The Whois Records play a very important role in fighting plagiarism. They tell you the contact information of the domain owner and when it’s a private registration, you get the details of the domain registrar.
But this “extremely useful” Whois database is under some serious threat as privacy advocates now say that it should be scrapped completely. Their logic is that one shouldn’t have to reveal personal information simply to have a Web site.
Currently, one has to supply his name, phone numbers, email and postal address to register a web domain and that information is stored with the domain registrar.
The proposal will come up before ICANN tomorrow and if that gets approved, the current Whois requirement could be abolished by late 2008. It may then become extremely tough for content owners to fight plagiarism on the Internet.
ICANN could come up with better ways to protect identities of the web domain owners but scrapping it altogether could lead to loads of other problems.
Related: How to Write a DMCA Notice