I'd like to thank you and Becky for taking time out of your busy schedule to hold a conference call with Paul Garrin of pgMedia and myself on May 8, 1998. Per you request, the following is a brief description of the issues we raised during our discussion.
(1) We discussed the technical feasibility of adding an unlimited number of new top level domain names to the DNS. We pointed out that there are no technical barriers to such a policy, and that, in fact, Network Solutions "NSI" has added 10 new TLDs since October of this year without any negative impact to Internet users. We also noted that NSI, through its strategic partnerships, has taken advantage of the scarcity of TLDs by marketing access to country code TLDs. NSI's partners have advertised that these TLDs are "universally resolvable" and still have good second-level domain names available beneath them. We argued that rather than allow a few entities to make monopoly profits off of an artificial cap on the supply of TLDs, it makes greater economic and competition sense to simply "open-up" the TLD marketplace to all qualified competitors.
(2) We also spent some time discussing the lack of any real trademark policy justification for limiting the number of TLDs that should be allowed. We pointed out that trade mark violations will and do occur in today's highly restricted TLD environment, and the problem would be no worse should new TLDs be allowed. Further, we indicated that the Internet should not be treated any differently from other communication mediums, like TV, radio or print, where trade mark owners are required to police their marks on their own, without prior restraints issued by the government. Certainly plenty of technology exists to assist mark owners in tracking down inappropriate use of their marks, even in a multi-TLDS environment.
(3) Finally, we noted that we believe that the Dept. of Commerce lacks the international legal authority to regulate the Internet, and that if a non-profit entity is established to manage the root file and TLDs, it should occur with international Internet user consensus and any such change should not take place until the existing contract with NSI expires, so that an orderly transition can occur.
Thank you again for all of your hard work on these important issues. Please call or e-mail with any questions or concerns.
Blumenfeld & Cohen - Technology Law Group