From: "Lassotovitch, Ed" <LassotovitchE@AutoNationUSA.com>
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
Date: 9/1/98 6:20pm
Subject: C:\My Documents\Guidelines For Future Expansion of the.doc
Here is comment for the .US domain expansion in Word 97 format.
Guidelines For Future Expansion of the .US Domain
The administrative structure of the .US domain system should be expanded to accommodate the commercial needs of people and businesses who want to use .US. This can be done in a manner similar to the way that .com, .net, .edu and .org are administrated through the InterNIC. It is evident that the InterNIC is a success. Several years ago, it was not apparent that the InterNIC would be successful. However, it has proven itself to be a model structure for the administration of domain names.
The most obvious first step to implement an expansion of the .US domain would be to start with adding .com.us, .net.us, .org.us and .edu.us to the DNS. With this in mind, given the extremely political nature of public DNS, guidelines, rules and structure need to be implemented to regulate, control and ultimately ensure the future success of the expansion of the .US system. To explain why the expansion will need to be structured, it is first necessary to explain the history of .US system, and how it is currently structured.
Currently the .US domain name system is controlled by ISI, which is administered by Jon Postel, one of the visionaries of the Internet. Jon Postel envisioned a more "communal" form of DNS that would be controlled by the public with .US. He believes that by distributing DNS out to the public, that it would be a system 'for the people, by the people'. In essence a more democratic DNS. This has proven to be a failure. The first reason that it is a failure is that Postel has insisted that long, protracted domain names, such as washington.dc.us as the baseline to be built on. The initial idea was that everyone could have the domain names they want, as long as it was trailed by a city name. This proved to be unpopular. Noone wants to learn or type long domain names. City names quickly proved to have a very low demand. The second reason is that by it's very nature, DNS is not 'democratic'. One entity must control the root domain. Subdomains must be delegated and controlled by sub-parties. Those sub-parties must further delegate domain names. On top of this, DNS is not free. Expensive Internet lines and DNS servers must be meticulously maintained. All of this caused several severe problems:
1. DNS that had previously been intended to be free, started to cost money. People who had previously owned DNS names for free, all of a sudden had large bills saying pay us (the registrars that were delegated the domains) or we will cut off your DNS service.
2. DNS names that were intended to be publicly available were owned by unreliable operators. These operators would not distribute DNS to those who asked for it.
3. Operators, attempting to market their domain names, were unsuccessful because of the poor marketability of the domain names and would go out of business. This would cause massive outages in the DNS service.
4. Operators with poor technical skills and bad Internet lines would cause outages of DNS servers.
5. Political fighting over who owned DNS names, what the naming standards were and the right to charge for DNS, caused many lawsuits, threats and sabotage within the system.
6. ISI, overloaded with resposibilities and lawsuits was not able to handle the system efficiently and in a profitable manner.
7. The system overall was fractionalized. Any attempt to market the .US domain as a whole was in vain. This further destroyed the marketability of the system.
This resulted in a huge, uncontrollable, unreliable bureaucracy. Not only were the DNS names inconvenient to remember, but they were inconvenient to own as an administrator. Currently the .US domain still exists, but just barely. Fortunately we have the ability to learn from the mistakes of the past.
Meanwhile, the InterNIC flourished. It is now a profitable publicly owned company. It did go through a lot of hard times, but now it is a excellent company. For this reason the .US domain should be structured in a similar manner in the following way.
The first step is to establish a commercial entity in control of the system. This can be created, similar to the InterNIC, by creating a new division of an existing company interested in pursuing this venture. This should be a company with a proven track record of excellent customer service and technological prowess in the the Internet industry. It can be a pseudo- governmental company similar to SAIC (the father company of the InterNIC) or a known large communications provider, willing to invest or raise sufficient capital to launch such a venture as well as support such a large customer database. They should also have the technical expertise on hand to implement and administer such as system readily. To alleviate the demand for ownership of such a system the entity should be owned by the public. The company should issue an IPO (Initial Public Offering) on the public stock market, such as NASDAQ. It should be underwritten by a major investment banking institution such as Alex Brown or Goldman Sachs. This IPO should state that shareholders of the company should expect to see a future increase in the value of their shares and that the stock will distribute significant dividends on a regular basis. This will serve to provide capital to the venture as well as place ownership into the hands of the public.
Technically, there are several steps that need to be taken to deploy such a system.
1. The company should install at least 7 DNS servers at corporations, ISP's and major Internet NAP (Network Access Points) distributed around the country. These sites should be companies that offer co-location services and are willing to negotiate long-term cost effective contracts to house the servers. These need to be companies that have a proven track record of stable Internet connectivity, large amounts of available bandwidth, strong financial status, a record of responsible management of third party servers and be accessible by the owner of the co-located servers 24 hours per day.
2. ISI should be required to delegate .com.us, .org.us, .edu.us and .net.us to this company. Jon Postel and ISI should give 100% guaranteed ownership of these domain names to this company. The .US domain name servers can remain in place. Records can be added to point to the new second level servers. In the event that ISI can no longer support the root level of the .US domain, ISI will turn over all DNS that they own to the company.
3. The DNS servers should be built modeled on what the InterNIC is currently using. They should be what the InterNIC considers to be a reference standard quality DNS server. These servers should have the capability to accept mass updates similar to how the InterNIC updates DNS servers currently.
4. An extensive customer database management system should be built ahead of time. This database system should be stress tested to hold large amounts of data and do many simultaneous transactions. The database system should be designed to fully automate the server update process. It should also serve to fully automate the billing process. It should be dynamic, structured to handle the complex one to many relationships involved in tracking customers and the DNS they own. It should be done in a RADS (Rapid Application Development System) database programming language. This will allow future fundamental structural changes to be made to the database.
5. A first class call center should be implemented. This should include automatic call routing and automatic performance tracking such as average time on hold before a call is taken. It should also include automatic lookup of customer information when a call is received and customer service personnel performance statistics. The call center should be staffed with trained customer service personnel and managers.
6. A website containing a full whois server should be implemented. Automated forms to process requests for domain names should be on this site. These forms should be directly tied to the database and billing companies so that customer transactions are fully automated.
7. If money is available, a marketing campaign should take place to publicize the domain. This is critical to notify the availability of the new structure.
8. Copyright laws should be adhered to, to prevent people from using another company's name, similar to what exists at the InterNIC today.
Technically, implementing a new DNS structure is not difficult. Politically it is very hard. By following strict guidelines and learning from the past, new DNS structures can be put into place. The ultimate goals are stability and customer service. This goals can be reached if the system and the entity that controls it are designed and built correctly.
From: "Sam Taufao" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 8/31/98 6:35pm
Subject: Re: Docket No. 980212036-8172-03: U.S. Gov't Position on ccTLDs and national go
Thank you William for your comments. I think there is a confusion on my point. If your assumption is such that the US national govt insinuates control over other countries ccTLD, then I am with you. However, my reading of the statement is such that "each national government should have some form of control over the ccTLD". In this case, I would support this latter statement.
I think the management of ccTLD is evolving and significant element of the Internet. It is affecting societies now in a much different way than it used to be and in each countries, national development and policies are priorities of governments. Regardless of what we say of governments, they are robust structures which we contribute to and they provide stability. The new IANA is a step forward to the evolution of the Internet and as Internet becomes entrenched in our lives, it makes sense for national governments to play a role.
It does seem to me that some form of government control is best entertained at the ccTLD level. If we define it at that area, then government's involvement is very minimal. But as a body, governments are answerable to people who vote them in and out. I don't believe there is any such mechanism to promote effective control and fair use of ccTLDs in the present arrangements.
I certainly would see Pacific island countries losing out if their national governments don't have some form of control over ccTLDs. I have a lot of examples for anybody who wishes to know, but this information is irrelevant for this list.
PS. I don't work for a government organisation though.
From: J. William Semich (NIC JWS7) <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>; firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>; el@lisse.NA <el@lisse.NA>; firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Monday, 31 August 1998 11:52
Subject: Re: Docket No. 980212036-8172-03: U.S. Gov't Position on ccTLDs and national go
>I agree with your point of view on the need by some Pacific nations, as
>well as other developing nations, for local government support in
>developing their Internet resources.
>But my concern here is different from that. The issue at hand is that,
>if the U.S. Gov't decides it can set the future direction for ccTLD
>management policies (as it seems to think it is doing, what with its
>Green Paper, White paper, etc.), then that means the U.S. Gov't can
>decide that only governments *should* be involved in ccTLD domain name
>registration policies and delegations, and not the private companies,
>nonprofits, Universities or any of the other entities currently in place
>for ccTLD management that are doing just fine without local government
>I object to that outright. It is not for the U.S. government or the NTIA
>or the Commerce Dept. of the U.S. Gov't to suddenly decide how the ccTLD
>system should work in the future.
>That does not preclude accepting local government support, cooperation,
>etc. for ccTLD management activities, Internet development, etc, on the
>But that is a whole lot different from saying what the U.S. gov't
>appears to be saying right now - that national governments should be in
>total control of the ccTLD system in any particular locale - which is
>just not the current situation in many locales, in fact.
>In the U.S. Government's last three drafts or policy statements about
>ccTLDs, it has said, first, "More than 200 national, or country-code,
>TLDs (ccTLDs) are administered by their corresponding governments,"(from
>the "Green Paper" of Jan. 30, 1998), second, "Of course, national
>governments now have, and will continue to have, authority to manage or
>establish policy for their own ccTLDs." (from the "White Paper", Docket
>Number: 980212036-8146-02, of June 5, 1998) and, third, "national
>governments would continue to have authority to manage or establish
>policy for their own ccTLDs" (the more recent "request for comments" on
>changes in the .us domain, Docket No. 980212036-8172-03).
>It is interesting to note that as these U.S. Gov't mis-statements have
>progressed over time, they have more and more strongly asserted national
>governments' control over management of ccTLDs. There is just no basis
>either in U.S. or International law or treaty, or in the Internet's RFCs
>, for the U.S. Gov't to assume this, however.
>In fact, the U.S. Government is not completely informed as to the
>current system of ccTLD management worldwide; ccTLDs were *not*
>delegated by national governments, many are *not* managed by national
>governments and their policies are *not* set by national governments, so
>it would be impossible the governments in these localities to "have, and
>continue to have, authority to manage or establish policy for [sic]their
>own ccTLDs", especially in ISO Country Codes where no government exists.
>The problem is, because the U.S. government believes it has the "policy
>setting authority" for the Internet's domain name system, whatever it
>decides in these "dockets" could well have the effect of law and could
>determine how the ccTLD system is managed in the future. That would
>mean a major change in the various ways things currently work for many
>ccTLD managers and, again, I object to that as well.
>What I am asking the U.S. Gov't to do is to "step out" of that part of
>the domain name policy process that effects ccTLDs, to retract the
>mis-statements it has already made (above), and not to make *any* direct
>policy-setting statements or any "assumptions" about current ccTLD
>policies, especially since the U.S. Gov't seems to have so little
>knowledge of the current extremely diverse system already in place for
>In Niue, the Internet Users Society has a very positive relationship
>with the local gov't but, like the .nz domain, we are an independent
>non-profit group with no direction from the government. That approach
>works best for our business model.
>And like NZ, many other gov'ts are moving towards privatization of many
>public services, and have no desire to get involved in ccTLD management
>as well. If late starters would like to ask their local governments to
>get involved in supporting their activities, so much the better for
>them. But many others are well ahead of their governments on the
>Internet and have no interest in being "directed" by politicians on how
>to do things.
>At any rate, I'd say we don't need the U.S. Gov't telling us how to do
>it, that's for sure.
>Hope that clarifies my position, and thanks for asking.
>J. William Semich (NIC JWS7)
>Internet Users Society - Niue
>Alofi, Niue, via Auckland, NZ, The South Pacific
>The .NU Domain
>Memberships: WWTLD, APTLD, APIA, ISP/C. ISOC, PAB (gTLD-MoU)
From: YONG D'HERVE Daphne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 9/1/98 8:37am
Subject: ICC comments on US White Paper
The ICC (International Chamber of Commerce ), the world business organization, is pleased to submit herewith its observations on the US White Paper on the Management of Internet Names and Addresses.
Also attached is the ICC's previous statement of Principles for an
Electronic Commerce-Friendly Domain Name System.
Both documents are in Word 97.
Please feel free to post these documents on the relevant US government
These papers have also been mailed to Mr Ira Magaziner, Head of the
Special Interagency Taskforce on Electronic Commerce.
Intellectual Property, Competition and Taxation
ICC (International Chamber of Commerce)
Tel: (33-1) 49 53 28 27
Fax: (33 -1) 49 53 28 59
ICC web site: http://www.iccwbo.org
CC: 'Gymer Keith' <GymerK@hlcec1.agw.bt.co.uk>
International Chamber of Commerce
The world business organization
Principles for an electronic commerce-friendly domain name system
Policy Statement prepared by the ICC Domain Names Taskforce
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the world business organization. It is the only representative body that speaks with authority on behalf of enterprises from all sectors in every part of the world. Founded in 1919, it represents today thousands of member companies and associations, both large and small, from over 130 countries. The ICC's purpose is to promote international trade, investment and the market economy. It is actively involved in formulating private sector rules and guidelines for electronic commerce, and operates the foremost international arbitration service for dealing with commercial disputes.
The ICC has a respected history of developing global, self-regulatory policies, guidelines and practices and a solid track-record of successfully introducing and promoting self-regulatory schemes. The ICC has been actively involved in developing global initiatives to facilitate electronic commerce and has set up a special broad-based Electronic Commerce Project (ECP) to define appropriate rules, in which over 500 companies world-wide are participating. Recent ECP and associated initiatives have included: GUIDEC, privacy model contracts and guidelines, Revised Online Advertising Guidelines, framework of rules for dematerialized
trade, model electronic sales contract, E-terms1. The ICC Court of Arbitration has extensive experience in developing and implementing alternative dispute resolution procedures and is currently studying its application in the field of electronic commerce.
The phenomenal growth of the Internet as an electronic information medium is well documented. It is clear that this growth is increasingly being driven by mainstream businesses establishing an on-line presence and by ordinary consumers who want to take advantage of the increasing range of services and sources of information available. Datamonitor, the commercial research business, has recently estimated that in Europe alone, on-line retail sales will grow from just over $100m a year in 1997 to over $4.5 billion in 2002. Price Waterhouse has also suggested that worldwide e-trade over the Internet could reach over $400 billion in the same
year2. In this environment, it is business which will provide the investment necessary to develop the underlying global information infrastructure and the global information services for the future. It is also businesses who are likely to be the principal users of domain names as they seek to create an Internet identity and on-line brand recognition.
1 Further details of these initiatives are available at ~hyperlink http://www
2 Information from the Financial Times Guide - net.gain, June 1998
International Chamber of Commerce
38, Cours Albert 1er, 75008 Paris, France
Telephone +33 1 49 53 28 28 Fax +33 1 49 53 29 42
Web site ~hyperlink http://www E-mail email@example.com
Domain Name Administration
The future of Internet domain name administration has been the subject of considerable debate over the last two years. The ICC previously issued a "Statement on trademarks and the
Internet"3, in which it made a number of suggestions for features required for the domain name system to meet business needs. The ICC has also been represented at the various WIPO hearings on proposed changes to the domain name system and draft dispute resolution policies.
The US Administration, which has historically been indirectly responsible for overseeing DNS administration, has undertaken extensive consultation and issued requests for comment, including a "Green Paper", entitled "Technical Management of Internet Names and
Addresses"4 on proposals for changes to DNS administration. The need for changes to the current system has been driven by: a) dissatisfaction about the absence of competition in domain name registration; b) concern over conflicts between trademark holders and domain name holders; c) demands for a more formal and robust management structure; and d) demand for greater international participation in Internet administration to reflect the increasing proportion of internet stakeholders residing outside of the US.
The US administration has now concluded its consultations with the publication of a
so-called "White Paper" entitled "Management of Internet Names and Addresses" (Docket No:
9802120368146-02 dated 5 June, 1998) -which sets out its own final recommendations5. The White Paper calls for the creation of a new private-sector, not-for-profit corporation to assume the responsibilities of the existing IANA as a self-regulatory, governing body to set policies for administration of the domain name system.
The ICC welcomes the publication of the White Paper and supports the Policy Statement that the domain name system should be administered by a not-for-profit corporation (now frequently referred to as "the new IANA") formed by private-sector Internet stakeholders. The ICC endorses the principles of stability, competition, private-sector coordination and international user representation. However, the White Paper leaves open the key issues of who should have responsibility for the creation of the proposed new corporation and how members of its Interim Board are to be selected. The Interim Board will have responsibility for taking fundamental policy decisions on contentious issues of domain name administration which will have profound consequences for business use of the internet. The ICC believes that it is essential for business interests to be appropriately and sufficiently represented at every stage - in the incorporation process, on the Interim Board and on the subsequently elected Board.
The administration of the domain name system (DNS) is itself an essential element in the broader context of Internet governance as a whole. The ICC's focus is obviously not limited to consideration of the DNS issues in isolation. As a truly international and cross-sectoral business organization representing commercial parties with an interest in the Internet, including business users generally, carriers and service providers as well as major trade mark owners, the ICC offers a much wider commercial perspective and is well-qualified to represent the business constituency at every stage on all issues of governance.
3 ICC Document 4501843 dated 15 May 1997
- 2 -
- 2 -
To facilitate comprehensive stakeholder input into the process of formation of the new IANA, the ICC itself has supported and is represented in the ad hoc group of professional, trade and educational associations called the International Forum on the White Paper (IFWP) - which has organised regional meetings in the US, Europe and the Far East specifically to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the key issues involved in transition of the DNS administration into the private sector.
In order for the Internet to become an effective and successful medium for electronic commerce, the domain name system must facilitate and increase business and consumer confidence in Internet transactions. It therefore has to be structured and administered to meet consumer and business needs.
The ICC accordingly supports those recommendations in the White Paper which are directed to that end. More specifically, the international business community believes the following principles should particularly apply:
Principles for an electronic commerce-friendly domain name system
1. The domain name system must have operational stability, integrity and security and be supported by a predictable legal environment (i.e. there must be confidence about how different stakeholder interests are secured.)
2. Business interests from the various regions of the world should have a sufficient voice in any entity administering the domain name system - and specifically at all stages in the incorporation and operation of the "new corporation" proposed in the White Paper-commensurate with the reality that it is business which will increasingly be the primary source of future investment in the Internet and which will comprise the most significant market for
3. New gTLDs should be created where necessary to improve the functionality and utility of the DNS for businesses and consumers as a whole, rather than just to increase business opportunities for new registries themselves; new gTLDs should be adequately scalable to meet future demands; must facilitate fair competition and limit the potential for conflicts; must not jeopardize system stability; and should be phased in to allow time to review the benefits/effects of their introduction.
4. Brand names and trading styles must be protected, in particular, to reduce the scope for fraud and misrepresentation and the risk of confusion of the public. Consumers must have confidence in electronic transactions through a secure infrastructure and the ability to rely on established brand identities, trade marks, trade names and corporate reputations as guideposts of trust and reliability. Developing this level of consumer trust in transactions will spur electronic commerce and enable new markets to be opened with competition from new entrants by developing a critical mass of e-consumers. The importance of brand recognition for consumers and commercial operators must therefore be taken into account in the structure
and operation of the domain name system7. Specifically:
6 see the White Paper proposals for Structure of the new corporation.
7 see the White Paper Revised Policy Statement on Trademark Issues.
- 3 -
· policies for the addition and operation of any new gTLDs must recognize business and consumer concerns regarding trade marks and trade names;
· within the constraints of technology, the domain name system should enable entities wanting a presence on the Internet to have a domain name by which the public can easily identify them;
· there should be sufficient flexibility to allow different legitimate claimants to the same trade mark, trade name or sign to exploit this as a domain name, while ensuring adequate means to differentiate between them ;
· registration policies should prohibit cybersquatting, warehousing, piracy and any such misappropriation of trade marks or trade names in domain names;
· "famous", trade marks should be accorded
· the system should allow persons or entitles with intellectual property rights, trade marks, trade name or other distinctive signs, to intervene as early as possible to protect their interests; and
· appropriate jurisdictional options for trademark owners must be preserved; in particular, jurisdictional choices should not be restricted to the advantage or disadvantage of the businesses of one country relative to those of any other country.
5. As the Internet is an intrinsically global system of communication, there must be globally representative participation in the formulation of policy concerning the DNS, as well as in technical, operational and administrative functions, so that no one country has de facto control over those functions.
6. There must be international coherence between the different systems of allocation of domain names in different registries (for both generic top level domains (gTLDs) and country code-top level domains (ccTLDs)). Consistent procedures must be implemented by all registries and registrars, including baseline requirements for trade mark dispute resolution procedures and
requirements for accurate and complete information in domain name applications8.
7. An internationally coherent and effective legal framework should be established to address problems arising out of the use of trade marks, trade names and other distinctive signs on the Internet, and potential conflicts with domain names. More specifically, the following issues should
be addressed at an international level in a forum such as WIP09:
· jurisdictional conflicts between the territorial nature of trademark law and the international scope of the Internet;
· the protection of famous marks on the Internet;
· the effects of new gTLDs on trademark holders;
· the international prevention of cybersquatting, warehousing and hoarding of trademarks as domain names; and in the longer term, appropriate further international harmonization of trademark laws.
8 see the White Paper Revised Policy Statement on Trademark Issues.
9 See the White Paper proposals for THE TRANSITION
- 4 -
8. Effective and timely dispute resolution mechanisms are essential. Dispute resolution policies for all registries should be consistent and there should be a choice of fora for dispute settlement. The ICC Court of Arbitration could provide an alternative dispute resolution forum.
9. The White Paper recommendation that more effective use be made of the US country code domain should be extended to country code domains (ccTLDs) generally. Differences in allocation rules; failure to structure the domains to reflect the realities of the business environment and to facilitate general business use; anti-competitive and abusive monopoly practices; and other inefficiencies, which are exhibited to a greater or lesser degree by many country code administrations, mean that the ccTLDs are not being utilised as efficiently or effectively as they could. Internationally consistent, market-oriented organisation and operation of ccTLDs could reduce the pressure on gTLDs and reduce the potential for undesirable conflicts over domain names.
10. Initiatives to develop search systems allowing users to locate sites without relying primarily on domain names could help relieve pressure on the domain name system and reduce the potential for conflicts with trademarks and should therefore be encouraged.
The ICC looks forward to providing further input from the international business community on the future development of the domain name system.
Document n° 450/876
28 July 1998
International Chamber of Commerce
The world business organization
Observations on the US "White Paper"-
"Management of Internet Names and Addresses"1
(Docket No: 980212036-8146-02 dated 5 June, 1998)
Supplementary Commentary prepared by the ICC Domain Names Taskforce
ICC has issued a Policy Statement "Principles for an electronic commerce-friendly domain name system" (ICC Doc. 450/876, 23 July 1998) enumerating key principles which the international business community believes should apply to future domain name administration.
ICC has welcomed the publication of the White Paper and now offers the following Supplementary Commentary from the business perspective in the specific context of the US Government's Revised Policy Statement in the White Paper.
For convenience, this Supplementary Commentary follows the format of the Revised Policy Statement in the White Paper. A brief summary of each statement in the White Paper is followed by specific commentary including references, where appropriate, to the relevant principles already outlined in the ICC Policy Statement.
ICC strongly supports the proposed transfer of administration of the Internet name and address system to a not-for-profit corporation to be formed and run by private sector Internet stakeholders. This approach is consistent with the promotion of private-sector, self-regulatory initiatives for dealing with such issues of governance which has been widely endorsed in various governmental statements on the creation of an appropriate regulatory framework for international e-commerce. The European Union, the US and Japan, for example, have all issued statements 2 supporting such an approach.
A European Initiative in Electronic Commerce - http://www.cordis.lu/esprit/src/ecomcom.htmJoint
E.U. -US. Statement on electronic commerce - http://www.qlinks.net/comdocs/eu-us.htm
US - A Framework for Global Electronic Commerce - http://www.ecommerce.gov/framewrk.htm
US-Japan Joint Statement On Electronic Commerce - http://www.ecommerce.gov/usjapan.htm
The US Government's assurance that access will be provided to existing databases and software developed under relevant agreements with the US. Government is fundamental to ensuring continuity and a smooth transfer of operations. Insofar as such access will be essential to open the existing system to effective competition, it is important that every effort should be made to achieve this access by 30 September 1998 when the existing contracts expire.
The Coordinated Functions
The White Paper proposes that the new corporation should coordinate:
· Management of IP addresses
· Operation of the root server network
· Policies for management of gTLDs (including addition and allocation of gTLDs)
· Policies for establishing TLD registries and registrars
· Maintenance and dissemination of protocol parameters
ICC agrees with this proposal.
Principles for a New System
The White Paper indicates that the new corporation should particularly respect four key principles :
This is recognised as the essential first priority, a principle which is fully endorsed by the business community (see ICC Principle 1). As the White Paper states, stability also comprises security and reliability. Again, these are clearly key to establishing and maintaining business and general user confidence in the system.
ICC obviously supports the view that the new corporation should encourage competition wherever possible and should be oriented to the needs of the market. However, the fundamental importance of maintaining stability of the domain name system and avoiding chaos means that the introduction of competition must be managed responsibly (see ICC Principle 3). At present, therefore, ICC shares the generally accepted view expressed by most other stakeholders that registries should be operated on a not-for-profit basis allowing shared access to the registry database and accepting registrations without discrimination from recognised registrars who operate in open competition with each other. The underlying policy objective should be to improve the functionality and utility of the DNS for businesses and consumers as a whole, rather than just to increase business opportunities for new registries or registrars.
Private, Bottom-Up Coordination
The new corporation should be organized to gather input from all stakeholder groups so as to respond most effectively and efficiently to the market requirements consistent with its policy objectives above (see ICC Principle 5).
ICC agrees that the new corporation should reflect the functional and geographic diversity of the Internet stakeholder groups. There must be broad international participation at all policy-making levels of the new corporation. From the business perspective, any proposals for apportioning representation must recognise that it is business which will increasingly be the primary source of future investment in the Internet and which will comprise the most significant market for domain names. The Internet has become overwhelmingly commercial in use and application. Most of the current infrastructure development of the Internet is geared to commercial use and exploitation of the medium (this includes new entertainment and communications delivery technologies). This is not to diminish the importance of the work of those involved in the technicalities of IP Addressing or Protocol issues, nor is it intended in any way to marginalize the significant and altruistic contributions of the many dedicated engineers who have developed and continue to maintain the technical foundations of the Internet. It is simply an acknowledgement of the reality that the focus and primary use of the medium is now commercial (see ICC Principle 2).
The new corporation is intended to have authority over :
· Policy for allocation of IP addresses
· Administration of the authoritative root server network
· Policy for addition of new TLDs
· Assignment of other Internet technical parameters.
ICC agrees that such authority is appropriate in the circumstances.
The White Paper suggests that the new corporation could be funded by domain name registries and IP registries or possibly some other as yet unspecified entities. Funding by domain name registries and IP registries would be logical, and would presumably involve imposing a levy on registrations undertaken by each such body. The costs would therefore ultimately fall on the registrant or end-user of a domain name or IP address in each case. Any funding mechanism should be transparent and impose the minimum additional costs on users consistent with enabling the new corporation to properly carry out its allocated responsibilities.
ICC agrees that for continuity and efficiency it is highly desirable that the new corporation should be able to draw on the unique experience and expertise of the existing IANA and other relevant bodies (e.g. the IAB) so far as possible.
Consistent with its position on representation (see ICC Principle 5) ICC supports the White Paper's expectation that the new corporation's organizers should include representatives of the full range of stakeholder groups. The White Paper proposes that the new corporation should be headquartered in the US. This obviously makes good practical sense given the historical involvement of US based entities in the administration processes to date and the need to ensure continuity. However, it is important that this should not entrench effective control in the US. The new corporation should facilitate globally representative participation in all aspects of administration, including technical, operational and administrative functions, so that no one country has any long-term or de facto control over those functions.
Again, the organizational structure must provide for appropriate international representation of all stakeholder groups. In particular, it must accord business interests a level of participation commensurate with the critical role business will have as the primary investors in the future information infrastructure and services (see ICC Principle 2).
The White Paper proposes that an Interim Board should be constituted initially to establish a system for electing a full Board of Directors; to develop policies for the addition of TLDs and to establish qualifications for registries and registrars.
ICC believes that the role of the Interim Board should be restricted to settling the initial organizational structure and developing the processes for election of the full Board. The Interim Board should not take any final decisions on contentious operational issues such as the addition of new TLDs. Such decisions should be left for the full Board to consider based on considered recommendations of the specialist, subsidiary "councils" which are intended to be established to review such issues in detail. However, the Interim Board should clearly have authority to initiate appropriate studies and consideration of the substantive issues relevant to each respective Council.
ICC agrees that the Interim Board members should also be properly representative of the functional and geographical diversity of internet stakeholders, and that it would be appropriate for both Interim and full Board positions to be nominated and elected from membership or other associations that can ensure broad representation. ICC also agrees that whilst representatives of governments and intergovernmental organizations would be welcome to participate in an advisory capacity, it would not be appropriate for them to be accorded voting rights in the new private-sector organization.
Governance and Operations
The White Paper rightly emphasizes that the new corporation should establish sound and transparent decision-making processes, with appropriate safeguards, including super-majority or even consensus requirements for critical changes. Proposals to change the constitution of the new corporation (e.g. amending its Charter, Bylaws etc.) should require more than a simple majority vote, for example. However, as the Internet is evolving and the various stakeholder communities are also changing, the new corporation must also have flexibility to adapt its constitution and organization to reflect such changes.
The White Paper envisages the formation of specialist, subsidiary "councils" to develop, review and make policy recommendations to the Board in the area of each council's competence. Councils for IP numbering, Internet Protocols and Domain Names have been proposed. Devolving responsibility for proposals to specialist councils comprising experts in their respective fields is clearly a practical approach to deal with the differing administrative issues which the Board will have to manage. ICC supports such devolution in principle. However, it will be essential that the councils themselves are also fully representative of all the interested stakeholders in each case. In any event, the Board should always retain the ultimate authority to approve or reject policies recommended by the councils.
ICC agrees that the new corporation must be pro-competitive, subject to the overriding requirements to maintain stability, security and reliability of operation of the DNS as noted above in discussion of the basic Principles for a New System (see ICC Principles 1 and 3). At this stage ICC also agrees that there would seem no reason to exempt the new corporation from the commercial discipline of antitrust legislation.
Where there is potential for conflict between domain name and trade mark interests, it is essential that sufficient information be available from domain name registry databases to identify registrants and permit an effective challenge to a registration in such cases. ICC recommends that the same information as is customarily available about the proprietor and other details of a registered trade mark from a trade mark registry should also be required from a domain name registry. The White Paper suggests that, as a minimum, up-to-date contact and registration information, including a mail address for service and registration history, including all relevant dates should be provided. Information on the country of establishment of the registrant and location of its operations using the registered domain name would also be desirable for jurisdictional purposes, together with corresponding information on the registrar which carried out the registration (see ICC Principle 6).
The US Government also expressly recommends the adoption of policies requiring:
· payment of registration and renewal fees at the time of registration or renewal - many abuses under the present system have exploited the fact that domain names can be delegated and put into operation without the registrant ever paying; ICC has no objections to requiring pre-payment if this is effective in reducing the levels of abuse ;
· submission to the jurisdiction of the registry, registry database, registrar or location of the "A" root server - whilst recognising the practicality of this proposal, ICC is concerned that any such prescriptive jurisdictional provisions should be subject to review to ensure that they do not systematically advantage or disadvantage registrants or challengers in one country over those in another (see ICC Principle 4);
· alternative dispute resolution to deal with cybersquatting and cyberpiracy - many members of ICC have suffered from the misappropriation of their trade marks and trading names in domain names registered by those with no rights to such names but who seek directly or indirectly to benefit from the established reputations and goodwill of the rightful owners of those names. Fortunately, national Courts have generally recognised such misappropriation as an evident abuse and several judgments have condemned the practice. However, Court action is costly and may be prohibitive for smaller businesses, so ICC welcomes any proposals which would enable the problem to be dealt with more quickly and cheaply and consistently (ICC can offer input from its own experience and expertise in administering alternative dispute resolution procedures through ICC International Court of Arbitration, which could itself act as an ADR forum for disputes in this field (see ICC Principles 7 and 8)); as an additional deterrent to abusive registrations, ICC would also recommend that penalties should apply where the database details provided by the registrant are false or misleading ;
· processes for protecting certain "famous" trade marks - ICC supports moves to provide effective protection for "famous" marks - the identification of what is or is not a "famous" mark will need to be based on objective, quantifiable criteria if it is to be workable and acknowledged as fair, otherwise this issue may prove intractable (see ICC Principle 7);
· no restriction on recourse to national law - ICC agrees that all parties must clearly remain free to have recourse to their national courts.
The US Government has identified certain actions which should be carried out in the near future :
· The private sector must establish the new corporation and the Interim Board must be in place by the 30 September, 1998 deadline when the existing contractual arrangements will expire. The US Government will then need to enter into appropriate arrangements with the new corporation to effect the desired transfer of responsibilities. ICC strongly approves the US Government's express commitment to consult with the international community over decisions relating to the transfer. Full consultation and consideration of international stakeholder interests will be essential if the transfer is to foster broad acceptance around the world.
· The US Government must come to an agreement with NSI to facilitate shared registry operation and the opening of equal access to enable competition between registrars for registrations in the existing gTLDs, .com, .org and .net. ICC believes that all possible steps should be taken to ensure that this transition takes place without delay. Early introduction of effective competition in the existing gTLDs will do much to relieve concerns many stakeholders have over the lack of adequate competition in domain name registration. However, uncompetitive behaviour is not exclusively a gTLD problem. Many country code domains (ccTLDs) could also benefit from more competitive operation. Many ccTLDs are not being utilised as efficiently or effectively as they could. Internationally consistent, market-oriented organization and operation of ccTLDs could reduce the pressure on gTLDs and reduce the potential for undesirable conflicts over domain names (see ICC Principle 9).
· The White Paper anticipates that WIPO will be requested to convene an international process to develop recommendations for resolving trade mark and domain name disputes - ICC welcomes the moves WIPO has already started to carry out such a process. In particular, ICC supports the broad terms of reference drafted by WIPO in its rfc-13. ICC believes that it is indeed important that the panel of experts constituted by WIPO to assist in the process should be chosen for their specific expertise as well as being appropriately representative.
· An early review of the root server system is proposed, with specific focus on increasing security and placing the system under professional management. ICC agrees that this is certainly one of the important issues which the new corporation will need to address as a matter of urgency.
Document n° 450/879
28 August 1998