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6.23 The Panel also accepts that another factor that weighs in the Complainant’s favour on the issue of bad faith is the use by the Respondent of a Domain Name privacy service to hide his identity.

6.24 It is sometimes argued by those who use such services that the provision of registration and contact details that are accessible through Whois services may result in unsolicited e-mails, regular mail or even phone calls. To hide one’s contact details so as to prevent such unsolicited contact is said to be legitimate (particularly if the registrant is an individual). Therefore, it is argued that no inference of bad faith can be drawn from the use of these services. However, even if this argument were accepted by this Panel, it is difficult to see why it would justify the masking of a registrant’s identity as opposed to just its contact details. Further, it is becoming an increasingly common practice for registrants to use these services to mask their identity from those who might wish to bring proceedings against them, whether under the UDRP or otherwise. In the circumstances, whilst the use of such a service may not by itself be sufficient to justify a finding of bad faith, the Panel accepts that, in the absence of any explanation from a respondent, it is a factor that may often point in that direction.

6.25 The Panel believes that its approach on the question of the use of domain name privacy services is consistent with the decision of other panels on this issue including TDS Telecommunications Corporation v. Registrant [20758] Nevis Domains and Registrant [117460] Moniker Privacy Services, WIPO Case No. D2006-1620 and The iFranchise Group v. Jay Bean / MDNH, Inc. / Moniker Privacy Services [23658], WIPO Case No. D2007-1438 as well as the Fox News Network, L.L.C. v. C&D International Ltd. and Whois Privacy Protection Service, WIPO Case No. D2004-0108 and Microsoft Corporation v. Whois Privacy Protection Service / Lee Xongwei, WIPO Case No. D2005-0642, cases cited on this issue by the Complainant.

And of course domains registered under proxy with Domains by Proxy or Whois Privacy Protection Service hide the registrant under "Privacy Protection." This precludes you from identifying any other cybersquatted domains that the same person may have registered. Now you have to go after them one at a time when the exact same person behind the proxy may have dozens of your trademark protected domains.

I agree. Some desperate guys wanting to own lucrative domain names can start extortions and what not. Being anonymous is important.


A very interesting read indeed this.

I agree with the concept of people being able to remain annonymous, i mean who knows what kind of weirdos could look up your domain get your personal contact info and so on, if its soley for the purpose of proving its yours then surely there could be a work around where you dont need an adress or anything but just some sort of code or something, or some other means of proving who the real owner is.

I don't mind people knowing my email adress and contacting me via that about my domains if they want to, but I dont like the idea of anyone and everyone having access to it whenever they like. Ok so most registrars offer whois protection but charge extra for this, you shouldn't have to pay any money to protect your basic privacy, but on the otherhand I guess it is worth takeing out whois protection if you want to keep your info private.

A prime example of companies abusing the whois registry is DROA (domain registry of america) who trawl through whois records and send people snail mail making it look like their domain is with them and needs to be renewed, when in almost all cases it wont be, and they charge the earth for renewals too, more should be done to stop people and companies like this but at the moment nothing is being done.

ICANN do need to do more but they dont police all the registrars unfortunately, only accredited ones, and the registerfly fiasco is a prime example of ICANN not doing enough, ok so they did what they could but it wasn't quick enough, the fiasco had been going on for sometime before there was even a whiff of activity on ICANN's side.

I just hope something can eventually be done about whois privacy.

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