From: Joseph Friedman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3/6/98 2:24am
Subject: Proposals on management of the DNS
I believe it would be beneficial to incorporate the Internet Assigned
Number Authority (IANA), as a private non-profit corporation based in the
United States. (New York City may be an ideal location, in its status as
the formal seat of the United Nations, and its being informally known as
"The Capital of the World".) Its responsibilities should include running
and maintaining the "A" root server, all other root servers, as well as all
of the generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) servers including .Com .Net .Org
and any of the new gTLDs. (Currently .Com .Net and .Org use the same
physical servers as the actual root servers. But that may soon change.)
This responsibility would be in addition to current non-DNS related
operations of the IANA, i.e. Internet Protocol (IP) number allocations.
It would make sense to have one organization (in this proposal IANA)
control Domain Name System (DNS) policy as well as run the actual root and
gTLD servers. The existing .Com .Net and .Org gTLDs should be maintained by
IANA as well. This would make IANA the one and only registry, in which
multiple registrars interact with. Costs incurred by IANA, in performing
its DNS operations, would be covered by a very minimal one-time fee (for
each domain registered) charged to the various registrars. These fees
should be on a per registration basis, charged only once--at the time of
registration. There should be no annual or periodic fees for a domain name
charged by the registry to the registrars, as the primary cost for the
registry is adding it to the database (and modifying it if requested--but a
domain name can, theoretically, be registered and never again modified).
This would allow the registrars to, if it chose, charge its customers a
small, or even possibly no fee.
All gTLDs should be available for registration to all registrars. New
gTLDs should be added on a regular basis. It may be wise to start the
process with perhaps 10-15 new gTLDs. (It should be noted that various
Internet experts, including Jon Postel, have indicated that adding 100's of
new gTLDs would not cause any difficulties. It should also be noted,
currently the same servers functioning as the root servers function as the
.Com .Net .Org .Edu and .Gov servers, containing literally millions of
domains in the servers.) The new gTLDs should be as generic as possible.
After a period of time, in which it is deemed that the new DNS system is
operationally working, and that any short generic term is already being
used as a gTLD (this may mean there are multiple hundreds of gTLDs, by this
time), any entity (individual or corporation) should be allowed to register
there own Top Level Domain (TLD) for use however they see fit (i.e. IBM may
choose to register .ibm as a TLD for its own use.)
Customers of registrars should be allowed to switch between registrars at
any time, for any reason. This can be accomplished by the registry (in this
proposal IANA) allowing the registrant of a domain name to renew his domain
name with any of the registrars. This is pro-competition.
Jon Postel, for over nearly 30 years, has demonstrated to be an effective
and wise leader in running various functions necessary to keep the Internet
up and running. As such, Mr. Postel ought to be maintained as the Director
of the newly incorporated IANA. I leave it to your wisdom, to design a
method to choose the board of directors of the organization.
Trademark law should be based on the location of the registry (in this
proposal there is only one registry, IANA, based in the United States) as
the physical servers will, presumably, be based in the same country as the
registry. Another option (I recommend the previous), is to have trademark
law based on the location of the registrar (which there will be many of).
The government of the United States of America, in its deliberations on the
future of the DNS, should not be cowed by foreign governments,
organizations, or individuals who deride this government for creating a
plan for the future of the DNS. It must be remembered that the when the
U.S. government was--and is--paying for the operation of the DNS and other
Internet functions (thru IANA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the
Department of Defense (DoD), the Federal Networking Council (FNC), and
other agencies and organizations), nobody was--or is--complaining. And
furthermore, it was the U.S. government that created, what is today known
as, the Internet. As such the United States has every right, indeed
obligation, to work towards a new entity that will govern the various
Internet functions. And, as such, has a right to have these new entities
based in the United States, and be subject to certain U.S. laws.
From: "Friedrich Kisters" <email@example.com>
Date: 3/6/98 5:23am
Subject: Comment concerning DISCUSSION DRAFT 1/30/98
I have looked through several comments now and feel like there is a strong lobbying for the ideas of the IANA and the CORE against the U.S. Government.
I am a serious ennemy of what seem unfair to me. But if the CORE feels badly treated by the U.S. government, they are wrong.
Allow me the question how the IANA and the CORE treated and treats others? (e.g. Image Online Design, who never got access to the "A" root servers though they were originally authorised by the IANA et al. to register .web).
Who knows, if such people will be ready to respect the rights of others, who have different opinions than theirs? I tend to doupt it. Through their indirect selection-lottery they will get an uncontrollable power over all new gTLDs, which I personally think to be worse, than several "InterNIC"-like registries, who will still
provide a balance of power and guarantee a certain competition among
themselves without one single registry (and ideology) becoming the
"world-wide-mightiness and authority".
In my eyes, such a "world-wide-mightiness" is much worse than the criticised ideas of the U.S. Government. Even if some people think that they are the only one who can represent the Intenet.
I really hope that the U.S. Government will continue its correct and liberal politics without letting itself being pushed out of the Internet too quickly. It is a very serious step which needs to be intensely and thoughtfully prepared.
Thank you for reading this comment.
From: Mike Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3/6/98 1:32pm
Subject: Hands off the Internet
Please keep government out of the Internet "business." We do not need more
regulation or government oversight.
- Mike Adams
From: moncraw <email@example.com>
Date: 3/6/98 1:38pm
Subject: Re:discussion draft
To Ira Magaziner:
I support self-governance of the Internet. Not U.S. governance of the
Internet. If you
screw around with what has already grown in a community of openess, you will
in the Internet. Government involvement should be shunned. ANY government
Internet affairs is asking for trouble.
Now other countries are voicing their disapproval. The European Union has
disapproval and have supported Core. The Core proposal does offer a more
prone to bureacratic sluggishness, process. The draft offers no time frame,
for U.S. government control, and has nothing about trademark dispute
Scrap the draft and implement Core. Government involvement will only damage
Thank you for your time,
Avid Internet User
Date: 3/6/98 7:12pm
Subject: Where is the CORE of your proposal?
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
ATTENTION: IRA MAGAZINER
My name is Richard Fromme and I have used the Internet ever since it began. I have followed with great interest the latest developments with regards to the domain name system. Thank you for opening this issue up for comments, and I believe your proposal to be a step in the right direction.
I am surprised, however, that there is no mention of the CORE proposal in your report. I would have to say I support CORE merely in principle. I have no other interests except seeing a domain name system with choice and efficient service for the business community. I believe CORE can provide that efficiency through competing registrars. I have already researched many of the CORE companies, and they seem ready to move the Internet into the year 2000.
I have faith in your decision, Mr. Magaziner, one that does not turn its back on the business community of the U.S.
Get free e-mail and a permanent address at http://www.netaddress.com
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:01pm
Subject: Domain names vs. web usage
Dear Mr. Magaziner,
I read of your efforts in the February 20 EMMS newsletter. I believe
your attempts to modify domain registration needs to recognize that
there are essentially 2 camps of users: serious business users and fun
users. Their needs would be best suited by isolating the domains.
Business users need security and control. For example, one problem AOL
has is from spammers who specify a "firstname.lastname@example.org" address in the "from:"
field, implying AOL has some control over the originator.
Fun users appreciate the wild west attitude of using the web, and often
take advantage of things like anonymous remailers, etc.
I recommend that the government retain control of some domains, like
*.com, and legislate that misrepresentation of these users is
fraudulent, and a non-profit organization control fun user domains such
as *.net, *.web, etc where anything goes. This would also enable users
to filter out spam from those regions; spammers who use the business
domains without properly identifying themselves will be subject to
Thanks for hearing me out,
- Dan Melinger
From: Ivan Pope <email@example.com>
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:02pm
Subject: Domain Name Organisation
Dear Mr Magaziner,
Please allow me to introduce myself. I am the founder and CEO of NetNames
International. NetNames is a Domain Name Management company that has been
operating in the UK and the US for two and a half years.
We have been involved in the IAHC/POC/CORE process since the start and I am
an Executive Committee member of CORE.
My company is also a Premier Partner of Network Solutions, and has been for
over a year.
I am also a founder and Board member of the UK non-profit organisation,
I believe I have fairly unique experience of the Domain Name situation and
governance and further that I have built a business on offering to the end
user a range of value added services. We now employ 25 staff and will
double in size this year.
I have watched with concern as the battles over the namespace threaten to
damage both my business and the wider namespace. However, I feel that we do
have the potential for a swift resolution of the situation.
I have taken a lead from the Green Paper and arranged a meeting to bring
all sides to a meeting to discuss the formation of a Domain Name Membership
Organisation, as mooted in the Green Paper. I felt that the various parties
who had little contact with eachother had interests in common - and should
be represented by a trade organisation. I recognise that NSI do have a
major part to play in any future and that it is essential to bring them to
any organisation. I further have gone out of my way to bring the
'Alternative/Alternic' players to the meeting. Thirdly I have asked CORE to
attend. I have also invited a range of 'independent' players in the Domain
Name industry, players who have not been involved in the recent battles.
My view is that we should form an organisation based on the language in the
Green Paper that is neutral and acceptable to us. I am not proposing that
the organisation have any particular viewpoint at this stage, but act in
the interests of the Domain Name industry.
The founding statement I propose is listed below. It is almost verbatim
taken from the Green Paper.
I would appreciate your response on this initiative. As the Green Paper
itself calls for such an organisation to be formed I feel that you should
be able to support this genuine industry initiative. I have the meeting
scheduled for the morning of Friday March 13 at the Holiday Inn in LA
during Internet World.
I would appreciate a statement of support or even attendance by a
representative from you office to help with this initiative at this
You can check my credentials from many sources, not least Dr Willie Black
at Nominet, Bob Shaw at the ITU or Butch Corson at Network Solutions.
I hope to hear from you soonest. I append my original mailing below.
PROPOSAL FOR THE FORMATION OF A REPRESENTATIVE DOMAIN NAME TRADE
Following the USG Green Paper ( A PROPOSAL TO IMPROVE TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT
OF INTERNET NAMES AND ADDRESSES DISCUSSION DRAFT 1/30/98) I would like to
propose that the Domain Name industry act to form a non-partisan Domain
Name trade organisation.
I am not proposing to form this organisation nor to define how it shall be
formed, merely to start a process of discussion that may lead to its
formation. I intend this process to be non-exclusive and to bring all
I think it is time for the Domain Name industry to organise itself.
I propose an organisation that is formed from the Domain Name industry in
response to the USG Green Paper.
I am forwarding this suggestion to a range of Domain Name interests to
guage opinion. I do not intend to start yet another flame war or to rehash
old or existing disagreements.
I take my cue from the Green Paper's reference to the new-IANA:
The board of directors for the new corporation should be balanced to
equitably represent the interests of IP number registries, domain name
registries, domain name registrars, the technical community, and Internet
users (commercial, not-for-profit, and individuals). Officials of
governments or intergovernmental organizations should not serve on the
of the new corporation. Seats on the initial board might be allocated as
3. -two members designated by a membership association (to be created)
representing domain name registries and registrars.
I take the outlines for the Domain Name organisation from the Green Paper
as well. I propose that members sign up to some basic tenets, pay a
subscription, elect a board, appoint a President (who may be an employee)
and get lobbying.
Domain Name Organisation
Where possible, market mechanisms that support competition and consumer
choice should drive the technical management of the Internet because they
will promote innovation, preserve diversity, and enhance user choice and
Certain technical management functions require coordination. In these
cases, responsible, private-sector action is preferable to government
control. A private coordinating process is likely to be more flexible than
government and to move rapidly enough to meet the changing needs of the
Internet and of Internet users. The private process should, as far as
possible, reflect the bottom-up governance that has characterized
development of the Internet to date.
Technical management of the Internet should reflect the diversity of its
users and their needs. Mechanisms should be established to ensure
international input in decision making.
The Internet's current technical management is probably not viable over the
long term. We should not wait for it to break down before acting. Yet, we
should not move so quickly, or depart so radically from the existing
structures, that we disrupt the functioning of the Internet. The
introduction of a new system should not disrupt current operations, or
create competing root systems.
This organisation calls for:
-Competition in domain name registration.
-Mechanisms for handling conflict between trademark holders and domain name
-A more formal and robust management structure for DNS.
-A voice for all Domain Name stakeholders
-Decisions to add new TLDs to be made by an accountable organisation
-Removal of the USG from Internet Governance as soon as possible
Membership of the organisation should at a minimum include:
Domain Name companies
Others with a commercial interest in the development of the namespace
Membership should not include:
The idea is that the industry organises itself on a basis of mutual respect
and independence. The organisation does not preclude or mandate any
behaviour by any members at this stage, but attempts to form a united front
in response to the clear call of the Green Paper. We all represent a part
of the picture and we all represent a part of the solution. I hope we can
put together an organisation to take us forward.
I have set up a quick mailing list to encourage further discussion of this
proposal. I have circulated this email to a small group across all parts of
the namespace. I hope that those who recieve this will both let me know if
they would support such an organisation and also forward this mail on to
others who are interested. I do not want to give the impression of a closed
group or an attempt to hijack the process!
I look forward to your responses. You can mail me or a mailing list:
subscribe dom-org youremailaddress
Director, Nominet, UK (.uk Registry)
Founder NetNames International
Member Council of Registrars
Premier Partner, Network Solutions
From: Jim Fleming <JimFleming@doorstep.unety.net>
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:04pm
Subject: RE: NSI under the Green Paper
On Tuesday, March 03, 1998 10:40 AM, Milton
@Further to my previous message, here are the relevant facts
@from the Green Paper:
@ 1. NSI will effectively separate and maintain a clear
@between its current registry business and its current registrar
@business. NSI will continue to operate .com, .net and .org but on
@fully shared-registry basis;
Yes...and in NSI's own words...
"As a registrar, WorldNIC Services has direct access to the central
Internet registry (InterNIC) for .com, .org and .net."
This is similar to the IAHC/CORE arrangement. CORE has
contracted with Emergent <http://www.emergent.com> to
build and run their "central Internet registry". The ITU/ISOC
backed CORE has sold 80+ franchises to "registrars" for
$10,000 each and now propose to charge those registrars
$2,000 for that priviledge.
NSI on the other hand has attracted other registrars for the
.COM domain and, as far as I know, there have been no
fees or franchise agreements required. This helps to keep
the cost low.
In the IAHC/CORE approach, registrars are now trying
to sell speculators places in line for thousands of dollars.
None of this chaotic behavior has been seen in the NSI
case or with the other TLD registries that are currently
developing in anticipation of finally being entered into the
legacy Root Name Server Cluster (RSC) controlled by
the U.S. Government.
The Green Paper from the U.S. Government has given
many people renewed hope that fairness will prevail.
The eDNS and AU Confederations are notable examples:
eDNS Root Server Confederation (Cluster) http://www.edns.net
AU Root Server Confederation http://aursc.ah.net
AU Internet News mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with "subscribe"
Ira Magaziner and the staff at the White House and the
Department of Commerce should be thanked for helping
to recognize that the Internet needs to move forward with
more focus on the fair, free-market forces common in
commerce. NSI is clearly working with people in Washington
to make sure there is room for more companies in the
Hopefully, some of this growth will benefit the Asia Pacific
region. Hopefully, there will some day be dozens of APNIC-like
companies for that region. This will allow people to live and
work where they prefer. The Internet should be facilitating
that and not causing people to relocate to places where
they do not want to live. The net should be brought to the
people, the people should not be forced to move to the net.
IBC, Tortola, BVI
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:05pm
Subject: The Green Paper
Dear Mr. Magaziner:
I agree with every word contained in the Summary of International
Concerns regarding the US Green Paper, therefore I strongly urge the
US Government to come to a resolution in favor of the free commerce,
and let the real users to make their own decisions regarding what and
where to buy.
I sincerely hope that US Government's policy will be less
contradictory, at least this time.
Buenos Aires Menu
Buenos Aires Menu
First Music E-zine in Argentina
From: Jim Fleming <JimFleming@doorstep.unety.net>
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:06pm
Subject: IPv8 and Regional Registries
On Saturday, February 28, 1998 7:00 AM, Rahmat M.
@- Would someone please convince me that "regional registries" are
@ the most effective/efficient way ? Are there any other options?
@ Any URLs that have this information ?
In my opinion, you need a combination of "regional", "virtual", "cyber",
In the IPv8 Plan, we start by recognizing the top 2,048 TLDs in use in
the world. This helps to "structure" the Root. Once structured, these
TLDs become the hooks upon which many Internets can grow from a
governance point of view. This can support regional, virtual, cyber, etc.
You can read more about IPv8 in various places. <http://IPv8.vrx.net>
is one source. If you have a TLD, by definition you are included in the
plan. The TLD "authority" is automatically delegated a full 32 bit IPv8
address space as well as parts of the IPv4 address space.
With the IPv8 Plan, there is no need for a heavy-handed, centralized
dictator (or king) to make all of the decisions. The governance begins
in a natural way by distributing the major resources in the design of
the structured Root. People in "regional registries" do not want this.
They want to make money off of controlling those resources and
making you pay for them.
People have "sold" the concept of Regional Registries on the premise
that domain names and IP addresses are not related. ARIN was sold
to U.S. Government officials this way. This was accepted because it
helped to place NSI in a better position to avoid anti-trust scrutiny
from the DOJ and DOC. The people that did this solved a short-term
problem and did not look at the big picture. Fortunately, the U.S.
Government's so-called Green Paper will re-open these issues.
For those people that still think that Regional Registries have nothing
to do with Domain Names. I suggest that you read the following
RIPE CENTR Proposal. <http://www.ripe.net/docs/ripe-177.html>
Thanks for your time...
IBC, Tortola, BVI
From: Mark Mobley <email@example.com>
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:07pm
Subject: gTLDs on the Net
Greetings from Tokyo.
The U.S. Department of Commerce issued a "Green Paper" on January 30
concerning domain names on the internet.
As a US citizen living abroad, I have some comments about their
The current system of registration is restrictive and tends to reward
people who are knowledgable about the net without really adding value to
the net. The prices are too high and because of the limited gTLDs people
are not able to protect their own names and interests. The continued
restriction or limiting of these gTLDs is causing stress and limiting
personal freedom on the net. The solutions proposed in the Green Paper
tend to extend this system of US monoploizing of the names involved.
Please release more gTLDs not one at a time but large numbers so that
there can be a variety of options open to the end users.
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:08pm
Subject: First news article with the WHOLE gTLD story.
I am writing to bring to your attention an article recently written by
Monte Paulsen that effectively chronicles the timeline of events up to
the release of your Green Paper. As a businessman who has grown up on
the Internet and has watched its own maturity, I would formally state
that parts of the Green Paper are troubling to me - specifically, the
reduction of gTLDs allotted to CORE (the Council of Registrars) and the
apparent monopoly of Network Solutions left largely intact.
I would ask that you seriously read this article and consider some of
its points such as IAHC/CORE's two years plus of collecting comments and
data on how best to proceed with the top-level domain expansion. It is
indicative of CORE's open policy to accept, consider, and implement
concerns of all sides to accomplish a fair, professional, and
serviceable expanded TLD system. I urge you to more closely examine the
solution developed by IAHC/CORE. I, as an Internet professional who has
spent considerable time in and on the Internet - more than a
time-constrained advisory committee could realistically be expected of,
would submit that 80% or more of what CORE intends are solid,
broad-based elements - elements that are certainly worthy of a closer,
more focussed look by your staff.
In sum, I understand you are inundated with countless messages,
comments, and letters. I implore you to consider my correspondence and
consider the significance of this article before pronouncing judgement
on such a weighty issue. If you can provide me with some understanding
of your position and why it changed, I may be able to better comprehend
the basis for your GP Draft.
In closing, I will state that I have electronic authorization of the
author to distribute this article. Further, I will inform you that I
have carbon copied associates I felt also should see this article. I
have hidden all addresses but my own to acknowledge privacy of email
I thank you for your time and effort. I am at your service if you wish
to take issue with anything I have corresponded today.
Domain Bank Registration Services
RAIDERS OF THE LAST ARK
Corporations, courts and even foreign countries are
caught up in a battle for control of the Internet
By MONTE PAULSEN
Alternative Media Inc.
HERNDON, VA --- The center of the free world, as it turns out, is a
putty-colored plastic box on a small aluminum shelf in a squat brick
park about an hour east of Washington.
Measuring 18 inches square and just over seven inches high, the box
like the other 100 million personal computers that routinely surf the
Internet. And this computer is pretty much like the others, except for
thing: without this box, the Internet wouldn't work.
The box, known at the "A" root server, is the keystone in the most-used
database mankind had ever assembled. The network organized by this box
created the first truly free global market, one which spurred demand for
estimated $5 billion in tariff-free trade last year --- and is expected
handle more than $300 billion by the year 2002.
The box --- a high-speed desktop computer --- is maintained by a company
called Network Solutions Inc. under contract with the federal
The contract expires next month.
After that, the Ark of the Internet, is up for grabs.
Corporations, courts and even foreign countries are caught up in a
for the box and, more importantly, on its contents. Entrepreneurs are
up around the world to get their names added to the box, and to compete
against Network Solutions for the lucrative business of selling Internet
addresses such as "www.metrotimes.com."
The White House has a plan to break up Network Solutions' monopoly. But
proposal has only fueled the global debate. It is not even clear that
United States has the legal authority to impose the plan.
"When I got into this, the first thing I wanted to know was 'What's the
law? Where are the contracts? Where are the documents?" said Chicago
David W. Maher, who chairs an international committee trying to sort out
the problem. "Well, I found out there aren't any. The people who run the
root servers run them without a shred of paper. That's it! That runs the
The longer the race to control the "A" root server drags on, the more
Network Solutions makes. Each additional month brings the company
125,000 customers, bearing $8.75 million. And given the company's
government ties and lobbying skills, it's doubtful that the Ark of the
Internet will be pried open anytime soon.
IN THE BEGINNING...
Dr. Jon Postel created the box. And he has always ordered the world
it. A research director at the University of Southern California, Postel
also head of a group called the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. He
sports a flowing beard and wears sandals to work. The Economist magazine
dubbed him a "God" of the Internet; the name stuck.
In 1969, Postel was among the handful of University of California
students who set up the first node of an experimental computer network
called the Arpanet. Later, he helped created a system of addresses that
enabled computers on Arpanet to communicate with those on a second
built by the National Science Foundation. That inter-network address
was called the Internet Protocol.
Internet Protocol addresses are long strings of numbers. To make them
easier to remember, Postel and his colleagues gave each computer a
nickname. A file on each computer translated the nicknames into numbers.
But by the early 1980s, the maintenance of the file on every computer on
the network became cumbersome.
So the nicknames were divided into groups called "domains." Two types of
top-level domains were created: national domains, such as "ca" for
or "jp" for Japan; and generic domains, such as the familiar "net" or
"com." Separate computers were set up to administer each domain. And the
"root server" was created to direct traffic between domains. These
computers became known as the "network information center," or "NIC."
This elegant decentralization --- coupled with the ease of use of the
graphically oriented World Wide Web --- spurred the remarkable growth of
the Internet. By the early 1990s, businesses were clamoring for space on
the academic network.
In 1992, the U.S. Congress asked the National Science Foundation to
commercialize the Internet. Space in the domain ".com" was to opened for
business on the Internet. The NSF took competitive bids and awarded a
five-year contract to a consortium that included Network Solutions Inc.
Network Solutions was to construct an new information center called the
"InterNIC," which would assign new Internet addresses within the
fast-growing "com, org, net" and "edu" domains, and operate the "A" root
server under guidance from Postel. In exchange Network Solutions was to
paid $5.9 million over five years --- an amount the company would
find insufficient for the task at hand.
SELLING THE ARK
As Network Solutions was moving the Ark to Virginia, a giant California
military contractors was going on a buying spree.
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) is headquartered
an affluent seaside town just north of San Diego. From the outside,
well-manicured corporate campus looks like any other. But inside, armed
guards are posted in front of doors that bristle with high-tech locks,
lead-lined rooms hinder would-be electronic eavesdroppers.
SAIC is a tightly-held company that grosses roughly $2 billion a year,
nearly all of it from federal contracts. The company designed computers
Seawolf submarines and cockpit systems for F-15 fighter jets. It spent
million researching President Reagan's "Star Wars" antimissile defense
scheme, and is spending more than $500 million building an underground
nuclear garbage dump at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
Even more impressive than the scale of SAIC's work is the pedigree of
directors. Every President since Nixon has had at least one SAIC insider
his cabinet. The unparalleled lineup includes former defense secretaries
William Perry and Melvin Laird, as well as CIA directors Robert Gates,
Bobby Inman, and John Deutch.
By the mid-90s, SAIC was sitting on a mountain of profit, but facing a
downsized Pentagon. Determined to transform itself from Cold War
into high-tech competitor, SAIC went looking for companies to acquire.
Network Solutions was struggling to keep up with the swelling demand for
Internet addresses. There were only about 7,500 computers on the entire
network when the InterNIC was created. But by early 1995, Network
was adding that many new registrations a month.
SAIC bought the company in March, and promptly showed Network Solutions
to do business with the government. Rather than merely asking the
Science Foundation for an extra million dollars every few months --- as
Network Solutions had been doing --- SAIC renegotiated the whole deal.
SAIC won permission to charge $100 for each new domain name. The
raison d'?tre, however, was SAIC's agreement to kick back $30 per domain
name to a government "Internet infrastructure fund."
Despite groans from the Internet community, registrations of new domain
names skyrocketed. Network Solutions sold a record 489,000 names in
and another 960,000 last year.
SAIC also improved Network Solutions' in-house systems, perfecting them
the point that the company was able to sign up 90 percent of its new
customers "without human intervention," according to federal documents
filed by the company.
With business booming and costs low, SAIC took Network Solutions public.
Last September, SAIC sold 21.5 percent of "NSOL" on the Nasdaq stock
exchange, raising nearly $60 million.
Buried deep within the Network Solutions' filing with the Securities and
Exchange Commission was this sentence: "The NSF has stated that the
Cooperative Agreement will not be re-awarded to the Company." In other
words, SAIC was selling $60 million worth of a company that was going to
lose its monopoly in just six months time.
Investors may not have fully understood what was about to happen to the
box, but Network Solutions would-be competitors certainly did. Eugene
Kashpureff knew better than most what Network Solutions monopoly was ---
and what it wasn't.
Kashpureff had made a small pile of money as one of the Internet's first
"cyber squatters." He bought domain names he never planned to use, then
sold them to companies that needed them --- like McDonald's, which
the name "www.mcdonalds.com" from one of his fellow cyber squatters.
Speculators like Kashpureff stuck fear into the heart of corporate
By 1996 a land-rush on domain names had begun, with marketers buying up
every ".com" name they could ever imagine using.
But Kashpureff, a young man who'd reportedly built his first computer
he was 10, understood something that most of the frenzied corporate
domain-name buyers did not: There was, in fact, no actual shortage of
territory. After all, these were just nicknames. All it took to add
new continents to the Internet was a few changes to the root server.
So Kashpureff created his own root server, which he called AlterNIC. He
hoped that by offering enticing new top-level domains --- such as ".inc"
".sex" --- he would be able to convince Internet users to abandon
But few Internet users ever understood what AlterNIC was. Fewer still
With his box nearly empty, Kashpureff proved himself a better hacker
businessman. Last July, he hacked into the Ark of the Internet.
Confused web surfers bound for InterNIC found themselves instead at
AlterNIC, where, after clicking through a diatribe against Network
Solutions' monopoly, they were directed back to InterNIC.
SAIC was not amused. The FBI filed criminal charges. Kashpureff was
arrested near Toronto, and spent 55 nights in a Canadian jail before
extradited on Christmas Eve. He has pled "not guilty" and awaits trial.
Though few are as flamboyant as Kashpureff, many entrepreneurs are eager
be masters of their own domains.
Some have gone to court requesting that Network Solutions add top-level
domains like ".web" to the box. New York-based PG Media, for example,
alleges violations of the Sherman anti-trust act. If successful, PG
would sell names in the ".web" domain.
Others, such as Atlanta-based Iperdome, have carved space within
little-used national domains already in the root server. Iperdome, for
example, has cut a deal with tiny Tonga that enables the company's
fledgling ".per" domain to work as "www.yourname.per.to."
Iperdome founder Jay Fenello said the Tonga connection is a temporary
solution. Like the others, Fenello is betting that the Ark will soon be
THE 25 CENT SOLUTION
No one wants to open up the box more than Jon Postel. He has proposed
adding up to 200 new generic top-level domains --- enough to create room
for any reasonable category, and to fully dilute the ".com" monopoly.
In the fall of 1996, a group calling itself the International Ad Hoc
Committee (IAHC) formed to develop a plan that would be ready by the
Network Solutions' contract expired. Using Postel's proposals as a
point, the committee opened an office in Geneva and worked hard to
broad base of international participation.
"The committee... took in a tremendous amount of public input and
an interim report, accepted more input, and then produced a final report
the Internet community," Postel said. "The IAHC process was as open and
available for public participation as the organizers and participants
how to make it."
At the conclusion of this contentious process, the IAHC drafted a
"memorandum of understanding" signed by representatives of 150 Internet
interest groups. Central to the IAHC plan were two alterations to the
Network Solutions structure.
First, the job of operating the domain-name registry would be separated
from the business of selling domain names. In much the same way that one
company operates the airline while many agents sell tickets, the IAHC
would create in InterNIC's place a handful of airline-like registries
hundreds of agent-like registrars --- each of which would be able to
names in all the domains.
Additionally, the IAHC plan would create a not-for-profit organization
operate the "A" root server, and to provide files to the dozen secondary
root servers that now "mirror" the Ark throughout the world.
A new entity called the Council of Registrars was formed. Last fall, the
council signed up 88 prospective registrars in 23 countries. And it
California company to build and operate a centralized repository of
Emergent Corp. is now beta-testing that system, which does the same
that Network Solutions' does, sans the "90 percent automated" sales
But whereas Network Solutions receives several million dollars up front
plus $100 per name, Emergent expects to make a profit on an up-front
of $500,000 --- and a per-name fee of only 25 cents.
THE SWISS CONSPIRACY?
While the International Ad Hoc Committee loped toward consensus in
Network Solutions lobbied against the plan in Washington D.C.
The front man for Network Solutions attack on the IAHC was Andy
president of a trade group called the Association for Interactive Media.
Network Solutions is a "Governing Member" of the association, which is
comprised of television networks, phone companies and Internet
These well-established enterprises were natural SAIC allies. They
had the ".com" names they wanted, or were rich enough to buy them. So
them, fewer domain names meant less competition. Also, many of these
companies spent small fortunes paying lawyers to obtain and protect
brand names from cyber squatters --- and had no desire to go through
Sernovitz led a brazen campaign to discredit the IAHC plan as a Swiss
conspiracy to take over the Internet.
"As we sit here," Sernovitz told a House Science subcommittee, "IAHC is
the process of setting up a full administrative infrastructure for the
Internet in Switzerland, entirely out of U.S. oversight." He warned the
stunned members of Congress that they would be "held accountable" if
allowed these "dangers and deceptions" to continue.
Sernovitz even accused Postel of "double-dealing the United States
government." He urged Congress to seize the "A" root server before it
lost to the Swiss conspirators, and to investigate Postel on charges of
"enabling the Internet activities of rogue nations."
As absurd as Sernovitz' charges were, they resonated with Congressmen
journalists who knew nothing of Postel, the IAHC or the workings of the
domain name system. Committee vice-chair Chip Pickering vowed to defend
"uniquely American" Internet, and his Quixotic crusade received
media attention. Pickering either didn't know that the servers were
set up in California --- or the Mississippi Republican was unaware that
California is still part of the Union.
Sernovitz' public testimony was reinforced by SAIC's behind-the-scenes
lobbying. SAIC had given hundreds of thousands of dollars to campaigns
both parties over the preceding six years, and its lobbyists had no
difficulty arranging one-on-one visits with lawmakers.
By the time the IAHC hired a Washington lobbyist late last year, SAIC's
xenophobic version of the facts had become the conventional wisdom.
"Everywhere we went, we were Johnny-come-lately," one IAHC
said. "Everybody we talked to told us that SAIC and Network Solutions
already been there."
THE ROGUE GOD
After months of privately canvassing lawyers, business groups and
technology experts, White House senior adviser Ira Magaziner finally
weighed in on the domain name debate on January 30.
The White House plan borrowed heavily from Postel and the IAHC:
would separate the business of selling domain names from the job of
operating the registries, and would create a new entity to take charge
the "A" root server.
But by leaving the commercially popular ".com, .net" and ".org"
in Herndon, and by delaying the entry of competitive registrars for six
months or more, the slow-moving White House plan would be a boon for
"Here in Chicago, we look for where the money goes," said Maher, the
who chairs IAHC's policy committee. "The continued delay benefits
Solutions. As a result of what Ira is doing, money will continue flowing
into their coffers."
There are now an estimated 8.2 million host computers in the ".com"
and another 5.2 million in ".net," according to one recent survey. The
other commercial registries --- tiny firms like AlterNIC and Iperdome
have no more than a few thousand customers each.
Network Solutions reacted enthusiastically to the Magaziner plan,
"welcoming the competition."
Magaziner said that to move away from Network Solutions any faster would
threaten the stability of the Internet, and questions how long the
company's lead will matter. "If you believe, as we do, that the Internet
going to grow rapidly from 100 million users to a billion users over the
next few years," he said, "then 90 percent of the market is open to
The Commerce Department will take comments on the plan through
then issue a final report. "We're serious about this being a discussion
draft," Magaziner said.
The IAHC plan is on hold for now. Several of the international
members are furious over what they perceive as yet another "power grab"
the United States. "There has been a very negative reaction from outside
the U.S., and I think that's going to grow," Maher said. "What exactly
happen next --- whether the G7 countries or the European Union will take
leadership position --- I don't know. But I don't believe that the
international community will tolerate this."
As the raiders closed in on the Ark from both sides of the Atlantic
this month, Dr. Postel continued tinkering with his box. A few days
the Green Paper was released, he redirected six of the mirror root
to receive their instructions from a computer other than the "A" box. It
was an experiment in decentralization, one of hundreds of similar tests
has quietly run over the past 29 years.
Postel's subtle change was invisible to Internet users. But Network
Solutions noticed. And within days, The Wall Street Journal, The
Post and the Associated Press had carried stories about the "rogue"
professor who had "hijacked" the Internet.
The revelation: SAIC holds the Ark of the Internet. And until someone
it away, not even "God" is allowed inside.
From: Camilo Pereira <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:08pm
I just want to let you that I feel very strong about the government
interference with the
Internet domain issue, you should support the additional domain being added
net. Monopoly of registration will do no good to the Internet as a whole.
From: Scott Stapf <email@example.com>
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:09pm
Subject: Ending the "com" monopoly
I am writing to oppose the Commerce Department's "Green Paper," which would
have the effect of perpetuating the "com" domain name monopoly. As a firm
that has registered a name under the new system ("publicrelations.firm"), I
feel that I should have the right to use it. How could this possibly
present a problem to anyone ... except those who current earn obscene
profits from their stranglehold on the "com" monopoly? Please take action
immediately to allow the other "suffixes" to be used. Free the Internet to
do good, don't regulate it needlessly!
The Hastings Group
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:10pm
Subject: A Possible Plan
>Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 11:58:37 -0500
>Subject: A Possible Plan
>As we continue to struggle with the best
>way to implement a self governance, it is
>valuable to review other ideas and concepts.
>In that light, below you will find a plan
>that was originally proposed for eDNS. If
>we change Registration Authorities to "Registries",
>and Registries to "Registrars", this is something
>that might actually be close to working!
>FYI & FWIW:
>>Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 21:02:49 -0400
>>To: edns-operators@MCS.Net, edns-discuss@MCS.Net
>>Subject: A Possible Plan
>>We have reached a level of success that now
>>requires us to firm up the foundation on which
>>to continue to grow the eDNS family.
>>Specifically, we need to formalize a process
>>for self governance. While there are literally
>>thousands of ways to accomplish this, a process
>>that's accepted by stakeholders outside of the
>>eDNS family will be very successful.
>>Here's a rough draft of something that may work for
>>everyone. Please note that it does not yet incorporate
>>all of the changes that may be required for it to be
>>acceptable to outside players. Comments please?
>>The eDNS Charter shall be modified to include provisions for self
>>governance, and a procedure to change the Charter. The newly
>>defined stakeholders shall include:
>>The Council of RSs 1 Root Server, 1 Vote
>>The Council of RAs 1 Registration Authority, 1 Vote
>>The Council of Registries 1 Registry, 1 Vote
>>A decision to modify the Charter shall be authorized by an affirmative
>>of any two of the Councils.
>>A decision to vote on an issue shall be authorized by any single Council.
>>eDNS members who are in more than one category may vote in each
>>Each Council shall be responsible for setting up their own by-laws
>>and/or procedures TBD*. They may expand their role to include other
>>non-administrative activities (i.e. marketing), if they collectively
>>decide to do so.
>>Each Council shall be responsible for the rules and regulations for the
>>immediately below them. Some examples:
>>- The Council of RSs might implement policies regarding
>> the approval and management of new RA applications.
>>- The Council of RAs might implement policies regarding
>> the approval and management of new Registries.
>>- The Council of Registries might implement policies regarding
>> the issuance of SLDs (ie. a code of ethics, etc)
>>The Council of RSs shall be bound only to the eDNS Charter.
>>As such, they shall have the authority to regulate themselves,
>>unless and until the eDNS Charter limits these broad powers.
>>* Each new Council shall be obligated to use an open process in the
>>establishment of their by-laws/policies. This process will be described
>>in more detail in future postings.
>>The Council of RSs
>> Here's a way to provide incentives for people to add new Root Servers
>>to our Consortium. Since this is the smallest Council, each vote will
>>more weight. Since it is at the top of the hierchy, each RS also has the
>>most power. As guardians of the root, this is as it should be. This
>>structure also eliminates the "hit by a bus" issue.
>>The Council of RAs
>> This is the second smallest group. They will have moderate power, and
>>supervised by the Council of RSs
>>The Council of Registries
>> This is the largest group. They are the front line to Internet
>>and are supervised by the Council of RAs.
>> In theory, members of each Council will share similar goals. Here's a
>>structure whereby they can work together on the issues that concern them
>>most. A majority vote by any Council is all that's required to force all
>>Councils to vote on an issue.
From: Gordon Cook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:11pm
Subject: don't fall victim to FUD was Re: action: Santa Clara CA & Montgomery MD
Dear Nanog list members and Congress people
Before you get too excercised about Bill Simpson's allegations in the
message below let me provide some context that is missing from Mr.
Simpson's message. On Monday in the IETF mail list considerable anger was
displayed over the statement in the Green Paper that the IANA Policy
"coordinate the development of other technical protocol parameters as
needed to maintain universal connectivity on the Internet."
It was pointed out that the proper function should be to "coordinate the
**assignment** of other technical protocol parameters . . ."
On Monday afternoon I interviewed Ira Magaziner and brought up this issue.
On Monday evening I posted to the IETF list Ira's statement to me that
development was mistaken and assignment should have been used.
On Feb 25 Scott Bradner posted the a separate denial from IRA to IETF list:
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 08:48:53 -0500 (EST)
From: Scott Bradner <email@example.com>
Subject: from Ira Magaziner Re: IETF relationship to new IANA
I asked Ira Magaziner about the wording in the Green Paper in the
area of the relationship between the IETF and the new IANA. This
is his reply which he said I could forward.
Mr-Received: by mta EOPMRX; Relayed; Mon, 23 Feb 1998 18:12:16 -0500
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 1998 18:10:00 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: this is what I am very worried about
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII
Message Creation Date was at 23-FEB-1998 18:10:00
Thanks for your note. The wording of the green paper is a mistake. We
certainly do not intend for the IETF to in any way become subserviant to
new organization. We will correct it in the next draft.
In his Feb 23rd interview with me Ira said:
Magaziner: Let me make clear then what is going on. I think that the word
"development" was not a correct word to represent the function we were
trying to indicate and that has been pointed out to us by a number of
people. So that is a good criticism. There are mistakes in this report as
there would be in any report and when they are pointed out, we acknowledge
them and say we will fix them. Whether the word assignment or not is the
right one I don't know, but development is clearly the wrong word. I think
the process of assigning port numbers is what we are trying to convey.
Secondly I think it is accurate to say that we would respond to the sense
of the broader community about whether that function which has been
performed by Postel historically should be performed by this new
organization or whether it should be performed by the IETF itself. I think
whatever the community wanted to do on that would be OKAY with us. That is
the way I put it. I did not say have power or not have power. What we did
in our report was to propose it as a continued IANA function, or if the
IETF wished to that it could assume the authority. But let me again make
it very clear we don't intend this word development. That was a mistake."
Cook: In his interview Ira also made it very clear that the IANA policy
Council is to have control of the root servers and not the US government.
Consequently it seems to be that Mr. Simpson is feeding the current
atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion by moving a problem that quite clearly
has been answered on the IETF list to the NANOG list and into Congress
where many are unaware of what has transpired on the IETF list.
Note also that I have just pulled down both the jan 30th text and the
federal register texts of the green paper. I searched both texts for the
policies and standards for those activities
and found nothing in either one. I might suggest that Mr. Simpson give us
the complete citations of what he is ranting against for, on the basis of
my knowledge of the green paper and conversations with Magaziner he is
falsely accusing the US government and seeking to stir up dissension that
will do none of us any good.
It would be far more useful if he would apply his talents to the
establishment of an IANA policy council that protected the ability of the
net to run its own affairs. There will be an IANA policy council.... Jon
postel himself is working on it. The IANA functions must be
institutionalized. Jon is not immortal. Why not accept this reality and
work toward that institutionalization instead of undermining efforts
designed to accomplish it via fear, uncertainty, and doubt?
>Gentlefolk, the US proposed rule taking over the Internet root servers has
>many issues that may be of concern to network operators. Here are two
>congressional offices that have expressed interest in electronic comments.
>They want to gauge current levels of interest by the community.
>If you live or have business offices in these areas, or somewhere near,
>please take a moment to send a short email to one of these representatives
>in the next few days. The congress members are in recess (that means
>at home) this week, and go back next Tuesday.
> Please include a complete U.S. Postel address.
> Local Office:
> 635 North 1st Street, Suite B
> San Jose, CA 95112
> tel: 408-271-8700
> 318 Cannon Building
> Washington, D.C. 20515
> tel: 202-225-3072
>Constance A. Morella
> Be sure to include U.S. Postal address.
> Rockville (301) 424 - 3501
> Office 51 Monroe Street, Suite 507
> Rockville, Maryland 20850
> Washington (202) 225 - 5341
> Office 2228 Rayburn House Office Building
> Washington, D.C. 20515
>Some issues of particular concern are:
> - the proposed rule allows the US government to control
> "... policies and standards for those activities, including ...
> interoperability, privacy, security, ...."
> Do we really think it would be a good idea for the US government
> to control the standards for interoperability?
> Do we really think it would be a good idea for the US government
> to control the standards for privacy and security?
> Especially as operators, do we really think it would be a good idea
> for the US government to control the passwords and keys for the root
> Please think hard about the consequences. Will they let your domain
> into the system (sign your NS records) unless you agree to escrow
> your server keys with them?
> - Since the announcement last year, we have been looking forward to
> the day (March 31) when NSI no longer has monopoly control over
> registration. The proposed rule extends the monopoly another 6
> months (minimum), and control of the major domains indefinitely
> (at least 2 years).
> Do we really think that is a great idea? After a year has passed,
> and no plans for transition have been made by NSI?
> - The root servers are currently run by volunteers. The proposed
> rule would take over operation, and give it to a new corporation,
> set up by the US government.
> Are we having any real problems with our current servers?
> Do we really think it is a great idea for the US government to be
> actively involved at all?
The COOK Report on Internet New Special Report: Building
431 Greenway Ave, Ewing, NJ 08618 USA Infrastructure ($395) available. See
(609) 882-2572 (phone & fax)
firstname.lastname@example.org Index to 6 years of COOK Report, how
subscribe, exec summaries, special reports, gloss at
From: Jay @ Iperdome.com
To: Ira Magaziner
Date: 3/6/98 2:12pm
Subject: Re: IAB comments on Green Paper
>Date: Thu, 26 Feb 1998 02:58:47 -0500
>To: Peter Deutsch <peterd@Bunyip.Com>
>Subject: Re: IAB comments on Green Paper
>At 06:53 PM 2/24/98 -0500, Peter Deutsch wrote:
>>So, bear with me while I see if I've got it right.
>>1) There is a group of people who believe that the top
>> level domain name system should be privately run by
>> free market forces. Some of these people want to be a
>> part of this "industry" and feel that some others are
>> standing in the way of this industry realizing its
>>2) There is a group of people who believe that the top
>> level domain name system should be run as a
>> not-for-profit effort. Some of these people accept that
>> to date it's the government (and in particular, the U.S.
>> government) that has paid for things, but such people
>> seem to think that continued government funding is
>> no longer a good idea.
>> From this seems to come suggestions that TLDNS by
>> handed over to a consortium of the current IETF
>> technical community (eg. IANA, IANA-lite,
>> IANA-meets-Mothra, etc).
>>Sure, there are complicated trademark questions, questions
>>of who owns the current database given the existing
>>contracts with NSI,, technology questions about how many
>>TLDNS servers we can have, etc but the heart of the matter
>>seems to be that some people want a for-profit TLDNS, and
>>some want a not-for-profit TLDNS.
>>Have I got it?
>Not exactly . . .
>The heart of the matter is that we have reached
>a point in the evolution of the Internet where we
>need to decide who gets to decide the questions
>that can only have a single answer on the Internet.
>Domain Names just happen to be one of those things.
>To retain a single, unified root, there must be a
>single decision making body. The MOUvement and the
>US Government both have very different solutions
>to this question.
>The MOU puts a very small group of stakeholders
>in charge of these decisions. It features closed
>meetings and discussion, no due process, has little
>if any representation, and is set up as a Swiss
>based cartel to avoid anti-trust considerations.
>In addition, the IAHC process broke long standing
>Internet tradions when it discarded draft postel, and
>it ignored existing working code. It also included
>organizations like the ITU that were previously known
>to be hostile to the private networks that make up the
>The Green Paper is an opportunity for the Internet
>community to come up with something better. We already
>know that we don't like the MoU. Now, everyone has an
>opportunity to help put in place something better.
>Everything else is smoke and mirrors.
>FWIW & IMHO.
>President, Iperdome, Inc.
Date: 3/6/98 7:43pm
Subject: Delay and the relationship of NSI, SAIC, and the U.S. Government
Is it true that the Science Applications International Corp.
(SAIC), as one of the U.S. government\'s largest, most
secretive and most well connected defense contractors has a
lot to lose by opening up Network Solutions (NSI) to
Delaying the handoff of the doman name system hand off is the
whole point, isn\'t it? The more this whole process is delayed,
the more millions NSI can rake in, and the more SAIC is happy.
The quotes I read were an estimated 125,000 new domain names
a month, from which NSI/SAIC rake in \$8.75 million. So each
month this process is delayed, they make another \$8.75 million.
Yep, that might be a good reason to lobby the hell out of
Washington and make connections with trade groups such as the
Association for Interactive Media (AIM) who own .com names. We
all know the fewer the domain names, the less the competition.
The CORE proposal is no Swiss conspiracy. As if. Get the
U.S. government out of the Internet before it\'s too late.
Delaying will put \$8.75 million a month in the pockets of NSI/SAIC
and the Internet community will suffer. CORE offers a realistic
domain name system.
Jacqueline Bowker, PhD
From: "Karen DeKoning" <email@example.com>
Date: 3/6/98 5:55pm
Subject: discussion draft of the new domain names
The government has no business setting the terms for the Internet. As a frequent
user of the Internet, I do not understand your ignorance of the process that Core
has launched. They have approval from IANA, WIPO, companies, and, most importantly,
the Internet community.
If the U.S. government starts laying claim to pieces of the Internet, chaos will
result. I do not want the Internet to plunge into chaos while I am attempting to
get my small home business online.
Free web-based email, Forever, From anywhere!
From: Phillip Davies <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3/6/98 8:59pm
Subject: New GTLD input.
Dear Mr. Magaziner
My company runs an on-line commerce site for antique and collectible
dealers. We have been on the Web since early 1995, a decade in Internet
We are the largest service of this kind on the Internet and serve over
8000 customers a day. We thrive because we keep our site simple and easy
to use. The same principle should be applied to the implementation of
the new GTLD's.
I have been following the issues pertaining to the introductions of the
new GTLD's for some time now and was very impressed with the way CORE
had organized and addressed the issues involved.
There seemed to be an international consensus regarding what CORE was
doing, which is extremely rare to say the least. The introduction of the
"Green paper" seems to have thrown a bit of a curve into what appeared
to be a great idea.
One central, "NOT FOR PROFIT" TLD registry is the key. Keep the central
registry as simple as possible. CORE has this in place now. They have
spent over 2 years developing the infrastructure for this system. It's
simple, it will work and world seems to want it. Give it a chance.
Thank you for your time.
The Internet Antique Shop Inc.
From: "William S. Lovell" <email@example.com>
Date: 3/6/98 9:36pm
Subject: Comments on Discussion Draft on Technical Management of Internet Domain Names
The attached file is respectully submitted in comment as indicated.
William S. Lovell, Attorney at Law
17630 S. W. Butternut Dr.
Aloha, OR 97007
Comments on Discussion Draft on Technical Management of Internet Domain Names
Submitted by William S. Lovell, Attorney at Law
firstname.lastname@example.org <> http://cerebalaw.com
(In WordPerfect 7 format)
This comment is directed towards the trademark aspects of the "PROPOSAL TO IMPROVE TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT OF INTERNET NAMES AND ADDRESSES," as promulgated by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in its DISCUSSION DRAFT of Jan. 30, 1998. It is immediately obvious that little if any thought has been given in this PROPOSAL to the real content of that law.
Some basic principles of trademark law have been set out by Dratler, Jr(1):
(1) The foremost policy of trademark protection is avoiding public confusion. If two producers identify similar but different goods or services with similar trademarks, the public may be confused as to which is which. Consumers may buy one producer's goods or services, thinking they are the other, and may be disappointed. Avoiding this sort of confusion is the primary goal of trademark protection.(2)
(2) So expressed, the primary goal of trademark protection seems to be a negative one -- preventing undesirable confusion. This negative goal, however, has its positive side, which is a second purpose of trademark protection: encouraging competition. Trademarks provide consumers with shorthand means of identifying goods and services, their qualities and characteristics, and those who produce or sponsor them.(3)
(3) The third policy underlying trademark law is common to the law of trade secrets -- advancement of commercial ethics. Particularly in its common-law incarnation, trademark law seeks to prohibit fraudulent representations by producers, including passing off of one's goods and services as another's.(4)
Two more trademark principles should also be noted, the first of which again derives from Dratler, Jr. as follows:
Unlike most other branches of intellectual property law, trademark law is not designed primarily to encourage innovation. Instead it seeks to promote fair and robust competition by fostering accurate, shorthand identification of the source and quality of goods and services in the marketplace. (Emphasis added, footnotes deleted.)(5)
The second of these principles derives from practice before the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO"), in the processes that Examiners carry out in the registration of a trademark:
"Section 18 of the Lanham Act was amended, . . . , to expressly provide the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board with the authority to limit, or otherwise modify, the goods or services [described] in a [PTO] registration or application. One purpose behind this authority was to permit the Board to base determinations of likelihood of confusion upon marketplace realities, rather than hypothetical facts."(6)
In order to ensure that such "marketplace realities" are in fact known to the PTO, certain requirements are imposed upon applicants for trademark registration, which may be summarized as follows:
(1) "The presumption of an exclusive right to use a registered mark [in accordance with 15 U.S.C. §1057(b)] extends only to the goods and services noted in a registration certificate." The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York v. Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., 964 F. Supp., 733, 743 , 43 USPQ2d 1083, 1090 (DC S NY 1997), citing Arrow Fastener Co. Inc. v. Stanley Works, 59 F3rd 384, 397 (2nd Cir. 1995).
(2) It is only as to the goods and/or services for which application has actually been made, and which would then be listed on a registration certificate if allowed, that the Patent and Trademark Office has made any evaluation as to the registrability of the mark.
(3) "[A] mark may not be expanded beyond the good or service for which it was originally designated." Park 'N' Fly v. Dollar Park and Fly, Inc., 469 U. S. 189, 204, 105 S. Ct. 658, 667, 224 USPQ 327, 333 (Sup Ct, 1985).
The most basic principle, however, is that which forms the basis for the statement noted above that "[u]nlike most other branches of intellectual property law trademark law is not designed primarily to encourage innovation." The reason for that difference derives from the fact that such other branches of intellectual property law as patents and copyrights have a constitutional basis, while trademark law does not.(7) Trademark protection thus does not rest on principles of property rights but rather on those of fair competition.(8) Issues of how the trademark system really functions, and how specific trademarks and/or service marks are used by the "owners" thereof, thus become critical. Although the "good will" that a trademark may symbolize can be owned,(9) the mark itself does not constitute such "property," and if there is conflict between the public interest and trademark "rights," then the latter must yield.
Even given the presumptions of 15 U.S.C. §1057(b) noted above, the Lanham Act encompasses trademarks whether they or not are registered.(10) All legitimate marks are entitled to protection, where "protection" means that others will not be allowed to infringe that mark,(11) but since infringement rests on the issue of likelihood of confusion, it is necessary to pass that threshold before the advantages of having had a trademark registered can even arise.(12)
The PROPOSAL simply ignores these trademark fundamentals, and thereby perpetuates the same lack of understanding of the role and scope of the Lanham Act as had been imagined by the National Science Foundation (NSF) by way of Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI), which then leads to the same situation as was created by NSF/NSI that has plagued Internet domain name holders from the outset. No one seems to have bothered to research the relevant trademark law, but both NSF/NSI and the authors of this PROPOSAL have instead created an entirely extra-legal playing field that is slanted precipitously to the benefit of the owner of a registered trademark.(13) As a consequence, it matters not what formal procedures may be laid out: they will have no credibility since they lie outside of the law.
Indeed, the PROPOSAL gives the distinct impression that the community of registered trademark owners has already laid out its path in the language "where a trademark is unlawfully used as a domain name, consumers may be misled about the source of the product or service offered on the Internet, and trademark owners may not be able to protect their rights without very expensive litigation." The remark explicitly ignores the fact that entirely law abiding domain name registrants may similarly be drawn into very expensive litigation to protect their rights, and these may be the parties who are least able to afford such litigation and are thus especially vulnerable to corporate bullying. The remark not only perpetuates the class warfare that was initiated by NSF/NSI but has already announced the winners. The erroneous presumptions implicit in the remark are that (a) between the domain name and the mark there exists an actual likelihood of confusion whereby the domain name registration becomes "unlawful" ipso facto; and (2) if there is indeed a real trademark dispute, the owner of a registered mark must necessarily prevail. Neither of these need be the case.
Another erroneous presumption lies in the proposed means of resolving disputes: "[a] swift dispute resolution process could provide for the temporary suspension of a domain name registration if an adversely affected trademark holder objects within a short time, e.g., 30 days, of the initial registration." Given that at this stage no process of law has yet shown that the owner of the domain name registration is infringing on anything or is acting contrary to any law, it is both a violation of due process and an overreaching of an administrative body into matters reserved to the Congress and the Courts for NTIA to adopt such a procedure -- it would alter in significant ways the functioning of the Lanham Act.(14) (Although it is now well settled that NSI has wisely shunned any involvement in trademark law,(15) one would hope that the NTIA would first have examined the scope of its authority in this field.)
Moreover, through this PROPOSAL the NTIA might well be setting out to gain for itself a term of permanent residence in the Federal courts. It is not difficult to imagine why NSI adopted its policy of placing holds on domain names when confronted with a registered trademark: given the popular myth that registration of a trademark by itself conveys substantive rather than merely procedural rights, due discretion would suggest giving deference to the presumably monied owners of registered trademarks. Given the law as it is now established,(16) on the other hand, it would appear that NSI need no longer worry about being sued by every other owner of a registered trademark. That scene would seem to change dramatically, however, if an entity such as NTIA or the private corporation it proposes to establish actually volunteers itself as an arbiter of trademark rights on the Internet, and presumes to adjudicate matters over which it has no actual authority. In the law, those who undertake to do such as that are known as "officious intermeddlers," and by so intermeddling in trademark law NTIA may well be biting off a whole lot more than it will care to chew. Publication in the Federal Register does not a law make -- only Congress can do that -- so the primary objection to this proposal as to trademarks boils down to the fact that it is simply illegal: the statutory authority of the NTIA does not extend nearly so far.
So what is the solution? Two parties claim the right to use a name, one as a trademark or service mark for which a registration has issued, and the other as a domain name on the Internet (which role can also be a trademark or service mark usage -- it is through such usage "in commerce" that trademark rights are established). Without any determination yet as to whether or not such a dual usage(17) would bring about confusion in the marketplace as to the source of the goods or services, under Constitutional principles of equal protection both parties stand on an equal footing. If no likelihood of confusion can be shown, then the domain name owner should prevail,(18) without regard to the status of the registered trademark or the procedural presumptions pertinent thereto. If likelihood of confusion were shown in court, then that court could look at dates and geographic regions and the like and decide who should prevail. But these matters fall within the province of Congress and the courts, not NSF, NSI, NTIA, or any other public or private entity that is not competent(19) to determine questions of likelihood of confusion,(20) let alone empowered to adjudicate or amend the time-honored trademark laws of the United States.
NTIA or the private corporation that it proposes to establish can set up whatever system for allocating domain names as may be appropriate; however, once a domain name has been duly registered, either entity would be ill advised to violate the contracts under which those registrations will be made unless ordered so to do by a court of competent jurisdiction. In addition, any attempt again to require prospective registrants to enter into the kind of "contract of adhesion" that was adopted in NSF/NSI policies and that permitted such intermeddling might well be met this time around with massive resistance through a Class Action in the Federal courts. Since a domain name is individually selected, bought and paid for, it would seem to qualify as "property" in a way that a trademark never can, hence the legal theory behind such a suit would not be far to seek: under the proposed procedures there would be a "governmental taking" of private property for which full compensation would be constitutionally required. It is doubtful that NTIA wants to enter into that bed of thorns.
Valuable suggestions concerning this comment were received from Attorney Savoy Rose Jade and are hereby acknowledged. However, the author listed below assumes full responsibility for the content of this comment.
William S. Lovell, Attorney at Law
1. Jay Dratler, Jr., Intellectual Property Law: Commercial, Creative, and Industrial Property (Law Journal Seminars-Press
New York, New York, 1997).
2. Fn. 1, Vol. 2, p. 9-15.
3. Fn. 1, Vol. 2, p. 9-16.
4. Fn. 1, Vol. 2, p. 9-17.
5. Fn. 1, Vol. 2, p. 9-14.18.
6. Space Base Inc. v. Stadis Corp., 17 USPQ2d 1216, 1220 (TTAB 1990)..
7. See fn. 5.
8. Fn. 1, Vol. 2, p. 9-18.
10. "Congress explicitly extended to any violation of Section 43(a) [i.e., 15 U.S.C. 1125 (a)]the basic Lanham Act remedial provisions whose text previously covered only registered trademarks. The aim of the amendments was to apply the same protections to unregistered marks as were already afforded to registered marks. (Footnote deleted)." Two Pesos Inc. v. Taco Cabana Inc., 505 U. S. 763, 784, 112 S. Ct. 2753, 2765, 23 USPQ2d 1081, 1090 (US Sup Ct 1992)(Scalia, J., concurring opinion), reh. den. 505 U. S. 1244, 113 S. Ct. 20 (US Sup Ct 1992).
11. Protection against trademark "dilution" is also provided under Sect. 43 of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. 1125 (c)), but applies only to "famous" marks. The vast majority of trademarks and service marks are not famous. The additional protections derived from achieving a status of "incontestability" under Sect. 15 of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. 1065) are also not relevant here.
12. "[T]he law does not per se prohibit the use of trademarks or service marks as domain names. Rather, the law prohibits only uses that infringe or dilute a trademark or service mark owner's mark." Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Network Solutions Inc., 43 USPQ2d 1056, 1058 (DC CCA 1997). See also Interstellar Starship Services, Ltd v. Epix, Inc, 983 F. Supp. 1331, 45 USPQ2d 1304 (DC OR 1997), in which no likelihood of confusion was found so the plaintiff domain name holder prevailed. (This writer was lead counsel for Interstellar Starship.)
13. "NSI's policy has been criticized as favoring trademark owners over domain name holders, and favoring owners of federally registered marks over owners of non-registered marks, because owners of federally registered marks can invoke NSI's policy to effectively enjoin the use of identical domain names without having to make any showing of infringement or dilution," Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Network Solutions Inc., 44 USPQ2d 1865, 1869 (DC CCA 1997), citing 2 Gibson & Samuels, Trademark Protection and Practice, Sections 5.11 [B], at 5-239, 5.11 , at 5-243 (1997)(noting that NSI's policy is tilted in favor of trademark owners, who can deprive registrants of domain names without meeting the likelihood of confusion test for infringement or showing that the domain name dilutes the mark), Gayle Weiswasser, 'Domain Names, the Internet and Trademarks: Infringement in Cyberspace,' 13 Santa Clara Computer & High Tech. L. J. 137, 172-73 (1997).
14. And of the judicial system itself: it is the plaintiff who seeks redress that has the burden of proof, as to trademark infringement or any other complaint, but the NTIA PROPOSAL would reverse that time-honored principle.
15. "NSI, as a domain name registrar, has no affirmative duty to police the Internet in search of potentially infringing uses of domain names." Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Network Solutions Inc., 44 USPQ2d 1865, 1879-80 (DC C CA 1997).
17. Which under certain circumstances (involving geographic distinctions not likely to be applicable to domain name cases) is explicitly allowed by trademark law as a "concurrent use," see 15 U.S.C. 1052(d).
18. "[T]rademark law permits multiple parties to use and register the same mark for different classes of goods and services." Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Network Solutions Inc., 44 USPQ2d 1865, 1878 (DC C CA 1997).
19. Such incompetence (not meant pejoratively) is evident in that the "minimum dispute resolution procedures" that NTIA proposes do not include in the information to be provided even a hint at when the applicant for the domain name first used that name in commerce (which may have preceded the application for registration by decades) -- a fact that is basic to the issue of trademark rights, and shows again that this proposal rests on the false premise that a "trademark owner" is necessarily one who owns a trademark registration.
20. "Whether a use is likely to cause confusion depends on numerous variables including the strength of the mark, the proximity of the goods, the similarity of the marks, evidence of actual confusion, marketing channels used, the type of goods and degree of care used by purchasers, the defendant's intent in selecting the mark, and the likelihood of expansion of product lines," Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Network Solutions Inc., 44 USPQ2d 1865, 1877 (DC C CA 1997).
Date: 3/6/98 12:55pm
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