From: Bruce Linn <Bruce.Linn@camtech.com.au>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 12:34am
Subject: Response to the US Green Paper on domain names

March 21, 1998

Ms Karen Rose
Office of International Affairs
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Room 4701
U.S. Department of Commerce
14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
United States of America

Dear Ms Rose,

Re: Improvement of Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses

This letter is a response to the Green Paper concerning DNS issued by the
US Department of Commerce. It outlines in brief some issues that the
Australian Internet industry has with the content of the Green Paper, and
some suggestions by which the proposal contained therein could be improved.
We hope that with these suggestions and those put forward by other
interested parties, an effective and appropriate system for the management
of Domain Names can be implemented.

This response is submitted by the Australian Internet industry, coordinated
by the Internet Industry Association (IIA), Australia's peak representative
body for organisations commercially involved in the Internet, and
Australian Domain Name Administration (ADNA), the representative body
charged with the restructuring of the DNS within Australia. Further
information regarding IIA can be found at http://www.iia.net.au. Further
information regarding ADNA can be found at http://www.adna.asn.au.

CAMTECH fully endorses and supports this submission.

This submission is intended to be brief, with further comment to be
submitted through the Australian government in due course.

There are four primary issues this submission intends to address:
governance, competition, self-regulation versus regulation, and jurisdiction.

1. Governance
It is the Australian Internet industry's view that the body most
appropriately responsible for the DNS is a newly reformed IANA (Internet
Assigned Numbers Authority), with a governing board formed both from US and
international interests. Australia, by virtue of its place as the fifth
largest user of the Internet, should be represented upon this board, though
it is more important that the appropriate processes be put in place than
the interests of any one country be pursued. Incorporating the new IANA as
a US company leads to a number of issues regarding jurisdiction, as
referenced below.

2. Competition
The function of the registry, the database of Domain Names and associated
information, must be a matter of public trust, as this is the only way to
ensure that the interests of the end user are adequately served.
Accordingly it is not an appropriate place for competition. It is however
appropriate that the registrar function, the registration of Domain Names,
is an area of competition, as this will serve to provide the greatest
benefit to the end user in both pricing and quality of services.

3. Self-regulation versus Regulation
The Australian industry is particularly experienced in self-regulation,
having pursued this approach for a number of years in many fields including
telecommunications. It is our view that self-regulation is preferable to
government regulation. This enables all stakeholders to be represented in
discussions, without being restricted by the problem of which country's
government is appropriate in which circumstance. Self-regulation needs to
be backed up by a light regulatory framework however, and where
international bodies with responsibility for particular areas (such as the
World Intellectual Property Organisation) exist, these bodies may be able
to provide this regulatory support.

4. Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction over registrar operations must be divided between DNS'
governing body and the country within which the registrar is operating.
Jurisdiction over the DNS' governing body (assuming, as suggested above, a
reformed IANA governed by an international board) is a more problematic
area however, with no clear solution.

It may not be practical to have participation by each and every country (or
party) that may wish to do so. Equally it would be grossly improper for the
United States to take an overbearing role in such a clearly international
area. Our suggested approach would be for a model similar to that of the
United Nations Security Council, with appropriate representation by the key
players together with implied obligations to those parties not directly
represented.

As a final point, it is the strong recommendation of the Australian
industry that wider international consultation must be carried out before
the implementation of any process that has such a great effect upon
international industry. The DNS is one of the foundations of electronic
commerce, and will have an impact upon billions of dollars worth of future
revenues for many countries. It is too important an issue to be decided
upon without the full involvement of industries in all countries that make
up the electronic marketplace.

Yours sincerely,

Bruce M. Linn
CEO
Camtech (SA) Pty Ltd

Board Member
Internet Industry Association of Australia (IIA)

___________________________________________________________________
Bruce M. Linn Phone: +61 8 8303 3303
Chief Executive Officer Fax: +61 8 8303 4403
CAMTECH Email: brucel@camtech.com.au
http://www.camtech.com.au
--- Level 8, 10 Pulteney Street, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia. ---
___________________________________________________________________

CC: NTIADC40.SMTP40("board@iia.net.au")

###

From: Roger Hicks <RHICKS@clear.co.nz>
To: "'dns@ntia.doc.gov'" <dns@ntia.doc.gov>
Date: 3/23/98 1:16am
Subject: Submission on Docket No. 980212036-8036-01

With reference to:

Docket No. 980212036-8036-01
RIN 0660-AA11
Improvement of Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses

****************************************************
These comments reflect my own opinions.

In general I am pleased with the content of Paper and its proposals and
appreciate the opportunity to make comment on them.

As parents, it is difficult to let go off your offspring as they
struggle to leave the nest, let alone encourage them into the wider
world when you've nurtured them for so long. This is also true for the
U.S> Government and the Internet which has grown from concepts and
research nurtured within the U.S. to become the international
communications medium for the future. In many ways the child may have
already left the nest, with much work and activity happening around the
globe. Even the world wide web, which has catapulted the 'net into the
popular conscience, was developed by an Englishman in a European
research establishment.

In internationalising the governance issues discussed in the Paper it is
important that the opportunities must be taken to ensure the evolution
of the Internet into the global communications for the future. Maybe it
is necessary for the immediate changes to be based upon the U.S. culture
and attitudes. However these should not become embedded for the future
where the 'net will need to accommodate many different sets of cultural
assumptions and attitudes.

In a general reading of the Paper I suggest its important that the
following issues are not overlooked:
* the importance of ensuring that the Internet and evolution, especially
commercially, does not limit the opportunities for developing countries
to fully participate in the future
* that the Internet is also a personal communications medium, one-to-one
and in group communications, and that it does not become swamped in the
commercial aspects
* that other languages and character sets may be used in the future,
even in domain names (i.e. why should a flower shop or fast food
delivery operation in Japan or Korea require its customers to use other
than their own character set in accessing them?) Of course local
directories will potentially remove this need, however as the discussion
on trademarks illustrates ubiquitous directory services are some way
off.

The concepts of both internationalising this area of Internet governance
and moving it into the industry are welcomed.

However there appear to be two specific issues at this time:
* the perceived problems with the global Top Level Domains (gTLD),
particularly .com, and the associated issue of the lack of use of the
.us domain
* the presumption that domain names are trademarks (or more so)

The first issue is primarily a U.S. internal issue and will be clarified
by clearly separating the policies and management of the gTLDs from
those of the policies and management of the .us. Even in this case
positive actions will be needed to encourage U.S. -focussed and -based
organisations to use the country domain.

The second issue has arisen because of an apparent vacuum in the legal
community on international issues of trademarks, of which I'm sure the
subject of domain is not the only one. People involved with policies and
management of domain names do not want to break the law, they just need
to know what the legal situation is in a way that acknowledges the
nature of the technologies and environment in which they are working.

Some specific comments based on the Paper itself:

The New Corporation

"the new corporation will be headquartered in the United States, and
incorporated under U.S. law as a not-for-profit corporation. It will,
however, have and report to a board of directors from around the world."

I appreciate that it may be convenient to base the new corporation on US
law and it to host it in the U.S. However this decision should be
justified by a discussion of the alternatives and the key reasons for
the decision. It may be that having the corporation incorporated or
registered in a different jurisdiction from its location may also be
appropriate.

The new corporation will be of international importance and should be
able to locate itself, legally physically and financially, to the most
effective and secure locations. Its charter should not prevent this
re-location and should even encourage it by requiring that the new
corporation be as secure as possible. For example: it should be able to
protect itself by relocating or re-structuring itself away from risks of
significant tax liability, of aggressive legal actions or of political
instability.

*************
"The board of directors ...."

The number of Directors on the new corporation should be increased.
Assuming a membership around the globe, and the new corporation will
have failed if this is not the situation, it can be difficult to get
people together for meetings. Even electronic meetings that require
people at the same time mean that attendance will be a differing times
of day and night. The Asia Pacific Internet Association, whose main
meetings are from voice conferences across only one region of the world,
has people attending from evening to early afternoon, including across
the date line! A larger number of Directors will not only increase the
likelihood of a reasonable number in attendance for meeting, whether
electronic or otherwise, but will also increase the opportunity for wide
representation of different cultures, issues, attitudes and environments

The membership association formed from the registries and registrars
should include the national registries. However it is suggested that
criteria be set on which to decide whether a national registry should be
a formal member. This criteria will ensure that the registry has a
reasonable relationship or representative position to the 'country'
whose TLD it as manages.

At least two new 'electoral colleges' are proposed, that for selecting
the registry/registrar representatives and that for the other user/
business representatives. I suggest that whilst the former can be
constructed relatively easily the latter requires significantly more
work, and probably a discussion paper in its own right.

*************
New Top Level Domains

Ignoring the question that new TLDs may not be needed at all (this is
discussed later). In discussing top level domains and whether new ones
are needed the complete issue must be considered. If the non-country
code top level domains are considered global then this must apply to
**all** of them, including for example .mil and .edu. I suggest that the
US-only top level domains should be brought into the .us domain, e.g.:
.mil.us and .ed.us. this will be consistent with other countries which
have military and/or educational domains This can be done slowly over a
period of time so as not to disrupt existing domain name holders,
however no new names should be created in these domains. Once
effectively migrated to .us the TLDs can then eventually be removed.

The Paper appears to focus implicitly on the issue of
commercially-oriented gTLDs, in the future there may be many other
opportunities for gTLDs including ones for religions, ethnicities, trade
and professional groupings, and other social and communities identities.

Although five new TLDs are proposed it is not clear what purpose they
would serve or why they are needed apart from providing competition
amongst the registries

====
"They also point out that it would be much more difficult for trademark
holders to protect their trademarks if they had to police a large number
of top-level domains."

During the Internet Executive Summit in Washington, organised by Prince
plc, it was stated that it would be necessary for trademark holders to
register domains in all new gTLD, and it was requested that procedures
or facilities be made available to make this easy. If this is the
general opinion of trademark professionals then I suggest that nothing
will be gained by adding new TLDs as means of providing more space for
legitimate oganisations that want to trade internationally and have
similar or the same trademarks in their own jurisdictions.

*************
Trademark Dilemma

If the real dilemma is that domain names are global and trademarks, in
general, are not then solution to this is to encourage the legal
community to develop global agreements and rules. The people and
organisations that run and use the domain system should be able to
operate within a reasonable and sensible legal environment and not have
to work around unclear, irrelevant or non-existent framework. Electronic
commerce and the continued commercial growth of the Internet requires
stability and predictability. Lack of a clear legal framework will only
bring the law into disrepute as it will risk demonstrating its
irrelevance to modern commerce and communication.

"At the time of registration, registrants could agree that, in the event
of a trademark dispute involving the name registered, jurisdiction would
lie where the registry is domiciled, where the registry database in
maintained, or where the "A" root server is maintained. We seek comment
on this proposal, as well as suggestions for how such jurisdictional
provisions could be implemented."

As a principle, possibly enshrined in law if necessary, the registries
should be considered **as listing agents only**. They should be required
**not** to judge any name they are asked to list in their register. A
registry should be assessed on how quickly and reliably they provide the
registry function. Their role is to ensure the integrity and operational
effectiveness of the servers and communications networks they maintain.

The role of the registrars is only mentioned in passing, however if
anyone is to have liability it should be the registrars as they have the
role of working with the requestor of the domain name. The jurisdiction
concerning the allocation of a domain name would then be where the
registrar is located. However the jurisdiction for the illegal use of a
domain name (i.e. as in 'passing off' or obscenity) would be where the
activity specifically or by intention takes place, not coincidentally
takes place, unless covered by international law

"Until case law is fully settled, however, registries can expect to
incur legal expenses in connection with trademark disputes as a cost of
doing business."

As mentioned above the registrars should be liable for the expenses, it
should certainly not be the registries.

With regards to the proposal in the Paper, the implication is that
registries should be in jurisdictions where trademark law is sympathetic
to them and the costs of legal defense is cheap! If they are
constrained to exist in the U.S., or to be covered by U.S. law, then you
are restricting this activity to organisations familiar with operating
in the U.S. legal and cost environments. This will prevent registries
from being formed in many other countries

*************
Remarks

The Paper has implicit assumptions concerning the global TLDs and bases
its proposals on these. Further, even with work on the .us domain, it is
not understood why organisations will change their attitudes to wanting
to be in a global domain. Why change the way they do things now?

As an alternative suggestion:
* do not create any new TLDs
* freeze further registrations in all existing gTLDs
This will cause all domain names to be registered in one of the country
code TLDs (including the .us domain). The ccTLD will, by definition,
specify the country and so define the rules for registering names, the
relevant trademark and other applicable legislation and the jurisdiction
under which disputes will be heard. Should alternate dispute resolution
procedures be required or provided the context for them is similarly
defined. There may be a very small number of ccTLD that require specific
decisions on some of these issues, however these can be resolved
individually or otherwise restricted

All ccTLD will have policies regarding registration in their domains.
Some will have requirements relating to be located, registered or
operating in the country, others will not. There will be different costs
structures, different turn-around times, and different levels of
validation of the requested names. These are all areas on which the
national registries and registrars can compete. And correspondingly
different ccTLDs will gain differing reputations, in a similar way
possibly to the country of registration for ships. Competition, and a
range of metrics which consumers may use to make their selection, is
implicit.

All international corporations, have their head offices somewhere, so
they will all have 'somewhere to go'.

The not-for-profit corporation's role will still be much as described
except that it will facilitate the ccTLDs in their role.

This alternative will address the objectives noted in the Green paper
and will not prejudice the creation of new gTLDs in the future when
international trademark law, and other agreements necessary for truly
global Internet, are in place.

Thank you for the opportunity to present my views and opinions on this
subject

Roger Hicks

* Senior Technology Planner, CLEAR Communications
* Board member and Vice-chair Asia & Pacific Internet Association (APIA)
* New Zealand's National Focal Point Representative to UNESCO's Regional
Informatics Network for South East Asia and the Pacific (RINSEAP)
* a founder and first Chair of Internet Society of New Zealand

###

From: Leni Mayo <leni@moniker.net>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 2:23am
Subject: Moniker response to NTIA Green Paper

Karen Rose,
Office of International Affairs,
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA),
Room 4701, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue,
N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20230
USA.

Introduction

On 30 January 1998, the US Government released the so-called Green Paper
, which outlines the US Government's proposed plans for the three areas
of centralised control of internet functions.

This document is Moniker's response to the Green Paper proposals for the
Domain Name System.

Moniker is a CoRE gTLD registrar, based in Melbourne Australia.

The Green Paper and the Domain Name System

We address four key areas of concern related to the Green Paper's
plans for the DNS:

1. The importance of legitimacy.
2. The "parallel-monopoly" nature of mulitple registries
3. International trademark concerns.
4. Important issues not addressed by the Green Paper.

The Green Paper and the "transitional" role of the US Government

The US Government Inter-agency working group has been studying these
issues for almost a year. The emergence of vague, two-year "interim"
oversight proposals do not sit well with hopes for a speedy and
well-managed exit.

The delay and uncertainty caused by the unilateral US Government
involvement are unfortunate.

The interim proposals lack international participation. International
fears of US domestic political concerns influencing the "interim"
outcomes are not addressed.

The legitimacy of the US Government process remains open to question.

We propose that the US Goverment should make no decisions regarding the
DNS other than to:
- assist IANA with it's transition into the private sector as soon as
possible, and
- manage the termination of the NSF/NSI with a view to defending the
public interest in the gTLDs.

The Green Paper and multiple registries

Rather than stepping back and handing decision-making to the IANA, the
US Government proposes during the interim management period to introduce
a scheme of 5 separate and "competing" registries. There are many
specific concerns with this plan:

1. Registries don't (and can't) compete. The registry for .web won't
in any way compete with the registry for .xxx for example. The
registry is a defacto monopoly on the domain. The proper place for
competition is between the registrars. Neither is there argument
for value-add service on the part of the registry. Value-added
propositions are the business of the registrar, except in the
situation where the registry database is proprietary (see below).
2. The plan grants special commercial rights to NSI. Only NSI may
operate a registry managing multiple domains (.com, .net and .org).
3. Companies wishing to protect trademarks will have to contend with
with 5 different, unilateral trademark dispute policies with no
clear overall framework. This is so important, it is addressed
separately.
4. Important details are missing, such as whether the information in
the registry databases are private property or in the public
domain. It's not even clear who gets to decide.
5. The plan prefers "for-profit" registries. "For-profit" registries
are a disaster.

To understand this, consider how a "for-profit" registry might
maximize value for it's shareholders. To begin with, it might
offer low-cost registrations in order to build volume. Later, when
the market matures, the registry might raise prices, even though
the cost-base is lower, because it knows that the dynamics of the
market are such customers aren't going to switch domain names in
search of a cheaper name. Stationary and advertising just cost too
much.

Would customers switch if the renewal price rose by a factor of 2x?
How about 5x? 10x? The Green Paper addresses this concern with
hand-waving, asserting that "market mechanisms" will correct this
parallel-monopoly behaviour. No detail is provided.

Our view is that "for-profit" registries equate to parallel
monopolies and that such a policy fails to recognise that the
internet namespace at the registry (database) level is a public
trust. Registry services should only be priced on a cost-recovery
basis.

The Green Paper and Trademark concerns

Trademark holders have legitimate concerns about how to go about
protecting their marks on the internet. Such concerns are valid, and
must be balanced against the global and freewheeling nature of the
internet. In this important area, the Green Paper makes no specific
policy proposals, and further entangles this knotty issue.

By introducing 5 separate registries, trademark holders will be faced
with five separate and disconnected dispute-resolution policies. This
has the potential to significantly escalate the cost and difficulty of
prosecuting a claim. Some think that it may lead to the
"americanisation" of the dispute resolution process in the gTLDs.

As a sidebar, we note that the Dutch island Texel recently lost it's
texel.com to an American company called Texel. In addition, NSI
recently allocated to itself greater discretionary powers under a new
dispute-resolution policy . This, when over 50% of new registrants in
.com, .net and .org are not domiciled in the USA and the percentage of
non-US users increases by the month.

In contrast, the gTLD-MOU aims to create a stable and predictable
global commercial environment in the gTLDs with a dispute resolution
process:

* sponsored by WIPO
* directly implemented in the central registry
* impartial with respect to jurisdiction and co-existing with
national courts
* offering innovative, low-cost administrative alternatives.

These proposals have been broadly circulated within the internet and
trademark community, and represent light in an otherwise murky area.

The Green Paper draws a blank

The Green Paper refrains from making proposals in certain key areas
that it was expected to address:

* The NSI monopoly is not addressed in any detail. The status quo
prevails and .com, .net and .org remain in US control, and under US
law.
* The management of the .us TLD is not addressed, and it is one of
the few things that is clearly an issue for the US Government
alone. It has been clear for a number of years that the
locality-based structure of the .us domain does not meet with the
acceptance of the domestic US market. As such, it encourages US
business into the generic top-level domains, and increases domestic
pressures for "americanisation" of the generic namespace.

Summary

As a CORE registrar, Moniker views the gTLD-MOU process as a working
example of international industry self-regulation. We echo the view of
thousands of our customers who perceive the transitional elements of the
Green Paper to be a slap in the face to such efforts.

Good internet governance cannot arise as a product of US Government
authority. We encourage the US Government to a view that says that US
domestic interests are best served by stable internet governance arising
as a product of *international* industry self-regulation.

We wait and watch with interest.

###

From: "Chanki Park" <ckp@hen.nca.or.kr>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 2:17am
Subject: Comment on the Green Paper

Comments in regards to the Green Paper on the Proposal to
Improvement of Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses
of the Department Of Commerce
National Telecommunications and Information Administration

KRNIC is really thankful for the effort that Department Of Commerce has been
made to advance current Internet address system. We have throughly read the
Proposal to improve technical management of Internet names and addresses,
and we would like to make the following comments.

The coordinated Functions
The Internet started in the U.S., but it became and is an international
network. We really welcome the idea of ending U.S. governments role in the
Internet and creating a new not-for-profit corporation to transfer existing
IANA functions. However, any decisions made by IANA or the not-for-profit
corporation could affect the Internet tremendously, major decision making
process, for example creating new gTLDs, should be open to the public and
done with broad international participation. Small set of board of
directors from APNIC, ARIN, RIPE and so on should not make such big
decisions but the international Internet community should. We suggest
creating some kind of decision making process that international Internet
stakeholder can participate.

The Competitive Functions
Competition at the registrar level should be sufficient enough to lower the
costs and improve service qualities because all the services are done at the
registrar level. The competition at the registry level would not only be
redundant but also confuse registrants because of the different set of
registration policies and different dispute resolution policies. In addition
to that, it would create more NSI-like monopolies and choosing them will be
very difficult to be fair with different geographical regions.

Second Level Domains registered under .net and .org are 31,994 and 46,307
respectably(Data from Network Wizard). This is more than 10 years of
accumulation, we assume. If there are 20 shared registrars and they charge
$35 per domain name, each registrar would make about 56,000 per year which
is not sufficient enough to operate the registry and registrar. As time
goes by, they will try to create more new gTLDs and register to the root
server because they can not stay in business with only one gTLD. As the new
registries try to add more gTLDs to the root, conflicts will arise between
the registries for the good gTLDs and recklessly issued gTLDs will do the
harm than benefit the Internet users.

Our Suggestions
There can only be the one and only one A root server. Why not one registry
and shared registrar model? This model can give coherent policies which
would minimize the confusion of Internet users and give fair chance to
participate from all around the world. The gTLD-MoU process seems to be a
good starting point to begin with.

Our overall feeling to the Green Paper was that Department Of Commerce still
treat the Internet as U.S. property. When publishing the final paper,
please take into consideration that the Internet is an international network
and its governance should be done in open manner with international
participation.

Regards,

KRNIC Manager Kim, Won

###

From: "David W. Maher" <dwmaher@ibm.net>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 2:51am
Subject: Comments of POLICY OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE on Technical Management of Internet Domain Names

The Policy Oversight Committee submits its comments to the U.S. Department
of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
In the Matter of Improvement of Technical Management of Internet Names and
Addresses; Proposed Rule. Docket No. 980212036-8036-01.

The comments are attached in ASCII format.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Washington, DC 20230

In the Matter of )
Improvement of Technical Management ) Docket No. 980212036-8036-01
of Internet Names and Addresses )

Comments of Policy Oversight Committee ("POC")

I. Introduction

The Policy Oversight Committee ("POC") respectfully submits comments in this proceeding, referred to as the "Green Paper".

The Policy Oversight Committee ("POC") was created under the aegis of the Generic Top Level Domain Memorandum of Understanding ("gTLD-MoU") signed in Geneva, Switzerland on May 1, 1997 by the by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority ("IANA"), the Internet Society ("ISOC"), and approximately 80 other signatory organizations. As of March 15, 1998, this has increased to over 200 signatory organizations, representing a broad range of interests, including ISPs, telcos, user groups and many other private and public bodies from countries throughout the world. The signatory organizations may participate in the Policy Advisory Body ("PAB") which is charged by the gTLD-MoU to give advice on policy matters to the POC, operating in a "rough consensus" mode, in keeping with the traditions of the Internet. The PAB's sole interest is contributing to the best solutions to the problems of generic top level domains.

POC is the successor to the International Ad Hoc Committee ("IAHC") which was formed in September, 1996 at the initiative of ISOC and at the request of IANA. IAHC issued a Final Report on February 4, 1997, which led to the creation and signing of the gTLD-MoU.

The charter of IAHC specified that it would "operate in the style of an Internet standards 'design team', formulating criteria and procedures but seeking review, modification and consensus from the rest of the Internet community" and stated further that "Internet standards are developed according to the principal of 'rough consensus' which means a strongly dominant sense of preference within the community that is seeking to achieve forward progress, in spite of differing opinions."

Between September, 1996, and May 1, 1997, IAHC operated open mailing lists, solicited and received hundreds of formal contributions, and participated in a number of existing mailing lists, thereby receiving thousands of comments from interested parties which were reviewed and considered in the preparation of the gTLD-MoU. Members of the POC have provided continuing participation in those public mailing lists. POC has and will continue to issue formal "Requests for Comments" to garner public input and contributions on complex policy issues, such as the substantive guidelines for resolution of trademark-domain name disputes.

The gTLD-MoU provides the framework for the creation, initially, of seven new top level domains and provides for an unlimited number of new registrars, all of which will share responsibility for registering domain names in all generic top level domains. The process of submission of applications to become registrars began on July 16, 1997. 88 applications were accepted, and the registrars signed Articles of Association in November, 1997, forming a Council of Registrars ("CORE") which is incorporated as a not-for-profit association under the laws of Switzerland. CORE members have also signed a CORE Memorandum of Understanding (the "CORE-MoU") which sets forth the basic policy and operational guidelines for all registrars, including free and open competition.

Recently, the POC has instituted a proceeding to expand its membership so as to reflect more fully the range of interests of the stakeholders in the Internet. Also, CORE has announced that applications to become registrars will be accepted again.

POC has repeatedly and publicly announced its willingness and availability to negotiate transitional arrangements with existing organizations, including NSI, with a view towards a stable and secure operation of the Internet under private auspices.

Further information on the work of IAHC and POC, as well as the full text of the documents referred to above are available at the gTLD-MoU website <http://www.gtld-mou.org>.

II. The Role of the POC

Although neither POC nor CORE are mentioned in the Green Paper, many of the fundamental principles under which POC and CORE operate have been adopted by the United States government ("USG") in the Green Paper. A summary statement of the gTLD-MoU principles is set forth below:

I. The administration of the DNS is under the control of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), an organization that derives its authority from its standing in the Internet community over many years, and by its charter from the Internet Architecture Board ("IAB").

II. IANA currently has responsibility for all TLDs in the global DNS, including the ISO 3166 Country Code TLDs (ccTLDs), the specialized TLDs (sTLDs), and the generic TLDs (gTLDs). ccTLD registries are delegated by IANA to appropriate local authorities; sTLDs are governed by charters approved by IANA, and gTLDs are governed by a tradition of fair use codified in RFCs and IANA policies.

III. Administration of the DNS shall not at any time be under the control of any national government. Administration of the DNS shall remain under the control of a private organization, having authority delegated by IANA, in the legal form of a corporation or otherwise. This organization (the "DNS Organization") shall operate (a) in the public interest, (b) for the benefit of the Internet globally and not nationally, and (c) not for profit. It shall be responsive to public policy concerns, and its membership shall be globally distributed.

IV. A gTLD registry shall be subject to the following policies or principles, enforced ultimately by the DNS Organization, in all cases acting under authority of IANA:

(a) The DNS Organization shall determine when and whether to create new gTLDs including specification of the alphanumeric strings, the timing of introduction of new gTLDs, and the number of gTLDs, through an open, unbiased, public procedure;

(b) The data in a registry shall be freely available to the public, subject only to restrictions relating to privacy;

(c) A gTLD registry shall operate in the public interest on a cost recovery basis and not for profit, under the ultimate supervision of the governing body of the DNS;

(d) Access for registration of second level domains in a gTLD registry shall be equally available to all qualified registrars on a non-discriminatory basis;

(e) The DNS Organization shall establish a uniform procedure for resolving disputes concerning domain names, including trademark and other intellectual property issues. This procedure shall offer an efficient and inexpensive means of dispute resolution without supplanting or interfering with the jurisdiction of national courts or the rights of Internet users to have resort to the courts; and

(f) Registration services for second level domain names in the gTLDs shall be globally distributed, and, except in exceptional circumstances, should be shared among all registrars that meet appropriate technical qualifications.

To the extent that the Green Paper has adopted these principles, the POC endorses the position of USG, and urges that they be put into effect promptly. In particular, the announced intention of USG to withdraw from involvement in the domain name system is fully supported by POC.

These comments are submitted with a focus on certain specific areas of disagreement between the positions of POC and USG. The comments are not a comprehensive analysis of all the provisions of the Green Paper. POC adopts and endorses the position of PAB as set forth in its more extensive comments in this proceeding.

III. Comments on Selected Issues

There are a number of areas in which POC has a fundamental disagreement with the position of USG as expressed in the Green Paper. These are:

A. The question of the legal authority of USG to issue rules governing
administration of the Internet.

There are statutory references to a number of sections of the U.S. Code under the heading "Supplementary Information" in the Green Paper. These references purportedly set forth the statutory authority of the Commerce Department and NTIA to issue a proposed rule and request public comment. There is no argument with the proposition that the Commerce Department and NTIA have general authority to set government policy regarding domestic and foreign commerce in general and telecommunications in particular. Certainly a request for public comment is an appropriate part of carrying out this responsibility.

However, none of the statutes cited even remotely authorize regulation of a global system such as the Internet. It is puzzling that the authors of the Green Paper have apparently given no thought to the question of a purported regulation of "registries" and "registrars", most of which will be in countries other than the United States. In any event, none of the statutes authorize the kind of proposed rules set forth in Appendix I of this proceeding. Interestingly, no attempt has been made to place the rules in the context of 47 CFR. An obvious question is where they might fit in the regulatory scheme of 47 CFR.

There is a serious risk that any rules issued as a result of the Green Paper would be immediately attacked in U.S. courts and overturned. An even worse prospect is that the rules would be attacked in a proceeding that could potentially last for years, leaving important questions of the administration of the Internet in a legal limbo that would be chaotic.

B. The failure to recognize the international character of the Internet.

There is widespread admiration and gratitude for USG funding of significant portions of the fundamental research that led to the creation of the Internet. However, anyone familiar with the history of the Internet is aware that there were significant contributions by persons and institutions outside the United States. The statement in the Green Paper that "Today's Internet is an outgrowth of U.S. government investments ..." is a half-truth at best, but, more importantly, could be seen as a deliberate slight to the many non-U.S. contributors to the development of the Internet.

C. The failure to deal with the importance of preserving the independent character of IANA.

IANA has its own plan for reorganization that takes into account the international responsibilities and character of a governing body for the Internet. The Green Paper states: "Moreover, the corporation would be headquartered in the U.S. and incorporated under U.S. law. Accordingly, the corporation would be subject to antitrust scrutiny if dominated by economically interested entities, or if its standards are established by a few leading competitors." It is not necessary to demand that IANA be incorporated in any particular country or subject to the antitrust laws of a particular country. The Internet has now survived for over 25 years without governmental control, and there is no reason to assert that kind of control now, even for the express purpose of giving up control.

D. The suggestion that new registries compete on a "market-oriented" basis.

The concept of the registry as a service to the Internet, operated for the benefit of the public, is an important provision in the principles of the gTLD-MoU. Many other parties commenting in this proceeding have explicitly spelled out the disastrous consequences of allowing registries to operate on a for-profit and "market-oriented" basis. There is a clear mandate that a new registry operate on a cost recovery basis and not-for-profit, with appropriate safeguards to control its operation. IANA should have authority to exercise this control, directly or indirectly, as IANA may determine.

E. The suggestion that any new registries be limited to operation of one new gTLD.

It is an arbitrary and unwarranted conclusion that each new registry be limited to the operation of one new gTLD. This may be a corollary of the concept that registries operate as profit making enterprises, but if that concept is erroneous, as we believe, the further concept of limiting the operation of new registries is correspondingly erroneous. There is no governing principle, whether economic, political or technical, that dictates the number of registries or the number of gTLDs to be operated by a given registry. It may be possible that multiple registries offer certain advantages based on factors of encouraging diversity in technical features. It may be possible that some registries should be limited to the operation of a single gTLD because of specialized access rules for that gTLD. (An example would be the creation of a gTLD ".post" which would be used only by governmental postal authorities.) However, it may also be possible that economies of scale will dictate the consolidation of registry functions into a very small number of separate entities.

F. The failure to deal realistically with a selection process for "the first five entities" proposed by the Green Paper to establish domain name registries.

The Green Paper proposes that IANA establish "equitable, objective criteria and processes for selecting among a large number of individuals and entities that want to provide registry services" and then goes on to propose a transitional process in which the "first five entities" meeting the requirements would be selected. However, the "technical, managerial and site requirements described in Appendix 1" of the Green Paper could easily be met by hundreds of applicants within a period of thirty to sixty days following the opening of the process, especially if there is the possibility of economic advantage by being one of the first five selected under the scheme proposed by the Green Paper. It is, of course, entirely possible that the first five might all be outside the United States and therefore outside the jurisdiction asserted by USG in the Green Paper.

G. The "Minimum Dispute Resolution and Other Procedures Related to Trademarks" will not meet the needs of trademark and brand name owners.

There is already a chaotic situation of conflicting national laws in the trademark field. The situation is exacerbated by the present dispute policy of NSI which mechanically awards precedence to owners of registered trademarks. The looming possibility of widespread commercial registrations in two-letter national domains, many of which have no dispute policy at all, adds to the difficulties facing trademark and brand name owners. What the Internet does not need is yet more dispute policies that may, or may not, meet "minimum requirements." This would simply add to the chaos.

H. The proposal for NSI to keep registry responsibilities for the three most-used gTLDs does not comport with the goal of increased competition in the domain name system.

If the Green Paper's goal were to continue NSI's economic domination of the DNS, the proposal to continue NSI's control of registry responsibilities for the three well established generic TLDs certainly comports with such a goal. However, the objectivity of the Green Paper would be put in question if such were the case. In any event, the Green Paper has failed to provide a pro-competitive argument for its proposal that there be five new registries, each operating one gTLD database, while NSI retains control of .com, .net and .org. It is not sound policy to give NSI most of the economic benefits of its existing monopoly for the foreseeable future. Vague requirements of a negotiated separation of NSI's registry and registrar functions do not offer reassurance that NSI will be competing with the new registries and registrars on a level playing field.

IV. Conclusion

POC urges the USG to terminate this proceeding and allow IANA to continue its process of reforming the structure of the DNS under the general principles outlined in Section II of these comments. If a plan of action involving minimal USG participation can be developed, POC would support the proposed extension of the Cooperative Agreement with NSI for six months. Whatever the termination date of the Cooperative Agreement with NSI, USG should exercise its rights under Section 10 (e) of the Cooperative Agreement so as to provide to the public the benefits of "a copy and documentation of any and all software and data generated ... in such form and sufficient detail as to permit replication of the work by a reasonably knowledgeable party or organization."

###

From: Khoo Boon Hing <boonhing@ncb.gov.sg>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 3:10am
Subject: Comments on Green Paper

I am pleased to submit my personal comments on the
Department Of Commerce, National Telecommunications and
Information Administration, 15 CFR Chapter XXIII,
[Docket No. 980212036-8036-01]:
"Improvement of Technical Management
of Internet Names and Addresses."

I Khoo Boon Hing, am pleased to submit my personal comments on the
Department Of Commerce, National Telecommunications and
Information Administration, 15 CFR Chapter XXIII,
[Docket No. 980212036-8036-01]:
"Improvement of Technical Management
of Internet Names and Addresses."

Comments of Khoo Boon Hing
in regards to the
Department Of Commerce
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
15 CFR Chapter XXIII
[Docket No. 980212036-8036-01]
Improvement of Technical Management
of Internet Names and Addresses
("Green Paper")

1. Creation of a private, not-for-profit corporation to manage the coordinated functions in a stable and
open institutional framework

I fully support the creation of this corporation. This corporation must be able to represent various
stake holders and communities of the Internet. This corporation must not be under influence of any
government and must be able to operate independently. Further, this corporation should have the
freedom to choose the location of it's headquarter, not necessary in the United State.

2. Creation of New gTLDs

I do not agree with the decision to create five new gTLDs at this point of time. I think this should
be left to the new private, not-for-profit corporation to decide. The new private, not-for-profit
corporation, after taking over current IANA's functions, should conduct an in-depth study on DNS and
decides on the future development. The solution might not even be to create new gTLDs.

3. Domain Name dispute resolution and association of Trademark to Domain Name

For current gTLDs (.net , .org and .com), a central body for domain name dispute resolution should be
created. This will provide an alternative to litigation for resolving disputes between trademark
owners and domain name registrants. Espacially in cases where the dispute involves parties from
different countries.

As for domain name disputes of domain names under country-code Top-Level Domain, these should be left
to be handled by dispute resolution policies or procedures established by the country-code Top-Level
Domain registry.

In my openion, to resolve the dispute between trademark and domain name, the long term solution lies
in creating a framework for Domain Name System structure, much like what current trademark system is
using; which does not cross over national boundary. In this regard, creating new gTLDs is not able to
provide the solution.

My suggestion is that new second-level domain names can be created under the .us domain for
commercial use. The current gTLDs (.net , .org and .com) should be freezed and closed for new
registration. All new registrations of domain name for users based in United States should go under
the .us domain. Similarly, registration of new domain names in all countries should fall under their
respective country-code Top-Level domains.

For all currently registered domain names under the gTLDs (.net , .org and .com) which the registrant
is based in US, the same domain name should be created under .us domain. Similarly, registrants
holding a gTLDs' domain name based in other countries can ask the country's country-code TLD registry
to create a similar domain name under country-code Top-Level Domain. A period of five years can be
given for all gTLDs' registrants to move out of the gTLDs and make use of their domain name under the
country-code domain.

The new non-profit corporation should initiate a study on applying the trademark framework on domain
name system structure. The result of this can be a RFC standard and will be followed by all
countries' country-code Top-Level Domains.

4. Competative registries and registrars

It is appropriate to clearly differenciate the functions of registries and registrars. Competition
should be introduced as soon as possible. If gTLDs are going to be dropped, then competition will
occurs between registries of second-level domains under country-code Top Level Domains. Country-code
Top-Level domains registries should not be opened for competition, but the registries themselves must
be non-profit corporations.

These are my personal comments. Thank you for your attention.

By Khoo Boon Hing
Senior IT Analyst
National Computer Board
Singapore.

E-mail : boonhing@ncb.gov.sg

###

From: "«" <krjun@sunnet.kisdi.re.kr>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 4:38am
Subject: Comments on the US Green Paper on Internet Governance

Comments on the US Green Paper on Internet
Governance

by Dr. Chan-Mo Chung, Seck-Jun Jang
Korea Information Society
Development Institute(KISDI, Rep.of KOREA)

1. We need to achieve a global consensus about how we will manage the
Internet domain name system(DNS). The recent Green Paper issued by the
US Department of Commerce provides a good starting point for the
discussions.
- A new non-profit international body can be created to be responsible
for the management of Internet names and addresses based on a global
consensus.
- This will allow to allocate part of the revenues from licensing
regional registration centers or allotting domain names to expand the
infrastructure of the Internet and enable basic services such as
directory service at the international level.
2. The top level domain(TLD) system, which is currently managed in a
monopolistic way, should be open to competition.
- The current gTLD system consists of two groups of domain names. The
first group includes the existing three (.com, .net and .org) and the
second one comprises seven domain names (.firm, .shop, .web, .arts,
.rec, .info and .nom) recently suggested by the IAHC. The two groups
should converge into one to make the system run more effective and
consistent.
- We suggest that a non-profit international body be commissioned to
manage the system, and that where it should be located, how it will be
operated, and which law it will abide by should be decided by an
international convention to ensure its neutrality.
- nTLD is another issue that requires our urgent attention.
* The fact that each country has different principles and procedures
under which its domain system is operated can interfere with the
international efforts to promote electronic commerce. Therefore, we need
to cooperate for the harmonization of the different systems.

###

From: "Patrick O' Brien" <P.O.BRIEN@DOMAINZ.NET.NZ>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 4:52am
Subject: DOMAINZ -- submission in reponse to US Green paper

To whom it may concern,

We appreciate the opportunity to provide submissions to what is an
interesting and crucial area of the Internet.

Our submission will be published in final form on the Domainz web site
tomorrow Tuesday 24th March 12:00 New Zealand time, at the following URL,

http://www.domainz.net.nz/newsstand/usgovt.html

The document is already on-line, but there are around a dozen
"typographical/grammatical" changes currently being put through by the web
designer.

These will all be cleaned up by lunchtime. I trust that this will be
acceptable to yourselves, and that submission via a web page is equally
acceptable too?

I will assume that this is the case, unless specifically confirmed by
yourselves to the contrary.

My regards,

PATRICK J O'BRIEN

Fax: (04) 473-4569

Voice: (04) 473-4567

Mail: P.O.BRIEN@DOMAINZ.NET.NZ

Web: http://www.DOMAINZ.NET.NZ

[View submitted document]

###

From: Kate Lance <clance@connect.com.au>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 5:00am
Subject: Comments from the Internet Society of Australia

The Internet Society of Australia
---------------------------------
Comments on the Discussion Draft on
Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses
=====================================================

o We believe that the registries for TLDs should be operated
as non-profit, public-trust organisations;

o the exact number and area of responsibilities for the registries
are a matter for Internet self-governance;

o registrars are the organisations for which free-market competition
is appropriate;

o the "new IANA", as proposed by Jon Postel, is the most suitable
organisation to be responsible for protocol numbers, IP addresses,
domain names and the root server system;

o industry self-regulation, with minimal government intervention, is
an appropriate Internet governance model; and

o a good example of that model is the international cooperative effort
that resulted in the POC/PAB/CORE/WIPO agreements, which have already
set up the structures needed to transition the existing system.

ISOC-AU, the Internet Society of Australia, supports the wider discussion
and conclusions of the ISOC response to this matter, at:
http://www.isoc.org/internet/news/greenpaper.shtml

Kate Lance
Vice-President, ISOC-AU

CC: NTIADC40.SMTP40("iadirs@isoc-au.org.au")

###

From: Samuel Hahn <SamHahn@StoneSpring.org>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 5:19am
Subject: Comments - Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses

Dear NTIA, DOC --

The top-level domains as proposed will confuse rather than simplify the
process of registering names and making organizations "discoverable" on
the net. For a system to work well, there needs to be a *few*
well-chosen names corresponding to mutually exclusive equivalence
classes, where there will be no doubt the choice of which top-level is
appropriate.

The existing system is not so bad. Keep NET for the internet
infrastructure, ISPs, etc. ORG can remain for the non-profit
organizations. COM, ORG, NET, MIL almost do it, but then are confused by
the appearance of the 2-letter country designations. However, given that
this system is understood, it can be arguably supported.

The dozen or so media-covered proposed new TLD's are badly chosen. They
will invite organizations to attempt to register their names in the
multiple various TLD's, so do little to improve the clarify of the
system, or the "discoverability" of the domains by the individuals who
seek them. It will also invite abuse of the TLD's

A cooperating sub-backbone of automated DNS registration servers should
be set up to automatically manage and assign IP numbers, domains, and
check trademark and other registrations. Payment can and should be
levied, to prevent abuse of the system. Revenues should be appropriate
to manage such a system, and no more; excess should be independently
audited and returned (via reduced continuation fees) to the registered
domain holders.

Trademarks applied for and granted by the PTO should authorize the
applicant to complete the appropriate domain registration in up to 3
"natural" versions of the approved trademark (abbreviations, acronyms,
literal). Within some period after such PTO approval, if the domain has
not been claimed by such applicant, others may request those domains,
with no further recourse by the PTO trademark applicant.

A workable system must legitimize the role of the IETF and IANA, in case
of proprietary moves among one or more of the DNS registrars to
"improve" the system. This must happen only in an openly discussed,
reviewed, and approved way, and must not be allowed to happen in any
proprietary manner. Any such attempt should bar such a registrar from
its authority to perform such registration activities.

Any new system must be based on a model extending the current address
space, whether it be IPng or any other *open* *approved* *discussed*
*non-proprietary* system.

Though you will be busy with responses, I would much appreciate
acknowledgement that this review and comment was received. I would
appreciate even more if it were considered.

Regards -- Samuel Hahn (SamHahn@StoneSpring.org,
http://www.aimnet.com/~samhahn/)

###

From: Luke Carruthers <luke@magna.com.au>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 7:11am
Subject: Response to Green Paper on DNS

This email is a submission in response to the Green Paper on DNS issued by
the US Department of Commerce, coordinated by the Australian Internet
Industry Association and Australian Domain Name Administration on behalf of
the Australian Internet industry.

An ASCII copy of the submission is enclosed, and a Word 97 version is
attached.

This submission is a preliminary comment. Further comment will be made
through the Australian government in due course.

Sincerely,

Luke Carruthers

Secretary, Internet Industry Association
Acting Chair, Australian Domain Name Administration

--------------

March 21, 1998

Ms Karen Rose
Office of International Affairs
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Room 4701
U.S. Department of Commerce
14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
United States of America

Dear Ms Rose,

Re: Improvement of Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses

This letter is a response to the Green Paper concerning DNS issued by the
US Department of Commerce. It outlines in brief some issues that the
Australian Internet industry has with the content of the Green Paper, and
some suggestions by which the proposal contained therein could be improved.
We hope that with these suggestions and those put forward by other
interested parties, an effective and appropriate system for the management
of Domain Names can be implemented.

This response is submitted by the Australian Internet industry, coordinated
by the Internet Industry Association (IIA), Australia's peak representative
body for organisations commercially involved in the Internet, and
Australian Domain Name Administration (ADNA), the representative body
charged with the restructuring of the DNS within Australia. Further
information regarding IIA can be found at http://www.iia.net.au. Further
information regarding ADNA can be found at http://www.adna.asn.au.

This submission is intended to be brief, with further comment to be
submitted through the Australian government in due course.

There are four primary issues this submission intends to address:
governance, competition, self-regulation versus regulation, and jurisdiction.

1. Governance
It is the Australian Internet industry's view that the body most
appropriately responsible for the DNS is a newly reformed IANA (Internet
Assigned Numbers Authority), with a governing board formed both from US and
international interests. Australia, by virtue of its place as the fifth
largest user of the Internet, should be represented upon this board, though
it is more important that the appropriate processes be put in place than
the interests of any one country be pursued. Incorporating the new IANA as
a US company leads to a number of issues regarding jurisdiction, as
referenced below.

2. Competition
The function of the registry, the database of Domain Names and associated
information, must be a matter of public trust, as this is the only way to
ensure that the interests of the end user are adequately served.
Accordingly it is not an appropriate place for competition. It is however
appropriate that the registrar function, the registration of Domain Names,
is an area of competition, as this will serve to provide the greatest
benefit to the end user in both pricing and quality of services.

3. Self-regulation versus Regulation
The Australian industry is particularly experienced in self-regulation,
having pursued this approach for a number of years in many fields including
telecommunications. It is our view that self-regulation is preferable to
government regulation. This enables all stakeholders to be represented in
discussions, without being restricted by the problem of which country's
government is appropriate in which circumstance. Self-regulation needs to
be backed up by a light regulatory framework however, and where
international bodies with responsibility for particular areas (such as the
World Intellectual Property Organisation) exist, these bodies may be able
to provide this regulatory support.

4. Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction over registrar operations must be divided between DNS'
governing body and the country within which the registrar is operating.
Jurisdiction over the DNS' governing body (assuming, as suggested above, a
reformed IANA governed by an international board) is a more problematic
area however, with no clear solution.
It may not be practical to have participation by each and every country (or
party) that may wish to do so. Equally it would be grossly improper for the
United States to take an overbearing role in such a clearly international
area. Our suggested approach would be for a model similar to that of the
United Nations Security Council, with appropriate representation by the key
players together with implied obligations to those parties not directly
represented.

As a final point, it is the strong recommendation of the Australian
industry that wider international consultation must be carried out before
the implementation of any process that has such a great effect upon
international industry. The DNS is one of the foundations of electronic
commerce, and will have an impact upon billions of dollars worth of future
revenues for many countries. It is too important an issue to be decided
upon without the full involvement of industries in all countries that make
up the electronic marketplace.

Yours sincerely,

Luke Carruthers

Acting Chair, Australian Domain Name Administration

Secretary, Internet Industry Association

CC: NTIADC40.SMTP40("board@iia.net.au","board@adna.asn...

###

From: Ramesh Kumar Nadarajah <ramesh@mimos.my>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 6:25am
Subject: Comments on the Green Paper

Dear Sirs,

Attached is a Microsoft Word'97 file encoded in MIME format containing
our comments to the Green Paper.

For your information MIMOS Berhad is an information technology R&D
company and is also one of the two Internet access service providers in
Malaysia.

Please let us know if you require any clarification of the comments.

--
Ramesh Kumar Nadarajah
IT Policy Development
MIMOS Berhad

INTERNET GOVERNANCE

A Response to the US Green Paper (Discussion Draft 1/30/98)

 

Introduction

The general approach of the Green Paper is commendable. The need for a bottom-up approach to coordination, ensuring stability of the Internet as the US government ends its role and the need for international representation in the proposed policy making new corporation is commendable.

However, we do have concerns that we wish to raise.

Areas of Concern

Our areas of concern are as follows:

The New Corporation

  1. The stated basis for having the New Corporation headquartered in the US is not tenable. The Internet has grown to unexpected dimensions and is now a global phenomenon with decentralisation and borderlessness as chief characteristics.
  2. There is no clear indication whether US laws offer the New Corporation the best possible protection.
  3. Although, the Asian region may currently have less Internet users as compared to Europe and North America, Asia has seen unprecedented growth in the number of Internet service providers and users. With the advent of electronic commerce, large markets wait to be tapped in these regions. Recognition of these facts require that Asia be given equitable representation in the New Corporation.
  4. The proposed structure of the board of the New Corporation is not reflective of the Net community. In order to maintain fair representation and encourage a more uniformed movement on this issue the CEO and the Board must be as diverse as possible. It could start off with the ARIN/RIPE/APNIC type of representation.
  5. Registrar and Registry

  6. The gap between the information haves and the have-nots is widening as the Internet grows. There is a need to reduce this gap or at the least prevent further marginalization and disenfranchisement. A market driven registry system may cause the cost to trickle down to users and eventually be too prohibitive for users in a number of Third World nations. Further study into this area is required.
  7. The Creation of New TLDs

  8. The creation of new TLDs has to be supervised by the New Corporation. If left to a market-driven Registry to create the TLDs, it may lead to disintegration of the system as a result of too many TLDs.
  9. Competition amongst Registries will exist for .com and .net like TLDs. Competition may be less for .edu, .org and .gov TLDs, and if there is insufficient demand it may have lower quality of service or be dropped by the Registries all together. Perhaps these .edu, .org and .gov TLDs should be handled by non-profit Registries.
  10. If Registries are to be competitive and market driven there must be imposed on them a requirement that domain names be portable to prevent lock-in. To this end, it may not be pragmatic to limit each Registry to only one TLD (so that I, a .com owner can always go to another Registry that also provides .com services).
  11. Price ceilings for BOTH Registries and Registrars may prevent lock-in and reduce switching costs.
  12. The current range of gTLDs is restrictive, but it should not be expanded without restriction. New gTLDs will also affect the rights of trademark proprietors as they may have to police more and more gTLDs in an effort to keep track of potential infringement.
  13. Trademarks

  14. The proposals with regards trademarks (save for the readily searchable database) may be premature as both INTA and WIPO are currently working on their own solutions.
  15. The proposal that gTLD registrants (or applicants) certify that they know of no other with superior rights to the name applied for only protects the registrars and registries only. It does not solve the trademark proprietor’s problem.
  16. There is no mention of the dispute resolution initiatives undertaken within the WIPO framework. Are these initiatives now abandoned?
  17. For many small businesses that depend on their domain names for their livelihood, a 30 day suspension is catastrophic. Why should Registries take on the arbitrative/legal role? The dispute resolution role played by the Registrar/Registry should be minimal if at all.
  18. Jurisdiction for resolution of a trademark dispute should be dependant on the domicile of the trademark proprietor or the registered owner of the domain name (based on the searchable database).
  19. The "clearing" trademarks mechanism should only be applicable if the proprietor is able to prove global trade in relation to the trademark.
  20. There must be a mechanism to prevent domain name stockpiling.
  21. The Transition

  22. All intellectual property, documentation of data, software and licenses generated under the cooperative agreement shall be given/assigned to the New Corporation.
  23. Aside from protecting IANA, there have to be practical safeguards to ensure that the Registries and Registrars are able to carry out their functions. They should be adequately insured, furnish bank guarantees and back to back indemnification with the relevant country's government. Regular audits (on pre-determined standards) may also be implemented. This should be part of the requirements.
  24. A government agency must step in to "carry" the domain names for customers in the event the Registry goes out of business. The additional safeguards such as insurance, bank guarantees, back to back indemnification and regular audits, as mentioned earlier, should also be in place.

 

Conclusion

As stated at the beginning of this document, the general approach of the Green paper is commendable. However, as many issues still stand to be resolved, it is suggested that further international consultation is necessary before such wide ranging changes as are suggested in the Green Paper are implemented.

Although the deadline of 30th September 1998 looms close, it would be best if any changes to be implemented were well thought out and discussed at an international level before any hasty steps are taken – lets get it right the first time.

###

From: Adrian Stewart <adrian@edge.com.sg>
To: "'dns@ntia.doc.gov'" <dns@ntia.doc.gov>
Date: 3/23/98 6:30am
Subject: Comments on Green Paper

To Whom It May Concern,

Your proposal for re-structuring the domain system has several problems which incidentally have been addressed in the gTLD-MOU. Here are our comments :

1.COMPETING REGISTRIES DO NOT INCREASE CONSUMER CHOICE.
Consumer choice among TLDs has nothing to do with the number of
registries/data base operators. Merely increasing the number of TLDs
(i.e. CORE's 7 new gTLDs) expands consumer choice. Even in NSI's current
monopoly consumers do NOT face a single option. Consumers can choose
between .COM, .NET, and .ORG.

2. Neither consumers nor registrars provide any incentive to
"heighten efficiency" in a competing registry system. Domain names are
individually unique by definition. That is why they are desirable.
There is nowhere else for a consumer to get these unique domain names in
a competing registry system. If a consumer wants a ".web" domain name it
does NOT matter that a registrar can offer another similar name from the
competing ".arts" registry. Some minimal "efficiency incentives" may
exist between the operators of substantially similar TLDs, but overall
no such incentive exists in a competing registry system.

3. Neither consumers nor registrars provide any incentive to
"lower prices" in a competing registry system. The fact is that competing TLD registries/data base operators increase the overall cost of providing registry service to the public. The basic operating overhead cost will be duplicated in each and every competing registry. Some may be more efficient than others but the overall cost to of registry service will increase. Therefore, the consumer cost will be higher in a competing registry system. "lower prices." The competing CORE registrars, each striving to attract new customers, will demand the lowest possible price from the shared registry system. Because they are also the members of this non-profit registry, CORE registrars will have both the incentive and the power to "lower the prices" charged by the registry. Oversight of CORE registry through the POC (Policy Oversight Committee) and PAB (Public Advisory Body) provide additional incentive for the CORE non-profit registry to "lower prices."

4. There is no time frame for new domain names -- could be a year or more,
despite the fact that CORE, and even some of the alternative registries,
are ready to go. When will consumers be able to register domains?

5. There is no-one to appeal to in case of shoddy business practices by
registries or registrars -- this will multiply and exacerbate the problems
that Network Solutions has created.

6. This plan is a nightmare for trademark holders, who must deal with
multiple registries, each with their own sets of guidelines and dispute
resolution policies.

7. The plan is not in the least international, despite the Administration's repeated insistence that Internet solutions must be multilateral and international.There is no way for other governments to participate.

In conclusion, the gTLD-MOU has made provisions for many of the points listed above and CORE is ready now to demonstrate the ease of adding up to seven new
TLDs to the Root today, way ahead of the year 2000 timetable stated in the Green Paper.

Adrian Stewart
The Edge Consultants Private Limited
Singapore

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From: "Robert F. Connelly" <rconnell@psi-japan.com>
To: NTIA Green Paper Comments <dns@ntia.doc.gov>
Date: 3/23/98 7:08am
Subject: Conflicting interest of Internet and US CIA.

To Whom it May Concern:

Please note the attached text clipped from "Raiders of the Last Arc" from New Haven Advocate.

http://www.newhavenadvocate.com/articles/raiders.html

I think it most troubling that the registration of .com, .org and .net -- *together with * .edu -- have been in the hands of NSI -- and that NSI is basically run by SAIC, widely known to be a contrractor of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Link this objectionable relationship with the statement of NSI's spokesperson at the Los Angeles Internet meeting of two weeks ago that NSI drafted (much of?) the Green Paper.

What do we have? Control of the Internet by the CIA and FBI.

Oh, yes, the Green Paper (NSI) plan also proposes that IANA be kept in the United States where it, too, remains accessible to the CIA and FBI.

Then we have the recent revelation that the Bay of Pigs disaster was (miss)-engineered by the CIA. This outfit has run amok. There are likely to be many other revelations in the future of improper activities by the CIA.

Let's get the Internet out from under the control of "Big Brother". :-)

Here's a quote from the New Haven Advocate:

Spooks Unearth The Ark

As Network Solutions was moving the Ark to Virginia, a giant California
military contractor was going on a buying spree.

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) is headquartered
in an affluent seaside town just north of San Diego. From the outside, the
company's well-manicured corporate campus looks like any other. But
inside, armed guards are posted in front of doors that bristle with
high-tech locks, and lead-lined rooms hinder would-be electronic
eavesdroppers.

SAIC is a tightly held company that earns roughly $2 billion a year,
nearly all of it from federal contracts. The company designed computers
for Seawolf submarines and cockpit systems for F-15 fighter jets. It
spent $50 million researching President Reagan's failed "Star Wars"
anti-missile defense scheme, and is spending more than $500 million
building an underground nuclear garbage dump at Yucca Mountain, Nev.

Even more impressive than the scale of SAIC's work is the pedigree of
its directors. Every president since Nixon has had at least one SAIC
insider in his cabinet. The unparalleled lineup includes former defense
secretaries William Perry and Melvin Laird, as well as ex-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
contractor 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 Solutions was adding that many new registrations a month.

SAIC bought the company in March 1995 and promptly showed
Network Solutions how to do business with the government. Rather than
merely asking the National Science Foundation for an extra million
dollars every few months -- as Network Solutions had been doing --
SAIC renegotiated the whole deal.

The company won permission to charge $100 for each new domain
name. The proposal's raison d'être, however, was SAIC's agreement to
kick back a vigorish of $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
1996 and another 960,000 last year.

SAIC also perfected Network Solutions' in-house systems to the point
that the company could sign up 90 percent of its new $100 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, the company sold 21.5 percent of "NSOL" on
the Nasdaq stock exchange, raising nearly $60 million.

Buried deep within Network Solutions' filing with the federal 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.

I consider myself to be a loyal U.S. citizen. However, I believe that these kinds of excesses by the largely uncontrolled CIA must be stopped. Let's stop right here with the NSI/SAIC/CIA engineered Green Paper.

Respectfully submitted,
Robert F. Connelly

###

From: Michele Volpe <volpe@net.telecomitalia.it>
To: NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date: 3/23/98 7:54am
Subject: NTIA proposal for Management of Internet Domain Names

Please find attached Telecom Italia's comments (Word for Windows 95 -
ver. 7.0)
to the NTIA proposal for Management of Internet Domain Names and
Addresses.

Best regards,
Michele Volpe
Telecom Italia S.p.A.

Telecom Italia's Comments to the Department of Commerce document

"Improvement of Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses; Proposed Rule"

as published in the Federal Register: February 20, 1998
(also known as "The Green Paper")

Telecom Italia believes that the topics covered in the "Green Paper" are of the utmost importance to allow the deployment and administration of a worldwide Internet infrastructure.

While welcoming the general attitude and effort towards laying down an equitable framework for Internet governance, Telecom Italia wishes to point out a number of serious concerns for the guidelines and the detailed solution proposed for the generic Top Level Domains issue, which is probably the most contentious and thorny one. Telecom Italia's views on this subject are neatly distinct and irreconcilable with the ones set forth in the DoC document, both under theoretical and practical viewpoints. The main point of dissent is that this solution will perpetuate a monopolistic situation which is detrimental to the Internet market at large. According to the proposal, customers are in fact compelled to be bound to a single shopping point for second level domains, with all the drawbacks that a monopolistic situation brings in a potentially competitive market.


The basis of the comments

On the theoretical side, Telecom Italia is convinced that Top Level Domain names are not and should not be considered as a kind of trade or service mark which a single organisation may claim ownership about. Common words and/or abbreviations like COM, NET, WEB or XXX cannot be considered as the creation of any company, and for their generality they should be regarded, by all means, as a public resource. Due to this radically different approach, we strongly believe that registries dealing with generic TLDs should be run on a not-for-profit basis. For its very nature, a TLD registry is a monopoly : therefore its administration should try to minimise the problems which this fact brings in a free market environment.

The model, set up by the IAHC/gTLD-MoU process, of a shared, common administration carried out by a not-for-profit entity (the CORE) seems as of today the best solution to this complex problem. The direct control exercised by users (the registrars) over the single gTLD registry (CORE) would prevent it from exercising arbitrary prices. The shared database concept enables competition while maintaining low costs and prices. Market requirements for the introduction of new TLDs would be administered by a central, policy-making body (that is POC in the gTLD-MoU process, the new IANA in the Green Paper case). The fear for the creation of a registrar "cartel", with the potential creation of a new profitable monopoly is unmotivated, considering the large number of registrars (88 as of today, with 22 more having applied). CORE would be anyway subject to the policy directions of a central authority, who would also add new registrars from time to time.

The solution proposed in the "Green Paper" is based on the assumption that TLDs may be owned by single, for profit organisations, giving rise to what has been correctly identified as a "multiple monopoly". This is to be avoided by all means, because it is detrimental to customers wishing to buy and use Second Level Domain names. In the DoC proposed solution, in fact, the absence of real competition to pull down prices and to push up quality of service on the registry side would create serious problems to registrars and, eventually, to end-customers alike. The proposed solution, while claiming to create a number of TLD Registries competing with one another, practically creates constraints which will tie customers to single registries, thus preventing customers' choice.


The solution set out on the DoC document clearly results in an unfair support to NSI's privileged monopolistic position, by leaving, in fact, the three most popular TLDs in the hands of NSI. Prices for .COM, .ORG and .NET registrations have been set more than three years ago, and have no direct relation to the actual costs incurred by NSI in running their database and their processes. It is not clear what could push NSI towards price adjustment, considering that they would have no competition in their three domains. Not to mention the enormous asset of more than 1.5 Millions SLDs already sold and likely to continue pouring in "maintenance" fees.


Names and trademarks issues

On the highly sensitive issue of Internet names against trademarks, Telecom Italia remarks that the comprehensive work performed in the IAHC process with the help of WIPO, that is the most qualified body worldwide in the field of Intellectual Property Rights, has come out with a stable and workable solution, that minimises litigation and future cybersquatting troubles. That solution provides a framework of rules that should be endorsed as a reference model for all dispute resolutions on the Net. The Green Paper completely ignores these precious results, gives really vague provisions on this issue and, while not giving any suggestions in this regard, requires that each registry should implement its own policy and resolution procedures! Leaving free hand to registries on this issue would probably result in an unfair situation, where some registries would adopt lightweight arbitration procedures, trying to attract unscrupulous SLD customers.

Telecom Italia's perspective on gTLD administration

All in all, in the particular field of gTLD administration, Telecom Italia is convinced that the IAHC/gTLD-MoU process, developed completely in line with the traditional Internet way of setting up new standards and procedures, has led to excellent results, which will benefit the Internet market customers, and thus should be adopted. In fact, this process has been a fundamental step in endorsing some basic principles for the future of Internet governance, that are now commonly shared, such as administration of the domain names as a public resource, competition in registration of domain names, fair representation of all worldwide stakeholders, provision of a flexible system for on-line dispute resolution.

Moreover, the IAHC/gTLD-MoU process has demonstrated the capability of self-healing, showing flexibility and the ability to adapt to market requests (for example accepting changes to the MoU after the first signatures had already been made). The results of such a long, difficult and successful process, including the selection of new registrars according to CORE procedures, and the on-going deployment of a platform for the management of a shared repository of domain names, are important assets that cannot be ignored, but should be used as a sound basis to achieve the objectives set out in the Green Paper, including a fair solution to the trademark issue.

For the more general issue of Internet administration and governance, it is Telecom Italia's opinion that Green Paper's general approach is acceptable, as it:

- declares US Government commitment to end its direct involvement in Internet governance, favouring the development of a self-governance framework;

- aims to establish a stable, comprehensive, transparent, and supranational framework for the Internet governance, that is a crucial factor to encourage commercial and consumer confidence in the Internet as an infrastructure, enabling the electronic commerce and the development of the Information Society;

- proposes a governance framework that should maintain a clear separation between a body responsible for policy co-ordination and commercial functions which should operate on a competitive basis.

Nevertheless, the setting up a stable framework is complex, and details should be worked out seeking for an international consensus. The Green Paper proposal goes into unnecessary details, yet some basic questions still remain without an answer. For example, is it necessary to mix TLD/DNS issues and IP address problems? Shouldn't the latter better be left to the existing organisations (RIPE, APNIC and ARIN), for them to agree a viable solution to address allocation problems? Why should the allocation and maintenance scheme for IP protocols numbers be changed, considering that it does not cause any problem ?


Conclusion

As a conclusion, Telecom Italia wishes to express the views that:

- The urgent issue of DNS/TLD has been correctly addressed by the IAHC/gTLD-MoU process, and the results of such a process should be accepted as a basis, possibly refined and eventually implemented.

- The other important issue of IP address distribution could be adequately addressed by the interested parties (RIPE, APNIC and ARIN), who fully represent the world of ISPs, directly affected by the IP address problem.

- The idea of a single, not-for-profit body having control over Internet policy issues, and possibly giving guidance even on the two topics above, could be investigated and be subject to international scrutiny and agreement.

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