From: James McKenna <email@example.com>
Date: 9/21/98 8:38am
Subject: .us for people, not businesses
I'm glad to hear the .us domain will soon become available for use. I'm a little concerned, however, that many of the logical domains will go almost instantly to business interests.
Since US business has made extensive use of the .com and .net domains (not to mention some abuse of the .org domain), it would be a strong corrective to dedicate .us domains to private use, or at least to allow some advantage to people wanting to create private communities using the .us domain.
From: Daniel Grantham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 9/21/98 4:25pm
Subject: Comments on the Enhancement of the .us Domain Space, in response to the Request for Public Comment (Docket No. 980212036-8172-03).
Office of International Affairs, NTIA
Room 4701, U.S. Department of Commerce
14th and Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
Comments on the Enhancement of the .us Domain Space, in response to the Request for Public Comment (Docket No. 980212036-8172-03).
Dear Ms. Rose,
The .us top level domain (TLD) provides the United States with a golden opportunity to alleviate overcrowding in the .com and .org domains, to experiment with new forms of Internet governance, and to present an example to the world of how the American values of free speech and open communication go hand-in-hand with the Internet. NTIA has taken the first crucial step by recognizing the value of the .us domain in promoting these goals. However, we feel that certain issues involving policy guidance of this domain, and the potential conflict of commercial speech versus other types of speech, need to be addressed more strongly by NTIA.
In response to question (5) of NTIA's ".us Request for Comments," I believe that the policy issues surrounding the .us domain should be handled by a U.S. Internet Council, a forum where the U.S. Internet community can negotiate policy for the .us domain under the jurisdiction of U.S. law. The existence of such a body would not conflict with the current trend of internationalizing Internet governance. On the contrary, it would ensure that the U.S.-specific
TLD, .us, is maintained according to U.S. law and U.S. values of free speech, without the need for accountability to foreign governments. This domain could then serve as an example to the world of fair, democratic Internet governance.
The existence of the Internet Council would facilitate the separation of policy and technical administration of domain names. This is clearly a necessity, since the policy-making body must be held open to participation by and be accountable to the U.S. Internet user community and the U.S. Government and legal system, while the technical overseers of the domain name system should be free of these responsibilities.
I believe that the .us domain should be organized initially into a small number of second-level domains (SLD's) based on the type of content to be organized under each. (Question 3) SLD's can be created for commercial content, personal content such as individual home pages, and for political speech. The current geographical system, which assigns SLD's to states and localities, does not make sense to a modern, mobile, location-independent Internet company or organization, and it violates the Internet's "location-independent" philosophy. Mapping addresses in .us to postal addresses or phone numbers does not make sense for the same reasons -- there is no value to associating an Internet address with a specific locality.
Finally, I believe that noncommercial and commercial speech should be given equal protection in the .us domain, as addressed in question (6), and that trademark owners not be given any special
precedence in obtaining a domain name. Law and court cases have established that simply registering a domain name does not constitute use of a trademark. Thus, companies should not be able to pre-empt the registration of a domain name similar to their corporate trademarks, especially not in the personal and political SLD's we propose. Since the Internet was first created as a tool for communication and collaboration, not for buying and selling, any policy which protects the right of commerce over freedom of expression violates the spirit under which the Internet has achieved its phenomenal success. The first-come, first-served system of assigning domain names which exists currently has been an important factor in this success by allowing a very fast turnaround for domain name registrations. To replace this system with something resembling the lengthy registration, review, public notice, and opposition process which registered trademarks require would be unmeasurably damaging to the Internet's viability as a medium of speech.
In order to maintain the values which are key to the Internet's growth, and to set an example to the world Internet community, I ask that NTIA make a high priority of the following policy
recommendations put forth by the Domain Name Rights Coalition:
a) That the protection of free speech be a primary policy goal for those overseeing the .us domain.
b) That "No Internet policy will prevent individuals or businesses from using their full imagination and creativity to create and label products, services and content for the Internet, just as they do in traditional channels of communication and commerce."
c) That policies for the .us domain "will affirmatively and expressly set out protections for free speech and open communication, as well as protections for intellectual property rights in the digital environment."
d) That these policies "will protect and promote the development of new Internet products and services by entrepreneurs and small businesses, as well as the ongoing marketing and sale of products and services by long-established companies."
The proposed expansion of domain names under the .us TLD cannot help but alleviate overcrowding on the generic TLD's like .com and .org. However, we have an opportunity to achieve other goals with this transformation: a strengthened protection of the rights of free speech and entrepreneurship which our country stands for.
From: "David Burress" <david@IPPBR.WPO.UKANS.EDU>
Date: 9/21/98 1:07pm
Subject: .us domain names
1. a policy body with widespread membership to make policy decisions
2. no special privileges for trademarks
3. no special privileges for commercial sites
4. no regional or state domain names.