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ICANN Conflict Resolution: No Improvement?

By Matthew Guenther in News
Tue May 30, 2000 at 04:44:03 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

This Globe and Mail story claims that an ICANN adjudicator dismissed what seems to be an obvious use of a domain name in bad faith.

It seems that Rockport Boat Line's competitor, Gananoque Boat Line, has registered the domain name rockportboatline.com. Rockport Boat Line discovered this when it went to register the name, and filed a complaint with ICANN. However the adjudicator dismissed the case out of hand, much to the shock of the plaintiffs, especially in light of Sections 4a-b of the ICANN's Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy. As I understood it, one of the main reasons ICANN came into existance was to prevent incidents such as this from happening. So where's the improvement?


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Related Links
o Globe and Mail story
o Rockport Boat Line's
o Gananoque Boat Line
o rockportbo atline.com
o Sections 4a-b
o Also by Matthew Guenther


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ICANN Conflict Resolution: No Improvement? | 19 comments (19 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Uh, well lets see. Beaurocrats with... (2.80 / 4) (#4)
by Alhazred on Tue May 30, 2000 at 01:38:45 PM EST

Alhazred voted 1 on this story.

Uh, well lets see. Beaurocrats with no interest in providing customer service avoiding controversy... Sounds pretty par for the course to me. Sounds like Rockport's lawyers need to be sending a nastygram to their competitor's lawyers! Yeehhhaaaa. DNS registration issues certainly interest guys like me. Lets here who else has had these sorts of problems.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.

Domain Name Resolutions (none / 0) (#13)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 31, 2000 at 08:42:09 AM EST

Even though this case seems to be clearly dropped by ICANN the facts about the situation has certainly never been brought clear for both sides of the case. It certainly seems that Gananoque Boat Line bought rockportboatline.com out of bad faith but only because they operate a similar business. If anyone knew the area and only knew that they were 11 miles apart and that Gananoque Boat Lines operates out of the little village of Ivy Lea 1 mile west of Rockport. To me, it seems that Gananoque Boat Lines has all the rights to the domain name. We may not all agree with "CyberSquatting" and it certainly can be frustrating when you are trying to find your favorite company to see only a "Domain For Sale" logo that cries, I want lots and lots of money for this domain, However that is reality and how much further can you go to tell the companies to be proactive with their domain name and not sit around to see if the internet is a fad or not. I am strongly against firms being held hostage for their domain name, but if they don't want to act quickly, which could be already to late, then how much further can this be taken. Businesses today have to realize that there are many businesses in the world that may have the same name interests, and that they don't "OWN" their domain even though they haven't bought it yet. Companies have to stop believing that there .com is assigned to them along with their phone number. The .com is not sitting there reserved by any one company in the world. While it is unfortunate that many companies have lost their .com, they only have themselves to blame.

[ Parent ]
Re: Domain Name Resolutions (none / 0) (#16)
by dhartung on Wed May 31, 2000 at 12:49:31 PM EST

I think that Rockport Boat Line has a crystal clear trademark case, even though I don't know the intricacies of Canadian law here (heck, IANAL in the US either). They haven't "lost" the domain, this is a by-the-book trademark infringement. It's rather surprising given the rules ICANN has in place; I can only imagine there was something procedural at fault here.

The domain may not be something that Rockport automatically "owns", but that doesn't mean squat in trademark court. And even though this UDRP heavily favors trademark law, it doesn't supercede it -- Rockport will just have to go to court to stop this.
-- Before the Harper's Index: the Harper's Hash Table
[ Parent ]
Re: Domain Name Resolutions (none / 0) (#20)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 05, 2000 at 08:42:35 AM EST

I would have to agree with you if Rockport is trademarked, something that I believe is lacking in this case. And thus why there is no case!!!

[ Parent ]
I would say this is a fairly clear ... (4.00 / 3) (#3)
by Rasputin on Tue May 30, 2000 at 02:53:50 PM EST

Rasputin voted 1 on this story.

I would say this is a fairly clear case of ICANN dropping the ball. It would be interesting to see the adjudicator's reasoning for dismissing the complaint, as from what I saw of the guidelines, this is painfully clear even to me.
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

more background in the writeup. ... (1.00 / 1) (#2)
by ishbak on Tue May 30, 2000 at 02:54:06 PM EST

ishbak voted -1 on this story.

more background in the writeup.

Domain name issues are very importa... (1.00 / 1) (#6)
by jzig on Tue May 30, 2000 at 03:53:35 PM EST

jzig voted 1 on this story.

Domain name issues are very important in today's world

Seems rather important.... (1.00 / 1) (#8)
by typo on Tue May 30, 2000 at 04:09:49 PM EST

typo voted 1 on this story.

Seems rather important.

There are no improvements. ICANN i... (2.50 / 2) (#1)
by ebunga on Tue May 30, 2000 at 04:15:05 PM EST

ebunga voted 1 on this story.

There are no improvements. ICANN is just an evil organization that is just there to look pretty. I thought it was supposed to take the place of the IANA, but it just simply appears to be an organization that does nothing, except acredit domain registrars.

Interesting. The fierce competiton ... (1.00 / 1) (#5)
by jonr on Tue May 30, 2000 at 04:28:24 PM EST

jonr voted 1 on this story.

Interesting. The fierce competiton between rivals reaches out to the Net.

ICANN neads its own appeals process... (2.00 / 1) (#7)
by Vygramul on Tue May 30, 2000 at 04:30:32 PM EST

Vygramul voted 1 on this story.

ICANN neads its own appeals process, and this is pretty clear proof of that. Until the courts (no matter which country) catch up with the Internet, it is likely that they'll render decisions based on real-world experience rather than any understanding of how things work in the Internet. Until such a time, taking Internet-related complaints to court may yield undesireable results, and so ICANN needs additional layers of adjudication to avoid that.
If Brute Force isn't working, you're not using enough.

More common than you'd think... (2.00 / 1) (#9)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue May 30, 2000 at 09:21:49 PM EST

My boss (a real scumbag) did something similar. He registered the domain names of several competitors and pointed them to his own home page. Of course, in a few days their lawyers were sending all sorts of complaints, and my boss gave up the domain names in fear of being sued into oblivion. This, however, was in the US.. I see the companies here are in Canada. Maybe Canada needs to enact some "anti-domain-squatting" laws.

Maybe it is just me, but if I were searching for some product or service and found that one company had stolen a competitor's domain name, I'd be VERY cautious about doing business with them.

P.S. I'm not going to be working for this guy much longer.

Re: More common than you'd think... (2.00 / 1) (#11)
by Matthew Guenther on Wed May 31, 2000 at 01:12:45 AM EST

My boss (a real scumbag) did something similar. He registered the domain names of several competitors and pointed them to his own home page. Of course, in a few days their lawyers were sending all sorts of complaints, and my boss gave up the domain names in fear of being sued into oblivion. This, however, was in the US.. I see the companies here are in Canada. Maybe Canada needs to enact some "anti-domain-squatting" laws.

At the end of the article it mentions they are seeking recourse in Canadian court, however I was under the impression that ICANN was supposed to eliminate or reduce the need for costly court proceedings (in sometimes conflicting jurisdictions).

MBG



[ Parent ]
Re: More common than you'd think... (none / 0) (#17)
by dhartung on Wed May 31, 2000 at 12:52:57 PM EST

Of course it's SUPPOSED to reduce the need for court proceedings. It certainly doesn't PREVENT anyone from using the courts as well as or instead of the ICANN proceeding, and it certainly won't deter anyone with the money to pursue legal action from doing so.
-- Before the Harper's Index: the Harper's Hash Table
[ Parent ]
Re: More common than you'd think... (none / 0) (#19)
by forgey on Fri Jun 02, 2000 at 10:37:53 AM EST

It is possible to get a Domain name transferred in Canada.

We recently aquired 3 domains that our company had trademarks for. None were registered by a competitor, but all were cybersquatted and not being used. In fact the owners were trying to sell them to us.

The individual registrars may have some provisions for this aswell.

forgey

[ Parent ]
Domain stolen :( (3.00 / 1) (#12)
by diskiller on Wed May 31, 2000 at 05:25:12 AM EST

I had a domain i owned stolen :(

I was waiting for its registration to be dropped at NSI so i could reregister it at register.com and someone sneaked in within an hour and registered it :(

nor can i afford to pay for a domain dispute policy :(

This domain represents years of work to me, and (what WAS) my start up company.

If only something could be done about this shit. Now my domain is available for "sale". The person that registered ignored my emails. bleh.

*sigh*

martin.


Re: Domain stolen :( (none / 0) (#15)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 31, 2000 at 12:45:06 PM EST

Should have reregistered it with NSI then, and then transferred it to register.com. If you were so petty as to not to want to spend $30 or whatever to safeguard "years of work" then it is all your fault.

Of course, if NSI were refusing to transfer your domain, then sue them, because ICANN say that you should be allowed to tranfsfer a domain between registries, even for a charge.

You refused to pay the rent, you got thrown out and somebody else moved in. Bad luck, better luck next time. Why not get another domain name, it might not have been as good, but that is what marketing exists for - to market your domain. People don't just turn up at your site for nothing!

[ Parent ]

Re: Domain stolen :( (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by Arkady on Wed May 31, 2000 at 05:58:53 PM EST

Hmm.

I've been reticent to transfer my domains away from NSI (which, especially after the latest "policy" change, I really want to do). There was an article on /. about NSI recently which described what happenned to one fellow who tried that. Apparantly, NSI first _deletes_ the registration and then sends it through their queue as a fresh registration to the new registrar. Somebody registered his domain while it was in the limbo after the delete but before the new submission and NSI refused to give it back to him.

So NSI seems, unsurprisingly, to be going out of their way to make it difficult and dangerous to try to transfer to another registrar. It's inappropriate to assume that the previous poster wasn't following the proper procedure, since cases just like his have had the same effect when doing so.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


[ Parent ]
Express your concerns to Gananoque (1.00 / 1) (#14)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed May 31, 2000 at 12:15:35 PM EST

Why not express your concerns to Gananoque?

If you really see an injustice here, why not send out some e-mails or call up the people who can change the situation? Maybe I'm too naive here but if they receive enough complaints through phone calls and e-mails, they may be pressured to relinquish the name.

Gananoque Boat Line Ltd.
Tel: (613) 382-2144
Fax: (613) 382-2148

Registrant:
Gananoque Boat Line LTD (ROCKPORTBOATLINE-DOM)
Domain Name: ROCKPORTBOATLINE.COM
Administrative Contact, Billing Contact:
Chris McCarney <cuan@netcom.ca>
Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Mike Hepburn <mhepburn@intraweave.com>

Registrant:
Gananoque Boat Line Limited (GANBOATLINE-DOM)
Domain Name: GANBOATLINE.COM
Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact, Billing Contact:
Steve Cole <coles@kos.net>

The IP registrar is Internet Kingston (NETBLK-NET-KINGSTON)
Netblock: 205.189.48.0 - 205.189.49.0
Coordinator: Michael Behrens <michael@gothmog.kingston.net>
(613)547-6939

And remember to be nice & courteous. That will have a more positive effect than ranting and cursing. :)


ICANN Conflict Resolution: No Improvement? | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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