Date: 3/23/98 8:00am
Subject: A Comment on NTIA's paper
March 23, 1998
Office of International Affairs
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
US Department of Commerce
14th and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20230
Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8798
A Comment on NTIA's paper entitled "A Proposal to Improve
Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses"
You have publicized a green paper on January 30 entitled "A Proposal to
Improve Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses", and
comments have been requested from the parties interested. We appreciate that
you adopted this open procedure, and will express our compliment to your great
efforts you made in this process.
Below is our view of Telecommunications Bureau, Ministry of Posts and
Telecommunications of Japan on your green paper and Internet domain names
management. Overall policies related to the Internet, including domain name
issues, is an important responsibility of our bureau. We recognize that the
management system of the domain names is one of the most important issues that
will affect future development of the Internet. With this recognition, we have
formed a Study Group on Internet Domain Names which is participated by
experts from private sector and academics since this March and this group has
commenced a comprehensive study.
We do not submit a detailed comments on the green paper at the moment, which
is based on the results of a profound study conducted by above-mentioned study
group, because of the time constraints before the deadline of submission of
comments. Instead, we present our basic view of the Telecommunications Bureau,
Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Japan at the moment on domain
names management. We will appreciate it if we can contribute to a further
discussion on this issue and hope that you reflect our comments in reviewing the
paper in the near future.
The Status of This Green Paper
The Internet domain name is one of the fundamental factors for every Internet
users in the world to enjoy fair and easy access to the Internet. Thus, this is a
very important issue that is relevant to every Internet user.
Therefore with regard to the management system of the domain names we believe
that it will meet the benefits of users to decide the system after a full discussion
conducted internationally from wide points of view, instead of deciding it hastily
only by a particular group or people.
This green paper is appreciative in that it accepts comments from interested
parties. In addition, it is desirable that from the viewpoint of transparency in the
process of government behavior, that US government discloses its proposed
action that the government will end contracts with IANA and NSI by the end of
The management system of the domain names after the US government
withdrawal is immediately concerned with Internet users in the world. The
revised paper, therefore, should not be recognized as providing a final
determination on this critical affair; instead the revision should be regarded as a
precious contribution to stir up further discussion on this issue, both in the
private sector and the government sector.
Establishment of a Management System to Fully Reflect Views of Parties
The US government proposes to end its contract with IANA, which is at the head
of the current management system of the domain names, and to establish a non-
profit organization which will take the place of IANA. Apart from whether or not
a non-profit organization be established, this management system is of
international nature in principle. Therefore, in the decision-making at this system,
a full consideration should be provided to ensure as much reflection of views of
interested parties as possible including those of registries or registrars.
We believe that by doing so an arbitrary decision-making with regard to the
management of domain names by a particular parties concerned will be avoided
and that it would be possible to realize the democratic decision-making to meet
the users' benefits that any user is ensured a fair and easy access to the Internet.
Clarification of Discussion Process on the Topics on Which Views are
This green paper presents a particular view on each points of argument such as
whether or not to introduce competition in registry, the number of gTLDs, etc.
We suppose that on these points varying opinions were presented which included
those contradictory with one another; and in those cases you were obliged to
make a determination at the rate of 51 vs. 49.
We should discuss at length these issues on which a wide variety of views and
opinions are presented. Therefore, it is not appropriate to draw conclusions too
hastily on these issues; instead it is expected that the process of discussion
conducted from every standpoint is made clarified and further discussion is
stirred up on these issues.
Domain names is a key factor to have influence on Internet governance itself, and
in that sense we recognize that domain names management is a critical issue to
affect the direction of global development of the Internet in the future.
Based on this recognition, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of
Japan has formed a Study Group on the Internet Domain Names since March 6
this year. This study group aims to clarify issues related to domain names,
examine and organize proposals on its management system, its registration
businesses under the competitive conditions and the roles of private sector and
This study group is widely participated by experts from private sector or
academics and is scheduled to compile a report in this June. It is intended that the
report is to be forwarded to overseas, as a material to stir up a further
international disputes on the issue.
We would like you to recognize that Japan is also making such efforts on domain
name issues as the formation of this study group and hope that more desirable
management system of the domain names will be designed after a full discussion
using our report as well as your green paper as materials.
From: David Keegel <email@example.com>
Date: 3/23/98 7:58am
Subject: Domain Names Comments
Cybersource Pty Ltd
First, some comments on "III. The Need For Change".
The absence of competition in domain name registration at the *registrar*
level is an issue which should be addressed (for example by having many
competing for-profit registrars). However it is not at all clear how
well the idea of multiple competing *registries* would work.
The submission by Demon Internet covers the UK experience, with a single
registry owned by registrars, where the registrars are generally for-profit
companies competing with each other, and the registry is treated as common
infrastructure of the registrars and is funded as such. This model has
much to recommend it.
Trademark issues are not something we have had to deal with in detail
in Australia, probably because the policy of our com.au is that only
company names or business names (or abbreviations) may be registered.
This leads to a situation where it is unlikely for a domain name holder
to infringe on the rights of a trademark holder unless there is a
similar risk in the administrative world of company/business names also.
Because of this background, Australians are not well placed to recommend
solutions to trademark infringement problems with unrestricted domains
such as those proposed for new gTLDs.
Australian stake-holders have had a voice (as part of the international
Internet community) in the IAHC process which led to the gTLD-MoU, CORE,
POC and PAB. This process gave non-US stakeholders a larger voice in
Internet co-ordination than is likely from an initiative run by the US
There are few entities which could be considered formally accountable
to the Internet community as a whole. The IANA, ISOC, IETF and POC
are probably on this list.
And now to "VI. The Proposal"
There is no need to reform IANA *before* proceeding with DNS reform.
IANA is not directly involved with service delivery -- it is more of
an independent umpire, overseeing processes that other entities are
While evolving the IANA into a new not-for-profit corporation is an
appropriate step, Jon Postel himself has proposed appropriate ways
that this transition can be managed, which seem worthy of support.
However, this should not distract us from the main game of introducing
competition into the DNS at a registrar level.
Relevant stakeholders should recognise the authority of the IANA to
make decisions on DNS structure. It would seem rather silly for a
stakeholder like the US Government to make decisions which contradict
that of the expert group it has itself hired to make decisions about
The suggestion of creating another membership association for the
Internet is an unusual one. This raises many questions about how
it would interact with the existing membership association (ISOC,
the Internet Society) and whether having two such parallel entities
would create confusion and duplication of effort.
To promote full competition, it is important that the choice of a
domain name is not tied to a particular competitive registry.
Since well used domain names are very difficult to change (for
marketing and management as well as technical reasons), the choice
of a gTLD would not be an appropriate basis to use for competition.
To avoid lock-in and price gouging, domain name registrants (the
customers) must be free to alter their registrars without changing
their domain names.
This model is used in the IAHC/POC/CORE proposal, which have been
developed over more than a year with widespread international
consultation and expert input. It has the support of a large
cross-section of the Internet industry and seemed to acheive a
"rough consensus" of the Internet community.
It seems that this proposal may be currently on hold due to uncertainty
created in the last few months by a stakeholder who has come late
to the table and is proposing its own ideas on how DNS competition
should be introduced, apparently without reference to the considerable
work which has been done on this subject within the Internet community
which resulted in the formation of CORE and the building of infra-
structure to support it.
If for some reason the POC proposal of the international Internet
community is not acceptable to the US Government as it stands, it
should at the very least be used as a starting point, and only
altered where there is clear reason to do so, and agreement from
David Keegel <firstname.lastname@example.org> URL: http://www.cyber.com.au/users/djk/
Cybersource P/L: Unix Systems Administration and TCP/IP network management
From: Javier SOLA <email@example.com>
Date: 3/23/98 2:30am
Subject: Comments on Green Paper.
Comments of the
Asociación de Usuarios de Internet
(Spanish Internet Users' Association)
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
The Spanish Internet Users Association would like to comment on some of the
most important topics touched by the Green Paper on Improvement of
Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses.
The Green Paper adresses quite correctly many of the issues referenced. In
order to save you the effort of reading all the point in which we agree, we
will concentrate our comments on the few points in which we disagree.
1. The paper has ignored the efforts that have been made the Internet
Community for the last two years to determine the best way for the Internet
shared structures to be managed. These efforts were (and are) well known to
the Department of Commerce.
2. Our impression is that the only purpose of the regulation proposed in
the paper is to maintain the status-quo of Network Solutions Inc. as a
monopoly for the longest possible period of time. Only having such a goal
in mind makes it possible to understand that the paper:
a) Tries to create a system based in multiple for-profit monopolies,
ignoring the tremendous danger of placing domain holders in a lock-in
position, in which a registry may charge whatever he desires for the
renewal of a TLD (see appendix A).
b) Creates chaos in the Intellectual Property Community by allowing several
US-centered, multiple-criteria conflict resolution systems for different
TLDs, ignoring the international character of the Internet and the need for
unified laws and criteria.
c) Claims that the US Governement will not interfere with the Internet,
while specifying a system that will create a few new undefendable
monopolies and will maintain Network Solutions Inc. as the predominant
Our opinions were strongly reinforced when, on March 12th, 1998, at a
Conference in the Spring Internet World '98 Trade-show (Los Angeles),
Donald Telage, vice-president of Network Solutions Inc. boasted (twice at
least) that the Department of Commerce Green Paper was basically the same
as their own proposal handed in four months ago (the conference was recorded).
We believe that:
1. The US government should not interfere with IANA's plans to incorporate
and should not concern itself with the management of the Internet,
specially when it is asking other countries to form a world-wide global
market in the Internet. IANA should determine in which way the DNS system
will be managed. No irreversible decisions should be made by the US
government in the interim period.
2. The time in which monopolies were possible in the Internet are finished,
as it will probably be shown by some pending court cases. Only an
international system, in which shared resources are treated as such, and
managed by non-profit registries controlled by all registrars, may have a
chance to work. The CORE model is not just one more organizational model,
it is the result of two years of analysis by the Internet Community. The
contract with Network Solutions should be terminated and it should not be
given any advantage over other registrars. We assume that the US government
is not interested on granting to them any more illegal privileges.
3. A unified international conflict resolution system should include all
gTLDs, simplifying cases and giving equal opportunities to companies from
all countries. We cannot think of a better system than the one developed by
WIPO for the gTLD-MoU after consultation with all major forces in the
We believe that the US Goverment should not attempt to regulate the
managment of the Internet, and should let the Internet Community continue
it self-goverment, creating its own management structures.
Appendix A: On competing registries.
What follows is a formalization of the problem, and a reasoning of why it
cannot work, based on traditional corporate strategy theory.
There is a traditional model for Corporate Strategy that is widely
accepted, it was set by Michael Porter. In short, it says that a company
must compete with the other companies in its industry segment, but the
whole segment, united, must compete with:
- New possible entrants in the market
- Products that may substitutes their own
AND MUST ALSO PRESENT A UNITED FRONT IN ORDER NOT TO GIVE TOO MUCH
ITS CUSTOMERS OR SUPPLIERS.
In the specific case of suppliers, if they have too much power, they can
increase prices and give bad service, and the customer cannot go away.
One of the forces that give suppliers power is the "Switching Cost" that a
company has when it tries to change to another supplier. If the cost of
switching to another supplier is higher than the cost of being "locked-in",
then the company will stay in the "locked" position, and pay whatever is
demanded by the supplier. In the case of companies like Coca-cola, the
switching cost is very low, I can change to another drink whenever I want.
In the case of companies that have a sophisticated method of communication
with the supplier (automated orders, for example), the switching cost is
very high, changing may force the customer to hire new people in their
purchasing department and may be increase their stocks to assure production.
In the case of monopolies, the company does not have a chance, unless it
can change to a substitute product (for example radio vs. telephone)
Domains In the case of gTLDs, we are talking about the WHOLE industry.
The switching cost from a domain name in use to a new one may be higher,
for some companies, than what the company can afford altogether. I was
talking two days ago to the CEO of a key US based Internet company and he
said that it would probably mean bankruptcy for them.
These might be extreme cases, but in general, companies who have developed
a high visibility in the Internet would be forced to pay ANYTHING they were
asked in order to keep their domains. This means that we are in a very
clear "lock-in" position if the company that distributes TLDs can do it
for-profit and set its own rules. COMPETITION BETWEEN TLDS CANNOT
The solution must be one that gives no power to the supplier of TLDs over
its "customers" (all of us). The CORE model has this effect. The registry
runs in a non-profit cost-recovery basis and registrars compete on the
price of their administrative work. No "lock-in" exists, as the price of
the domain (charged by CORE in a cost recovery basis) is the basic minimum,
and the administrative cost (charged by the registrar) must stay
competitive, or the customer will change to another registrar. By forcing
for-profit registries, the US government would be placing all US and
foreign companies in a very weak "lock-in" position as regards their
domain-name supplier, which, I believe, is the opposite of what a
Department of Commerce should do. Its role is to help its industry, not to
place it in a weak position for the profit of a few.
Spanish Internet Users' Association
From: Adam Todd <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3/23/98 10:40am
Subject: Comments on the US Green Paper - Filed for Adam Todd and Affiliates
This document is in Word97 Version 7 Format.
Further details may be obtained by the author.
[View attached file]
From: Matti Vasara <email@example.com>
Date: 3/23/98 10:14am
Subject: registration of domain names, comments to NTIA enquiry
Understanding that the US Government prefers to use the US legal system as
the place of dispute resolution we strongly feel that a more international
forum should be sought. The 'flatness' of .com should be avoided using
systems found in the nTLDs usage. The Internet domain name system even with
the faults there are is the most used naming system in the world and it can
be seen as the base of global naming system of organisations in the Global
Suomen Tiedonsiirtoyhdistys STY ry
The Finnish Data Communication Association
tel +358 9 47630 305
fax +358 9 47630 399
address: Salomonkatu 17 A
Date: 3/23/98 10:22am
Subject: Comment on the Green paper
We, Japan Network Information Center, hereafter abbreviated as JPNIC,
are a non-profit organization consisting of more than 200 internet
service providers in Japan, and has managed the .jp ccTLD and IP address
assignments in Japan under the principle of "Private, Bottom-Up
We are very proud to have been playing a very important role in the
Internet community for almost five years under this principle, and,
from this position we strongly support the four principles in the
discussion draft "A PROPOSAL TO IMPROVE TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT OF
INTERNET NAMES AND ADDRESSES", namely, (1) Stability, (2) Competition
(3) Private, Bottom-Up Coordination (4) Representation.
We would like to respond to certain points of the draft.
1. We believe that "Private, Bottom-up Coordination" in each country
should be fully respected in the management of ccTLDs. We here at
JPNIC, intend to continue managing and being responsible for the
.jp ccTLD, just as we have done for these past five years on the
principle of "Private, Bottom-Up Coordination".
2. All governments, including the US, should respect and support efforts
by the Internet community, including ISOC, to carry out "Private,
3. Although we agree with the creation of "the new corporation for the
coordinated functions" to a certain extent, we feel it is
unsatisfactory as the discussion draft stated how the initial board
should be setup. We believe it should be left to the Internet
community according to the "Private, Bottom-Up Coordination"
Japan Network Information Center
Vice President/Secretary General
Fuundo Bldg. 3F, 1-2 Kanda-Ogawamachi
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0052, Japan
From: Jim Fleming <JimFleming@doorstep.unety.net>
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
Date: 3/23/98 10:20am
Subject: Comments of Jim Fleming and Unir Corporation
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 )
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Comments of: James R. Fleming, Unir Corporation (Delaware), USA
<signature available on FAXed copy>
James R. Fleming
Unir Corporation (Delaware)
One Naperville Plaza
Naperville, IL 60563
Unir Corporation (IBC)
Road Town,. Tortola
British Virgin Islands
Comments of James R. Fleming, Unir Corporation (Delaware), USA
1. James (Jim) R. Fleming and Unir Corporation respectfully submit comments
in this proceeding published at 63 F.R. 8825 (No. 34, Feb. 20, 1998).
James R. Fleming holds an MS and BS in Computer Science from the
University of Missouri, Rolla. While employed by AT&T Bell Laboratories
directly and as a consultant between 1976 and 1992, Jim Fleming has contributed
to a number of technical developments as both and engineer and manager.
These developments include NAPLPS, the North American Presentation
Level Protocol (ANSI X3.110). Jim has been issued several U.S. and foreign
patents on this technology in conjunction with AT&T. This technology was
most widely used in the early Prodigy systems in the mid-80s.
Besides NAPLPS, Jim Fleming and Unir Corporation have been involved
in the Registry Industry since 1982 when Unir Corporation was formed. At
that time, Unir Corporation began selling unique 32 bit integers with framed
certificates to be used by individuals on communication networks. This was
likely the first commercial registry for network addresses in the world.
Between 1984 and 1992, Jim Fleming and Unir Corporation assisted AT&T
Bell Labs in the development of a distributed, object-oriented network platform
based on the C+@ (cat) Programming Language, which has historical ties to Java.
In 1995, Jim Fleming became involved in the public aspects of Internet Governance
when a Manager at the InterNIC informed Jim Fleming that he did not have enough
experience with communication networks to be delegated IPv4 addresses and
made it clear that people that "play ball" with the InterNIC become millionaires.
For the past three years, Jim Fleming has worked, largely full-time, trying to help open
up the Registry Industry so that people do not have to play ball with the InterNIC.
During that time, he has developed the IPv8 Plan which encompasses Address
Management, a Transport Protocol and an overall approach to Internet Governance.
It is based on the simple concept of a "structured root".
Good Morning, my name is Jim Fleming and I am a U.S. Citizen. I was born in
East St. Louis, Illinois in 1951 and I spent most of my childhood in St. Louis, MO.
I currently reside in Naperville, Illinois a suburb of Chicago. I commute on a regular
basis to the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. I have testified in
the past before FCC and U.S. Government hearings, as well as International Standards
making bodies. I am currently retained as an expert litigation consultant for a large
on-line services company based in the United States of America.
Recently, I have commented that I did not feel that it was necessary to provide
comments to your proceeding because I generally support its direction and feel
that many of the stakeholders are on board and support the deals that have been
struck. Because of continued personnel threats from a small group of vocal people
who claim to be associatted with the ISOC/IETF, I feel that it is important to make
sure that my background and views are part of the public record. Since the ISOC
does not take steps to distance itself from these right-wing, hate-group, members,
it is important to use these forums to make sure that the American people are
presented with a balanced picture of who is concerned about the future of the Internet.
Thank you for providing this forum for response. I will try to be concise and restrict my
comments to topics which focus on the future as opposed to the past. I will also try
to focus on specific proposals, as opposed to general comments. These proposals
can be summarized as follows:
1. IP Addresses vs. Domain Names
- Reduce the Focus on Domain Names
- Increase the Attention on IPv4 Addresses
- Merge IANA Corporation and ARIN <http://www.arin.net>
2. The Proposed IANA Corporation
- Accelerate Schedule Using ARIN's Structure
- Phase-out USC-ISI and NSI Personnel
- Fund with 20% of the Intellectual Infrastructure Fund
3. The US. TLD
- Transfer to a COOP of ISOC/CORE/USC-ISI
- Require that <STATE>.US be Delegated to State Registries
- Encourage the Creation of COM.US.
- Fund with 20% of the Intellectual Infrastructure Fund
4. The U.S. Government's Root Name Server Cluster
- Remove the Servers Outside of the U.S.
- Move Remaining Servers to U.S. Government Facilities
- Encourage Private Companies to Create RSCs
5. Future NSF Funding
- Reduce Overall Funding
- Restrict NSF from Funding IPv6 (or IPv8)
- Restrict NSF from Funding USC-ISI for 10 Years
- Require AT&T to Remain Under Contract Until 2003
- Release NSI to Create WorldNIC
- Focus on Publishing .COM Information Widely
- Fund with 10% of the Intellectual Infrastructure Fund
7. Intellectual Infrastructure Fund
- Divide the remaining 50% of fund equally between all 50 States
- Delegate to Senators and Governors as NSF Grants
- Earmark the Funds for US. TLD Registries (see #3 above)
- Require the InterNIC Model of (IS, DS and RS) for Funding
8. IPv8 Plan Compatibility
- The Structured Root supports 2,048 TLDs
- IPv8 (and IPv4) addresses managed via TLD Authorities, Not ARIN
- Open round table approach grows naturally from a Structured Root
1. IP Addresses vs. Domain Names
In my opinion the focus on Domain Names should be reduced and
more attention needs to be paid to IPv4 Address Management. I
recommend that you streamline the process of creating the proposed
IANA Corporation by leveraging off of the ARIN structure that the NSF
and InterNIC have recently helped to create. <http://www.arin.net>
Since it is still vague what Internet resources ARIN manages and since
ARIN is built upon a questionable business model borrowed from the
APNIC which apparently is in financial trouble, it would be prudent not
to allow ARIN to get too far down the road without a clear picture of its
role and solid funding to ensure the stability of the structure.
2. The Proposed IANA Corporation
Many of the same people involved with ARIN will be helping to create
the proposed IANA Corporation. Rather than divide their time and
spread them thin, you can accelerate the schedules by leveraging off
of the ground-work that the NSF and U.S. taxpayers have helped to
lay with the ARIN, IRS-approved, non-profit structure. In order to provide
long-term stability, I recommend that significant personnel changes be
made and that 20% of the Intellectual Infrastructure Fund be used to
fund the ARIN/IANA venture.
3. The US. TLD
The US. Top Level Domain has suffered over the years from a lack of
a good busines model and self-fuding. As a result, ISPs and companies
find that the customer service falls short of today's needs. I recommend
that the .US TLD be transferred to a COOP of ISOC/CORE/USC-ISI. In
doing this I suggest that each state be encouraged to form a state-wide
registry and the <STATE>.US zone be delegated to these state registries.
Along with this the creation of a .COM.US zone should be encouraged
to be operated by the ISOC/CORE/USC-ISI COOP. I suggest funding this
with 20% of the Intellectual Infrastructure Fund.
4. The U.S. Government's Root Name Server Cluster
The U.S. Government's Root Name Server Cluster (RSCs) is used by many ISPs
and networks around the world. Over the years, it has become a political
pawn that has suffered from decision-making that does not help to improve
the efficiency of the Internet. The U.S. Government needs to make it clear
to the private sector that they need to eventually take on more of this role.
In order to do that, I suggest that the U.S. Government reduce its presence
by removing references to servers in the cluster outside of the U.S. and by
moving existing servers to more hardened U.S. Government facilities. I also
suggest that the U.S. Government help to encourage more commercial
RSCs by announcing that their RSC will be for government use only after
the AT&T InterNIC contract expires in 2003.
5. Future NSF Funding
In order to prevent some of these last minute decision-making processes
and the shifting of duties from the NSF to the DOC, I suggest that the overall
funding of the NSF be reduced so that the agency is not encouraged to help
create more of these situations. Furthermore, I suggest that the NSF be
restricted from funding the University of Southern California (USC) for a period
of 10 years. Also, I suggest that all NSF funding for IPv6 be reviewed and
ended and that no NSF funding be allowed for IPv8 or the Registry Industry.
There is little if any research or scientific value in having the NSF fund
commercial telemarketing operations at universities and companies.
Many people do not seem to be aware that AT&T agreed to handle their
part of the InterNIC until the year 2003. I recommend that AT&T be held to
the terms of this contract and focus on the transfer of the .COM information
to the Internet Community. This will allow NSI to be released to pursue
their WorldNIC agenda. <http://www.worldnic.net> In order to ensure that
the InterNIC .COM registry remains functional under AT&T, I recommend that
10% of the Intellectual Infrastructure Fund be allocated to this purpose.
7. Intellectual Infrastructure Fund
I recommend that the remaining 50% of fund be equally between all 50 States.
NSF Grants can be easily structured and delegated to the Senators and
Governors of each state. These funds can be ear-marked for the development
of the <State>.US registries. I suggest that the InterNIC Model of the
three-company cooperative (IS, DS and RS) be encouraged in each state
which will further disburse these funds.
8. IPv8 Plan Compatibility
The above recommendations are compatible with The IPv8 Plan. That plan
calls for a Structured Root with 2,048 TLDs. Each TLD is assigned a G:S
number which divides cyberspace into 8 regions, each with 256 TLDs.
Via the G:S number large blocks of the IPv8 address space and the IPv4
address space are distributed to the TLD authorities for management purposes.
This spreads the resources around and negates the need for high-priced
IP fees, as seen with ARIN. The G:S numbers also provide a starting point
for Internet Governance to grow in a natural way. As an example, voting can
occur at the S level and then delegates can be sent to the G level where a
smaller group can make the final decisions based on input from a broad
community rooted in the TLDs and IP address resources.
------- References ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DS Award - $4,543,336 (Estimated) - Expires September 30, 2003 (Estimated)
"NSI agreed to:
``... [provide the information from these assignments] to the directory and database services
provider to be made available to the entire Internet community.''
AT&T is the "directory and database services provider"
 @@@ http://www.academ.com/nanog/october1997/internic.html
"Gtld servers -- There will be four new servers that hold only .com .net and .org."
 - IPv8 G:S Numbers and TLDs
IBC, Tortola, BVI
From: "Ken Rohde" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3/23/98 10:37am
Subject: International solution to domain names
the slanging match which seems to have resulted from this green paper,
appears to be the kind of result that any action taken will bring. It
appears that you have forgotten the UN, and the World Trade
Organisation. The Interent is an international asset whoever brought it
into existence. It may be an American invention, but that does not mean
that the US government has control over the Internet. It is based on
being the most free system that the world has ever known. It what seems
to have been missing from all the Science Fiction generated befores its
public emergence. The CDA failed because it was aggainst the most highly
regarded statement of the US constitution. Freedom of speech is
important, and it is important for all nations, and all peoples. It
should prevent any government from having overall control over the
Internet, a system which embodies its meaning and importance.
My suggestion is this. The Internet needs to reflect the world in which
it is used. This is a world of nation states, the US among them. Why do
american Internet domains not end in .us, as befits any pround nation.
It would solve trademark disputs over the so called top-level domains.
The only top-level domains that I can think of are countries. This would
certainly be difficult to implement. It seems to me that the best option
always is difficult. But any restructuring, such as introducing new
domains, will only be a short term measure for a long term system. The
Internet is here to stay, and the sooner this suggestion is implemented
One concern is that multi-nationals will have difficulty, but they have
one place geographically where they are based. Many have to have
different names in different countries anyway. It seems that the exuse
of business is that the top-level domains are more visible - this is
non-sense, you have to find them in the first place. The use of a
country denominator, would make is easier for many, it gives meaning to
the Internet. In fact you can put what data you like on a server, but
its location, or the location of its owner or customers should be
reflected in its address. It seems the best solution avaliable, and
solves quite a lot of other problems. Here in the UK, we seem to be
treated as second class to the US's own citizens. If that isn't aggainst
free speech, I don't know what is. It is an international system, so I
urge you to treat it as such.
Student, John Cleveland College, Hinckley, Leics. UK
Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
From: Todd Smith <email@example.com>
Date: 3/23/98 10:50am
Subject: [Fwd: Internet as Communications Medium - Need for Discussion (fwd)]
Congratulations on your movement on this important issue. I believe
the attached article brings up some problematic, serious issues
however. Please consider them. The communication vs. commerce issue,
if accurate, is a major blunder. 60% of Internet users use the Web to
research information on products they intend to buy later in the
"non-virtual" world; on the consumer level, this is the major form of
e-commerce at this time (and is likely to continue to be a major type of
e-commerce). Thus, communication (i.e., transferral of information) is
the major use of the Internet commercially, as well as in every other
J. Todd Smith
University Web Coordinator
Florida State University
From: David McMurtrey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3/22/98 2:57pm
Subject: Internet as Communications Medium - Need for Discussion (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 1998 00:32:18 -0500
From: John Walker <jwalker@NETWORX.ON.CA>
Reply-To: Community and Civic Network discussion list
Subject: Internet as Communications Medium - Need for Discussion
Internet as Communications Medium - Need for Discussion
I welcome comments and discussion on the following draft and on the
issues it is raising.
The Internet as a Communication Medium and how that is not reflected
in the proposal to restructure the DNS
There is currently a proposal by the U.S. govt to change the way that
Internet domain (site) names are given out, and thus to affect in an
important way the future of the Internet.
The proposal is at
March 23 is the end of the time that one can submit comments on it to
the ntia and comments up till then can be submitted electronically.
It is interesting to look at the Framework that Ira Magaziner, the
advisor to the President, has created looking at the future of the
In the document called Framework, he fails to mention or consider
that the Internet is an important new *communication* media. Instead
he substitutes the word *commerce* for *communication* and sets out a
framework for making the Internet into an important new means of
In two sentences at the beginning of his document he says that "the
Internet empowers citizens and democratizes societies" and then he
goes on and spends the next 24 pages describing changes that have to
come about to make the Internet into an electronic marketplace for
Nowheres in the "Framework" does he discuss the fact that Netizens
are those who come on line to contribute to the growth and the
development of the Net. Instead Magaziner sees the Internet as "being
driven ... by the private sector."
If the "Framework" has *no* understanding of the ways that the
Internet and Usenet contribute to and make possible new forms of
*communication* between people, then there is no way that the
proposal he has made for changing the DNS (domain name system) that
assigns address and maintains the lookup tables can help to
facilitate the communication that is so important as the essence of
the Internet. The Proposal "Improvement of Technical Management of
Internet Names and Addresses: Proposed Rule" is listed in the
February 20, 1988 Federal Register. (And one can make comments on it
till March 23. It is also online at the ntia web site.)
Instead of examining how this *communication* has been developed and
why it is so important, Magaziner is rushing to replace the current
system (which was also developed without any analysis of the
importance of the communication aspects of the Internet) with a
"privatized" new form.
In this "privatized" new form, he has proposed creating a "membership
association" that will represent Internet users. So Internet users
are not to represent themselves, but the U.S. government is proposing
creating a rubber stamp organization to promote its attempt to change
the Internet from a media for human-to-human communication into
something that only conceives of users as "customers" of unregulated
advertertisers and other forms of business.
This is hostile to the whole nature and development of the Internet.
Magaziner claims that the "marketplace, not governments should
determine technical standards." What he seems to have no knowledge
of is how the government support for a standards process that
wouldn't be dominated by the most powerful corporations, is some of
how helpful standards have been developed. Instead Magaziner is
trying to recast the standards development process to mirror the
unhealthy situation that develops when the supposed "marketplace" is
allowed to set standards.
Magaziner is proposing creating a supposed "not for profit"
corporation to take over the domain name system functions currently
being administered by IANA (the root system and the appropriate
databases). This new corporation he proposes will have a board of
directors which will be made up of 5 members who are commercial
users. There are proposed two directors from "a membership
association of regional number registries", two members designated by
the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and two members from an
association he is proposing be created representing domain name
registeries and registrars, and 7 members from the membership
organization he is creating. (Of which he says at least one of those
board seats could be designated for an individual or entity engaged
in non-commercial, not-for-profit use of the Internet, and one for
individual end users. The remaining seats could be filled by
commercial users, including trademark holders."
Thus he is basing his proposal on to-be-created associations that
will not be based on the Internet, but created to provide for
commercial control of the domain naming system.
The proposal is an effort to change the nature and character of the
Internet from a means of communication to a means of "commerce." It
is almost like claiming that the advertisers in a newspaper should
have an organization that will assure their control of the newspaper,
and ignoring the fact that the newspaper exists to present the news,
The Internet has been developed and continues to be for most of its
users, a place where one can communicate with others, whether by
email, posting to Usenet newsgroups, putting up a www site, etc. As
such it is the nature of this communication that has to be
understood and protected in any proposals to change key aspects of
how the Internet is adminstered.
Also the Internet makes possible communication with people around
the world. Thus creating a board where commercial businesses are the
main controlling interests is hostile to facilitating this
While Magaziner's proposal is being distributed electronically, it
gives no indication of where it came from, and why it fails to be
based on the most essential aspects of the Internet. Why doesn't the
advisor making up such a proposal ask for discussion on line and
participate in the discussion so as to be able to create a proposal
that will reflect the needs and interests of those who are online
rather than a narrow group of commercial interests.
The Judges in the Federal District Court in Philadelphia hearing the
CDA case (the Communications Decency Act) and the Supreme Court
Judges affirming their decision recognized that the Internet is an
important new means of mass communication. The Judges in the Federal
District Court case wrote: "The Internet is...a unique and wholly new
medium of worldwide communication."
Judge Dalzell, in his opinion, wrote explaining how
"The Intenet is a far more speech-enhancing medium than print, the
village green, or the mails....
We should also protect the autonomy that such a medium confers to
ordinary people as well as media magnates....
There is also a compelling need for public education about the
benefits and dangers of this new medium and Government can fill that
role as well."
However, there is no indication in either of Magaziner's proposals,
the longer "Framework" proposal, or the specific proposal to
restructure the DNS, that he is interested in or has considered the
benefits of the Internet for the public of the U.S. or elsewhere
around the world. Instead he is only putting forward the wishes of
certain commercial entities who want to grab hold of the Internet for
their own narrow purposes. By restructuring the domain naming system
in a way that can put it up for control by a few commercial interests,
Magaziner's proposal is failing to protect the autonomy that the
medium confers to ordinary people, as the court decision in the CDA
case directed U.S. government officials.
The ARPANET and Internet (up till 1995) developed because of an
Acceptible Use Policy encouraging and supporting communication and
limiting and restricting what commercial interests were allowed to
do. As such it developed as an important means of people being able
to utilize the regenerative power of communication to create
something very new and important for our times.
Pioneers with a vision of the future of the Internet called for it to
be made available to all as a powerful education medium, not for it
to be turned into something that would mimic the worst features of a
so called "democratic nation" which reduces the rights and abilities
of its citizens to those of so called "customers" of unregulated and
unaccountable commercial entities.
The Internet and the Netizens who populate the Internet have created
something much more important than the so called commercial online
"marketplace" that the Framework is trying to create. Netizens have
created an online international marketplace of ideas and discussion
which is need to solve the complex problems of our times. The process
of "privatizing" what is a public trust will only result in more
problems and fights among the commercial entities that are vying for
their own self interest, rather than having any regard for the
important communications that the Internet makes possible.
Both the government processes and purposes in proposing the DNS
restructuring do not ground themselves on the important and unique
nature of the Internet. Proposals and practices to serve the future
of the Internet and the Netizens who contribute to that future, can
only be crafted through a much more democratic process than that
which led to the current proposal. There is a need to examine the
processes that have actually given birth to and helped the Net to
grow and flourish, and to build on those processes in creating the
ways to solve the problems of the further development of the Net.
Sadly Magaziner's proposal has ignored that process, and thus we are
left with a proposal that doesn't reflect the democratic and
communicative nature of the Internet and so can only do harm to its
further development and cause ever more problems.
Ronda Hauben email@example.com
Comments and Discussion needed!
Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet
http://www.columbia.edu/~hauben/netbook/ and in print edition ISBN #
Also in this issue:
- Y2K Legal Obligations
First of all, any attorney discussing the law in a format such as
this should give two warnings:
1. Law varies from place to place.
2. Your legal rights and obligations will vary with the facts of your
Therefore, you should always consult with your own lawyer in your own
state before relying upon any legal information you obtain elsewhere.
That said, here are some general principles that will help you in
- Antitrust enforcer tips hand on Microsoft
WASHINGTON - The federal government's top antitrust enforcer outlined
yesterday the lofty goals of his case against Microsoft: He wants to
create a world in which "everyone in America has a chance to be the
- How Much RAM Is Enough--for Now?
And how much more will keep you happy for the rest of your life?
- Facing the Problems Of Prank Messages:
Bogus E-Mail a Growing Issue on the Net
So was that e-mail message saying you're part of a surprise layoff
really from your boss?
- HP's Java Decision Is Politics As Usual
Hewlett-Packard's decision to go its own way with Java is more of a
political move than a technically important one, industry observers
- D.C. Schools Seek Internet Funding: System Plans $45 Million Program
The D.C. Public Schools system, which has nearly finished a project
to wire each of its schools to the Internet, disclosed this week that
it now wants to go much further: It's planning a $45 million,
five-year project to wire each of its 5,500 classrooms with
fiber-optic lines for advanced Internet services, including links for
live video sessions with distant classes.
- New Lists and Journals
* PC.Home discusses anything to do with PC's as used in the home
including, but not limited to: software, the Internet,computer
brands, neat Web Site's, trouble shooting, and general computer Q&A.
* Womantalk is for woman to discuss whatever they have on their minds.
* TSOCIAL - Foro sobre la intervencion social, Preferred language:
spanish. TSOCIAL is a discussion list in Spanish on social issues
and the response of social institutions to such issues (social work,
social policy, social services).
- Week in Review
The 'Net's newsmakers of the week.
- Internet as Communications Medium - Need for Discussion
The Internet as a Communication Medium and how that is not reflected
in the proposal to restructure the DNS
There is currently a proposal by the U.S. govt to change the way that
Internet domain (site) names are given out, and thus to affect in an
important way the future of the Internet.
- Taking Aim at the 'Ken Burns' View of the Civil War
Edward Ayers arrives at his revisionist argument by using the Web and
focusing on 2 counties
Excerpt from CSS Internet News (tm) ,-~~-.____
For subscription details email / | ' \
firstname.lastname@example.org with ( ) 0
SUBINFO CSSINEWS in the \_/-, ,----'
subject line. ==== //
/ \-'~; /---(O)
"On the Internet no one / __/~| / |
knows you're a dog" =( _____| (_________|
From: John Wood <JohnW@Prince.com>
To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3/23/98 6:50am
Subject: Response of Prince to Technical Management of Internet Names
Please find attached the Prince response to the Green Paper, if you have
any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
011 44 181 237 7209
[View attached file]
From: Kim Hubbard <email@example.com>
Date: 3/23/98 11:08am
Subject: ARIN comments on Green Paper
In response to the Request for Public Comment on the "Improvement of
Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses" (Green Paper), the
American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) would like to take this
opportunity to express our appreciation for your efforts with regard to
the complex issue of Internet governance.
The ARIN membership is in full agreement with the bottom-up premise the
green paper is based upon. Current administration of IP numbers is based
upon the same premise. It is the users of the IP space who ultimately
have the most say over the administration of the IP space through the
memberships of the regional number registries.
At this time, the ARIN membership has chosen to focus solely on the issues
relating to Internet Protocol numbers reflected in the Green Paper. We
therefore, submit the following comments;
While we recognize the need for the centralized authority of the new
corporation, we must take exception to the paper's defining view on
the role of the new corporation. Specifically, the following statement:
1. to set policy and direct the allocation of number blocks
to regional number registries for the assignment of
It is our position that to effectively reflect bottom-up governance,
the setting of IP allocation policy should be the role of the regional
number registry members through a coordinated effort. The three current
regional number registries (APNIC, RIPE, ARIN) have been working for the
past year with the IANA to create a Global Address Registry (GAR) for
The GAR will be responsible for the following functions:
- Coordination of the regional number registries and the Internet
community with respect to setting address resource allocation
- Delegation of address resources to regional Internet
- Delegation of in-addr.arpa domains
- Operation of the in-addr.arpa domain
- Creation of new regional Internet registries
- Venue of final appeal of regional registry decisions
GAR will be in a position to interact directly with the new corporation on
The structure of GAR will include an oversight committee composed
of two representatives from each of the regional number registries,
one representative from a non-registry Internet organization, possibly
from the IAB/IETF or the new corporation and a minimal staff capable of
providing administrative support to the oversight committee.
The creation of GAR will guarantee the oversight of Internet Protocol
numbers will be kept in the hands of individuals familiar with the
technical limitations of IP numbers and cognizant of the need for
stewardship of this limited resource. It will also allow for the
structured coordination of all regional number registry efforts.
Regardless of the final decisions, the ARIN membership expect to be
fully involved in the structural development of the new corporation
with respect to IP number management, either directly or indirectly
American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)
submitted on behalf of the ARIN Board of Trustees, Advisory Council and Members
Date: 3/23/98 5:43am
Subject: International Internet-Not U.S. Internet
The U.S. should not exert their heavy-handed control over what is an
I agree with the points outlined in the European Union's official
position regarding the Green Paper.
Another difficulty with the Green Paper is its lack of translation.
Some people I know were very interested in reading and offering
their opinion, but the Green Paper was not available in their native
tongue of Spanish. Is the Green Paper only available in English and
Japanese? This seems to me to be Ango-centric. As the Green Paper
affects the international sphere, it should be presented and
translated as such.
What is an artificial comments period to begin with lacks the scope
of a grand-scale international debate. Until it is posed at this
serious level, it should be rejected.
Get your free vanity email address at
From: "Catherine Y. Sun" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3/23/98 11:46am
Subject: Last Day Comment
It is our PERSONAL view that the approach set forth in the Green Paper for
improving the present domain name system, and for administering that
system in the future, is the most workable proposal currently being
considered. We strongly feel that the most important criteria for
administering Domain Name System are: easy to obtain, easy to
maintain and easy to resolve disputes. Because the beauty of
Internet lies in its convenience, swiftness, economy, and ease of
communication, we suggest the following principles should be adhered
to in establishing a new domain name system:
· Domain name registration process must be simple and maintenance
must be inexpensive and stable;
· Domain name registration, renewal, search, transfer and dispute
resolution must have the option of being conducted on line;
· Domain name administration must be conducted with sufficient competition;
· Country code top-level domain name administration should be handled
independently by each county;
· Generic top-level domain name administration should be required to
· Domain name system should consider registered trademark
owners* or world famous marks owners* interest.
If the Green Paper could adopt some concepts suggested by IAHC, INTA
and others, which follow the principles suggested above, the Green
Paper would become an extremely plausible DNS plan for the future.
Susan T. Brown Esq.
Catherine Y. Sun Esq.
1100 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: (202)861-3000, Fax: (202)822-0944
From: "john hargreaves" <email@example.com>
Date: 3/23/98 10:51am
Subject: GTLDMOU Makes Sense
I would like to express my support for the GTLDMOU proposal. This Draft Paper leaves
out too much that is an integral part of the GTLDMOU. Nobody signed the Draft Paper.
Nobody is interested in adding to Network Solutions' monopoly except the U.S. Government
and Network Solutions. Nobody in the Internet community has contributed to the Draft
Paper except Ira Magaziner and his CIA cronies.
Don't make such an Internet-damaging mistake by enacting the Draft Paper.
John R. Hargreaves
Jumpstart Network Services
*100 Base T *Token Ring
*Fibre Optics *Wireless Data
Create your free personalized e-mail address at http://www.n2mail.com
From: Anthony Brearley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3/23/98 12:10pm
Subject: Glaring Discrepancies of the Draft
I have not had the time to offer my comments previously. I believe
that many others who would have liked to offer comments will be silenced
because of the artificially short comment period. I sincerely hope,
however, that the United States Department of Commerce will be taking
the comments posted in this comments period seriously. There is too
much at stake here to ignore the informed criticism of your Draft
from the Internet community.
From what I can see, there are a few glaring discrepancies in the
Draft. One, that the gTLD-MOU is ignored. Two, that it isn't international
in scope (an issue addressed by the gTLD-MOU, ironically), and three,
that it continues the Network Solutions monopoly with the lame promise
As a person living in the United States, I criticize the Draft on
these three points (as many others have.) This Draft is unacceptable
in its current state.
Back to the drawing board. Or maybe the gTLD-MOU can save the Draft
from the garbage heap.
Fast, Permanent, Free Email: http://www.flashemail.com/
From: Adrian Nichols <Anichols@poboxes.com>
Date: 3/23/98 12:16pm
Subject: Your Proposal
I was going to write a letter in response to A PROPOSAL TO IMPROVE
TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT OF INTERNET NAMES AND ADDRESSES published by the
Department of Commerce and ômade available through the Internet solely as
a means to facilitate the publicÆs access to this document and to provide
an additional means of notiying the public of the soliciatation of public
comment on the proposed rule.ö But then I realized, that if the
government was sincerely interested in the publicÆs opinion on the
subject, it would have consulted CORE, the Council of Registrars and
solicited the input and feedback of this major, international,
non-governmental organization. But it didnÆt. So if the government
doesnÆt care about what CORE has to say, it surely doesnÆt care about the
comments of a lowly citizen like myself. And the fact that I think the
1. Is unspecific in its recommendations for implementation of the plans.
That the proposal is no more specific in its recommendations than when it
was just a ôdiscussion draftö back in January. Nor does it specify whom
would head the ônew (not-for-profit, U.S.) corporationö or whom would sit
on the ôboard of directors from around the world.ö
2. Creates more problems than it solves in the area of trademark
3. Should specify an earlier exit of the Department of CommerceÆs role in
the management of the Internet.
4. Transfers NSIÆs single monopoly to a group of individual monopolies
over the new TLDÆs
So thatÆs why I didnÆt bother to write this letter.
From: "John O'Donnell" <email@example.com>
Date: 3/23/98 12:25pm
Subject: Change the proposal!
On January 30th the US Department of Commerce published a ôdiscussion
draftö of A Proposal to Improve Technical Management of Internet Names
and Addresses. It was a noble move - the Department of Commerce was
soliciting international public opinion on an increasingly important
issue. Months later it published the official proposal after receiving
numerous comments and criticism on the details of the proposal. The
problem is, the proposal changed very little from the original discussion
draft, indicating that the Department was and is intent on passing the
proposal as is, regardless of public opinion. The Department failed to
address the issues of many concerned groups and individuals. Discussion
draft is a misnomer, it is more like a recommendation and the government
plans to go ahead with the Department of CommerceÆs recommendation unless
it receives overwhelming reasons, or arguments
The Proposal likely will not change between now and the end of March,
when the Department stops accepting public comments.
The Department claims it wants to reach concensus, but does not clarify
which opinions will be involved in this concensus - consensus of the
American public, the international public, world organizations, or a few
American stakeholders. The government must be accountable and listen to
the criticisms on the draft and, more importantly, change the proposal to
reflect the rough consensus already in place! (The gTLD-MOU!)
From: Eduardo Ustaran <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 3/23/98 12:28pm
Subject: Paisner & Co Response
I am delighted to enclose the following Response on behalf of Paisner &
Co. I am a member of Paisner & Co IP/IT Group specialising in IT and
Internet law. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to
discuss any of the issues addressed in the Response.
The format of the attached document is Microsoft Word 97.
Paisner & Co
154 Fleet Street
London EC4A 2DQ
Tel: +44 171 353 0299
Direct tel and voicemail: +44 171 427 1237
Fax: +44 171 583 8621
The information in this email is confidential. The contents may not be
disclosed or used by anyone other than the intended recipient. If you
are not the intended recipient, pease notify Eduardo Ustaran immeditely
at the above address.
A full list of partners' names is available for inspection at the above
address, which is the firm's principal place of business. The firm is
regulated by the Law Society under the Financial Services Act 1986.
"A PROPOSAL TO IMPROVE TECHNICAL MANAGEMENT OF
INTERNET NAMES AND ADDRESSES"
Paisner & Co is a medium sized commercial law firm based in the City of London (UK). The firm comprises over 100 lawyers, with a specialist Group dedicated to providing intellectual property (IP) and information technology (IT) advice. Part of the IP/IT Group’s work consists of advising clients to enable them to benefit from the business potential of on-line technologies.
The formidable growth experienced by the Internet in the last few years reveals the business opportunities of this means of communication. However, as the Department of Commerce recognises, the traditional means of organising the technical functions of the Internet need to evolve. This evolutionary process is already underway presenting a number of challenging legal questions. Some of these questions concern the effective management of Internet names and addresses and as a result, this has become a key issue in the achievement of the Internet’s potential.
This Response focuses on what the Department of Commerce calls The Trademark Dilemma. Paisner & Co IP/IT Group is keen on contributing to the debate and awareness-raising exercise prompted by the U.S. Government in the context of domain names registration and trade mark protection and accordingly, makes the following proposal.
B. DOMAIN NAMES AND TRADE MARK PROTECTION
Registering a domain name is the first step towards the business use of on-line technologies. An easily recognisable domain name guarantees a commercially viable on-line presence from which electronic commerce will stem. As a result, it is very desirable for businesses to use their trade marks in their domain names. It is obvious that if a company registers a domain name bearing one of its trade marks, it will be easier for potential customers to remember that company's web site or e-mail address.
In a practice which originated in the US and has spread internationally, non-proprietors of trade marks have registered domain names which incorporate other people’s trade marks. In many instances, unscrupulous registrants of domain names (also known as "cyber-squatters") have taken unfair advantage of the flexible "first-come-first served" regime applicable to domain names registration by attempting to sell the names for a large profit to the legitimate companies holding the trade marks.
This practice has revealed one of the weaknesses of the current domain name registration mechanism. The responses to this problem in both the US and elsewhere have taken the form of new legislation and unprecedented litigation. However, the lack of effective preventive measure which would avoid the length and cost of a litigious process is —no doubt— an obstacle to the business confidence in cyberspace. Within this framework, Paisner & Co IP/IT Group proposes that world-wide domain name registrars adopt easy-to-operate practical measures to ensure that the risk of trade mark disputes caused by domain name registrations are minimised.
Building on the basis of our experience in the field of domain name disputes and trade mark registration, we believe that the adoption of preventive steps in the early stages of registration would benefit both registrants and registrars, and consequently the Internet community as a whole. The domain name registration model that we envisage responds to the following pattern:
This model is aimed at tackling a potentially litigious situation at the earliest possible stage. Although, this model is likely to be compatible with any dispute resolution procedure already in place, it responds to an overriding principle: an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
Paisner & Co
23 March 1998
From: Pc-User <Pc-User@wipo.int>
Date: 3/23/98 8:25pm
Subject: Comments submitted by the World Intellectual Property Organization
The International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) submits its comments on the U.S. Department of
Commerces Proposed Rule for the Improvement of Technical Management of
Internet Names and Addresses (the Green Paper).
Docket No. 980212036-8036-01.
The comments are attached in WORD and PDF formats.
Comments submitted by
the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
in response to the Proposed Rule for the
Improvement of Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses
Docket No. 980212036-8036-01
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
The International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) appreciates the opportunity to submit comments on the United States Department of Commerce's Proposed Rule for the Improvement of Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses (the "Green Paper").
WIPO is an intergovernmental organization with 168 member States, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It is the specialized agency of the United Nations system of organizations responsible for the promotion of the protection of intellectual property at the international level. The International Bureau of WIPO submits these comments in its capacity as the Secretariat responsible for the implementation of this mandate and, in particular, for the administration of a series of multilateral treaties designed to facilitate the international protection of intellectual property. Those treaties include several dealing with the international protection of trademarks, notably the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, which establishes a number of basic principles, including the obligation for contracting States to protect well-known marks; the Trademark Law Treaty, which is directed at the simplification of procedures for obtaining and maintaining trademark protection; and the Madrid Agreement for the International Registration of Marks, as well as the Protocol to the Madrid Agreement for the International Registration of Marks, which together establish a system for the international registration of marks in contracting States.
In addition, the International Bureau of WIPO has been mandated by its member States to provide technical assistance in relation to the implementation of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (the TRIPS Agreement), adopted as part of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization.
The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (the Center), established in 1994, is an administrative unit of WIPO's International Bureau, providing independent, neutral and cost-effective services for resolving intellectual property disputes among private parties. The Center does not itself decide cases, but instead administers dispute resolution procedures under which expert neutrals (arbitrators or mediators) decide or assist in the settlement of disputes. For this purpose, the Center has developed arbitration, expedited arbitration and mediation rules, and maintains a growing roster of over 750 intellectual property and dispute-resolution experts from over 70 countries. The Center's dispute-resolution services are available on a neutral, non-discriminatory basis to all interested parties. Physical arrangements in respect of disputes administered by the Center (such as hearings) may take place anywhere in the world and do not necessarily have to take place in Geneva.
The Center has developed, in particular, an on-line, Internet-based facility for administering domain name disputes (see the Center's web site at http://www.arbiter.wipo.int, which will also be undergoing further development work). The Center's preparation of this facility was noted with approval by the WIPO General Assembly (the organ of the member States of WIPO) in October 1997.
Much of this work was initiated as a result of the advice on intellectual property and dispute-resolution issues provided by WIPO to the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) and the Policy Oversight Committee (POC) in relation to the "Memorandum of Understanding on the Generic Top-Level Domain Name Space of the Internet Domain Name System" (gTLD-MoU). The Center has been designated to administer on-line mediation, expedited arbitration and an Administrative Domain Name Challenge Panel procedure for registrations in this system.
In making these comments on the Green Paper, WIPO restricts itself to its area of competence: the international protection of intellectual property. WIPO does not, therefore, make any comment on Internet governance, technical and economic policy issues on which WIPO's member States have not expressed a common position. WIPO limits its comments to those sections in the Green Paper dealing with "The Trademark Dilemma" and proposing "Minimum Dispute Resolution and Other Procedures Related to Trademarks."
The Green Paper's discussion of trademark and dispute-resolution issues focuses almost exclusively on generic top-level domains (gTLDs). It may be noted, however, that similar intellectual property issues present themselves in relation to the national top-level domains (nTLDs), where the same need for effective and coordinated dispute-resolution procedures exists.
The Problem with Litigation
The Green Paper recognizes the potential for disputes to arise as result of domain name registrations, noting that "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." In its identification of factors suggesting the need for reorganizing the DNS, the Paper observes that "[m]echanisms for resolving conflict between trademark holders and domain name holders are expensive and cumbersome," and "[w]ithout changes, a proliferation of lawsuits could lead to chaos as tribunals around the world apply the antitrust law and intellectual property law of their jurisdictions to the Internet."
The difficulties alluded to in the passages quoted in the preceding paragraph derive from the global character of the Internet and the consequence that the legal effects of Internet activity are generally not restricted to any particular national jurisdiction. This fact manifests itself in the registration and use of domain names. A domain name may be accessed from any part of the world. If its registration or use is in violation of a third party's rights, the resulting damage may occur in many different countries and may require litigation in those different countries in order for an effective remedy to be achieved. It would seem to follow, therefore, that, for any resolution of domain name disputes to be effective, it should be international in scope: it should take into account rights and obligations that exist in different jurisdictions and be enforceable across those jurisdictions.
Reflecting the historic origins of trademark protection, however, disputes involving trademarks have largely been left to the national courts. The Green Paper observes that trademark infringements involving domain names might take place with no convenient jurisdiction available in which the trademark owner can file suit to protect its rights. Indeed, the goal of resolving these disputes in an efficient manner is not served by forum shopping and its attendant uncertainties and potentially conflicting determinations.
At the same time, a domain name system that would tie registrants to a particular fixed and potentially remote jurisdiction might not achieve the desired balancing of international rights and interests. The Green Paper proposes that, at the time of registration, registrants would agree that, in the event of a dispute, jurisdiction would lie where the registry is domiciled, where the registry database is maintained, or where the "A" root server is maintained. This approach could be broadened to include jurisdiction in the country in which the registrar resides, given that the applicant may prefer to do business with a registrar in its locality sharing the same language, business culture and local laws. This non-exclusive approach would be without prejudice to allowing a third party to seek to obtain jurisdiction over that applicant anywhere else where there may be an independent and sufficient nexus to support local jurisdictional requirements.(1)
Case statistics on the number of disputes that have resulted in full-scale litigation in the United States do not appear to take account of those disputes that have actually arisen, both in the United States and elsewhere, but have been resolved by means other than litigation, such as the purchase of a registration by the third party that feels aggrieved by the registration. When confronted by a cybersquatter, trademarks holders have often been forced to choose between two unsatisfactory choices: expensive and time-consuming litigation, or negotiating with the cybersquatter to buy back the domain name corresponding to their intellectual property right. In fact, the very cost of the potential litigation may influence the price that a cybersquatter can demand.
Rather than relying exclusively on litigation in the courts, what seems to be needed as an alternative is a simple, inexpensive and multi-jurisdictional procedure -- adequate to the realities of the volume and scale of domain name registrations -- for addressing these disputes.
Desirable Features of Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution procedures have been developed to address the kinds of concerns mentioned in the previous section. Indeed, the Green Paper proposes alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures as an inexpensive and efficient alternative to litigation for resolving disputes between trademark owners and domain name registrants. ADR procedures can be simple and expeditious, and can be applied uniformly across gTLDs.
Further definition, however, would seem to be required, since the expression ADR encompasses a broad range of procedures. Unless there is uniformity in the type of procedures that are to be made available by registries/registrars, some may limit themselves to providing ADR procedures that do not afford effective remedies, with the consequence that some domains may provide a more hospitable environment to cybersquatters than others.
The three ADR procedures that have been frequently considered in relation to domain name disputes are:
Mediation is a relatively informal, non-binding procedure in which a neutral facilitates negotiations between the parties with a view to achieving the resolution of their dispute. While mediation may have useful application in a dispute between two good faith parties, enabling creative forms of settlement, its limits may be exposed when the domain name dispute involves a non-cooperative cybersquatter, who, by virtue of the non-binding nature of mediation, may withdraw from the procedure at any stage.
In a mediation, the parties may choose their own reference points for deciding on a settlement of their dispute. Those reference points commonly include the commercial interests of the parties, the legal merits of the parties' respective positions and the cost of alternative means of resolving the dispute. Since it is the parties who must agree on any settlement (the mediator not being a decision-maker), there is no "applicable law" by reference to which the dispute is decided.
Arbitration is a procedure providing a private and binding adjudication which respects party autonomy, while operating within a well-established and publicly enforceable international legal framework. Arbitration can offer a single solution for multi-jurisdictional domain name disputes; allow parties to participate in the choice of the expert neutral to hear their case; and lead to a speedy dispute-settlement process. At the same time, an arbitration award, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, is final and not subject to appeal.
In arbitration, the parties may choose the applicable law by reference to which the dispute will be decided. Their choice of law may be limited by certain mandatory laws that they cannot exclude (for example, parties cannot exclude the application of the criminal law that properly applies to a dispute). If the parties do not themselves choose the applicable law, the arbitral tribunal applies the appropriate applicable law. It is possible, even common, for several applicable laws to be taken into account depending on the circumstances of the dispute.
A form of administrative procedure, designed specifically for domain name disputes, can build in many of the same advantages offered by arbitration, such as expeditious procedures and the provision of a single solution enforceable across gTLDs. A perceived potential drawback of such an approach may be simply the attendant uncertainties associated with creating and implementing the new procedure itself.
In the case of an administrative procedure, it would be necessary to decide which law is to be applied by the administrative panels in making their decisions. In this regard, under the gTLD-MoU, the "Substantive Guidelines" were drawn up by POC as principles by which the Administrative Challenge Panels would take decisions. Further reference to those Guidelines is made below.
Factors to be Considered
In endorsing ADR, the Green Paper raises the question of how it can most usefully support the DNS. The Green Paper "do[es] not propose to establish a monolithic trademark dispute resolution process at this time, because it is unclear what system would work best." The Paper proposes that each domain name registry establish its own "minimum dispute resolution and other procedures related to trademark considerations," and that, in the meantime, a study be conducted on the impact of an expanded DNS in relation to such questions. WIPO would be prepared to undertake or to contribute to such a study. While a monolithic approach may be neither achievable nor advisable, domain name holders and trademark owners should not be left with the other extreme, that is, multiple and uncoordinated dispute resolution procedures. In the interest of preserving stability, WIPO suggests the following factors for consideration:
Coordination: The Green Paper expresses the concern that the Internet not be fragmented; a similar concern is warranted regarding dispute resolution. As an institution that serves the needs of the private sector and that is largely funded by that sector, WIPO understands the potential benefits of competition and consumer freedom. Attempts to monopolize procedures and restrict growth might be considered presumptuous, if not futile. At the same time, however, care must be taken to ensure that any approach taken to dispute resolution is not undermined by confusion and contradictory decisions.
Taking into account international public input, POC, with assistance from WIPO, developed an innovative administrative procedure addressing only the parties' rights with respect to a domain name and excluding any possibility of obtaining monetary damages. This coherent dispute resolution system is set forth in the draft Substantive Guidelines Concerning Administrative Domain Name Challenge Panels, which have now undergone their third revision. While this system has achieved a fair measure of consensus, arriving at a set of procedures and criteria broadly acceptable to an international and diverse community of stakeholders is difficult.
If a uniform approach is to be abandoned, the dispute resolution mechanisms should be made available in a coordinated fashion. Clauses in registration agreements may have to offer a choice among a standard, internationally representative list of dispute resolution institutions, and registries may have to agree to adhere to the determinations under the procedures maintained by each such institution. Consideration may also have to be given to the establishment of a uniform appeal mechanism.
Scope: One way to introduce efficiency in the domain name dispute-resolution process is to restrict the scope of jurisdiction and remedies. If the principal issue is which party has superior rights with respect to a particular domain name, time and cost savings may be realized if the scope of the procedure is so limited. In such a system, any monetary damages and similar complex issues would be left to other fora.
This underscores that such a streamlined procedure should be complemented by the availability of other mechanisms, whether arbitration or court procedures. In this regard, the Green Paper states that any adopted system must be "compatible with any available judicial or administrative remedies."
Enforcement: The dispute settlement process should be supported by a direct enforcement mechanism. Applicants should be bound to abide by any determination through the terms and conditions of registration. As to registries and registrars, the Green Paper's proposal that they "abide by the decisions resulting from an agreed upon dispute resolution process or by the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction," would provide an effective enforcement measure.
Outsourcing Dispute Resolution: The Green Paper recommends, as one of its minimum procedures, that the dispute-resolution process minimize involvement by registrars. WIPO observes that this goal has been almost universally echoed by users and stakeholders in the DNS. WIPO believes this goal may best be met when registrars operate within a framework of clear domain name registration procedures and policies, and use external, specialized and neutral dispute-resolution procedures that provide equality of treatment and expeditious determinations to all parties.
On-Line Facility: The expansion of electronic commerce on the Internet may soon lead parties to prefer to settle disputes arising out of such commerce in the same manner as the commerce is conducted. The Green Paper recognizes that on-line procedures may contribute to a swift dispute resolution process.
As mentioned above, WIPO has developed an on-line system for administering commercial disputes involving intellectual property. It is expected that this mechanism will increase speed in the procedures while reducing costs. Initially, the system will be available for disputes involving Internet domain names, where certain assumptions can be made about the technical sophistication of the parties. The system will include such functions as forms for filing cases, automatic notifications, an electronic fee system, secure facilities for the on-line exchange and reading of documents, back-end databases to support the logging and archiving of documents, and eventually real-time communication tools.
Famous Marks: The Green Paper notes that trademark holders have raised questions as to whether famous marks should be accorded special protection through a "clearing" mechanism across the range of gTLDs. Although no definitive criteria may yet exist allowing for a precise international identification of "well-known" marks, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, to which 145 States are party, requires contracting States to protect well-known marks. Indeed, their wide recognition makes them especially vulnerable to infringement practices on the Internet. WIPO believes that the swift correction of such practices would enhance the credibility of the DNS.
The gTLD-MoU system foresees the establishment of a general exclusion, to be determined in individual cases by neutral Panelists, that would block the registration of domain names corresponding to the intellectual property rights of third parties. The decision whether or not to grant this exceptional remedy would be based on the international significance and market presence of the claimant's intellectual property.
To maximize the effective protection of well-known marks, such a mechanism would need to be coordinated and implemented across all gTLDs. Moreover, such an approach could be applied to the nTLDs as well.
Suspension: WIPO believes that, in addition to the elements discussed above, dispute resolution procedures might usefully include a mechanism for suspensions. Such suspensions should not necessarily be automatic, but should be subject to a swift process for assessing the interests involved. The procedures developed by WIPO in support of the gTLD-MoU system, which allow for securing relief similar to a temporary injunction, may provide guidance in this respect.
Dispute Prevention: Dispute prevention is preferable to dispute resolution. Options that
may contribute to the development and accessibility of the DNS include the use of shared
domain name indexing systems(2)
and other forms of trademark and domain name databases and search tools. Moreover, dispute resolution systems can be organized so as to increase the chances of settlement through such recommended solutions as site linking.
The Green Paper stresses the importance of requiring applicants to certify their intention to use the domain name and their lack of knowledge of any superior third party rights. It also notes that applicants should be required to supply, for public posting, full and up-to-date information in relation to themselves and the requested domain name. Subject to appropriate privacy concerns, such information would improve transparency and accountability in the DNS.
Disputes involving domain names represent only one manifestation of the intellectual property issues generated by the growth of the Internet, and in particular, the commercial and non-commercial content and use of web-sites. Not all domain name registrations necessarily implicate trademark issues, and Internet trademark concerns do not end with an efficient domain name system. Likewise, it is impossible to overlook the emerging copyright issues associated with Internet activity.
The above comments reflect WIPO's belief that the protection of intellectual property rights on the Internet is vital not only to trademark holders, but to all users of this remarkable medium. The accessibility, credibility and secure development of the Internet are served by a system that gives appropriate weight to intellectual property rights across jurisdictions.
1 Indeed, questions involving what constitutes a sufficient basis for the proper exercise of court jurisdiction in relation to Internet activities are far from settled in the law, and more experience may have to be gained in order to develop these aspects of Internet jurisdiction.
2 The WIPO Center provides dispute resolution procedures in the form of expedited arbitration to the INternet ONE system, a newly established facility operated by a new non-profit entity in which domain names are registered in a shared indexing system.