07-10-97 Electronic Filings on Internet Domain Names

From:      John Horst johnhorst@worldnet.att.net>
To:        NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date:      7/10/97 1:52pm
Subject:   Domain Name Conventions for next year

To whom it may concern:

Please accept the following suggestion concerning domain names as next
year's changes come upon us.

Many of us who are concerned over the easy access to pornography on the
Internet would like to see some effort made to keep material of this nature
on a distinct "section" of the Internet.  The intent of the CDA was good,
but I was not surprised to see it struck down by the Supreme Court.

If a top level domain called "adult" (e.g. http://www.name.adult) were
established, I would encourage my representative to initiate legislation
requiring all material that was to be covered under the CDA to be located
at an address that used this top level domain.  This would allow browser
programmers such as MS and Netscape to program their browsers to allow
blocking of all sites in the adult top level domain.  This would finally
make blocking a workable solution.  A legal requirement of this nature, I
believe, would also pass constitutional muster as it does not prevent
adults from accessing the information.

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute an idea.

John Horst
San Diego, CA

Number: 103
From:      "Jordan Rice" Jordan1@ix.netcom.com>
To:        NTIADC40.NTIAHQ40(dns)
Date:      7/10/97 4:37pm

To Whom It May Concern:

Regarding the current debate on who shall allot domain names and which
suffixes will be added to the Internet, I have several comments.

First, these are clearly two separate debates.  In both, our small
consulting company shall likely be affected, as we are a legally formed and
registered company doing business in the State of Georgia having rights to
the name, "I-Med, LLC".  But we also control the domain name of
"www.i-medllc.com".  Since the name has not been Federally Trademarked and
since we have registered the name properly in the State of Georgia (which
has precedent setting laws protecting Georgia based companies doing
business on the Internet), who should say that we have no right to that
domain name, should there be another I-Med, LLC (which there are) who
contests the use of the name?  Our legal counsel advises us that we have
the right to use this name on the internet and to conduct business
nationally and internationally.  In addition, since the InterNIC has
accepted our domain name, what right do others have to that name in the
future as long as we renew our annual license?

Certainly, if other suffixes are added, there may be some confusion for our
new or existing clients.  But wasn't this the same issue that McDonald's
and other US companies faced when trying to establish trademarks and
service marks internationally?  And weren't there attempts by some
unscrupulous persons (most notably in Paraguay) to trademark these
internationally known names and block their use by trying to force huge
licensing fees from these multi-national companies?  What did the
Department of Commerce do for 25 years in that well known case?  

But many reasonable national governments have now enacted laws protecting
and observing the right of multi-national companies to be protected from
this "economic blackmail".  My wife worked for the Department of Commerce
in the US Embassy in Manila for 5 years and certainly I know the great work
that the DOC has done to promote US business abroad.  But how can you
impact this debate?  What laws can Congress enact and the President sign
into law that some renegade country would not usurp, such as Libya or Iraq,
if they so wished?  That is the problem with the internet at present.  Even
repressive governments, such as Singapore are finding it hard to curb
internet access to block negative political opinions of their government or
to block material they deem pornographic.  Look are how hard it has been
for national authorities to track down pedophiles who are clearly breaking
laws regarding child pornography.  If an area that 99% of the world's
population agree is unwanted and undesirable for viewing by all, then what
chance to regulate the European Economic Community or the ASEAN countries? 

This means that I do expect another www.i-medllc.?  (whatever the suffixes
end up being), but neither will we willingly give up a name that was in use
before anyone trademarked in the United States with our current suffix of
"com".   We are a small company, but we have used the name for several
years and we properly registered it as required by Georgia State Statutes.

These two issues are very difficult ones and I trust that the Commerce
Department will consider the long term ramifications of their actions to
all US businesses, large and small, new and old.  We cannot stop other
governments or international bodies from adding their imprint to the
Internet.  But we can try to develop international agreements and standards
that give everyone globally free access to the internet and yet maintain
some kind of order, so that there is not mass chaos as millions of Web
Sites come on line in the next few years.  Diplomacy and tact are the order
of the day and bullying tactics that worked in the Gulf War, simply will
not work on the internet.

You have a tough assignment ahead of you and I do not envy your task.

Sincerely yours,

Jordan Rice
I-Med, LLC
Lawrenceville, GA