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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    ICANN Meetings ICANN To Consider Other Naming Systems
    posted by michael on Friday January 25 2002, @05:53AM

    jberryhill writes "The mysterious "special topic" to which time will be devoted during the ICANN meeting in Ghana has now been announced as a discussion of the impact of other naming and navigation systems, such as "keyword" based naming systems for locating internet resource. This is an area deserving consideration."

    There are lots of things one can do with this computer network. Consider the development of file-sharing programs of the Gnutella variety. These programs enable a computer user to make files on their computer available to other people who are also using such file-sharing programs. In order to find files one wants to obtain, one must use a "search" function that locates files on remote computers according to words in the names of the files. This is a hit-and-miss proposition, much like the way that we all find information on the web by appending ".com" to the trademarks corresponding to products and services we are looking to buy, and avoiding those useless web sites which don't sell things.

    What I see happening in these file sharing systems is that people are not appropriately, accurately, or consistently naming the files on their computer. This results in wasted time and effort when one searches, finds, and downloads file having, say, "shell" or "gulf" in their filenames, but the file does not provide information about the products and services of the Shell Oil Company or the Gulf Oil Company respectively. In one very egregious case, I found a file that had both "shell" and "gulf" in its name, and it turned out to be a useless collection of information about oyster harvests off the coast of Louisiana. I was tremendously confused by this file and the blatant misuse of trademarks in its name. Who on earth would want to wade through information about some ridiculous mollusks, when they are trying to find out about wealthy and important multinational corporations?

    Clearly, to avoid these sorts of inefficiencies, wasted time, and potential lost revenue to trademark owners, we need to have a system by which computer users will not be able to abusively employ trademark terms within the file names on their computers. While this proposal will no doubt attract the usual wailing and moaning from liberal academics who believe intellectual property interests are opposed to their Socialist agenda, I believe the rest of the real world has already decided the issue against them. File naming conventions can easily be coded into licensed software, and the software licenses can further require users to adhere to those conventions. This would not be a matter of government regulation, but merely a private contractual matter. Surely those fuzzy-headed leftists would not argue against the right of private parties to make and enforce contracts.

    I applaud the initiative of ICANN to consider the impact of non-conforming naming systems upon the stability of the Internet for all who would like the Internet to function in a consistent, efficient, and non-confusing manner for the benefit of all consumers.

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    ICANN To Consider Other Naming Systems | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 16 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: ICANN To Consider Other Naming Systems
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Friday January 25 2002, @06:37AM (#4733)
    User #2810 Info
    Not to worry John, WIPO is already on the case. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: ICANN To Consider Other Naming Systems
    by Ron_Bennett on Friday January 25 2002, @01:36PM (#4737)
    User #3011 Info | http://www.wyomissing.com/bennett/
    This certainly could become a passionate freedom of speech issue...what if one wants to distribute information, such as a song, protesting a particular company and thus wanting to be descriptive attempts to the file name "bigcompanySUCKS.mp3", etc...will this type of file name be blocked too?

    And anyways, IP interests have had a hell of a time just controlling the gTLD namespace...I can't imagine them having any success at all with controlling file names...if anything, such attempts could actually make matters worse, for I for one would then go out of my way to misidentify files as well as adding big company names to others for kicks as well as other crap...let the file naming games begin!!...whoever ends up with more cease and desist letters wins! :-)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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    Re: ICANN To Consider Other Naming Systems
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Sunday January 27 2002, @11:08AM (#4745)
    User #2810 Info
    According to Newsbytes it seems ICANN really might be planning on regulating DNS overlays:
    While such offerings don't come directly under ICANN's scope, [ICANN Director of Communications Mary] Hewitt said that the ICANN Board will address potential concerns about how higher-layer naming systems interact with the underlying addressing architecture.

    The board, which makes all final ICANN decisions, will look to determine how and whether ICANN should craft addressing policies to account for the growing extent of higher-layer naming activities.

    Questions about whether some higher-layer names should be counted as separate Internet addresses and about the interactivity of higher-layer names that use non-Roman characters will be addressed at the meeting, Hewitt said.

    With ICANN's own house in many ways not in order, why go on such a mission creep now? -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: ICANN To Consider Other Naming Systems
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Sunday January 27 2002, @03:18PM (#4747)
    User #2810 Info
    I can't see ICANN trying to regulate fourth level domains, but then I can't see them reasonably trying to regulate RealNames, which doesn't mean they won't. new.net does appear to want to work within ICANN's tent though, so if they get invited in, even to stand forlornly in the foyer, presumably it will be to be regulated.

    And SFAIK RealNames did not launch xtns.net. xtns.net made use of the RealNames system, but when Micro$oft changed IE to point to MSN search when given an invalid *.* in the URL line, that pretty much broke xtns.net and RealNames wasn't too sympathetic, as reported here and by CNET at the time. BTW, installing offerings from Yahoo such as their chat client reset (without asking) IE to query Yahoo rather than MSN, and some pornography sites took it a step further with a bit of malicious code that reset IE to spawn multiple pr0n windows whenever an invalid address was entered.

    It seems to me the practice of pr0n sites (and others who don't play nice) buying up expiring ICANN 2LDs is one issue they should look at as that is more within their purview. It is also a growing problem that needs to be dealt with ASAP, I say much more than higher level naming systems, both in terms of relevance and urgency. ICANN should clean up its own house first. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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