27 February 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

The DNA backtracks on third-party copyright system

The Domain Name Association (DNA) is going back to the drawing board with its proposal for a UDRP-style system to resolve copyright infringement online, after its original plan was criticised.

According to the DNA, the system, which came as part of the four proposals of its healthy domains initiative, would work in a similar way to the UDRP for trademarks.

The other proposals included addressing online security abuse, enhancing child abuse mitigation systems and streamlining complaint handling from illegal or ‘rogue’ online pharmacies.

Certain groups and associations, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, lambasted the copyright proposal, calling it the “epitome of shadow regulation”.

The DNA has moved to answer these criticisms, but added: “If DNA members are interested in the regulation of anything, it would be in ‘regulating’ clearly illegal behaviour, not deciding what the public can see on the internet”.

It said it would take a “keen interest” in any registrar’s design and implementation of a dispute resolution system, and would monitor its implementation and efficacy before refining its recommendations further.

Mason Cole, vice president of communications and industry relations at Donuts, and chair of the healthy domains initiative committee, said that the accusations were “irresponsible and preposterous”.

“We’re interested in the stewardship of the namespace for everyone,” Cole said.

The DNA will continue to progress its other proposals and have “active discussions regarding these and other potential healthy practices”.

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