The Private Legal Governance of Domain Names
”User Generated Law. Reconstructing Intellectual Property Law in a Knowledge Society” edited by Thomas Riis (on Edward Elgar), Forthcoming
University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2015-2
18 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2015 Last revised: 31 May 2018
Date Written: June 17, 2015
This article evaluates the performance of the special private tribunals or panels such as the UDRP which have been developed within complicated systems of self- and co-regulation such as ICANN to decide disputes over domain names. It uses two different dispute resolution models viz. the UDRP (WIPO) and the Danish Complaints Board for Internet Domain Names (the Board) to discuss how and to what extent the domain name system balances interests between trademark owners and other users of domain names and secures the rule of law (legal certainty and predictability) with a special focus on cases where trademarks are used as (parts of) domain names to express criticism of the trademark holder or the trademark itself (e.g. “TMsucks” / “lorteTM”). The article is part of a research project on “User Generated Law” and uses the methodologies developed as part of this.
Keywords: User Generated Law, domain names, UDRP, ICANN, trade marks,
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