UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Management of Internet Names and Addresses
Docket Number: 980212036-8146-02
AGENCY: National Telecommunications and Information Administration
ACTION: Statement of Policy
SUMMARY: On July 1, 1997, as part of the Clinton Administration's Framework for Global Electronic Commerce,(1) the President directed the Secretary of Commerce to privatize the domain name system (DNS) in a manner that increases competition and facilitates international participation in its management.
Accordingly, on July 2, 1997, the Department of Commerce issued a Request
for Comments (RFC) on DNS administration. The RFC solicited public input
on issues relating to the overall framework of the DNS administration,
the creation of new top-level domains, policies for domain name registrars,
and trademark issues. During the comment period, more than 430 comments
were received, amounting to some 1500 pages.(2)
On January 30, 1998, the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA), an agency of the Department of Commerce, issued
for comment, A Proposal to Improve the Technical Management of Internet
Names and Addresses. The proposed rulemaking, or "Green Paper," was
published in the Federal Register on February 20, 1998, providing opportunity
for public comment. NTIA received more than 650 comments, as of March 23,
1998, when the comment period closed.(3)
The Green Paper proposed certain actions designed to privatize the management
of Internet names and addresses in a manner that allows for the development
of robust competition and facilitates global participation in Internet
management. The Green Paper proposed for discussion a variety of issues
relating to DNS management including private sector creation of a new not-for-profit
corporation (the "new corporation") managed by a globally and functionally
representative Board of Directors.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This general statement of policy is not subject
to the delay in effective date required of substantive rules under 5 U.S.C.
§ 553(d). It does not contain mandatory provisions and does
not itself have the force and effect of law.(4)
Therefore, the effective date of this policy statement is [insert date
of publication in the Federal Register].
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Rose, Office of International
Affairs (OIA), Rm 4701, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
(NTIA), U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Ave.,
NW, Washington, D.C., 20230. Telephone: (202) 482-0365. E-mail: email@example.com
AUTHORITY: 15 U.S.C. § 1512; 15 U.S.C. § 1525; 47 U.S.C.
§ 902(b)(2)(H); 47 U.S.C. § 902(b)(2)(I); 47 U.S.C. § 902(b)(2)(M);
47 U.S.C. § 904(c)(1).
Domain names are the familiar and easy-to-remember names for Internet
computers (e.g., "www.ecommerce.gov"). They map to unique Internet Protocol
(IP) numbers (e.g., 188.8.131.52) that serve as routing addresses on the
Internet. The domain name system (DNS) translates Internet names into the
IP numbers needed for transmission of information across the network.
U.S. Role in DNS Development:
More than 25 years ago, the U.S. Government began funding research necessary
to develop packet-switching technology and communications networks, starting
with the "ARPANET" network established by the Department of Defense's Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the 1960s. ARPANET was later linked
to other networks established by other government agencies, universities
and research facilities. During the 1970s, DARPA also funded the development
of a "network of networks;" this became known as the Internet, and the
protocols that allowed the networks to intercommunicate became known as
Internet protocols (IP).
As part of the ARPANET development work contracted to the University
of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Dr. Jon Postel, then a graduate student
at the university, undertook the maintenance of a list of host names and
addresses and also a list of documents prepared by ARPANET researchers,
called Requests for Comments (RFCs). The lists and the RFCs were made available
to the network community through the auspices of SRI International, under
contract to DARPA and later the Defense Communication Agency (DCA) (now
the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)) for performing the functions
of the Network Information Center (the NIC).
After Dr. Postel moved from UCLA to the Information Sciences Institute
(ISI) at the University of Southern California (USC), he continued to maintain
the list of assigned Internet numbers and names under contracts with DARPA.
SRI International continued to publish the lists. As the lists grew, DARPA
permitted Dr. Postel to delegate additional administrative aspects of the
list maintenance to SRI, under continuing technical oversight. Dr. Postel,
under the DARPA contracts, also published a list of technical parameters
that had been assigned for use by protocol developers. Eventually these
functions collectively became known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
Until the early 1980s, the Internet was managed by DARPA, and used primarily
for research purposes. Nonetheless, the task of maintaining the name list
became onerous, and the Domain Name System (DNS) was developed to improve
the process. Dr. Postel and SRI participated in DARPA's development and
establishment of the technology and practices used by the DNS. By 1990,
ARPANET was completely phased out.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has statutory authority for supporting
and strengthening basic scientific research, engineering, and educational
activities in the United States, including the maintenance of computer
networks to connect research and educational institutions. Beginning in
1987, IBM, MCI and Merit developed NSFNET, a national high-speed network
based on Internet protocols, under an award from NSF. NSFNET, the largest
of the governmental networks, provided a "backbone" to connect other networks
serving more than 4,000 research and educational institutions throughout
the country. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and
the U.S. Department of Energy also contributed backbone facilities.
In 1991-92, NSF assumed responsibility for coordinating and funding
the management of the non-military portion of the Internet infrastructure.
NSF solicited competitive proposals to provide a variety of infrastructure
services, including domain name registration services. On December 31,
1992, NSF entered into a cooperative agreement with Network Solutions,
Inc. (NSI) for some of these services, including the domain name registration
services. Since that time, NSI has managed key registration, coordination,
and maintenance functions of the Internet domain name system. NSI registers
domain names in the generic top level domains (gTLDs) on a first come,
first served basis and also maintains a directory linking domain names
with the IP numbers of domain name servers. NSI also currently maintains
the authoritative database of Internet registrations.
In 1992, the U.S. Congress gave NSF statutory authority to allow commercial
activity on the NSFNET.(5) This facilitated
connections between NSFNET and newly forming commercial network service
providers, paving the way for today's Internet. Thus, the U.S. Government
has played a pivotal role in creating the Internet as we know it today.
The U.S. Government consistently encouraged bottom-up development of networking
technologies, and throughout the course of its development, computer scientists
from around the world have enriched the Internet and facilitated exploitation
of its true potential. For example, scientists at CERN, in Switzerland,
developed software, protocols and conventions that formed the basis of
today's vibrant World Wide Web. This type of pioneering Internet research
and development continues in cooperative organizations and consortia throughout
DNS Management Today:
In recent years, commercial use of the Internet has expanded rapidly.
As a legacy, however, major components of the domain name system are still
performed by, or subject to, agreements with agencies of the U.S. Government.
Every Internet computer has a unique IP number. IANA, headed by Dr. Jon Postel, coordinates this system by allocating blocks of numerical addresses to regional IP registries (ARIN in North America, RIPE in Europe, and APNIC in the Asia/Pacific region), under contract with DARPA. In turn, larger Internet service providers apply to the regional IP registries for blocks of IP addresses. The recipients of those address blocks then reassign addresses to smaller Internet service providers and to end users.
The domain name space is constructed as a hierarchy. It is divided into
top-level domains (TLDs), with each TLD then divided into second-level
domains (SLDs), and so on. More than 200 national, or country-code, TLDs
(ccTLDs) are administered by their corresponding governments or by private
entities with the appropriate national government's acquiescence. A small
set of gTLDs do not carry any national identifier, but denote the intended
function of that portion of the domain space. For example, .com was established
for commercial users, .org for not-for-profit organizations, and .net for
network service providers. The registration and propagation of these key
gTLDs are performed by NSI, under a five-year cooperative agreement with
NSF. This agreement expires on September 30, 1998.
The root server system is a set of thirteen file servers, which together contain authoritative databases listing all TLDs. Currently, NSI operates the "A" root server, which maintains the authoritative root database and replicates changes to the other root servers on a daily basis. Different organizations, including NSI, operate the other 12 root servers.(6) The U.S. Government plays a role in the operation of about half of the Internet's root servers. Universal name consistency on the Internet cannot be guaranteed without a set of authoritative and consistent roots. Without such consistency messages could not be routed with any certainty to the intended addresses.
The Internet protocol suite, as defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), contains many technical parameters, including protocol numbers, port numbers, autonomous system numbers, management information base object identifiers and others. The common use of these protocols by the Internet community requires that the particular values used in these fields be assigned uniquely. Currently, IANA, under contract with DARPA, makes these assignments and maintains a registry of the assigned values.
The Need for Change:
From its origins as a U.S.-based research vehicle, the Internet is rapidly becoming an international medium for commerce, education and communication. The traditional means of organizing its technical functions need to evolve as well. The pressures for change are coming from many different quarters:
_ There is widespread dissatisfaction about the absence of competition
in domain name registration.
_ Conflicts between trademark holders and domain name holders are becoming
more common. Mechanisms for resolving these conflicts are expensive and
_ Many commercial interests, staking their future on the successful
growth of the Internet, are calling for a more formal and robust management
_ An increasing percentage of Internet users reside outside of the U.S.,
and those stakeholders want to participate in Internet coordination.
_ As Internet names increasingly have commercial value, the decision to add new top-level domains cannot be made on an ad hoc basis by entities or individuals that are not formally accountable to the Internet community.
_ As the Internet becomes commercial, it becomes less appropriate for U.S. research agencies to direct and fund these functions.
In May of 1996, Dr. Postel proposed the creation of multiple, exclusive,
competing top-level domain name registries. This proposal called for the
introduction of up to 50 new competing domain name registries, each with
the exclusive right to register names in up to three new top-level domains,
for a total of 150 new TLDs. While some supported the proposal, the plan
drew much criticism from the Internet technical community.(8)
The paper was revised and reissued.(9) The Internet
Society's (ISOC) board of trustees endorsed, in principle, the slightly
revised but substantively similar version of the draft in June of 1996.
After considerable debate and redrafting failed to produce a consensus
on DNS change, IANA and the Internet Society (ISOC) organized the International
Ad Hoc Committee(10) (IAHC or the Ad Hoc Committee)
in September 1996, to resolve DNS management issues. The World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Telecommunications Union
(ITU) participated in the IAHC. The Federal Networking Council (FNC) participated
in the early deliberations of the Ad Hoc Committee.
The IAHC issued a draft plan in December 1996 that introduced unique
and thoughtful concepts for the evolution of DNS administration.(11)
The final report proposed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that would
have established, initially, seven new gTLDs to be operated on a nonexclusive
basis by a consortium of new private domain name registrars called the
Council of Registrars (CORE).(12) Policy oversight
would have been undertaken in a separate council called the Policy Oversight
Committee (POC) with seats allocated to specified stakeholder groups. Further,
the plan formally introduced mechanisms for resolving trademark/domain
name disputes. Under the MoU, registrants for second-level domains would
have been required to submit to mediation and arbitration, facilitated
by WIPO, in the event of conflict with trademark holders.
Although the IAHC proposal gained support in many quarters of the Internet
community, the IAHC process was criticized for its aggressive technology
development and implementation schedule, for being dominated by the Internet
engineering community, and for lacking participation by and input from
business interests and others in the Internet community.(13)
Others criticized the plan for failing to solve the competitive problems
that were such a source of dissatisfaction among Internet users and for
imposing unnecessary burdens on trademark holders. Although the POC responded
by revising the original plan, demonstrating a commendable degree of flexibility,
the proposal was not able to overcome initial criticism of both the plan
and the process by which the plan was developed.(14)
Important segments of the Internet community remained outside the IAHC
process, criticizing it as insufficiently representative.(15)
As a result of the pressure to change DNS management, and in order to
facilitate its withdrawal from DNS management, the U.S. Government, through
the Department of Commerce and NTIA, sought public comment on the direction
of U.S. policy with respect to DNS, issuing the Green Paper on January
30, 1998.(16) The approach outlined in the Green Paper
adopted elements of other proposals, such as the early Postel drafts and
the IAHC gTLD- MoU.
Comments and Response: The following are summaries of and responses to the major comments that were received in response to NTIA's issuance of A Proposal to Improve the Technical Management of Internet Names and Addresses. As used herein, quantitative terms such as "some," "many," and "the majority of," reflect, roughly speaking, the proportion of comments addressing a particular issue but are not intended to summarize all comments received or the complete substance of all such comments.
1. Principles for a New System. The Green Paper set out four
principles to guide the evolution of the domain name system: stability,
competition, private bottom-up coordination, and representation.
Comments: In general, commenters supported these principles,
in some cases highlighting the importance of one or more of the principles.
For example, a number of commenters emphasized the importance of establishing
a body that fully reflects the broad diversity of the Internet community.
Others stressed the need to preserve the bottom-up tradition of Internet
governance. A limited number of commenters proposed additional principles
for the new system, including principles related to the protection of human
rights, free speech, open communication, and the preservation of the Internet
as a public trust. Finally, some commenters who agreed that Internet stability
is an important principle, nonetheless objected to the U.S. Government's
assertion of any participatory role in ensuring such stability.
Response: The U.S. Government policy applies only to management
of Internet names and addresses and does not set out a system of Internet
"governance." Existing human rights and free speech protections will not
be disturbed and, therefore, need not be specifically included in the core
principles for DNS management. In addition, this policy is not intended
to displace other legal regimes (international law, competition law, tax
law and principles of international taxation, intellectual property law,
etc.) that may already apply. The continued applicability of these systems
as well as the principle of representation should ensure that DNS management
proceeds in the interest of the Internet community as a whole. Finally,
the U.S. Government believes that it would be irresponsible to withdraw
from its existing management role without taking steps to ensure the stability
of the Internet during its transition to private sector management. On
balance, the comments did not present any consensus for amending the principles
outlined in the Green Paper.
2. The Coordinated Functions. The Green Paper identified four
DNS functions to be performed on a coordinated, centralized basis in order
to ensure that the Internet runs smoothly:
2. To oversee the operation of the Internet root server system;
3. To oversee policy for determining the circumstances under which new
top level domains would be added to the root system; and
4. To coordinate the development of other technical protocol parameters as needed to maintain universal connectivity on the Internet.
Comments: Most commenters agreed that these functions should be coordinated centrally, although a few argued that a system of authoritative roots is not technically necessary to ensure DNS stability. A number of commenters, however, noted that the fourth function, as delineated in the Green Paper, overstated the functions currently performed by IANA, attributing to it central management over an expanded set of functions, some of which are now carried out by the IETF.
Response: In order to preserve universal connectivity and the
smooth operation of the Internet, the U.S. Government continues to believe,
along with most commenters, that these four functions should be coordinated.
In the absence of an authoritative root system, the potential for name
collisions among competing sources for the same domain name could undermine
the smooth functioning and stability of the Internet.
The Green Paper was not, however, intended to expand the responsibilities
associated with Internet protocols beyond those currently performed by
IANA. Specifically, management of DNS by the new corporation does not encompass
the development of Internet technical parameters for other purposes by
other organizations such as IETF. The fourth function should be restated
3. Separation of Name and Number Authority.
Comments: A number of commenters suggested that management of
the domain name system should be separated from management of the IP number
system. These commenters expressed the view that the numbering system is
relatively technical and straightforward. They feared that tight linkage
of domain name and IP number policy development would embroil the IP numbering
system in the kind of controversy that has surrounded domain name issuance
in recent months. These commenters also expressed concern that the development
of alternative name and number systems could be inhibited by this controversy
or delayed by those with vested interests in the existing system.
Response: The concerns expressed by the commenters are legitimate,
but domain names and IP numbers must ultimately be coordinated to preserve
universal connectivity on the Internet. Also, there are significant costs
associated with establishing and operating two separate management entities.
However, there are organizational structures that could minimize the
risks identified by commenters. For example, separate name and number councils
could be formed within a single organization. Policy could be determined
within the appropriate council that would submit its recommendations to
the new corporation's Board of Directors for ratification.
4. Creation of the New Corporation and Management of the DNS.
The Green Paper called for the creation of a new private, not-for-profit
corporation(17) responsible for coordinating
specific DNS functions for the benefit of the Internet as a whole. Under
the Green Paper proposal, the U.S. Government(18)
would gradually transfer these functions to the new corporation beginning
as soon as possible, with the goal of having the new corporation carry
out operational responsibility by October 1998. Under the Green Paper proposal,
the U.S. Government would continue to participate in policy oversight until
such time as the new corporation was established and stable, phasing out
as soon as possible, but in no event later than September 30, 2000. The
Green Paper suggested that the new corporation be incorporated in the United
States in order to promote stability and facilitate the continued reliance
on technical expertise residing in the United States, including IANA staff
Comments: Almost all commenters supported the creation of a new,
private not-for-profit corporation to manage DNS. Many suggested that IANA
should evolve into the new corporation. A small number of commenters asserted
that the U.S. Government should continue to manage Internet names and addresses.
Another small number of commenters suggested that DNS should be managed
by international governmental institutions such as the United Nations or
the International Telecommunications Union. Many commenters urged the U.S.
Government to commit to a more aggressive timeline for the new corporation's
assumption of management responsibility. Some commenters also suggested
that the proposal to headquarter the new corporation in the United States
represented an inappropriate attempt to impose U.S. law on the Internet
as a whole.
Response: The U.S. Government is committed to a transition that
will allow the private sector to take leadership for DNS management. Most
commenters shared this goal. While international organizations may provide
specific expertise or act as advisors to the new corporation, the U.S.
continues to believe, as do most commenters, that neither national governments
acting as sovereigns nor intergovernmental organizations acting as representatives
of governments should participate in management of Internet names and addresses.
Of course, national governments now have, and will continue to have, authority
to manage or establish policy for their own ccTLDs.
The U.S. Government would prefer that this transition be complete before
the year 2000. To the extent that the new corporation is established and
operationally stable, September 30, 2000 is intended to be, and remains,
an "outside" date.
IANA has functioned as a government contractor, albeit with considerable
latitude, for some time now. Moreover, IANA is not formally organized or
constituted. It describes a function more than an entity, and as such does
not currently provide a legal foundation for the new corporation. This
is not to say, however, that IANA could not be reconstituted by a broad-based,
representative group of Internet stakeholders or that individuals associated
with IANA should not themselves play important foundation roles in the
formation of the new corporation. We believe, and many commenters also
suggested, that the private sector organizers will want Dr. Postel and
other IANA staff to be involved in the creation of the new corporation.
Because of the significant U.S.-based DNS expertise and in order to
preserve stability, it makes sense to headquarter the new corporation in
the United States. Further, the mere fact that the new corporation would
be incorporated in the United States would not remove it from the jurisdiction
of other nations. Finally, we note that the new corporation must be headquartered
somewhere, and similar objections would inevitably arise if it were incorporated
in another location.
5. Structure of the New Corporation. The Green Paper proposed
a 15-member Board, consisting of three representatives of regional number
registries, two members designated by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB),
two members representing domain name registries and domain name registrars,
seven members representing Internet users, and the Chief Executive Officer
of the new corporation.
Comments: Commenters expressed a variety of positions on the composition of the Board of Directors for the new corporation. In general, however, most commenters supported the establishment of a Board of Directors that would be representative of the functional and geographic diversity of the Internet. For the most part, commenters agreed that the groups listed in the Green Paper included individuals and entities likely to be materially affected by changes in DNS. Most of those who criticized the proposed allocation of Board seats called for increased representation of their particular interest group on the Board of Directors. Specifically, a number of commenters suggested that the allocation set forth in the Green Paper did not adequately reflect the special interests of (1) trademark holders, (2) Internet service providers, or (3) the not-for-profit community. Others commented that the Green Paper did not adequately ensure that the Board would be globally representative.
Response: The Green Paper attempted to describe a manageably
sized Board of Directors that reflected the diversity of the Internet.
It is probably impossible to allocate Board seats in a way that satisfies
all parties concerned. On balance, we believe the concerns raised about
the representation of specific groups are best addressed by a thoughtful
allocation of the "user" seats as determined by the organizers of the new
corporation and its Board of Directors, as discussed below.
The Green Paper identified several international membership associations and organizations to designate Board members such as APNIC, ARIN, RIPE, and the Internet Architecture Board. We continue to believe that as use of the Internet expands outside the United States, it is increasingly likely that a properly open and transparent DNS management entity will have board members from around the world. Although we do not set any mandatory minimums for global representation, this policy statement is designed to identify global representativeness as an important priority.
6. Registrars and Registries. The Green Paper proposed moving
the system for registering second level domains and the management of generic
top-level domains into a competitive environment by creating two market-driven
businesses, registration of second level domain names and the management
of gTLD registries.
a. Competitive Registrars. Comments: Commenters strongly supported
establishment of a competitive registrar system whereby registrars would
obtain domain names for customers in any gTLD. Few disagreed with this
position. The Green Paper proposed a set of requirements to be imposed
by the new corporation on all would-be registrars. Commenters for the most
part did not take exception to the proposed criteria, but a number of commenters
suggested that it was inappropriate for the United States government to
Response: In response to the comments received, the U.S. Government
believes that the new corporation, rather than the U.S. Government, should
establish minimum criteria for registrars that are pro-competitive and
provide some measure of stability for Internet users without being so onerous
as to prevent entry by would-be domain name registrars from around the
world. Accordingly, the proposed criteria are not part of this policy statement.
b. Competitive Registries. Comments: Many commenters voiced strong
opposition to the idea of competitive and/or for-profit domain name registries,
citing one of several concerns. Some suggested that top level domain names
are not, by nature, ever truly generic. As such, they will tend to function
as "natural monopolies" and should be regulated as a public trust and operated
for the benefit of the Internet community as a whole. Others suggested
that even if competition initially exists among various domain name registries,
lack of portability in the naming systems would create lock-in and switching
costs, making competition unsustainable in the long run. Finally, other
commenters suggested that no new registry could compete meaningfully with
NSI unless all domain name registries were not-for-profit and/or noncompeting.
Some commenters asserted that an experiment involving the creation of
additional for-profit registries would be too risky, and irreversible once
undertaken. A related concern raised by commenters addressed the rights
that for-profit operators might assert with respect to the information
contained in registries they operate. These commenters argued that registries
would have inadequate incentives to abide by DNS policies and procedures
unless the new corporation could terminate a particular entity's license
to operate a registry. For-profit operators, under this line of reasoning,
would be more likely to disrupt the Internet by resisting license terminations.
Commenters who supported competitive registries conceded that, in the
absence of domain name portability, domain name registries could impose
switching costs on users who change domain name registries. They cautioned,
however, that it would be premature to conclude that switching costs provide
a sufficient basis for precluding the proposed move to competitive domain
name registries and cited a number of factors that could protect against
registry opportunism. These commenters concluded that the potential benefits
to customers from enhanced competition outweighed the risk of such opportunism.
The responses to the Green Paper also included public comments on the proposed
criteria for registries.
Response: Both sides of this argument have considerable merit.
It is possible that additional discussion and information will shed light
on this issue, and therefore, as discussed below, the U.S. Government has
concluded that the issue should be left for further consideration and final
action by the new corporation. The U.S. Government is of the view, however,
that competitive systems generally result in greater innovation, consumer
choice, and satisfaction in the long run. Moreover, the pressure of competition
is likely to be the most effective means of discouraging registries from
acting monopolistically. Further, in response to the comments received,
the U.S. government believes that new corporation should establish and
implement appropriate criteria for gTLD registries. Accordingly, the proposed
criteria are not part of this policy statement.
7. The Creation of New gTLDs. The Green Paper suggested that
during the period of transition to the new corporation, the U.S. Government,
in cooperation with IANA, would undertake a process to add up to five new
gTLDs to the authoritative root. Noting that formation of the new corporation
would involve some delay, the Green Paper contemplated new gTLDs in the
short term to enhance competition and provide information to the technical
community and to policy makers, while offering entities that wished to
enter into the registry business an opportunity to begin offering service
to customers. The Green Paper, however, noted that ideally the addition
of new TLDs would be left to the new corporation.
Comments: The comments evidenced very strong support for limiting
government involvement during the transition period on the matter of adding
new gTLDs. Specifically, most commenters -- both U.S. and non-U.S.-- suggested
that it would be more appropriate for the new, globally representative,
corporation to decide these issues once it is up and running. Few believed
that speed should outweigh process considerations in this matter. Others
warned, however, that relegating this contentious decision to a new and
untested entity early in its development could fracture the organization.
Others argued that the market for a large or unlimited number of new gTLDs
should be opened immediately. They asserted that there are no technical
impediments to the addition of a host of gTLDs, and the market will decide
which TLDs succeed and which do not. Further, they pointed out that there
are no artificial or arbitrary limits in other media on the number of places
in which trademark holders must defend against dilution.
Response: The challenge of deciding policy for the addition of new domains will be formidable. We agree with the many commenters who said that the new corporation would be the most appropriate body to make these decisions based on global input. Accordingly, as supported by the preponderance of comments, the U.S. Government will not implement new gTLDs at this time.
At least in the short run, a prudent concern for the stability of the system suggests that expansion of gTLDs proceed at a deliberate and controlled pace to allow for evaluation of the impact of the new gTLDs and well-reasoned evolution of the domain space. New top level domains could be created to enhance competition and to enable the new corporation to evaluate the functioning, in the new environment, of the root server system and the software systems that enable shared registration.
8. The Trademark Dilemma. When a trademark is used as a domain
name without the trademark owner's consent, consumers may be misled about
the source of the product or service offered on the Internet, and trademark
owners may not be able to protect their rights without very expensive litigation.
For cyberspace to function as an effective commercial market, businesses
must have confidence that their trademarks can be protected. On the other
hand, management of the Internet must respond to the needs of the Internet
community as a whole, and not trademark owners exclusively. The Green Paper
proposed a number of steps to balance the needs of domain name holders
with the legitimate concerns of trademark owners in the interest of the
Internet community as a whole. The proposals were designed to provide trademark
holders with the same rights they have in the physical world, to ensure
transparency, and to guarantee a dispute resolution mechanism with resort
to a court system.
The Green Paper also noted that trademark holders have expressed concern
that domain name registrants in faraway places may be able to infringe
their rights with no convenient jurisdiction available in which the trademark
owner could enforce a judgment protecting those rights. The Green Paper
solicited comments on an arrangement whereby, at the time of registration,
registrants would agree to submit a contested domain name to the jurisdiction
of the courts where the registry is domiciled, where the registry database
is maintained, or where the "A" root server is maintained.
Comments: Commenters largely agreed that domain name registries
should maintain up-to-date, readily searchable domain name databases that
contain the information necessary to locate a domain name holder. In general
commenters did not take specific issue with the database specifications
proposed in Appendix 2 of the Green Paper, although some commenters proposed
additional requirements. A few commenters noted, however, that privacy
issues should be considered in this context.
A number of commenters objected to NSI's current business practice of
allowing registrants to use domain names before they have actually paid
any registration fees. These commenters pointed out that this practice
has encouraged cybersquatters and increased the number of conflicts between
domain name holders and trademark holders. They suggested that domain name
applicants should be required to pay before a desired domain name becomes
available for use.
Most commenters also favored creation of an on-line dispute resolution
mechanism to provide inexpensive and efficient alternatives to litigation
for resolving disputes between trademark owners and domain name registrants.
The Green Paper contemplated that each registry would establish specified
minimum dispute resolution procedures, but remain free to establish additional
trademark protection and dispute resolution mechanisms. Most commenters
did not agree with this approach, favoring instead a uniform approach to
resolving trademark/domain name disputes.
Some commenters noted that temporary suspension of a domain name in
the event of an objection by a trademark holder within a specified period
of time after registration would significantly extend trademark holders'
rights beyond what is accorded in the real world. They argued that such
a provision would create a de facto waiting period for name use, as holders
would need to suspend the use of their name until after the objection window
had passed to forestall an interruption in service. Further, they argue
that such a system could be used anti-competitively to stall a competitor's
entry into the marketplace.
The suggestion that domain name registrants be required to agree at
the time of registration to submit disputed domain names to the jurisdiction
of specified courts was supported by U.S. trademark holders but drew strong
protest from trademark holders and domain name registrants outside the
United States. A number of commenters characterized this as an inappropriate
attempt to establish U.S. trademark law as the law of the Internet. Others
suggested that existing jurisdictional arrangements are satisfactory. They
argue that establishing a mechanism whereby the judgment of a court can
be enforced absent personal jurisdiction over the infringer would upset
the balance between the interests of trademark holders and those of other
members of the Internet community.
Response: The U.S. Government will seek international support
to call upon the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to initiate
a balanced and transparent process, which includes the participation of
trademark holders and members of the Internet community who are not trademark
holders, to (1) develop recommendations for a uniform approach to resolving
trademark/domain name disputes involving cyberpiracy (as opposed to conflicts
between trademark holders with legitimate competing rights), (2) recommend
a process for protecting famous trademarks in the generic top level domains,
and (3) evaluate the effects, based on studies conducted by independent
organizations, such as the National Research Council of the National Academy
of Sciences, of adding new gTLDs and related dispute resolution procedures
on trademark and intellectual property holders. These findings and recommendations
could be submitted to the board of the new corporation for its consideration
in conjunction with its development of registry and registrar policy and
the creation and introduction of new gTLDs.
In trademark/domain name conflicts, there are issues of jurisdiction
over the domain name in controversy and jurisdiction over the legal persons
(the trademark holder and the domain name holder). This document does not
attempt to resolve questions of personal jurisdiction in trademark/domain
name conflicts. The legal issues are numerous, involving contract, conflict
of laws, trademark, and other questions. In addition, determining how these
various legal principles will be applied to the borderless Internet with
an unlimited possibility of factual scenarios will require a great deal
of thought and deliberation. Obtaining agreement by the parties that jurisdiction
over the domain name will be exercised by an alternative dispute resolution
body is likely to be at least somewhat less controversial than agreement
that the parties will subject themselves to the personal jurisdiction of
a particular national court. Thus, the references to jurisdiction in this
policy statement are limited to jurisdiction over the domain name in dispute,
and not to the domain name holder.
In order to strike a balance between those commenters who thought that
registrars and registries should not themselves be engaged in disputes
between trademark owners and domain name holders and those commenters who
thought that trademark owners should have access to a reliable and up-to-date
database, we believe that a database should be maintained that permits
trademark owners to obtain the contact information necessary to protect
Further, it should be clear that whatever dispute resolution mechanism
is put in place by the new corporation, that mechanism should be directed
toward disputes about cybersquatting and cyberpiracy and not to settling
the disputes between two parties with legitimate competing interests in
a particular mark. Where legitimate competing rights are concerned, disputes
are rightly settled in an appropriate court.
Under the revised plan, we recommend that domain name holders agree
to submit infringing domain names to the jurisdiction of a court where
the "A" root server is maintained, where the registry is domiciled, where
the registry database is maintained, or where the registrar is domiciled.
We believe that allowing trademark infringement suits to be brought wherever
registrars and registries are located will help ensure that all trademark
holders - both U.S. and non-U.S. - have the opportunity to bring suits
in a convenient jurisdiction and enforce the judgments of those courts.
Under the revised plan, we also recommend that, whatever options are
chosen by the new corporation, each registrar should insist that payment
be made for the domain name before it becomes available to the applicant.
The failure to make a domain name applicant pay for its use of a domain
name has encouraged cyberpirates and is a practice that should end as soon
9. Competition Concerns.
Comments: Several commenters suggested that the U.S. Government
should provide full antitrust immunity or indemnification for the new corporation.
Others noted that potential antitrust liability would provide an important
safeguard against institutional inflexibility and abuses of power.
Response: Applicable antitrust law will provide accountability
to and protection for the international Internet community. Legal challenges
and lawsuits can be expected within the normal course of business for any
enterprise and the new corporation should anticipate this reality.
The Green Paper envisioned the new corporation as operating on principles
similar to those of a standard-setting body. Under this model, due process
requirements and other appropriate processes that ensure transparency,
equity and fair play in the development of policies or practices would
need to be included in the new corporation's originating documents. For
example, the new corporation's activities would need to be open to all
persons who are directly affected by the entity, with no undue financial
barriers to participation or unreasonable restrictions on participation
based on technical or other such requirements. Entities and individuals
would need to be able to participate by expressing a position and its basis,
having that position considered, and appealing if adversely affected. Further,
the decision making process would need to reflect a balance of interests
and should not be dominated by any single interest category. If the new
corporation behaves this way, it should be less vulnerable to antitrust
10. The NSI Agreement.
Comments: Many commenters expressed concern about continued administration of key gTLDs by NSI. They argued that this would give NSI an unfair advantage in the marketplace and allow NSI to leverage economies of scale across their gTLD operations. Some commenters also believe the Green Paper approach would have entrenched and institutionalized NSI's dominant market position over the key domain name going forward. Further, many commenters expressed doubt that a level playing field between NSI and the new registry market entrants could emerge if NSI retained control over .com, .net, and .org.
Response: The cooperative agreement between NSI and the U.S.
Government is currently in its ramp down period. The U.S. Government and
NSI will shortly commence discussions about the terms and conditions governing
the ramp-down of the cooperative agreement. Through these discussions,
the U.S. Government expects NSI to agree to take specific actions, including
commitments as to pricing and equal access, designed to permit the development
of competition in domain name registration and to approximate what would
be expected in the presence of marketplace competition. The U.S. Government
expects NSI to agree to act in a manner consistent with this policy statement,
including recognizing the role of the new corporation to establish and
implement DNS policy and to establish terms (including licensing terms)
applicable to new and existing gTLD registries under which registries,
registrars and gTLDs are permitted to operate. Further, the U.S. Government
expects NSI to agree to make available on an ongoing basis appropriate
databases, software, documentation thereof, technical expertise, and other
intellectual property for DNS management and shared registration of domain
11. A Global Perspective
Comments: A number of commenters expressed concern that the Green
Paper did not go far enough in globalizing the administration of the domain
name system. Some believed that international organizations should have
a role in administering the DNS. Others complained that incorporating the
new corporation in the United States would entrench control over the Internet
with the U.S. Government. Still others believed that the awarding by the
U.S. Government of up to five new gTLDs would enforce the existing dominance
of U.S. entities over the gTLD system.
Response: The U.S. Government believes that the Internet is a
global medium and that its technical management should fully reflect the
global diversity of Internet users. We recognize the need for and fully
support mechanisms that would ensure international input into the management
of the domain name system. In withdrawing the U.S. Government from DNS
management and promoting the establishment of a new, non-governmental entity
to manage Internet names and addresses, a key U.S. Government objective
has been to ensure that the increasingly global Internet user community
has a voice in decisions affecting the Internet's technical management.
We believe this process has reflected our commitment. Many of the comments
on the Green Paper were filed by foreign entities, including governments.
Our dialogue has been open to all Internet users - foreign and domestic,
government and private - during this process, and we will continue to consult
with the international community as we begin to implement the transition
plan outlined in this paper.
12. The Intellectual Infrastructure Fund.
In 1995, NSF authorized NSI to assess domain name registrants a $50
fee per year for the first two years, 30 percent of which was to be deposited
in the Intellectual Infrastructure Fund (IIF), a fund to be used for the
preservation and enhancement of the intellectual infrastructure of the
Comments: Very few comments referenced the IIF. In general, the
comments received on the issue supported either refunding the IIF portion
of the domain name registration fee to domain registrants from whom it
had been collected or applying the funds toward Internet infrastructure
development projects generally, including funding the establishment of
the new corporation.
Response: As proposed in the Green Paper, allocation of a portion of domain name registration fees to this fund terminated as of March 31, 1998. NSI has reduced its registration fees accordingly. The IIF remains the subject of litigation. The U.S. Government takes the position that its collection has recently been ratified by the U.S. Congress,(19)
and has moved to dismiss the claim that it was unlawfully collected.
This matter has not been finally resolved, however.
13. The .us Domain.
At present, the IANA administers .us as a locality-based hierarchy in
which second-level domain space is allocated to states and U.S. territories.(20)
This name space is further subdivided into localities. General registration
under localities is performed on an exclusive basis by private firms that
have requested delegation from IANA. The .us name space has typically been
used by branches of state and local governments, although some commercial
names have been assigned. Where registration for a locality has not been
delegated, the IANA itself serves as the registrar.
Comments: Many commenters suggested that the pressure for unique
identifiers in the .com gTLD could be relieved if commercial use of the
.us space was encouraged. Commercial users and trademark holders, however,
find the current locality-based system too cumbersome and complicated for
commercial use. They called for expanded use of the .us TLD to alleviate
some of the pressure for new generic TLDs and reduce conflicts between
American companies and others vying for the same domain name. Most commenters
support an evolution of the .us domain designed to make this name space
more attractive to commercial users.
Response: Clearly, there is much opportunity for enhancing the
.us domain space, and .us could be expanded in many ways without displacing
the current structure. Over the next few months, the U.S. Government will
work with the private sector and state and local governments to determine
how best to make the .us domain more attractive to commercial users. Accordingly,
the Department of Commerce will seek public input on this important issue.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW REQUIREMENTS:
On February 20, 1998, NTIA published for public comment a proposed rule regarding the domain name registration system. That proposed rule sought comment on substantive regulatory provisions, including but not limited to a variety of specific requirements for the membership of the new corporation, the creation during a transition period of a specified number of new generic top level domains and minimum dispute resolution and other procedures related to trademarks. As discussed elsewhere in this document, in response to public comment these aspects of the original proposal have been eliminated. In light of the public comment and the changes to the proposal made as a result, as well as the continued rapid technological development of the Internet, the Department of Commerce has determined that it should issue a general statement of policy, rather than define or impose a substantive regulatory regime for the domain name system. As such, this policy statement is not a substantive rule, does not contain mandatory provisions and does not itself have the force and effect of law.
The Assistant General Counsel for Legislation and Regulation, Department
of Commerce, certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business
Administration, that, for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5
U.S.C. §§ 601 et seq., the proposed rule on this matter, if adopted,
would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of
small entities. The factual basis for this certification was published
along with the proposed rule. No comments were received regarding this
certification. As such, and because this final rule is a general statement
of policy, no final regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared.
This general statement of policy does not contain any reporting or record
keeping requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C.
ch. 35 (PRA). However, at the time the U.S. Government might seek to enter
into agreements as described in this policy statement, a determination
will be made as to whether any reporting or record keeping requirements
subject to the PRA are being implemented. If so, the NTIA will, at that
time, seek approval under the PRA for such requirement(s) from the Office
of Management and Budget.
This statement has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Office of Management and Budget review under Executive Order 12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review.
REVISED POLICY STATEMENT:
This document provides the U.S. Government's policy regarding the privatization
of the domain name system in a manner that allows for the development of
robust competition and that facilitates global participation in the management
of Internet names and addresses.
The policy that follows does not propose a monolithic structure for
Internet governance. We doubt that the Internet should be governed by one
plan or one body or even by a series of plans and bodies. Rather, we seek
a stable process to address the narrow issues of management and administration
of Internet names and numbers on an ongoing basis.
As set out below, the U.S. Government is prepared to recognize, by entering
into agreement with, and to seek international support for, a new, not-for-profit
corporation formed by private sector Internet stakeholders to administer
policy for the Internet name and address system. Under such agreement(s)
or understanding(s), the new corporation would undertake various responsibilities
for the administration of the domain name system now performed by or on
behalf of the U.S. Government or by third parties under arrangements or
agreements with the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government would also ensure
that the new corporation has appropriate access to needed databases and
software developed under those agreements.
The Coordinated Functions
Management of number addresses is best done on a coordinated basis.
Internet numbers are a unique, and at least currently, a limited resource.
As technology evolves, changes may be needed in the number allocation system.
These changes should also be coordinated.
Similarly, coordination of the root server network is necessary if the
whole system is to work smoothly. While day-to-day operational tasks, such
as the actual operation and maintenance of the Internet root servers, can
be dispersed, overall policy guidance and control of the TLDs and the Internet
root server system should be vested in a single organization that is representative
of Internet users around the globe.
Further, changes made in the administration or the number of gTLDs contained
in the authoritative root system will have considerable impact on Internet
users throughout the world. In order to promote continuity and reasonable
predictability in functions related to the root zone, the development of
policies for the addition, allocation, and management of gTLDs and the
establishment of domain name registries and domain name registrars to host
gTLDs should be coordinated.
Finally, coordinated maintenance and dissemination of the protocol parameters
for Internet addressing will best preserve the stability and interconnectivity
of the Internet. We are not, however, proposing to expand the functional
responsibilities of the new corporation beyond those exercised by IANA
In order to facilitate the needed coordination, Internet stakeholders
are invited to work together to form a new, private, not-for-profit corporation
to manage DNS functions. The following discussion reflects current U.S.
Government views of the characteristics of an appropriate management entity.
What follows is designed to describe the characteristics of an appropriate
Principles for a New System. In making a decision to enter into
an agreement to establish a process to transfer current U.S. government
management of DNS to such a new entity, the U.S. will be guided by, and
consider the proposed entity's commitment to, the following principles:
The U.S. Government should end its role in the Internet number and name address system in a manner that ensures the stability of the Internet. The introduction of a new management system should not disrupt current operations or create competing root systems. During the transition and thereafter, the stability of the Internet should be the first priority of any DNS management system. Security and reliability of the DNS are important aspects of stability, and as a new DNS management system is introduced, a comprehensive security strategy should be developed.
The Internet succeeds in great measure because it is a decentralized
system that encourages innovation and maximizes individual freedom. Where
possible, market mechanisms that support competition and consumer choice
should drive the management of the Internet because they will lower costs,
promote innovation, encourage diversity, and enhance user choice and satisfaction.
3. Private, Bottom-Up Coordination.
Certain management functions require coordination. In these cases, responsible, private-sector action is preferable to government control. A private coordinating process is likely to be more flexible than government and to move rapidly enough to meet the changing needs of the Internet and of Internet users. The private process should, as far as possible, reflect the bottom-up governance that has characterized development of the Internet to date.
The new corporation should operate as a private entity for the benefit of the Internet community as a whole. The development of sound, fair, and widely accepted policies for the management of DNS will depend on input from the broad and growing community of Internet users. Management structures should reflect the functional and geographic diversity of the Internet and its users. Mechanisms should be established to ensure international participation in decision making.
2) oversee operation of the authoritative Internet root server system;
3) oversee policy for determining the circumstances under which new
TLDs are added to the root system; and
4) coordinate the assignment of other Internet technical parameters
as needed to maintain universal connectivity on the Internet.
Staff. We anticipate that the new corporation would want to make
arrangements with current IANA staff to provide continuity and expertise
over the course of transition. The new corporation should secure necessary
expertise to bring rigorous management to the organization.
Incorporation. We anticipate that the new corporation's organizers
will include representatives of regional Internet number registries, Internet
engineers and computer scientists, domain name registries, domain name
registrars, commercial and noncommercial users, Internet service providers,
international trademark holders and Internet experts highly respected throughout
the international Internet community. These incorporators should include
substantial representation from around the world.
As these functions are now performed in the United States, by U.S. residents,
and to ensure stability, the new corporation should be headquartered in
the United States, and incorporated in the U.S. as a not-for-profit corporation.
It should, however, have a board of directors from around the world. Moreover,
incorporation in the United States is not intended to supplant or displace
the laws of other countries where applicable.
Structure. The Internet community is already global and diverse and likely to become more so over time. The organization and its board should derive legitimacy from the participation of key stakeholders. Since the organization will be concerned mainly with numbers, names and protocols, its board should represent membership organizations in each of these areas, as well as the direct interests of Internet users.
The Board of Directors for the new corporation should be balanced to
equitably represent the interests of IP number registries, domain name
registries, domain name registrars, the technical community, Internet service
providers (ISPs), and Internet users (commercial, not-for-profit, and individuals)
from around the world. Since these constituencies are international, we
would expect the board of directors to be broadly representative of the
global Internet community.
As outlined in appropriate organizational documents, (Charter, Bylaws,
etc.) the new corporation should:
2) direct the Interim Board to establish a system for electing a Board
of Directors for the new corporation that insures that the new corporation's
Board of Directors reflects the geographical and functional diversity of
the Internet, and is sufficiently flexible to permit evolution to reflect
changes in the constituency of Internet stakeholders. Nominations to the
Board of Directors should preserve, as much as possible, the tradition
of bottom-up governance of the Internet, and Board Members should be elected
from membership or other associations open to all or through other mechanisms
that ensure broad representation and participation in the election process.
3) direct the Interim Board to develop policies for the addition of
TLDs, and establish the qualifications for domain name registries and domain
name registrars within the system.
4) restrict official government representation on the Board of Directors without precluding governments and intergovernmental organizations from participating as Internet users or in a non-voting advisory capacity.
Governance. The organizing documents (Charter, Bylaws, etc.)
should provide that the new corporation is governed on the basis of a sound
and transparent decision-making process, which protects against capture
by a self-interested faction, and which provides for robust, professional
management of the new corporation. The new corporation could rely on separate,
diverse, and robust name and number councils responsible for developing,
reviewing, and recommending for the board's approval policy related to
matters within each council's competence. Such councils, if developed,
should also abide by rules and decision-making processes that are sound,
transparent, protect against capture by a self-interested party and provide
an open process for the presentation of petitions for consideration. The
elected Board of Directors, however, should have final authority to approve
or reject policies recommended by the councils.
Operations. The new corporation's processes should be fair, open
and pro-competitive, protecting against capture by a narrow group of stakeholders.
Typically this means that decision-making processes should be sound and
transparent; the basis for corporate decisions should be recorded and made
publicly available. Super-majority or even consensus requirements may be
useful to protect against capture by a self-interested faction. The new
corporation does not need any special grant of immunity from the antitrust
laws so long as its policies and practices are reasonably based on, and
no broader than necessary to promote the legitimate coordinating objectives
of the new corporation. Finally, the commercial importance of the Internet
necessitates that the operation of the DNS system, and the operation of
the authoritative root server system should be secure, stable, and robust.
The new corporation's charter should provide a mechanism whereby its
governing body will evolve to reflect changes in the constituency of Internet
stakeholders. The new corporation could, for example, establish an open
process for the presentation of petitions to expand board representation.
Trademark Issues. Trademark holders and domain name registrants
and others should have access to searchable databases of registered domain
names that provide information necessary to contact a domain name registrant
when a conflict arises between a trademark holder and a domain name holder.(21)
To this end, we anticipate that the policies established by the new corporation
would provide that following information would be included in all registry
databases and available to anyone with access to the Internet:
- up-to-date and historical chain of registration information for the
- a mail address for service of process;
- the date of domain name registration;
- the date that any objection to the registration of the domain name
is filed; and
- any other information determined by the new corporation to be reasonably necessary to resolve disputes between domain name registrants and trademark holders expeditiously.
Further, the U.S. Government recommends that the new corporation adopt
2) Domain name registrants would agree, at the time of registration
or renewal, that in cases involving cyberpiracy or cybersquatting (as opposed
to conflicts between legitimate competing rights holders), they would submit
to and be bound by alternative dispute resolution systems identified by
the new corporation for the purpose of resolving those conflicts. Registries
and Registrars should be required to abide by decisions of the ADR system.
3) Domain name registrants would agree, at the time of registration or renewal, to abide by processes adopted by the new corporation that exclude, either pro-actively or retroactively, certain famous trademarks from being used as domain names (in one or more TLDs) except by the designated trademark holder.
4) Nothing in the domain name registration agreement or in the operation of the new corporation should limit the rights that can be asserted by a domain name registrant or trademark owner under national laws.
Based on the processes described above, the U.S. Government believes
that certain actions should be taken to accomplish the objectives set forth
above. Some of these steps must be taken by the government itself, while
others will need to be taken by the private sector. For example, a new
not-for-profit organization must be established by the private sector and
its Interim Board chosen. Agreement must be reached between the U.S. Government
and the new corporation relating to transfer of the functions currently
performed by IANA. NSI and the U.S. Government must reach agreement on
the terms and conditions of NSI's evolution into one competitor among many
in the registrar and registry marketplaces. A process must be laid out
for making the management of the root server system more robust and secure.
A relationship between the U.S. Government and the new corporation must
be developed to transition DNS management to the private sector and to
transfer management functions.
During the transition the U.S. Government expects to:
2) enter into agreement with the new corporation under which it assumes
responsibility for management of the domain name space;
3) ask WIPO to convene an international process including individuals
from the private sector and government to develop a set of recommendations
for trademark/domain name dispute resolutions and other issues to be presented
to the Interim Board for its consideration as soon as possible;
4) consult with the international community, including other interested
governments as it makes decisions on the transfer; and
5) undertake, in cooperation with IANA, NSI, the IAB, and other relevant organizations from the public and private sector, a review of the root server system to recommend means to increase the security and professional management of the system. The recommendations of the study should be implemented as part of the transition process; and the new corporation should develop a comprehensive security strategy for DNS management and operations.
1. Available at <http://www.ecommerce.gov>.
2. July 2, 1997 RFC and public comments are located at: <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/index.html>.
3. 3The RFC, the Green Paper, and comments received in response to both documents are available on the Internet at the following address: <http://www.ntia.doc.gov>. Additional comments were submitted after March 23, 1998. These comments have been considered and treated as part of the official record and have been separately posted at the same site, although the comments were not received by the deadline established in the February 20, 1998 Federal Register Notice.
4. See Administrative Law Requirements at p. 19.
5. See Scientific and Advanced-Technology Act of 1992; Pub. L. 102-476 § 4(9), 106 Stat. 2297, 2300 (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 1862 (a)).
6. An unofficial diagram of the general geographic location and institutional affiliations of the 13 Internet root servers, prepared by Anthony Rutkowski, is available at <http://www.wia.org/pub/rootserv.html>.
7. For further information about these systems see: name.space: <http://namespace.pgmedia.net>; AlterNIC: <http://www.alternic.net>; eDNS: <http://www.edns.net>. Reference to these organizations does not constitute an endorsement of their commercial activities.
8. Lengthy discussions by the Internet technical community on DNS issues generally and on the Postel DNS proposal took place on the newdom, com-priv, ietf and domain-policy Internet mailing lists.
9. 9 See draft-Postel-iana-itld-admin-01.txt; available at <http://www.newdom.com/archive>.
10. For further information about the IAHC see: <http://www.iahc.org> and related links. Reference to this organization does not constitute an endorsement of the commercial activities of its related organizations.
11. December 1996 draft: draft-iahc-gtldspec-00.txt; available at <http://info.internet.isi.edu:80/in-drafts/files>.
12. The IAHC final report is available at <http://www.iahc.org/draft-iahc-recommend-00.html>.
13. See generally public comments received in response to July 2, 1997 RFC located at <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/email>.
14. For a discussion, see Congressional testimony of Assistant Secretary of Commerce Larry Irving, Before the House Committee on Science, Subcommittee on Basic Research, September 25, 1997 available at <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/email>.
15. See generally public comments received in response to July 2, 1997 RFC located at <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/email>.
16. 16The document was published in the Federal Register on February 20, 1998, (63 Fed. Reg. 8826 (Feb. 20, 1998)).
17. As used herein, the term "new corporation" is intended to refer to an entity formally organized under well recognized and established business law standards.
18. As noted in the Summary, the President directed the Secretary of Commerce to privatize DNS in a manner that increases competition and facilitates international participation in its management. Accordingly, the Department of Commerce will lead the coordination of the U.S. government's role in this transition.
19. 1998 Supplemental Appropriations and Rescissions Act; Pub. L. 105-174; 112 Stat. 58.
20. 20 Management principles for the .us domain space are set forth in Internet RFC 1480, (http://www.isi.edu/in-notes/rfc1480.txt).
21. These databases would also benefit domain name holders by making it less expensive for new registrars and registries to identify potential customers, enhancing competition and lowering prices.