New Database Offers Free and Most Complete Access to Legal Precedents Involving Domain Name Disputes
Publication Date:April 30, 2003
NEW YORK, NY—The Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution and the Markle Foundation today announced a public resource that provides free access to an online compendium of archived decisions regarding domain name dispute cases.
The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy Database provides Internet users worldwide with free access to precedents regarding disputes over Web addresses, giving parties the tools necessary to better prepare for Web-based cases than ever before. The database will be updated on an ongoing basis, making it the most complete resource available.
The UDRP database encourages consistency of globally distributed decision-making, enable equal access to information for all parties and improve ongoing policy development in dispute resolution.
The UDRP database is a unique retrieval system. It allows arbitrators, lawyers, panelists, and others to obtain the information that they need in a systematic way, using a quick and simple form to search for a domain name and all similarly sounding names.
Funded by the Markle Foundation, the database was developed by Ethan Katsh, professor of legal studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and co-director of the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution, in conjunction with the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute.
"The comprehensive database of previous cases of domain name disputes will permit better classification and analysis," said Professor Katsh. "It will allow for a richer and more precise picture of domain name disputes and the overall impact of the UDRP. Most importantly it will help to create a more just system of dispute resolution."
The UDRP is a unique exercise in global dispute resolution. It established a set of procedures for resolving domain name disputes. Those procedures determine whether an individual purchased a domain name in good faith or engaged in "cybersquatting,"—the registering of a popular Internet address with the intent of selling it to its rightful owner. The UDRP process includes selecting panelists, obtaining and exchanging information, reaching a decision within a specified time period, and, depending upon the decision of the panelist, changing, canceling or preserving the domain name.
"As the number of disputes over Internet domain names grows, it is essential that complainants, respondents and the public at-large have access to a comprehensive archive of past decisions," said Markle Foundation president Zoë Baird. "Professor Katsh's database is not only a robust compendium of dispute resolution cases, but is built in such a way that allows those who may not be very familiar with the UDRP to use the system."
Markle Foundation works to improve health and national security through the use of information and technology. Markle collaborates with innovators and thought leaders from the public and private sectors whose expertise lies in the areas of information technology, privacy, civil liberties, health, and national security. Learn more about Markle at www.markle.org.
The University of Massachusetts Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution was established in September 1997 with support from the Hewlett Foundation and the Department of Legal Studies at the University of Massachusetts. From 1995–1997, under a grant from the National Center for Automated Information Research, the Department sponsored the Online Ombuds Office, one of the first efforts in online dispute resolution.