[gnso-rpm-wg] A Brave New World Without Sunrises or the TMCH

Reg Levy reg at mmx.co
Thu Apr 13 19:53:03 UTC 2017

I concur. There was some indication that the claims notice might be more helpful—registries are only required to provide claims notice for 90 days but the TMCH itself provides ongoing claims notices (for ongoing fees, to continue to justify its existence). I’m happy to allow that state of affairs to continue if the TMCH and its customers desire.


Reg Levy
VP Compliance + Policy | Minds + Machines Group Limited
C: +1-310-963-7135
S: RegLevy2

Current UTC offset: -7

> On 13 Apr 2017, at 11:59, George Kirikos <icann at leap.com> wrote:
> Hi folks,
> (changing the subject accordingly)
> On Thu, Apr 13, 2017 at 2:15 PM, J. Scott Evans via gnso-rpm-wg
> <gnso-rpm-wg at icann.org> wrote:
>> I think all of this is a huge red herring. If my memory serves me, there
>> have only been about 130 Sunrise Registrations. That is a very small number
>> when compared to the number of second level domains registered in the new
>> TLDs. I think it is safe to assume that there has been some gaming. We don’t
>> need to do an exhaustive investigation. What we need to do is look at
>> reasonable solutions to the gaming problem. I have not seen any proposals
>> for you on how to handle the problem. We need to close down this
>> unproductive discussion and move on to finding solutions to the problem of
>> gaming.
> These numbers stand for the proposition that the sunrise period should
> be entirely eliminated, given that folks concede it "is a very small
> number", and thus is not conferring many benefits to those who
> register them defensively, since they're not utilizing the procedure.
> And the gaming that does exist is amplified, since it means that a
> higher percentage of the sunrise registrations are gamed. It could be
> that 30%, or even 50% of sunrise registrations are gamed, given the
> various blog posts and examples provided to this mailing list already
> (and how many others might exist "under the radar", that some folks
> are trying to keep hidden due to the lack of transparency of the
> TMCH).
> Consider a "thought experiment" as to what would happen if Sunrise
> registrations and the TMCH were eliminated. Those 130 registrations
> would shift to either landrush or to general availability.
> For those who are "gaming" the sunrise, they'd now be on an equal
> footing as everyone else.
> For those legitimate TM holders, they can either register in landrush
> (or general availability), *or* they have curative rights protection
> mechanisms (courts, cease and desist letters, UDRP, URS, etc.) *if*
> domains which conflict with their TM rights are registered by someone
> else and misused.
> I could even support a "hybrid" (horse trading, as Phil called it
> yesterday) model, where landrush imposed **additional burdens** on
> registrants, e.g. paying costs if they lose a UDRP), but then that
> extra burden is eliminated during general availability (as it is
> today). This way, TM holders and legitimate end users who don't have
> trademarks but have non-conflicting uses, etc. are on equal footing
> during a landrush.
> I think many people are overly protective of the TMCH & sunrise period
> not because it's "working", but because it's an opportunity for extra
> consulting, revenue streams, etc. e.g. lawyers can tell their clients
> "get registered", and they can make money from the filing fees, etc.
> There's a huge amount of money being wasted, in my voice, that can be
> redirected to other things (like curative rights, better education,
> etc.).
> Suppose that of the 130 sunrise registrations, half of them got
> registered by legitimate TM owners in landrush. Of the 65 that were
> registered by someone else, how many of those would actually be cases
> of cybersquatting? I would suggest it's a small number, given the
> overall stats of UDRPs relative to registrations. Even if it was a
> massive 2% (actual percentage is much, much lower), that might mean 1
> extra UDRP per TLD? With 1000+ TLDs launched over 4 years, that might
> mean an extra 250 UDRPs per year. That's a relatively negligible
> amount.
> If the "all-in" costs of those 250 UDRPs (lawyers fees + filing fees)
> is $5,000 or so, that's $1.25 million/yr.
> TMCH revenues, by contrast, are on the order of $5 million/yr for
> Deloitte. And perhaps another $5 million or more per year for all the
> TM agents, etc. filing on behalf of clients. Let's call it $10
> million+ for TMCH-related fees on those using that system.
> Trading $10 million/yr in "preventive" costs for $1.25 million/yr in
> "enforcement" costs -- that's a no-brainer for TM holders.
> And if, as I argued above, if some of those UDRP enforcement costs are
> shifted to the losers (for landrush registrations), then the economics
> are even that much stronger for the elimination of the sunrise period
> (since that $1.25 million becomes even lower, due to cost recovery).
> And of course, a system that has no landrush definitely benefits
> ordinary registrants and prospective registrants who simply want a
> "good" name, or at least a fair chance at one, and don't want to see
> "THE" or "FLOWERS" or "HOTEL" or all of the other common words being
> grabbed in sunrise.
> Processes would be simplified for registry operators and registrars,
> if sunrises and TMCH were eliminated, which saves them money (which
> gets passed along as savings for consumers). TLDs would launch faster,
> too. The best second-level strings would be "spread around" more,
> which is probably a good thing (except to some who feel, wrongly, that
> they have exclusive rights to common dictionary terms, etc., which is
> not something the law supports).
> So, I hope folks will give serious consideration to what would happen
> if sunrise was completely eliminated. With a few small tweaks (as
> noted above), it could be much better than we have for most people
> (except for those exploiting the current system).
> Sincerely,
> George Kirikos
> 416-588-0269
> http://www.leap.com/
> P.S. I know I've not written much above about the TM Claims notice
> aspect of the TMCH, but those are obviously have a chilling effect,
> with a 96%+ abandonment rate of registrations. A 90 day claims notice,
> which determined cybersquatters are going to ignore anyway, simply
> confuses legitimate registrants. The "ongoing notifications service"
> aspect of the TMCH is available through other companies, e.g.
> DomainTools or other domain monitoring services.
> P.P.S. Some might argue that you can never collect $5K from
> registrants if they lose a UDRP. Shift some of that to the registrar,
> who can then police their own clients, a sort of "know your client"
> rule for those participating in landrushes. One can even envision a
> system of insurance, so that those who are involved in risky domain
> name registrations pay higher "insurance" (to indemnify their
> registrars) than less risky registrants who don't engage in
> cybersquatting. Or require a deposit at the start of the UDRP process
> (if one side doesn't post a deposit, they'd be in default).
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