WIPO Snafu Over britishmuseum.org Case?

By George Kirikos

WIPO just published a decision regarding the domain dispute over the britishmuseum.org domain name.

At first glance, everything seems alright. The world famous British Museum won in a default judgment as the current registrant (the respondent) never replied).

However, drill a little deeper and something is amiss. The "parties" section of the case lists the respondent as "British Museum Resources, Limited, West Bay, George Town, Kentucky, United States of America." Looking at the WHOIS for britishmuseum.org though, it is actually:

Registrant Organization:British Museum Resources, Ltd.
Registrant Street1:P.O. Box 115
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:West Bay
Registrant State/Province:George Town
Registrant Postal Code:WB
Registrant Country:KY

KY is the country code for the Cayman Islands, and thus the respondent is not in Kentucky, USA! (the live WHOIS will change soon, when the domain is transferred to the British Museum)

There are millions of domain registrants in Canada, which have a country code of "CA." Do they now have to worry that even if their WHOIS is 100% accurate, they might lose their domain names in a default judgment UDRP because WIPO might mistakenly send the complaints to California, USA? ICANN needs to educate these UDRP providers, so that they are at least familiar with country codes and reading WHOIS properly, in dealing with international cases.

By George Kirikos, President, Leap of Faith Financial Services Inc.

Related topics: Cybercrime, DNS, Domain Names, ICANN, Law, UDRP, Whois