[At-Large] Impressions from the Whois-Review

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Wed Feb 2 23:03:07 UTC 2011

On 02/02/2011 12:11 PM, John R. Levine wrote:

> There certainly should be a balance.  But when there are a billion
> Internet users, and thousands of individual vanity domain registrants,

I do not accept the "vanity" distinction.

Certainly "ibm.com" is a vanity.

So is "iecc.com" as is "auerbach.com".

Indeed pretty much anything with intended semantic content can be 
classed as a vanity.

And even if vanity were somehow bad - a conception that kinda got burned 
at the stake in Florence some centuries back - why should that matter?

A right to privacy exists whether a person is acting out of vanity or 
out of some altruistic impulse.

I've proposed what I believe is a balanced, fair, and reasonably 
inexpensive procedure for whois access (one that I believe might 
possibly be operated entirely by software.)

  - That the person making an inquiry provide the following things which 
would be recorded into a permanent record and also provided to the data 
subject contemporaneously with the data access.

     +  Provide an accurate identification to a legally cognizable 
person or legally created entity (such as a corporation) and that that 
identification be backed by trustworthy credentials (the type and form 
of the credentials would be recorded, but not any critical items such as 
credit card numbers or the like, if used.)  For those who tend to use 
this process frequently, such as trademark attorneys or anti-spam 
fighters, this might be done through some sort of pre-arrangement, which 
would save money and time for everyone involved.

    + Provide a statement of the rights that the person making the 
inquiry believes he has in the domain name.

    + Provide a statement of how those rights are being injured by the 
domain name, backed by evidence that that injury is in fact occurring.

    + Post some amount of money with the registrar (or some other third 
party) (this money could be provided through some pre-arrangement, 
perhaps with a discount, for those who tend to make several inquiries, 
people such as trademark attorneys or anti-spam advocates.)

       + To cover the costs to the accused domain name should the 
accusation be shown to be made without grounds.

       + To cover the costs of validating the identification and 

  - That every few months that the record of data inquiries be processed 
and published to the public giving tallies of who is making the most 
inquiries, how many were based on what kind of grounds (trademark 
accusation, etc), how many were rejected as being baseless.  Similarly 
the report would show which domains were most inquired about.  The 
purpose of this report would be to help reveal those who abuse the 
system, but on the inquiry side and also what domains are exhibiting the 
most suspicious behavior.


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