ICANN Ombudsman Blog Creating Dialogue Affirming Fairness

October 30, 2014

ICANN: Allow individuals who have their personal names as part of a domain name to have signing authority for its resale.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chris LaHatte @ 7:14 pm

I have recently received a petition through change.org with the above description. I do get complaints from time to time from individuals who find that their own names, sometimes unique to them, have been used by someone for cybersquatting. When the person seeks to use the name the registrant will often offer to sell at a substantial amount. Most individuals then use a variant or walk away. But I have had a number of complaints where individuals have been stalked by people who registered a domain name in their name. Of course the market for domain names is wide open, and individuals are free to register whatever names they want. That is the choice of the community, and I need to explain to the affected people, that if they want to change this, they would need to start a policy development process.

Of course of the individual has been prudent enough to register a trademark in their name, then the UDRP process is available, although of course at some cost. But often when someone becomes well-known because of their subsequent achievements, this will not occur to them. It can be frustrating as the ombudsman to see exploitation like this, which is unfair. It is regrettably out of my jurisdiction, and can only be changed through a proper policy development process.


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