seems to be able to figure out just what they are.
If you're referring to the question as to whether domain names are property, that should
Imagine this: if domain names are declared property just like your house, and your spouse
decides to divorce you, your spouse can include your domain name among the items to
take from you, don't you think?
How many people have considered that aside from the attorneys?
If the registrant doesn't own the name, then who does? I'd like to hear some opinions on this.
In the registrar's viewpoint, whoever is listed as the registrant is the legal owner, no ifs
ands or buts.
There is another issue in the trademark/tradename area. I understand that the USPTO (patent and trademark office) is permitting the registration of certain domain names. What if the trademark registration period exceeds the domain name registration period, that is, the registration of the domain name expires? Does that mean one can have an exclusive claim to the domain name, even if the domain name registration expires? From my point of view, in light of how the domain name registration system works, I don't see how a domain name can become registered as a trademark.
While not an attorney, I'll offer some "unprofessional" feedback.
For instance, this recent UDRP case came in: mess.com [arbiter.wipo.int]
The complainant attempted to convince the UDRP panelists (in this case WIPO) due to their registered trademark
"mess.com". But if you read thoroughly, you'll see why it was denied.
Having a registered trademark doesn't necessarily grant its applicant absolute exclusive rights to the word/s no
matter what its usage except in the class where it's registered.
Also, I note that nowhere in the domain name registration system is the word "owner" used. Why isn't a domain name holder referred to as "owner" rather than "registrant"? It's all still unsettled, it seems like no one knows what a domain name is.
Registrars view domain names as service contracts that are governed by their respective registration agreements,
and not as property.
Also, anyone can claim ownership of a domain name. It then becomes a matter of proving such.
Registrars treat whoever is listed as the registrant as the legal owner, no ifs ands or buts. So if your name or that
of your holding/s isn't list there, better check fast.