Communications of the ACM (Supplement)
Vol. 42, No. 6
June, 1999
Supplement: ACM Member Net
page 8

ACM criticizes proposed adjudication rules
for Domain Name disputes

ACM President Barbara Simons has written to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) regardin the rules for the adjudication of disputes of global top-level domains (gTLDs) proposed in the WIPO's Interim Report on the Internet Domain Name Process, RFC-3 (December 23, 1998).

She expresses that ACM is "particularly concerned that the plan may negatively impact civil liberties that create the climate of free inquiry and debate in which science and technology flourish. We are also concerned that these rules will reduce beneficial economic returns of research and development to society by discouraging participation in the Internet."

The letter states four areas of particular concern to ACM members. First, the proposed policy favours large corporations that own trademarks over small corporations and individuals. Second, the requirement that domain owners register publicly compromises their privacy. Third, the policies in RFC-3 extend far beyond what was suggested in the United States government's white paper. Fourth, WIPO's proposals might be abused by others to constrain or suppress free speech.

Copyright © 1999 by The Association for Computing Machinery. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.