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Domain name registries have expressed an interest in participating in the Domains Watch platform, a mechanism introduced by registry Accent Media that hopes to increase transparency in the domain space and reduce cybersquatting.
Accent Media is the domain registry responsible for managing the .tickets string and established Domains Watch in September last year.
The platform has two procedures domain name applicants can go through. One is a fast-track procedure that grants the domain to an applicant in five days. This is available to right owners that have legitimate rights to the name.
The other requires applicants to wait 30 days. The idea is to provide time for trademark owners to challenge the application before it is allocated by the registry to the applicant.
All applications are published on the domains.watch website.
So far, the program has handled around 400 domain name applications and only 1 to 2% have been challenged by brand owners.
One example involved Disney successfully challenging the rights to the lionking.tickets domain.
Gary Fisher, chief executive of Accent Media, told TBO that at least four registries are interested in participating in the program, although he did not confirm which ones.
“The initial idea was to create a domain space that maintains its integrity and protects right owners. We did not want to simply allocate the domain to anyone, as most registries do, and then require the right owner to go through a UDRP process.”
“Brands have so far been enthusiastic about the platform.”
“It does tackle cybersquatting, but the idea was to maintain the overall integrity of the domain space. So when people purchase a .tickets domain from our website, people will know that it is trusted.”
The registry maintains a first-come first-serve basis for applicants. For example, “United” may interest football club Manchester United and the US airline United Airlines. The party that obtains the domain is the first applicant.
But in instances when fan clubs compete with artists the domain would be granted to the right owner, Fisher said.
The next development is to extend the challenge period to three months, allowing brand owners more time to file a challenge.
Fisher said he expects the extension to be introduced in March.
Domains Watch; Accent Media; cybersquatting; .tickets; domain names; UDRP; URS