08-04-97 Electronic Filings on Internet Domain Names


###
Number: 148
From:     "David Barker" <jaeckyl@globaldialog.com>
To:       NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date:     8/4/97 11:54pm
Subject:  TLD's

 I hope this message has been properly directed.  I am concerned with the
issue of DNS entries being owned by one group or another.  As it stands in
my understanding .com , .net , .org are all controled by one company. 
This I feel is wrong, they are the most recognized letters on the net. 
The US is a capatalistic state and I beleive that no one company should be
allowed to monopolize these entries. 

###
Number: 149
From:     Jim Tippins <jimt@digital.net>
To:       NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date:     8/4/97 10:14am
Subject:  Electronic Filing of Comments on Internet Domain Names

1. Extend the address standard to at least 1024 bit length addresses.

2. Eliminate the monopoly on net IP's by current service providers/big
companies. (This will happen if net address restrictions in #1 above
changes.)

3. Allow "first come" philosophy to select net names, regardless of
"Name infrignment" lawsuits.

Jim Tippins

###
Number: 150



August 4, 1997

Ms. Patrice Washington
Office of Public Affairs
National Telecommunications and
Information Administration (NTIA)
Room 4898
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20230

Dear Ms. Washington:

The International Trademark Association (INTA) is pleased to provide you with its response to the "Request for Comments on the Registration and Administration of Internet Domain Names" [Docket No. 970613137-7137-01], as published in the July 2, 1997 Federal Register. INTA is a not-for-profit organization comprised of 3,400 members from over 117 countries. The Association's membership crosses all industry lines and includes manufacturers, retailers, law firms, and professional and trade associations. What this diverse group has in common, is the understanding that trademarks are a company's most valuable asset -- a simple yet effective means of communicating with consumers in the global marketplace.

In addition to our official response, we are pleased to provide you with a "special edition" of INTA "White Paper:" The Intersection of Trademarks and Domain Names. This INTA publication has been prepared by the Association's Internet Subcommittee as a source of information on the meeting between the world of trademarks and the new world of cyberspace. Most importantly, Appendix II of the "White Paper" contains a complete version of INTA's proposal for a new domain name assignment system. All documents being provided by INTA are contained on computer diskette (WordPerfect 6.1) which has also been enclosed.

INTA appreciates the opportunity to present its views on this important and highly complex issue. Please do not hesitate to contact Mike Heltzer, INTA's Government Relations Program Coordinator, if you require further information.

Thank you for considering our submission.

Sincerely,

David Stimson
President

Enclosures



Appropriate Principles

INTA has answered a, b, c, d, e, and f

Competition in and expansion of the domain name registration system should be encouraged. Conflicting domains, systems, and registries should not be permitted to jeopardize the interoperation of the Internet, however. The addressing scheme should not prevent any user from connecting to any other site.

Ans: INTA recognizes the importance of competition and the importance of inter-operation. It is essential, however, that the administration of Internet domain names recognize that the important and valuable legal rights of trademark owners not be harmed.

The private sector, with input from governments, should develop stable, consensus-based self-governing mechanisms for domain name registration and management that adequately defines responsibilities and maintains accountability.

Ans: INTA generally agrees with this principle and, toward that end, participated in the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) and currently has a representative on the interim Policy Oversight Committee (iPOC) -- the body that oversees implementation of the IAHC plan.

These self-governance mechanisms should recognize the inherently global nature of the Internet and be able to evolve as necessary over time.

Ans: Although the Internet was conceived of and raised from infancy by the U.S. government, it has grown well beyond its borders, and the U.S. government should not now attempt to treat the Internet as a U.S.-asset. Instead, the U.S. government should work with the private sector, as well as other governments and international organizations to permit the Internet to evolve into a truly global asset.

d. The overall framework for accomodating competition should be open, robust, efficient, and fair.

Ans: INTA supports open, robust, efficient and fair competition with appropriate mechanisms to protect the rights of trademark owners.

e. The overall policy framework as well as name allocation and management mechanisms should promote prompt, fair, and efficient resolution of conflicts, including conflicts over proprietary rights.

Ans: INTA agrees that the overall policy framework for domain name allocation and management should promote prompt, fair and efficient resolution of conflicts, including those involving intellectual property. Toward that end, INTA believes that the IAHC plan is a positive step.

The IAHC plan also includes administrative domain name challenge panels (ACPs), that will not take the place of national or regional sovereign courts, but will assist trademark owners in the protection of their well-known trademarks. In addition, the IAHC procedures require detailed contact information of domain name applicants (and those renewing domain names), prepayment for domain names, annual renewal, and procedures for the immediate publication of domain names, all of which should assist trademark owners with their efforts to police against trademark infringement.

f. A framework should be adopted as quickly as prudent consideration of these issues permits.

Ans: INTA supports an early resolution of the problems relating to registration and administration of domain names. The need for an early resolution becomes more critical as the Spring 1998 termination date of NSI's contract with the National Science Foundation (NSF) approaches. However, INTA also notes that the issues that must be resolved involve new and complicated legal and technical concerns that must be carefully considered before arriving at a fair solution.

IAHC has created the necessary framework for the continued evolution of the domain name system. INTA encourages the U.S. government to support the IAHC plan, recognizing the accomplishments of the process, while permitting further evaluation of some of the elements of the plan, including the decision to increase the number of generic top level domain names (gTLDs), and the standards to be applied by administrative challenge panels (ACPs).

B. General/Organizational Framework Issues

INTA has answered questions 1, 2, 3, 4 (part), 5, and 8

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the current domain name registration system?

Ans: The Disadvantages

The current system established by Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) is inadequate to combat "cybersquatters." "Cybersquatters" are online pirates who routinely register domain names in bulk, without regard for the rights of trademark owners and with no other purpose than to ransom the names to the highest bidder. NSI procedures are also not equipped to handle cases where two companies own the same mark, or where an individual's name may be the same as a company's mark. In addition, NSI does not require sufficient information from the domain name applicant.

At the core of NSI's problem is its position that domain names have no legal significance, but are used only to address various sites in cyberspace. Further, NSI has stated that its only purpose is to register domain names, not perform trademark searches or arbitrate trademark rights. NSI contends that it is not equipped or funded to perform such searches and that it should not be responsible for any infringement that takes place involving the domain names it registers. This aspect of NSI's policy is disappointing to trademark owners, since like a trademark, domain names serve as a "shorthand" reference tool to locate information concerning a specific product and learn about the company offering the product for sale. Trademarks in cyberspace deserve the same level of protection they are afforded in the "real-world" of commercial activity.

Instead of being familiar with just a single policy, there is a potential requirement for trademark owners to be familiar with hundreds -- if not thousands of dispute policies. This system represents an unnecessary expenditure of money and manpower. Finally, some registrars do not even have a dispute policy.

Advantages

The disadvantages outlined above make it evident that there are few, if any real advantages for trademark owners under the current domain name registration system. Notwithstanding, there are a select few aspects of NSI's application policy that represent a step in the right direction: (1) an applicant must submit a document that states, to its knowledge, the domain name requested does not interfere with or infringe the rights of third parties and (2) an applicant must have a bona fide intention to use the Internet domain name on a regular basis.

Finally, the ability to get a domain name put on hold may be considered an advantage.

2. How might the current domain name system be improved?

Ans: INTA has circulated a proposal for a new domain name registration policy, portions of which have been incorporated into the IAHC plan. A complete version of the INTA proposal can be found in "Appendix II" of INTA "White Paper:" The Intersection of Trademarks and Domain Names (see attached).

Highlights of this proposal include:

INTA also supports the plan developed by the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC).

3. By what entity, entities, or type of entities should current domain name systems be administered?

Ans: INTA encourages the U.S. government to support the plan of the IAHC and to promote regulation by the private sector.

4. Are there decision-making processes that can serve as models for deciding on domain name registration systems (e.g., network numbering plan, standard-setting processes, spectrum allocation)? Are there private/public sector administered models or regimes that can be used for domain name registration (e.g., network numbering plan, standard- setting processes, or spectrum allocation processes)? What is the proper role of national or international governmental/nongovernmental organizations, if any, in national and international domain name registration systems?

Ans: In accordance with the IAHC plan, INTA supports a system which is industry-driven. The Association does however, support the role of international governmental organizations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the administration of on-line mediation and dispute resolution procedures.

5. Should generic top level domains (gTLDs), (e.g., .com), be retired from circulation? Should geographic or country codes (e.g., .us) be required? If so, what should happen to the .com registry? Are gTLD management issues separable from questions about International Standard Organization (ISO) country code domains?

Ans: Given the current dependence of the commercial world on existing gTLDs, particularly .com, the economic costs of retiring gTLDs would be too great. It is too late to delete mnemonics entirely and use only random numbers based on names. Likewise, requiring country code TLDs alone is not a realistic alternative give the historical use of gTLDs and industry's enthusiasm.

Management issues pertaining to gTLDs are separable from questions of ISO country code domains for two reasons: one historical and one political/practical. The historical reason is that gTLDs and ISO country code domains simply have been treated separately over time by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). The political/practical reason is one of sovereignty and self-determination. INTA believes that the latter remains important in some respects, but the former does not. INTA would like to see all registry policy uniform on questions of second level domain (SLD) assignment and dispute resolution.

8. How should the transition to any new system be accomplished?

Ans: INTA supports the revisions to the existing system contained in the IAHC plan. This plan is currently being implemented by the interim Policy Oversight Committee (iPOC). As a member of IAHC and now iPOC, INTA has been involved in developing the new system and providing input which reflects the needs and concerns of trademark owners from around the world. In May 1997, INTA signed the gTLD Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) acknowledging its support for the IAHC system.

INTA believes the following aspects of the IAHC proposal will be beneficial to trademark owners:

In light of the benefits to trademark owners which are listed above, INTA urges the U.S. government to issue a statement which acknowledges its full support of the IAHC plan. INTA further urges the U.S. government to ensure that the gTLDs which are currently administered exclusively by NSI (.com, .org and .net) as per a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF), be made a part of the shared registry system developed by the IAHC.



C. Creation of New gTLDs

INTA has answered questions 10, 11, 12 and 13

10. Are there technical, practical, and/or policy considerations that constrain the total number of different gTLDs that can be created?

Ans: Some proposed domain name plans call for hundreds, even thousands of new generic top level domains (gTLDs). This scenario presents a policing problem for trademark owners, requiring them to spend countless hours monitoring for infringing use of their marks. "Cybersquatters," the pirates of the Internet, would also be given more opportunities to infringe on the good names of trademark owners.

11. Should additional gTLDs be created?

Ans: Not at this time. INTA advocates a "go-slow approach" and views the seven new gTLDs (as proposed by the International Ad Hoc Committee) as an experiment, the results of which, particularly in terms of the increased policing burden on trademark owners, must be considered prior to adopting any more gTLDs.

12. Are there technical, practical, and/or policy issues about guaranteeing the scalability of the name space associated with increasing the number of gTLDs?

Ans: See answer to question 10.

13. Are gTLD management issues separable from questions about ISO country code domains?

Ans: The issues relating to gTLD management are separable from questions involving ISO country code domains for two reasons, one historical and one practical. The historical is that gTLDs and ISO country code domains simply have been treated separately over time by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). The political/practical reason is one of sovereignty and self-determination. INTA believes that the latter remains important, in some respects, but the former does not. INTA would like to see all registry policy uniform on questions of second level domain (SLD) assignment and dispute resolution.



D. Policies for Registrars

INTA has answered questions 18 and 20

18. Are there technical, business and/or policy issues about the name space raised by increasing the number of domain name registrars?

Ans: There are significant business and policy reasons that caution against increasing the number of domain name registrars. It cannot be emphasized enough that domain name registrars must serve in a critical position of worldwide public trust. If one registrar fails to keep that trust, the entire domain name system will suffer.

A policy to support a large (or unlimited) number of registrars bears a likelihood of unintentionally creating economic incentives that will injure trademarks and the overall interests of the domain name system. Because a high number of newly created registrars would be competing for the finite resources of domain name applicants, such registrars would be motivated purely by financial considerations to urge the creation of more and more gTLDs over time to ensure profitability. Registrars would seek to create more gTLDs regardless of the effect upon trademark rights or the needs and best interest of the Internet as a whole.

Numerous registrars competing for profit and for finite resources, also create the potential for a variety of other abuses. For example, a registrar, motivated by financial gain, could misuse proprietary information in a shared registry database to encourage its own applicants to "lock up" certain names. Registrars located in countries whose laws are not as favorably disposed to protecting trademark rights, could also take advantage of the current lack of harmonization in international trademark laws by encouraging extortionists and infringers to take advantage of the jurisdictional advantages afforded under the laws of a particular country. For these reasons alone, the number of domain name registrars must be limited.

It is also instructive to look to the Final Report of the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) for guidance on this issue. That report had proposed the creation of no more than 28 new registrars, based on a regional quota and selected by lottery. One key feature of that proposal was the requirement that the applicant agree to locate the registrar only in countries that are party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, or are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and comply with at least Article 2 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). At an absolute minimum, it is critical to ensure that registrars be located in countries that respect trademark laws.

20. Are there any other issues which should be addressed in this area?

Ans: Registrars should also be subject to a consistent set of registration and dispute resolution policies. INTA has proposed a domain name registry policy for second level domain names that encourages meaningful and effective procedures for (1) ensuring accountability by domain name registrants, (2) allowing complainants sufficient information through an application, pre-screening and publication process to pursue appropriate legal remedies against extortionists and infringers, (3) reducing "deadwood," i.e., unused domain names, (4) increasing the available pool of domain names, (5) ensuring fair and legally supportable decisions regarding domain names; and (6) reducing Network Information Center (NIC) exposure and costs by taking NIC out of the dispute resolution business. INTA endorses the procedures discussed in its proposal and recommends that it serve as the mode to be adhered to by all approved registrars. A complete copy of the INTA proposal can be found in Appendix II of the INTA "White Paper."

E. Trademark Issues

INTA has answered questions 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27

21. What trademark rights (e.g., registered trademarks, common law trademarks, geographic indications, etc.), if any, should be protected on the Internet vis-a-vis domain names?

Ans: INTA believes, that under certain circumstances, trademark rights need to be protected vis-a-vis domain names. The issue should not be categorized in terms of whether trademark rights stem from common law rights or registration but rather whether a party can lay any claim to superior rights. It is important to note that trademark registration does not confer trademark rights in the U.S. and certain common law countries, but rather merely constitutes rebuttable evidence of those rights. In the U.S., substantive trademark rights arise from actual use as a trademark. In civil code countries, trademark rights exist only through registration. Under trademark law, most trademark owners do not own the right to use the mark in question to the exclusion of all others -- many similar and identical marks coexist happily and peaceably in commerce because rights are very often limited by dissimilarities of products or services, and by jurisdictional territory.

Additional problems arise in the context of the Web. Because people use domain names to locate Web resources, companies doing business online want domain names that are easy to remember and relate to their products, trade names and trademarks. For example, a florist might find the domain name flowers.com very valuable to identify it as a source of flowers. Likewise, owners of famous trademarks (such as Microsoft) typically register their trademarks as domain names (such as microsoft.com). This kind of identification can be highly important to a business that conducts commerce on the Internet. Moreover, many consumers who do not know the domain name of a company often will first choose the principal trademark of such company to locate the company's Web site.

However, the Internet was not created solely for commercial enterprise, and domain names should not be the exclusive province of trademark owners. Thus, those with legitimate non-trademark interests in second level domain names have to be accommodated along with the rights of trademark owners. Similarly, the interests of owners of trademarks which exist in commerce concurrently for non- related products or services must be considered, as do those of well-known marks.

22. Should some process of preliminary review of an application for registration of a domain name be required, before allocation, to determine if it conflicts with a trademark, a trade name, a geographic indication, etc., if so, what standards should be used? Who should conduct the preliminary review? If a conflict is found, what should be done, e.g., domain name applicant and/or trademark owner is notified of the conflict? Automatic referral to dispute settlement?

Ans: After significant study and consideration, INTA concluded that Network Solution's (NSI) domain name dispute resolution policy is unworkable and cannot be "fixed," because neither NSI, nor any other future registrar or network information center should be a tribunal for trademark dispute resolution or be expected to be a specialist in trademark matters.

INTA believes that the issue of whether a domain name conflicts with a trademark or trade name or otherwise is violative of some fundamental principle of trademark law, would best be determined in the manner that trademark rights in general are determined by established judicial and alternative dispute resolution methods. Under the INTA plan (see Appendix II "White Paper"), the proposed domain name would be published on a publicly available and well- publicized database prior to its activation for a period of 90 days. During this time, a potential challenger would have the opportunity to take whatever action it deemed necessary with respect to an applied for second level domain name (SLD), including seeking appropriate relief in the courts. It is anticipated that the publication period would afford potentially adverse parties the opportunities to resolve their differences without litigation.

Generally, it is impractical to assume that satisfactory results will result if domain name conflicts are automatically referred to any dispute settlement mechanism. There is no single, international trademark law, so it not possible to reserve disputes involving trademarks and domain names to a body applying a globally recognized body of law. Therefore, in case of an automatic dispute referral system, the dissatisfied party will often seek to have its rights adjudicated in a national court.

INTA believes, however, that the alternative dispute mechanisms contained in the plan created by the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) may be practical tools for cost-effective resolution of a number of international domain name disputes.

23. Aside from a preliminary review process, how should trademark rights be protected on the Internet vis-a-vis domain names? What entity (ies) if any, should resolve disputes? Are national courts the only appropriate forum for such disputes? Specifically, is there a role for national/international governmental/non- governmental organizations?

Ans: Ideally, trademark disputes involving domain names should be settled voluntarily by the parties. Whether by direct negotiation or mediation, these voluntary solutions should be highly favored whenever possible. INTA is a strong supporter of alternative dispute resolution.

The IAHC, of which INTA was a member, recognized that trademark owners rights arise under national trademark laws because there no single, universal international trademark law. The IAHC and INTA also recognize, that involving the registrar as an arbiter of disputes, no matter how well-intentioned, summarily confers upon a non-judicial body the discretion to essentially grant an injunction against a continued use of a second level domain, without any adjudication of the merits of the trademark owners claim against the domain name holder. Therefore, at this time, the INTA believes that national courts serve as the appropriate forum within which trademark rights can be fairly adjudicated if all voluntary efforts fail.

The IAHC, recognizing the demand for some kind of streamlined dispute resolution, at least in the case of disputes involving a well-known mark, has recommended the creation of administrative domain name challenge panels. These panels do not substitute for national or regional sovereign courts; they have authority over the domain names only, not the parties. Unlike courts, however, the challenge panels would have the ability to exclude certain names such as well- known trademarks from all generic top level domains (gTLDs). These standards by which such panels would operate are still being developed. INTA believes that such an approach may prove to be an effective tool against "cybersquatters."

24. How can conflicts over trademarks best be prevented? What information resources (e.g., data bases of registered domain names, registered trademarks, trade names) could help reduce potential conflicts? If there should be a data base(s), who should create the data base(s)? How should such a data base be used?

Ans: Conflicts over trademarks in cyberspace can best be prevented through traditional means. A party wishing to protect a trademark throughout the world, should register the trademark in as many countries as possible and otherwise attempt to publicize the proprietary status of the trademark. The importance of national trademark registrations is not diminished under INTA's proposed policies, as national trademark courts will continue to look to national laws, which primarily rely on trademark registrations as indications of a mark's protectability. Trademarks which are well-known around the world can be protected in countries in which the mark is not registered under the provisions of Article 6 (bis) of the Paris Convention to which nearly all trademark jurisdictions are signatories.

Trademark owners will continue to have a duty to police the use of their marks throughout the world. Vigilant policing and early detection of infringement usually prevents disputes from becoming litigations.

The IAHC plan (and INTA's proposed domain name registration policy) mandates that an application to register a second level domain name be quite detailed, as explained in response to question 25. Under INTA's proposal, all of these details would be published by the local registrar on a central publicly available Web site for 90 days before the registration becomes effective and before the registrant may begin use. The publication period would commence no later than one week after the registrar receives a fully completed application, including the fee. The publication period would allow potential challengers to take appropriate action. It is assumed that commercial searching services and smart agents/robot searching programs would be sufficient to monitor the publication Web site. In fact, such agencies already actively monitor the registration of new domain names and the use of trademarks on the Internet. The purpose of the database would be for potential challengers to a SLD to determine if sufficient cause exists to object to or take any action against the issuance of the new domain name, preferably, within the 90-day publication period.

25. Should domain name applicants be required to demonstrate that they have a basis for requesting a particular domain name? If so, what information should be supplied? Who should evaluate the information? On the value of what criteria?

Ans: Applicants should be required to identify the basis for their particular domain name request. As further described in INTA's proposed registry policy (see Appendix II of INTA "White Paper"), INTA believes that standard registration procedure should require the applicant to disclose the following information:



* That there is a bona fide intention to publicly use the domain name within 60 days of its registration and a bona fide intent to continue such use for the foreseeable future.

* That the domain name will be used for a [stated] use (e.g., for a web site to advertise the applicant's business, namely,________.) (This can be a very broad statement and is not intended to restrict actual use.)

* That the applicant believes that the domain name is available and does not infringe the rights of any other party.

* That the applicant submits subject matter jurisdiction in an action brought under trademark or unfair competition law, or analogous laws arising out of the actual or intended use of the domain name, and also submits personal jurisdiction in any competent tribunal in the county in which the registrar to which the domain name would be registered is located, and waives the right to challenge either jurisdictional predicate.

* That the basis for the claim could be the applicant's trademark, or business name, or nickname, or child's name, etc.

The INTA domain name registration policy would also mandate a renewal process, similar to the application process, with a sworn statement by the applicant individual or the officer/general partner of the applicant business entity setting forth the actual use of the domain name since the application or last renewal period.

It is not the purpose of the registrar to evaluate the information. The information would be made publicly available so that owners of trademark rights or other potential challengers of the second level domain may fully evaluate the basis on which the domain name has been requested. It is INTA's belief that a great deal of litigation can be avoided once it is made clear that a domain name applicant's intended or actual use does not conflict with any trademark rights of the potential challenger. Additionally, INTA strongly believes that a potential domain name holder will be very hesitant to commit acts of piracy when, as opposed to the present time, it is forced to disclose extensive information under oath and subject itself to services of legal process and jurisdiction.

26. How would the number of different gTLDs and the number of registrars affect the number and cost of resolving trademark disputes?

Ans: Creating multiple gTLDs may result in more problems for the owners of trademarks by imposing an enormous policing burden on the trademark owner requiring them to spend additional fees for monitoring each new international top level domain (TLD) for potential infringement/dilution. Further, as long as registering another's trademark as a domain name is considered lucrative, each new gTLD creates the opportunity for valuable trademarks to be misappropriated.

27. Where there are valid, but conflicting trademark rights for a single domain name, are there any technological solutions?

Ans: A directory of domain names could assist in alleviating likelihood of confusion, but this is not a complete solution. A directory would assist in situations where legitimate trademark owners would normally co-exist without confusion in industry. For example, apple.com could legitimately be owned by companies such as Apple Computers, Apple Records or Apple Bank. A directory appearing on the screen at the outset when "apple" is typed could assist the user in locating the correct company. However, a directory will not help in the case of an extortionist who registers a well-known mark as a domain name. Further, a directory would not assist in instances where the user does not have enough information in the directory to figure out which company it is seeking: e.g., XYZ, Inc., XYZ Company, XYZ Industries. Consequently, INTA supports development of directories, but maintains it only addresses one part of the domain name problem.


###
Number: 151
From:     Darrell Greenwood <Darrell_Greenwood@mindlink.net>
To:       NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date:     8/4/97 3:21pm
Subject:  Comments - Registration And Administration Of Internet Domain Names


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



  In the Matter of                    )
                                      )
  REGISTRATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF  ) Docket No. 970613137-7137-01
  INTERNET DOMAIN NAMES               )


  Comments of Darrell Greenwood




                                                 (signed) by Darrell Greenwood
                                                 Aug 4, 1997

                                                 Darrell Greenwood
                                                 3985 Dundas, Burnaby, BC
                                                 Canada, V5C 1A6

                                                 Retired


                                                 Aug 4, 1997

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                        TABLE OF CONTENTS

     Summary

     A. Appropriate Principles
        Principles a-f
        Other principles

     B. General/Organizational Framework Issues
        Questions 1-9

     C. Creation of New gTLDs
        Questions 10-14

     D. Policies for Registries
        Questions 15-20

     E. Trademark Issues
        Questions 21-28

     F. Other Issues
       [List other issues addressed]


------------------------------ break ------------------------------


                              SUMMARY


I support the principles of the gTLD-MoU at
<http://www.iahc.org/gTLD-MoU.html>.  I reproduce these principles
below for ease of reference;


SECTION 2. - Principles

The following principles are adopted:

     a. the Internet Top Level Domain (TLD) name space is a public
resource and is subject to the public trust;

     b. any administration, use and/or evolution of the Internet TLD
space is a public policy issue and should be carried out in the
interests and service of the public;

     c. related public policy needs to balance and represent the
interests of the current and future stakeholders in the Internet name
space;

     d. the current and future Internet name space stakeholders can
benefit most from a self-regulatory and market-oriented approach to
Internet domain name registration services;

     e. registration services for the gTLD name space should provide
for global distribution of registrars;

     f. a policy shall be implemented that a second-level domain name
in any of the CORE-gTLDs which is identical or closely similar to an
alphanumeric string that, for the purposes of this policy, is deemed
to be internationally known, and for which demonstrable intellectual
property rights exist, may be held or used only by, or with the
authorization of, the owner of such demonstrable intellectual
property rights.
       Appropriate consideration shall be given to possible use of
such a second-level domain name by a third party that, for the
purposes of this policy, is deemed to have sufficient rights.


------------------------------ break ------------------------------

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



  In the Matter of                    )
                                      )
  REGISTRATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF  ) Docket No. 970613137-7137-01
  INTERNET DOMAIN NAMES               )


  Comments of Darrell Burtt Greenwood


I, Darrell Greenwood, respectfully submit comments in this proceeding.

I am a retired telecommunications manager and internet user who
participated fully in the IAHC-discuss mail list, reading all
submissions to the mail list during its life, reading  related
material and commenting to the mail list as appropriate.

I have no financial or other interests in any internet, ISP, or
registrar business and submit these comments as an internet user.


------------------------------ break ------------------------------

A. APPROPRIATE PRINCIPLES


     a. Competition in and expansion of the domain name
     registration system should be encouraged. Conflicting
     domains, systems, and registries should not be permitted to
     jeopardize the interoperation of the Internet, however. The
     addressing scheme should not prevent any user from
     connecting to any other site.

Yes.

     b. The private sector, with input from governments, should
     develop stable, consensus-based self-governing mechanisms for
     domain name registration and management that adequately
     defines responsibilities and maintains accountability.

Yes.

     c. These self-governance mechanisms should recognize the
     inherently global nature of the Internet and be able to evolve
     as necessary over time.

Yes.

     d. The overall framework for accommodating competition
     should be open, robust, efficient, and fair.

Yes.

     e. The overall policy framework as well as name allocation and
     management mechanisms should promote prompt, fair, and
     efficient resolution of conflicts, including conflicts over
     proprietary rights.

Yes.

     f. A framework should be adopted as quickly as prudent
     consideration of these issues permits.

Yes.


------------------------------ break ------------------------------

B. GENERAL/ORGANIZATIONAL FRAMEWORK ISSUES


     1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of current
     domain name registration systems?

Disadvantage - NSI monopoly.

     2. How might current domain name systems be improved?

Eliminate monopolies.

     3. By what entity, entities, or types of entities should current
     domain name systems be administered? What should the
     makeup of such an entity be?

The gTLD - MoU covers this well.

     4. Are there decision-making processes that can serve as
     models for deciding on domain name registration systems (e.g.,
     network numbering plan, standard-setting processes, spectrum
     allocation)? Are there private/public sector administered
     models or regimes that can be used for domain name
     registration (e.g., network numbering plan, standard setting
     processes, or spectrum allocation processes)? What is the
     proper role of national or international governmental/non-
     governmental organizations, if any, in national and
     international domain name registration systems?

The gTLD - MoU covers this well.

     5. Should generic top level domains (gTLDs), (e.g., .com), be
     retired from circulation? Should geographic or country codes
     (e.g., .US) be required? If so, what should happen to the .com
     registry? Are gTLD management issues separable from
     questions about International Standards Organization (ISO)
     country code domains?

It is not practical to retire the gTLDs.

     6. Are there any technological solutions to current domain
     name registration issues? Are there any issues concerning the
     relationship of registrars and gTLDs with root servers?

The gTLD - MoU covers this well.

     7. How can we ensure the scalability of the domain name
     system name and address spaces as well as ensure that root
     servers continue to interoperate and coordinate?

The gTLD - MoU covers this well.

     8. How should the transition to any new systems be
     accomplished?

The gTLD - MoU covers this well. Direction is needed from NSF or
appropriate agency to NSI to cause NSI to cooperate in making the
transistion to the system outlined in the gTLD - MoU.


     9. Are there any other issues that should be addressed in this
     area?

I have no further comments in this area.


------------------------------ break ------------------------------

C. CREATION OF NEW gTLDs


     10. Are there technical, practical, and/or policy considerations
     that constrain the total number of different gTLDs that can be
     created?

No.

     11. Should additional gTLDs be created?

Yes.

     12. Are there technical, business, and/or policy issues about
     guaranteeing the scalability of the name space associated with
     increasing the number of gTLDs?

Yes. The issues are handled by the gTLD - MoU.


     13. Are gTLD management issues separable from questions
     about ISO country code domains?

Yes.

     14. Are there any other issues that should be addressed in this
     area?

I have no further comments in this area.

------------------------------ break ------------------------------

D. POLICIES FOR REGISTRIES


     15. Should a gTLD registrar have exclusive control over a
     particular gTLD? Are there any technical limitations on using
     shared registries for some or all gTLDs? Can exclusive and
     non-exclusive gTLDs coexist?

A gTLD registrar absolutely should *not*, repeat *not*, have
exclusive control. This would have, and has had, a major negative
impact on domain name holders.

     16. Should there be threshold requirements for domain name
     registrars, and what responsibilities should such registrars
     have? Who will determine these and how?

The threshold requirements should be as low as practical. Ideally
every ISP should find it possible to be a registrar if they wish.

     17. Are there technical limitations on the possible number of
     domain name registrars?

No. No practical limitation in the near future, other than not having
too many during the startup period.

     18. Are there technical, business and/or policy issues about the
     name space raised by increasing the number of domain name
     registrars?

Yes. The gTLD - MoU handles this well.

     19. Should there be a limit on the number of different gTLDs a
     given registrar can administer? Does this depend on whether
     the registrar has exclusive or non-exclusive rights to the
     gTLD?

No, there should be no limit on the number of different gTLDs a
registrar can handle.

     20. Are there any other issues that should be addressed in this
     area?

I have no further comments in this area.

------------------------------ break ------------------------------

E. TRADEMARK ISSUES

     21. What trademark rights (e.g., registered trademarks,
     common law trademarks, geographic indications, etc.), if any,
     should be protected on the Internet vis-a-vis domain names?

Minimal trademark rights should be protected. In this case the gTLD - MoU
is possibly more protective than it should be in my opinion, but I
can live with 'internationally known' trademarks being protected as
detailed in the gTLD - MoU.

     22. Should some process of preliminary review of an
     application for registration of a domain name be required,
     before allocation, to determine if it conflicts with a trademark,
     a trade name, a geographic indication, etc.? If so, what
     standards should be used? Who should conduct the
     preliminary review? If a conflict is found, what should be
     done, e.g., domain name applicant and/or trademark owner
     notified of the conflict? Automatic referral to dispute
     settlement?

gTLD - MoU is the best solution for these questions. In the long run
policies should be adopted by the POC of the gTLD - MoU which
eliminates the profitablity and existence of  domain name hoarders.

     23. Aside from a preliminary review process, how should
     trademark rights be protected on the Internet vis-a-vis domain
     names? What entity(ies), if any, should resolve disputes? Are
     national courts the only appropriate forum for such disputes?
     Specifically, is there a role for national/international
     governmental/nongovernmental organizations?

The gTLD - MoU covers this well.

     24. How can conflicts over trademarks best be prevented?
     What information resources (e.g. databases of registered
     domain names, registered trademarks, trade names) could help
     reduce potential conflicts? If there should be a database(s),
     who should create the database(s)? How should such a
     database(s) be used?

A domain name should not be considered a trademark item any more than
a 'vanity' automobile license plate is considered a trademark item.

     25. Should domain name applicants be required to
     demonstrate that they have a basis for requesting a particular
     domain name? If so, what information should be supplied?
     Who should evaluate the information? On the basis of what
     criteria?

No.

     26. How would the number of different gTLDs and the number
     of registrars affect the number and cost of resolving trademark
     disputes?

If there is minimal interaction between trademarks and domain names as
there should be, the number of different gTLDs and number of registrars
will have no effect in the number and cost of resolving trademark
disputes. 

     27. Where there are valid, but conflicting trademark rights for
     a single domain name, are there any technological solutions?

No.

     28. Are there any other issues that should be addressed in this
     area?

I have no further comments in this area.

------------------------------ break ------------------------------

F. OTHER ISSUES


I have no comments in this area.
------------------------------ break ------------------------------

                              Annex 1
                           SERVICE LIST

[List parties to whom you provided courtesy copies.]

None.

###

Number: 152
 From:     "Justin T. Youens" <aggie@cleaf.com>
To:  NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns),NTIADC40.SMTP40("aggie@clea...
Date:     8/4/97 12:23pm
Subject:  dns comments

my comments on dns setup

I think that the current system is reliable at best. We need faster
and more solid processing on domain services. My company is a victim of
the sluggish and "forgetful" registration process. One request for a 
modification, registration, or deletion should be all that is needed, and
a response should happen instantly, with processing shortly there after.
We all know where technology is right now, and it is certainly capable of
going through a database, no matter the size, and making a couple of 
changes in a couple of minutes.  Yet we must wait weeks for even a reply 
that the request was recieved! I thought E-Mail worked faster than that!
I guess it doesn't, my friends just see into the future and write me 
replies to my mail weeks in advance. This also applies for NIC Handles,
DNS information, and everything. I think that the future of the net needs
to be a little more concerned about the businesses that make up, support, 
and rely on it. 

As for organization of domains. There needs to be more defining 
extentions. Lets make so new ones that reach out further and divide
the people having fun from the businesses. Make a new one for "tourist
attractions" maybe ".fun". One for porn, maybe ".xxx". One for public
schools, maybe ".pub". This would make things so much easier if someone
would sit down and think up who has domains, and how to catagorize them.
I know it would make programs such as Net Nanny easier to opperate, and
it could even be incorporated into browsers easier. Schools could simply
lock out all "????.xxx" and not have to worry about it. Then enforce it.
No one can put commercial stuff on ".fun", and no porn unless its on a 
".xxx".  If someone breaks the rules, take their domain. Or make a 3 
strikes you're out program. Or if its a user on an ISP, make the ISP 
cancel their web page abilities. Also have the ISPs check their own space
so that the work can be divided up. And if they don't, or they slack off,
penalize them.  We can't have the net a place of anarchy, but we 
shouldn't try to be dictorial about it either.

My 2 pence.

John Daniels
I-Pagez Internet Creations
jdaniels@ipagez.com (as soon as my domain gets its modification processed)
here@juno.com
aggie@cleaf.com

###
Number: 153
From:      Barry Cohen <becohen@halldickler.com>
To:             "'dns@ntia.doc.gov'" <dns@ntia.doc.gov>
Date:           8/4/97 4:03pm

 

Attached please find the CASIE Response to the Department of Commerce 
request for Comments regarding the Internet. The format of the document is 
WordPerfect 6X for windows. Please call me at the number below or send 
email if you have any problems accessing this file.

Barry Cohen
Director of Information Technology
Hall Dickler Kent Friedman & Wood LLP
909 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022-4731
212-339-5456




Coalition for Advertising Supported Information and Entertainment
(CASIE)
Submission to the Department of Commerce Request for Comments on the
Registration and Administration of Internet Domain Names

Docket No. 970613137-7137-01

To: Patrice Washington, Office of Public Affairs, National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Room 4898, 14th
St. And Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20230

From: Douglas J. Wood, Esq., CASIE Legal Counsel, Hall Dickler Kent
Friedman & Wood LLP, 909 Third Ave., New York, NY 10022.  Telephone: (212)
339-5400; Telecopy: (212) 935-3121; email: dwood@halldickler.com. 

     This submission to the Department of Commerce Request for Comments on
the Registration and Administration of Internet Domain Names is filed on
behalf of the Coalition for Advertising Supported Information and
Entertainment (CASIE), a joint effort of the U.S. based Association of
National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising
Agencies (AAAA or 4A's), the members of which have and continue to spend
millions of dollars per year on Web sites and electronic commerce.  They
are among the true users of the Internet. 

  Before commenting on the specific questions posed by the Department,
some general observations are in order. 

  I.  CASIE and Its Involvement

     Since January, 1996, CASIE has been monitoring and evaluating changes
to the Internet that may become effective as early as this fall.  This
included attendance at key meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, Washington,
D.C. and New York City.  These meetings included sessions with
representatives from both the International Ad Hoc Committee ("IAHC") and
Network Solutions, Inc. ("NSI"), the two main proponents of change. 

     
          


                       The proposed changes may have a profound impact on
the Internet.  Unfortunately, the IAHC, now known as the Interim Policy
Oversight Committee ("iPOC") and NSI have become polarized in the debate. 
The polarization is largely due to NSI's failure to participate in the
public forums in Geneva and elsewhere sponsored by, or held on behalf of,
the iPOC.  This lack of open communication and debate by and between the
two primary players in the controversy has created the troublesome
possibility of disruption -- or worse yet fragmentation -- of the
Internet.  This could mean e-mail does not get delivered, security is
compromised, and Web sites become inaccessible from some computers.  Given
the fragility of the Internet and its unproven performance as an effective
form of media for advertisers, the present situation has received close
attention by the U.S. advertiser and advertising agency communities who
collectively have contributed the bulk of funds thus far invested in the
Internet. 

     II.  The Historical Perspective

          While CASIE does knows that the Commerce Department is aware of
much of the history of the Internet that has brought us to the present
situation, it is nonetheless helpful for CASIE to outline its
understanding of that history.  If there is any material error in its
understanding, CASIE welcomes corrections. 

          Historically, Internet administration was primarily under the
auspices of the Internet Architectural Board ("IAB") and the Internet
Assigned Number Authority ("IANA").  IAB was responsible for the technical
architecture of the Internet and the IANA was responsible for
administering the allocation of Internet addresses among various
registrars that dealt with those in the public who wanted to establish a
presence or Web site on the Internet.  From the outset, IAB and the IANA
worked with the National Science Foundation ("NSF"), an agency within the
U.S. government dedicated, in part, to the development of new businesses
in the science and technology sector. 

          As the Internet grew, the NSF decided some existing roles could
be subcontracted to the private sector.  In 1992, the NSF called for
private sector bids to administer registrations under the .com, .net, and
.org. gTLDs.  NSI won the bid.  The contract expires in March, 1998. 

          Upon winning the bid, NSI took control of InterNIC, the body
that dealt with the public in the registration process in a nonprofit
status.  At the same time, two other "NIC's" were operating, ApNIC,
covering the Asian Pacific area, and RIPE,

covering most of Europe, although the geographical coverage of each was
technically not exclusive.  Nonetheless, InterNIC focused primarily on the
United States where the greatest growth occurred.  NSI invested millions
of dollars in developing .com, .net, and .org.  It was .com, however, that
saw the greatest growth, now with more than 1.4 million registrants and
new registrants coming aboard at a reported pace of nearly 100,000 per
month. 

          All this ran smoothly until 1996 when the NSF granted NSI
permission to charge a fee to new registrants and to require renewal fees
from those already on the Internet and to become a profit-making entity. 
Not surprisingly, NSI started making significant revenues, much to the
consternation of some members of the Internet community. 

          The prospect of profits also caught the attention of many
would-be entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on the bonanza.  They took a
number of forms.  First, an entire industry of Web site designers and
access providers was born.  Today, it is probably the most robust industry
associated with the Internet.  On a somewhat parallel course to the
InterNIC, the Alternic was formed by a loose association of companies
offering access to the Internet via their own network servers, using any
variety of top level domain names to entice registrants.  Some of the
Alternic's TLDs included .corp., .web, .arts, and .sex, each name intended
to indicate the nature of materials a consumer might find within the given
gTLD.  The Alternic, however, never really took off and is rumored today
to be largely a thing of the past, although some of the organizations that
first formed the Alternic are supposedly trying to form yet another
network that will access the Internet. 

          The NSF added more confusion to the situation when it announced
in April, 1997 that upon expiration of its contract with NSI in March,
1998 for the administration of its gTLDs, the NSF would not renew NSI's
contract and would no longer stay involved in Internet administration,
leaving it to the private sector to sort it all out.  This abandonment
allowed NSI to claim brand ownership of .com, .net, and .org, the
underpinning of NSI's competition model. This is a somewhat curious
position.  Clearly, when NSI was awarded the contract, it did not own the
gTLDs it administered under the terms of its contract with NSF.  Its
position, however, is that it built the gTLDs into the brands they are
today.  In NSI's words, "it invested millions in developing personnel,
policies and infrastructure to run domain name registrations.  Through its
own efforts alone, NSI has taken full risk on profit and loss,
with no assurances of profit."  It is under this theory that NSI
presumably believes it has a right to claim ownership of its gTLDs.  This,
however, would depend upon applicable local trademark laws. 
          
          During this process, it also became apparent that the second
level domains ("SLDs") were very valuable commodities.  Since the Internet
is a technical environment, no two SLDs can be identical within the same
gTLD.  For example, there can be only one cocacola.com. 

 While that may seem logical insofar as The Coca-Cola Company is
concerned, the issue is far more complicated in other examples.  Who
should have the right to delta.com?  Delta Airlines or Delta Faucets?  Who
should have the right to united.com?  United Airlines or United Van Lines? 
This dilemma gave rise to cybersquatters, individuals who rushed to
register as many SLDs with names associated with famous trademarks or
companies as they could with the hope of later selling them to the highest
bidder.  Trademark owners revolted and demanded that NSI address the
situation.  In response, NSI set up a rigid procedure whereby a
disgruntled trademark owner could challenge a domain name holder on the
basis of its superior trademark rights.  If victorious, the trademark
owner would have the right to the disputed SLD.  While the NSI challenge
process served to solve some of the problems, it created new ones as well,
particularly since it depended on the judicial system if a matter could
not be settled.  According to NSI, the result has been twenty six lawsuits
naming NSI as a defendant.  All but four of the suits have reportedly been
settled.  NSI points out that this is a relatively insignificant number
given the more than 1.4 million registrants.  Not within the number of
lawsuits, however, are the unknown number of private battles between
claimants to the same or similar SLDs and the unknown number of would-be
registrants who have abandoned a claim to a previously claimed SLD even
where they might have had a valid claim.  Add the business disruption that
lawsuits cause, and the "insignificance" of the problem is put into better
perspective. 

          As the phenomenon of cybersquatting grew, it became apparent
that SLD space was a very valuable commodity that grew scarcer every day
as more and more names were registered with InterNIC.  Amid all this
controversy, there was also a concern among some in the Internet technical
community, that the .com domain was growing too fast and that its growth
could undermine the structural integrity of the network.  It should be
noted that NSI disputes the conclusion that huge growth within the .com
domain threatens the stability of the Internet. 

          

          From this was born the IAHC.  While it is not altogether clear
how the IAHC was formed, its goals were to establish a centralized
administrative structure for the Internet and to introduce competition to
NSI in domain name registration and administration. 

          To understand the next stage of the controversy precipitated by
the organization of the IAHC requires some basic understanding of how the
Internet works. 
          Composing the heart of the Internet are the primary root
servers.  There are presently nine primary root servers operating, eight
in the United States and one in Sweden.  There can be as many as thirteen
primary root servers under the present structure of the Internet, the
technical reasons for which are unnecessary to this discussion.  These
primary root servers are designated with the first thirteen letters of the
alphabet -- "A" through "I" (most of which are maintained by uncompensated
volunteers who consider IANA the ultimate authority).  It is to the
primary root servers that the Internet Service Providers ("ISPs") and
Internet Access Providers ("IAPs") connect to access the Internet and
begin the journey of a given message from one remote computer to another
somewhere else in the world.  Perhaps the easiest way to understand the
structure is to picture the primary root servers as a multi-line
telephone, with the "A" server representing the first line and the
remaining servers, "B" through "I" representing the balance of the lines. 

          In order for the Internet to work, all registrants in all TLDs,
including the ISO 3166 country codes, must have their Internet addresses
entered first on the A server's database and then downloaded to the B
through I servers.  By doing so, whenever a Web user accesses the Internet
through his or her ISP or IAP, that Internet provider's connection to any
of the primary servers enables a search of the primary root server
databases until the location of the address the Web user requested is
found and the connection completed.  At present, NSI owns and controls the
"A" primary root server.  Every day, thousands of new Internet addresses
are loaded into its database by registrars of the ISO 3166 country codes,
its own InterNIC database of new registrants, and any new registrations
from APNIC or RIPE.  These are in turn downloaded into the databases of
the other primary root servers.  Thus, new addresses, including any new
gTLDs and associated SLDs attached to those gTLDs, cannot get into the
Internet unless they are first entered into the NSI's primary root server. 



          Recently, however, NSI has publicly taken the position that it
does not have the authority to accept new gTLDs, citing that such
authority must come from a consensus within the Internet community. 
Contrary to previously understood "protocol," it has become apparent that
NSI no longer recognizes the IANA as the authority over the authorization
of new TLDs, despite the fact that NSI accepted that authority for years
under what is described as a cooperative agreement between NSI and the
IANA.  Since the IANA is a part of the IAHC and a proponent of the IAHC
competition model, it would be inconsistent for NSI to propose its own
plan and at the same time take instructions from the IANA, despite its
history of doing so.  On the other hand, the IANA clearly believes it has
authority to unilaterally authorize the new gTLDs, although a letter has
been circulated by NSI from legal counsel for the University of Southern
California where the IANA resides that denies the IANA unilaterally has
such authority, again citing that such authority must come from a
"consensus" within the Internet community.  The problem with both NSI's
and USC's legal counsel's position is that NSI can effectively veto any
additional gTLDs if it disagrees with their implementation since NSI is a
material part of the Internet community whose disagreement with a given
course destroys the prospect of consensus. 

          This is where the real confusion starts. 

          The IANA has publicly said it does not believe NSI will violate
its long-standing cooperative understanding with the IANA and refuse to
program the new gTLDs into the Internet Domain Name Service.  The IANA has
posted a number of warnings to NSI regarding what the IANA believes to be
NSI's obligation in that regard.  NSI, however, continues with its public
position of lacking authority to implement the IAHC proposal.  In the face
of this, it is rumored that the IANA could order a realignment of the
primary root servers so that the one maintained by NSI is no longer the
"A" server from which all programming of new Internet addresses emanates.
The problem with that scenario, however, is that nothing would force NSI
to include the new programming on its server, thereby "splitting" the
Internet so that .com could not, for example, communicate with .firm and
vice versa.  The IAHC proposal calls for the new gTLDs to become active as
early as fall 1997.  If the stalemate between NSI and the IANA is not
resolved by then, the Internet community may face a disruption of the
Internet. 



          It is also important to remember that among the original group
of Internet founders are those who are very passionate about the integrity
and stability of the Internet.  Should NSI or any other organization play
an active role in any disruption, the "old timers" on the Internet, many
of whom are very technically savvy, may strike back by creating even more
disruption with "spamming" or other destructive programming.  It is
possible that, should the IANA "program out" NSI's "A" server, the
remaining servers comprising the Internet might be significantly more
vulnerable to hacker attacks.  Such knee jerk reaction by Internet
fanatics is not unprecedented. 

     III.  The Competing Proposals

          A.  The IAHC Proposal

               The IAHC has proposed a number of profound changes in the
present structure of the Internet.  The key changes are: 

                        Basic administration of the Internet by the
Policy
                     Oversight Committee ("POC") whose members are
appointed by a group of trade associations and quasi-governmental
organizations.  The POC will be physically based in Geneva, Switzerland. 
The iPOC is
                     in place until the full POC is appointed later this
year. 

                        Seven new gTLDs:

                       firm -- for businesses or firms; 
                       store -- for businesses offering goods to
purchase; 
                       web -- for entities emphasizing activities related
to the World Wide Web
                       arts -- for entities emphasizing cultural and
entertainment activities
                       rec -- for entities emphasizing
recreation/entertainment activities
                       info -- for entities providing information
services
                       nom -- for those wishing individual or personal
nomenclature

                        The addition of new registrars to compete with
InterNIC via a shared database of all SLD registrations worldwide.  Under
the iPOC proposal,
                         SLDs are "portable" -- a company can choose to
use
                         any registrar to register and/or administer its
SLD
                              and can change registrars at any time.  Such
a move
                         would not require a change in an Internet address
                              and would be transparent to consumers, much
like
                              a change in long distance telephone
carriers. 

                                         The establishment of a
self-regulatory process to resolve disputes over the ownership of SLDs in
instances where the owner of an "international
                      trademark" disputes a SLD registrant's right to a
particular domain name.  The procedure also
                     allows for the owner of an international trademark to
                     petition for a special ruling that its international
trademarks can be used only by it in any or all of the
                         gTLDs.  

          A.  The NSI Proposal

               In response to the IAHC proposal, NSI released its own
plan.  The key provisions in the NSI proposal are the following: 

                        Basic administration of the Internet by the
Federal Advisory Committee initially under the sponsorship
                         of a U.S. government agency and later shifted to
an
                         organization sponsored by an entity like the U.N. 

                        SLDs would not be shared in a common database. 
NSI would continue to "own" .com, .net, and .org and all
                         the SLD registrations within those domains. 
                     Marketplace demands would dictate whether
                     new registrars are formed to compete with
                     NSI's InterNIC.  If a company desires to enter
                     the market as a registrar, it would create its own 
                     gTLD and "own" it and the SLD registrations 
                     within it.  Thus, SLDs are not portable among 
                     registrars unless an owner is willing to change 
                     the gTLD, e.g., cocacola.com would become 
                     cocacola.firm.

                        Unlike the IAHC proposal, no new gTLDs are
immediately proposed.  New gTLDs would be
                     added as new companies chose to become registrars
                     as marketplace demands dictate.
          
                        Much like the present procedure, there is no
centralized SLD dispute resolution system in the
                     NSI plan.  Fights over who has the right to a given
                     SLD would be determined primarily by local courts.

     IV.  CASIE's Review and Conclusions

          In the end, CASIE's primary concern is that the Internet be a
stable medium for delivery of product and service information and
commercial messages to consumers.  Any system must also respect brands,
minimize consumer confusion, and avoid unnecessary administrative expenses
in doing so.  The IAHC proposal is one approach.  NSI's is another.  The
fact remains that many individuals, organizations, and companies very new
to the Internet only learned of the IAHC/NSI debate in December, 1996, the
timing of which made it very difficult to focus on given the holidays. 

          In the ensuing months, however, CASIE has had the opportunity to
review both the IAHC and the NSI proposals and to meet with the principals
of both organizations as well as attend key meetings on the future of the
Internet.  CASIE feels it is very competent to voice its opinion on the
various proposals. 
  
          On the basis of that review, CASIE believes that the IAHC plan
is a sound beginning and that the NSI plan is fatally flawed and should be
rejected as a viable structure for the Internet for numerous reasons,
including the following: 

                The NSI proposal has more government involvement and
oversight than the IAHC proposal.  Contrary to the rhetoric in the
marketplace, the IAHC has less government oversight and involvement than
the NSI proposal.  Indeed, the entire underpinning of the NSI proposal is
initial sponsorship by a U.S. government agency.  While the IAHC proposal
has quasi-government organizations involved, their role is not pivotal and
is less intrusive.  Interestingly, NSI describes the IAHC proposal as "too
bureaucratic."  Yet NSI's proposal has just as many bureaucratic layers. 

                The NSI proposal will allow for virtually uncontrolled
proliferation of gTLD's without a common SLD dispute resolution system in
place.  Since increasing gTLDs will undoubtedly become a reality in the
near future, it is better that it be controlled by a single source rather
than by the whims of entrepreneurs.  Otherwise, there is no assurance that
a given gTLD will be here one day and fail the next, leaving registrants
in the lurch. Thus, the NSI proposal is not attractive for brands and
brand protection for at least two reasons: 

                    > There is potential for consumer confusion as gTLDs
are added without centralized control or efficient directories, e.g.,
consumer confusion in trying to remember which gTLD serves a given SLD and
whether it has changed. 

                    > Because the NSI proposal has no viable provision for
centralized SLD dispute resolution, it leaves controversies to present
judicial systems where brand protection is spotty and expensive and where
each country may have entirely different approaches to trademark
protection. 

                The lack of portability of an SLD together with its
corresponding gTLD poses a significant problem for brand owners.  Since
brand names are often embedded in the domain address, changes are
undesirable.  In addition, the task of notifying consumers of a change
should a registrant change to another gTLD is unnecessary and cumbersome. 
Under the NSI proposal, if a registrant is dissatisfied with its
registrar, it must change its address to a new gTLD should it "relocate." 
This would in turn require "change of address" notices to Web browsers and
consumers, revising Web page content, and loss of immediate connection by
those consumers who have bookmarked the prior location.  Under the IAHC
proposal, a change in registrars would be transparent to the consumer. 
The result is better for both the domain owner and the public. 

                The competition model in the IAHC proposal is better. 
Based upon competition at the SLD level, the IAHC proposal will create
more robust competition.  Pricing and service will be the keys to
distinguish one registrar from another under the IAHC proposal.  Under the
NSI proposal, competition is at the gTLD level.  Given the inability to
migrate an address, a registrant is somewhat captured by a registrar under
the NSI proposal.  Clearly, it is less desirable to change a gTLD under
the NSI proposal than it is to change a registrar under the IAHC proposal. 
The latter is invisible to the consumer, the former requires Web page
content changes, explanations to consumers, and additional expenses.  NSI
argues that the "IAHC proposal does not recognize the need for market
branding in the commercial world.  Legitimate corporations will not invest
time, stockholder capital, and other resources in 'shared' brands."  While
it may be true that a given company may be more motivated to invest in
servicing a gTLD if it owns it, there are plenty of marketplace examples
where servicing shared databases has made for very healthy competition. 
The battle for long distance telephone carriage is but one of them.  NSI's
conclusion is a generality that does not pass muster under examination. 

                Contrary to perception, the key players in the iPOC are
U.S. based and thereby maintain, at least philosophically, a U.S.-centric
Internet.  While the NSI proposal is also U.S.-centric, it is dominated by
government, not business.  It is inaccurate to characterize the IAHC
proposal as a power grab to remove the U.S. from its dominant position
within the Internet community.  The first chair of the iPOC is a well
respected and accomplished trademark attorney from a Chicago law firm. 
Without doubt, the United States is well represented in the IAHC plan. 

                NSI has been less than forthcoming in its public
statements regarding the issues surrounding the IAHC proposal.  For
example, NSI has repeatedly claimed in written materials that "The White
House, State Department, European Commission, CIX (the largest ISP
organization with 170 members), and dozens of other commercial and
international organizations outright reject or have serious concerns with
the IAHC proposal ..."  At best, this statement can be described as
exaggerated; at worst misleading.  At meetings in Geneva when this
statement was read into the record, the United States representative and
the European Commission delegate denied the characterization.  Their
positions have been that they take no position -- positive, negative, or
neutral -- on the proposal.  That is a far cry from saying they "outright
reject or have serious concerns" with the proposal. 

                NSI has not participated in the open meetings conducted
by the IAHC in Geneva despite opportunities to do so.  It is disingenuous
at best to criticize a competing program while refusing to publicly debate
the opposing side when given the opportunity to do so.  NSI has said it
did not participate because it did not want to give the impression that it
recognized the IAHC as having authority to propose or implement any of its
proposed changes.  Such a position is nonsense.  The members of the IAHC
are as much a part of the Internet community as NSI.  NSI should have
given them the mutual respect of open discussion.  It would have prevented
much of the rhetoric that clouds the issues at hand. 

                NSI's proposal is motivated primarily by its desire to
protect its investment and market share, particularly in light of its
recently announced plans for an initial public offering.  That is entirely
understandable.  Were they to adopt the IAHC proposal, it could result in
corporate suicide.  Follow this scenario.  The IAHC proposal is endorsed
by NSI and its database of registrants becomes part of the shared database
available to all registrars.  Among the new registrars are the likes of
Digital, MCI, and other telecommunications giants.  Overnight, NSI would
move from a dominant to an insignificant role.  Given that not unrealistic
scenario, one can understand NSI's position.  What is best for NSI's
market position, however, is not necessarily what is best for the Internet
community.  The players in the IAHC proposal do not appear, however, to be
in the game for money.  Two of the IAHC members -- ITU and WIPO -- are
quasi-governmental agencies.  The remaining members -- the IANA, INTA,
ISOC, and IAB -- are non-profit entities.  While it is true they seek
power, that power appears to be motivated not by economics but by their
collective perception of what is best for the stable operation of the
Internet.  One may disagree with many parts of their proposal, but it is
clearly a plan by a group far more representative of the Internet
community than NSI. 

          In CASIE's support of the IAHC plan, however, it should not be
assumed that CASIE does not have material concerns about that plan as
well. 

          In CASIE's opinion, the following issues should be debated and
resolved before the IAHC plan is implemented: 

                Its alternative dispute resolution system's failure to
include coverage of the ISO 3166 country codes may create inconsistencies; 

                The POC should be more representative of the Internet
community and include members of the marketing community, third world
countries just beginning to take part in Internet commerce, and
international chambers of commerce, to name a few. 

                IANA's and ISOC's veto power on the POC is unworkable and
likely to alienate whatever Internet community exists; 

                The lack of formal legal status of some of the bodies
within the IAHC structure creates due process and jurisdictional issues
that need to be resolved; 

                Further attention needs to be given whether there will be
a way to pre- screen SLDs; 

                The impact, if any, of moving jurisdiction over the
administration of the Internet to Geneva needs to be evaluated. 

                France's concern expressed in Geneva at the late May
meeting that the IAHC proposal SLD dispute resolution system as submitted
may be hard to enforce, is time consuming, and may be too expensive should
be evaluated. 

                NSI properly points out that the IAHC proposal does not
"address the total situation."  NSI claims IAHC fails to address three
important areas: the allocation of IP addresses, the management of
Internet identifiers, and the administration of the "dot" (that part of an
Internet address that helps route a message or request).  While these
areas may be matters the iPOC will take up later or considers to be within
the present IAHC proposal, its position in respect to these issues needs
to be clarified. 

          Without doubt, the IAHC stumbled when it initially proceeded too
quickly and did not allow full participation by the Internet user
community.  They have begun, however, to mend their ways.  It now appears
that the iPOC is considering a more participatory period of discussion and
debate.  That remains to be seen. 

     V.  CASIE's Formal Response to the Questions Posed by Commerce

          The following constitutes CASIE's formal reaction to the policy
statements and response to the questions posed by the Department of
Commerce, lettered and numbered to correspond to the form published by the
Department: 

               A.  Appropriate Principles -- Are the following principles
appropriate?  Are they complete?  If not, do they need revision and might
they be fostered? 

                    a.  Competition in and expansion of the domain name
registration system should be encouraged.  Conflicting domains, systems,
and registries should not be permitted to jeopardize the interoperation of
the Internet, however.  The addressing scheme should not prevent any user
from connecting to any other site. 

                         CASIE Response:  CASIE believes competition in
the domain name registration system is long overdue.  Without competition,
services will not improve and prices will remain inelastic.  CASIE agrees,
however, that it is crucial that change and competition not impact on the
integrity of the Internet.  Therefore, the change must be slow and
controlled.  Of the two proposals presented, the IAHC proposal is the most
controlled with a central body determining the timing for new gTLDs.  The
NSI proposal is potentially too unsettling by permitting new gTLDs at the
whims of would-be entrepreneurs.  Controlled growth like that proposed by
the IAHC is one way to ensure fluid and transparent communication among
consumers and users of the Internet. 

                    b.  The private sector, with input from government
should develop stable, consensus-based self-governing mechanisms for
domain name registration and management that adequately defines
responsibilities and maintains accountability. 

                         CASIE Response:  CASIE agrees that the private
sector, with appropriate input from governments throughout the world, is
the best structural alternative.  The Internet has become a global
phenomenon, beyond the exclusive regulatory control of any one government. 
While the U.S. government certainly has the greatest claim to the
Internet, it should adopt an open, leadership role  in fostering private
sector control of the network. 

                    c.  These self-governance mechanisms should recognize
the inherent global nature of the Internet and be able to evolve as
necessary over time. 

                         CASIE Response:  This principle is a critical
part of any evaluation of Internet governance.  The Internet is a truly
global communications network without boundaries.  Its growth can only be
ensured if the various interests in the Internet community learn to work
together with evolving self-governance.  Both the IAHC and the NSI
proposals seek such a structure, the only primary difference between the
two being the greater degree of government supervision in the NSI
proposal. 

                    d.  The overall framework for accommodating
competition should be open, robust, efficient, and fair. 

                         CASIE Response: CASIE agrees with this policy
statement.  The structure for competition, however, should be focused on
what will best serve the interests of the Internet user, not those
competing for the business.  Thus, the NSI proposal of registrars "owning"
gTLDs must be rejected.  It is fundamentally unsound both for competition
and for service to the Internet user. 

                    e.  The overall policy framework as well as name
allocation and management mechanisms should promote prompt, fair, and
efficient resolution of conflicts, including conflicts over proprietary
rights. 

                         CASIE Response:  Obviously, CASIE agrees with
this policy statement.  The mechanisms, however, will have to evolve over
time and everyone must be patient.  The present judicial systems among the
various countries throughout the world differ widely.  It will take years
to sort out the many differences.  For that reason, self-regulatory models
should be tried and revised.  Over time, a system for the "prompt, fair,
and efficient resolution of conflicts, including conflicts over
proprietary rights" will evolve. 

                    f.  A framework should be adopted as quickly as
prudent consideration of these issues permits. 


                         CASIE Response:  A rapid resolution of the issues
is important.  Otherwise, the rhetoric and misinformation will only
continue, further undermining the confidence the advertiser and
advertising agency communities have in the Internet.  In this respect, it
would seem advisable for the NSF to utilize the six-month "flexibility
period" between April 1, 1998 and September 30, 1998 provided in the NSI
contract to orchestrate an orderly transition to new governance of the
Internet. 

               B.  General/Organizational Framework Issues

                    1.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of the
current domain name registration systems? 

                         CASIE Response: (i) Advantages -- with one
predominant commercial domain, i.e., .com, communications to and from
consumers is simple.  Assuming a particular second level domain name owner
is first to claim its name, consumers can easily find it by coupling the
second level domain name with .com.  For those owners who captured their
second level domains early, the system is fine.  There is little, if any,
advantage to them to see change.  (ii) Disadvantage -- unfortunately, the
bulk of potential users of the Internet who might want their own SLDs is
increasing exponentially.  As a result, the "space" within .com for
appropriate SLDs that in some manner identify the owner is becoming an
ever declining commodity.  This is a distinct disadvantage to new users. 
They must adopt names that a consumer can only find through search
engines, themselves overloaded with countless variations within the .com
domain.  For them, new gTLDs are necessary and desirable.  In addition,
the current NSI SLD dispute resolution procedure is inequitable and
contravenes accepted principles of trademark law.  NSI insists it is not
an arbiter of rights to SLDs, yet NSI can and will reassign or place on
indefinite "hold" a well-known SLD simply because the owner of a trademark
registration for the same name demands it.  NSI's procedure automatically
favors the trademark owner, even when the cited registration is not for
Internet-related services and the owner is not using the mark on the
Internet.  NSI also disavows any liability to, and demands indemnification
from, the registrant for suspending an SLD, even if the disruption damages
or destroys the registrant's business and NSI suspends the SLD with
reckless disregard for the registrant's legal rights.  Earlier this year,
the International Trademark Association's Internet Subcommittee released a
paper which "propose(d) that the current NSI Dispute Policy be recognized
as a failure and eliminated, (and) that domain name disputes be left to
the courts."  Regardless of whether one prefers the courts or the SLD
dispute resolution plan proposed by the IAHC, it is clear that NSI's
procedure is unacceptable. 

                    2.  How might current domain name systems be improved?

                         CASIE Response:  Controlled addition of new gTLDs
is one solution that appears to have the most support.  At the May/June
meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva,
however, two alternatives to the addition of new gTLDs were proposed.  A
number of the European countries appear to favor an emphasis on the ISO
3166 country codes.  There are nearly 200 such TLDs, one for virtually
every country.  According to those country representatives who supported
this approach, using the country codes instead of the existing or proposed
gTLDs would alleviate the present SLD conflict.  That position is
incorrect for at least two reasons.  First, the use of gTLDs like .com is
too widespread and accepted to turn back the clock.  Second, and more
importantly, focusing emphasis on the ISO 3166 country codes presents a
nightmare for brand management with each country separately determining
the fate of a given brand name.  A smaller group of countries suggested
abandoning unique SLDs entirely and making all SLDs random numbers.  This
would eliminate the trademark issue since it would be impossible to use a
brand name.  While this alternative may have been viable at the inception
of the Internet, it's far too late to introduce that now.  Too much equity
has been built up by companies in both the gTLDs and the ISO 3166 domains
to reverse the trend.  Therefore, the only viable solution appears to be
the addition of new gTLDs.  Another improvement would be the creation of a
central, searchable directory of SLDs, much like an on-line telephone
book, that would provide a simple mechanism for Internet users to
determine SLD owners.  The present "Whois" search does not cover the ISO
3166 domains and does not allow searches by corporate names rather than
exact SLDs. 

                    3.  By what entity, entities, or types of entities
should current domain name systems be administered?  What should the
makeup of such an entity be? 

                         CASIE Response:  (i) It seems to be universally
agreed upon that governments should not be the administering bodies.  Both
the NSI and the IAHC proposals suggest predominately self-regulatory
systems.  Upon close analysis of the two proposals, there is not much
difference in their respective approaches.  CASIE believes that the
self-regulatory philosophy is sound and that either proposal could
eventually evolve into an acceptable administration model, although the
IAHC proposal appears to be more aggressive in that regard while the NSI
proposal starts off with more significant U.S. government oversight. 
CASIE questions whether that oversight is needed or desired given the
global nature of the Internet and its many years of self-regulation
without significant disruption.  (ii) The entities that are involved in
the administration should be representative of the Internet community and
evolve as the Internet grows.  The IAHC proposal only begins that process. 
The proposed structure of the Policy Oversight Committee ("POC") should,
however, be shuffled to allow for participation of other sectors of the
Internet community, e.g., the commercial sector, third world nations, etc. 
The NSI plan is not clear on the mix of participants, but it is assumed
that the same basic policy applies. 

                    4.  Are there decision-making processes that can serve
as models for deciding on domain name registrations systems (e.g., network
numbering plan, standard-setting processes, spectrum allocation)?  Are
there private/public sector administered models or regimes that can be
used for domain name registration (e.g., network numbering plan, standard
setting processes, or spectrum allocation processes)?  What is the proper
role of national or international governmental/non-governmental
organizations, if any, in national and international domain name
registration systems? 

                         CASIE Response:  (i) CASIE believes that
self-regulation and dispute resolution systems that avoid formal judicial
process are well suited for the Internet.  The WIPO has established
procedures for arbitration and mediation, together with an experimental
process, the Administrative Challenge Panels ("ACPs"), for the resolution
of second level domain name disputes on the Internet.  The WIPO system is
very worthy of consideration.  Other self-regulatory bodies may propose
similar systems, but the WIPO process is an established, global system. 
The fears of some "U.S.-centric" companies and individuals that the WIPO
system undermines the U.S. judicial system must be alleviated, however,
through more thorough discussions with representative from the WIPO than
thus far have occurred.  (ii) An increased role of national or
international governmental organizations in national and international
domain name registration systems should be avoided.  The Internet has
largely been a self-regulated system for most of its existence.  To now
impose significant government oversight would be disruptive.  There is
also no apparent reason that it is necessary.  There is a role, however,
for certain quasi-governmental organizations like the U.N. bodies or other
such global organizations.  Such organizations, however, should play more
of a supportive role than a governance responsibility.  Governance should
be placed with non- governmental trade associations, businesses, and
organizations that are the primary users of the Internet. 

                    5.  Should generic top level domains (gTLDs), (e.g.,
.com) be retired from circulation?  Should geographic or country codes
(e.g., .US) be required?  If so, what should happen to the .com registry? 
Are gTLD management issues separable from questions about International
Standards Organization (ISO) country code domains? 

                         CASIE Response:  (i) CASIE strongly believes that
the present gTLDs, i.e., .com, .org, and .net, should not be retired. 
Many companies and individuals have invested millions of dollars in
developing their Web sites at these gTLDs.  By retiring them, such
companies are deprived of their investment for no logical reason.  Nor
would it be logical to retire those domains for new registrations, leaving
the present owners intact.  Despite the ever declining "inventory" of
available SLDs, .com is a robust and active gTLD.  Nothing should, or
needs to, be done to undermine it.  (ii) As discussed earlier, requiring
ISO 3166 country codes will not solve the problems at hand.  First, the
present gTLDs are too established.  Second, requiring new addresses that
include the ISO 3166 designation will only confuse Internet users and cost
millions in unnecessary investment.  (iii) As stated, the .com domain
should remain intact.  There is no reason to undermine or diminish its
worth.  (iv) CASIE believes that the ISO 3166 country codes must
eventually come within the same governance umbrella as the gTLDs.  In this
respect, it would appear that the NSI proposal is better than that
proposed by the IAHC where ISO 3166 governance is not addressed.  As a
first step, however, it may be necessary to start with governance of the
gTLDs and evolve into full governance of both the gTLDs and the ISO 3166
country codes.  That evolution, however, needs to be debated and should
not be left unresolved as is currently the case in the IAHC plan. 

                    6.  Are there any technological solutions to current
domain name registration issues?  Are there any issues concerning the
relationship of registrars and gTLDs with root servers? 

                         CASIE Response:  (i) CASIE lacks the expertise to
opine on whether there are any technological solutions to the current
domain name registration issues.  (ii) CASIE strongly believes that if a
registrar controls a primary root server there is an inherent conflict of
interest.  The owner of a root server can directly affect the routing of a
given gTLD and its corresponding SLDs.  If a given owner of a root server
is also a registrar, it could disrupt other registrars' customers. 
Therefore, the root servers should be independent from the registrars. 


                    7.  How can we ensure the scalability of the domain
name system name and address spaces as well as ensure that root servers
continue to interoperate and coordinate? 

                         CASIE Response:  CASIE lacks the technical
expertise to respond to this question. 

                    8.  How should the transition to any new system be
accomplished? 

                         CASIE Response:  While the various dimensions of
this question are not clear to CASIE, any transition should be carefully
considered.  Clearly, the National Science Foundation should play a
leadership role, together with its historical partners in the Internet,
the Internet Assigned Number Authority, the Internet Architectural Board,
and NSI.  The transition must also involve the members of the former IAHC. 

                    9. Are there any other issues that should be addressed
in this area? 

                         CASIE Response:  It is unclear in either the NSI
or the IAHC proposal how the administrative functions are going to be
financed.  Proper administration under both plans will require full time
staffs and many volunteers.  Who will be compensated?  By whom?  How will
they be financed?  Who will administer the administrative funds? 

               C.  Creation of new gTLDs

                  10.  Are there technical, practical, and/or policy
considerations that constrain the total number of different gTLDs that can
be created? 

                         CASIE Response:  CASIE lacks the technical
expertise to respond to this question. 

                    11.  Should additional gTLDs be created?

                         CASIE Response: For the reasons stated in the
answer to question 2., CASIE believes that the addition of new gTLDs is a
sound alternative. 

                    12.  Are there technical, business, and/or policy
issues about guaranteeing the scalability of the name space associated
with increasing the number of gtlDs? 

                         CASIE Response:  CASIE lacks the technical
expertise to respond to this question. 

                    13.  Are gTLD management issues separable from
questions about ISO country code domains? 
                         
                         CASIE Response:  As stated in its answer to
question 5., CASIE believes the gTLD and ISO 3166 country code management
issues, while separable, must some day come under one, centralized
administration. 

                    14.  Are there any other issues that should be
addressed in this area? 

                         CASIE Response:  CASIE has no further comments on
Section C of the request. 

               D.  Policies for Registries

                    15.  Should a gTLD registrar have exclusive control
over a particular gTLD?  Are there any technical limitations on using
shared registries for some or all gTLDs?  Can exclusive and non-exclusive
gTLDs coexist? 
                         
                         CASIE Response:  (i) CASIE cannot over-emphasize
its belief that no registrar should have exclusive control over a
particular gTLD.  Allowing such control is contrary to the best interests
of the SLD owner and the clear trend of portability in global
communications.  NSI's position that companies will not invest in gTLDs
they cannot "own" does not withstand scrutiny.  Certainly, the competition
among long distance carriers for service of consumers illustrates how
portability best serves the consumer.  In addition, the International
Telecommunications Union and other international governmental and non-
governmental bodies have clearly adopted the idea of portability in
telephone numbers as the wave of the future.  Why would there be any
reason not to adopt the same concept to the coupling of SLDs to gTLDs? 
(ii) CASIE lacks the expertise to evaluate whether there are any technical
limitations on using shared registries for some or all gTLDs.  (iii)
Allowing exclusive and non- exclusive gTLDs will only cause confusion. 
Since there is no justification to allow exclusivity in the first place,
placating the internal financial fears of the present registrars is poor
management and a flawed decision. 

                    16.  Should there be threshold requirements for domain
name registrars, and what responsibilities should such registrars have? 
Who will determine these and how? 

                         CASIE Response:  (i) While CASIE would support a
minimum financial requirement for registrars (provided that requirement
did not act as an unreasonable barrier to entry for companies interested
in becoming registrars), CASIE has insufficient knowledge to determine
what minimum capitalization a given registrar should have. 
 (ii) Presumably, NSI, NSF, and the members organizations of the IAHC have
the collective expertise to set the minimum standards. 

                    17.  Are there technical limitations on the possible
number of domain name registrars? 

                         CASIE Response:  CASIE lacks the technical
expertise to respond to this question. 

                    18.  Are there technical, business and/or policy
issues about the name space raised by increasing the number of domain name
registrars? 

                         CASIE Response:  (i) On the technical side, CASIE
lacks the expertise to respond to this question.  (ii) CASIE believes
that, in principle, increasing the number of domain name registrars should
not create business or policy issues, provided registrars follow
standardized procedures and utilize a centralized database that insures
the integrity of the Internet.  Presumably, the greater the number of
registrars, the more robust the competition. 

                    19.  Should there be a limit on the number of
different gTLDs a given registrar can administer?  Does this depend on
whether there registrar has exclusive or non- exclusive rights to the
gTLD? 

                         CASIE Response:  (i) CASIE is unaware of any
business or policy reasons a registrar should be limited in the number of
gTLDs it administers.  CASIE lacks the expertise to determine if there are
any technical reasons a registrar should be limited in the number of gTLDs
it administers.  (ii) As CASIE has stated in its answer to question 15.,
it strongly believes there is no logical justification for a system of
both exclusive and non-exclusive gTLDs.  Therefore, the answer to the
second question is moot. 

                    20. Are there any other issues that should be
addressed in this area? 

                         CASIE Response:  CASIE has no further comments on
Section D of the request. 


               E.  Trademark Issues

                    21.  What trademark rights, e.g., registered
trademarks, common law trademarks, geographic indications, etc.), if any,
should be protected on the Internet vis-a-vis domain names? 

                         CASIE Response:  SLDs that utilize established
brand names or variations thereof should be afforded full protection under
trademark laws.  The very purpose of an SLD owner in using its established
trademarks or variations thereof is to denote a source of goods or
services that can be found on the World Wide Web.  In that sense, the SLD
is used as much as a trademark as it is as an Internet address.  In
addition, it is clear that misuse by third parties of such established
trademarks that do not have legitimate rights therein dilutes the value of
the trademark and causes consumer confusion when a Web user attempts to
find the Web site of a particular trademark owner only to find that the
site is either unavailable or controlled by a totally unrelated party. 
The extent of the protection should be subject to established principles
of trademark law.  Thus, geographic designations should be afforded little
protection unless strong secondary meaning has been established through
use, registration, and other extrinsic evidence.  Similarly, common law
trademarks would not be expected to have the same broad protection
afforded federally registered trademarks. 

                    22.  Should some process of preliminary review of an
application for registration of a domain dame be required, before
allocation, to determine if it conflicts with a trademark, a trade name, a
geographic indication, etc.?  If so, what standards should be used?  Who
should conduct the preliminary review?  If a conflict is found, what
should be done, e.g., domain name applicant and/or trademark owner
notified of the conflict?  Automatic referral to dispute settlement? 

                         CASIE Response:  (i) The idea of a process for
preliminary review of an application for registration of a domain name was
extensively discussed at the WIPO May/June meeting in Geneva.  There are
considerable complications in adopting a pre-screening process, the least
of which is the lack of adequate global databases that incorporate
trademark registrations from around the world.  While there are some
companies that have apparently made progress in this regard, e.g.,
Internet Computer Bureau Plc., Bridge House, 181, Queen Victoria Street,
London EC4V 4DD, United Kingdom, tel: 0171 837 6889, e-mail:
Paul.Kane@ICB.co.uk., a comprehensive database appears years away.  Until
it is in place, pre-screening is not realistic.  (ii) Until a viable
database is in place, establishing standards is premature.  (iii) Just as
is the case in the present U.S. system, the first review should be by the
applicant before it files an application.  Once filed, the registrar would
then compare the name against the existing database for an identical name. 
Assuming there is no exact match, the SLD should be issued.  (iv) This
should be followed by publication on the Internet at a location that can
be easily accessed and searched by trademark owners.  By periodically
searching this location, trademark owners will be able to determine
whether any potential infringements have been registered.  If so, the
trademark owner may then take appropriate measures to protect its
trademark rights.  There should be no affirmative obligation by the
registrar to notify anyone.  (v) The concept of an automatic referral to
dispute settlement is an unnecessary administrative burden.  It should not
be the responsibility of a registrar to police the trademark rights of
non-registrants or other registrants.  Trademark owners should bear the
responsibility of initially policing their trademark rights. 

                    23.  Aside from a preliminary review process, how
should trademark rights be protected on the Internet vis-a-vis domain
names?  What entity(ies), if any, should resolve disputes?  Are national
courts the only appropriate forum for such disputes?  Specifically, is
there a role for national/international governmental/nongovernmental
organizations? 

                         CASIE Response:  (i) The resolution of SLD
disputes via a self-regulatory system as an alternative to local courts
should be available.  It should not, however, be mandatory.  Trademark
rights are territorial.  No "global" trademark law exists.  While over
time, case law developed through the self-regulatory system may develop
global principles for the Internet.  But in the short term, trademark
owners should have the right to resort to the judicial system.  There
should also be a mechanism like that proposed by the IAHC that allows
global protection of internationally known trademarks.  The procedures for
such protection, however, require far more debate than has occurred thus
far.  (ii) The IAHC's ACP format is an example of an alternative dispute
resolution system, although its relationship with local courts needs to be
carefully reviewed.  CASIE is unaware of any other viable proposal.  (iii)
Without doubt, national courts are not the only appropriate forum for such
disputes.  Virtually every modern judicial system recognizes the wisdom
and value of alternative dispute resolution systems.  The Internet is no
less an environment for ADR than any other forum.  (iv) While CASIE
believes there is a role for national/international governmental
organizations, the primary focus should be on nongovernmental alternatives
given the unique global nature of the Internet. 

                    24.  How can conflicts over trademarks best be
prevented?  What information resources (e.g., databases of registered
domain names, registered trademarks, trade names) could help reduce
potential conflicts?  If there should be a database(s), who should create
the database(s)?  How should such a database(s) be used? 

                         CASIE Response:  (i) At present, preventing
conflicts over trademarks on the Internet is an evolving dilemma.  Over
time, principles will be established both in courts and through
self-regulatory systems.  It is far too early to state any definitive
manner to prevent conflicts short of adopting random numbering for SLDs,
an alternative that has little, if any, viable support in the Internet
community.  (ii) Clearly, comprehensive databases of SLDs and trademarks
(both registered and common law) are desirable.  The precise configuration
of such databases requires much discussion and debate.  Most importantly,
however, progress in resolving the gTLD/SLD controversy should not be
delayed for lack of adequate information resources.  (iii) Preferably, the
databases should be created by the private sector.  Some companies have
already begun the task.  Clearly, private sector efforts will be faster
and more comprehensive than governmental efforts.  (iv) It is premature to
decide how such databases should be used.  Until we know what those
databases should or will include, how they would be used is idle
speculation. 

                    25.  Should domain name applicants be required to
demonstrate that they have a basis for requesting a particular domain
name?  If so, what information should be supplied?  Who should evaluate
the information?  On the basis of what criteria? 

                         CASIE Response:  (i) While CASIE believes that
applicants should file requests in good faith, any requirement to
"demonstrate" a basis for requesting a particular domain name should be
minimal and inexpensive.  Otherwise, access to the Internet is limited by
economics.  (ii) Similar to the present system used in the Untied States
for federal trademark registrations, applicants should be required to file
an affidavit that attests to their good faith belief that they have the
right to claim ownership of the SLD and that their registration and use of
it will not infringe upon the rights of any third parties.  Beyond that,
little more can be expected until viable databases are in place that allow
for economical pre-screening.  (iii) At present, other than comparing the
requested SLD against the database of previously registered SLDs in a
given gTLD, registrars should not evaluate the information included in an
application.  Requiring more would be an unnecessary administrative
burden.  Furthermore, there presently are no comprehensive databases that
allow for a viable review.  (iv) In CASIE's view, since requiring an
evaluation of the information included in an application is unrealistic,
establishing criteria is unnecessary. 

                    26.  How should the number of different gTLDs and the
number of registrars affect the number and cost of resolving trademark
disputes? 

                         CASIE Response:  This question poses the "Catch
22" of adding new gTLDs.  While new gTLDs are necessary to allow
legitimate owners of trademarks to adopt SLDs that are associated with
such marks, the corresponding need to police all of the gTLDs for
trademark infringement increases the cost of marketing on the Internet. 
It remains unclear whether increasing the number of registrars will
similarly increase costs.  Assuming, however, that all the registrars use
a shared database and follow centralized, consistent rules regarding
disputes, the number of registrars should have little bearing on costs. 

                    27.  Where there are valid, but conflicting trademark
rights for a single domain name, are there any technological solutions? 

                         CASIE Response:  CASIE lacks the technical
ex-pertise to respond to this question. 

                    28.  Are there any other issues that should be
addressed in this area? 

                              CASIE Response:  CASIE has no further
comments on Section E of the request.