In a white paper released on Thursday, EFF has warned domain registrants against unfair policies set by new TLD registries and offers ways to minimize exposure to trademark bullying. The white paper titled, “Which Internet registries offer the best protection for domain owners?” also touches on how some domain name registries and registrars do a better job of privacy protections. From the paper: “Unfortunately, the Trademark Clearinghouse admits many questionable entries into its database, with the result that legitimate domain registrants are prevented from registering domains during the sunrise period, or are needlessly frightened away from doing so during the subsequent Claims period. … As if this were not enough, some registries have gone above and beyond what ICANN requires by providing yet more power to brand owners. … For better protection against trademark bullies, you should generally avoid registering your domain in any of the new gTLD…”
EFF is currently participating in an ICANN working group fighting to ensure that brand owners’ veto rights aren’t extended even further (for example to catch domains that include typos of brand names), and to prevent these outrageous rules being applied to older gTLDs such as .com, .net, and .org. But for now, you can minimize your exposure to trademark bullying by avoiding registering your website in one of the new domains that is subject to these unfair policies. Our whitepaper explains what to look for.
To avoid having your website taken down by your domain registry in response to a copyright complaint, our whitepaper sets out a number of options, including registering in a domain whose registry requires a court order before it will take down a domain, or at the very least one that doesn’t have a special arrangement with the MPAA or another special interest for the streamlined takedown of domains. For example, it was recently reported that the registry for Costa Rica’s .cr domain has been resisting extralegal demands from the U.S. Embassy to delete the domain “ThePirateBay.cr” without a court order.