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February 26, 2008

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Many of the owners of valuable web names are individuals or small businesses without the resources to fight a lawsuit - no matter how frivolous. When faced with a lawsuit, defence costs and the potential for a $6 million penalty they will have no choice but to simply surrender their domain name. This legislation is a dream come true for the major corporations that favor it.

Domain owners own almost priceless virtual assets. I think this bill could lead to outsiders coming in and threatening (or taking) legal action to secure our valuable assets. If this threat becomes real, which will probably happen if the bill passes as is, our assets could become liabilities, and the values of domain names could go down. We need someone to take the side of domain owners and domain investors, and the ICA is the best organized group to do it.

Bill Threatens Domain Name Registrants with “Infringement” Enforcement That is More Expansive and Punitive Than the UDRP or Trademark Law">

It is unlawful for the registrant of a domain name used in any commercial activity to register such domain name in any Whois database with false or misleading identifying information, including the registrant's name, physical address, telephone number, facsimile number, or electronic mail address...

It is unlawful for a domain name registrar...to shield, mask, block or otherwise restrict access to, any domain name registrant's name, physical address, telephone number, facsimile number, or electronic mail address, or other identifying information in any Whois database...if such registrar...has received written notice, including via facsimile or electronic mail at such entity's facsimile number or electronic mail address of record, that the use of such domain name is in any violation of any provision of this Act.

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