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    New gTLDs Global Name Registry Response to Edelman Study
    posted by tbyfield on Friday June 07 2002, @01:52AM

    KElizaga writes "We read with great interest the report of Ben Edelman entitled ".NAME Registrations Not Conforming to .NAME Registration Restrictions"and published on 31 May 2002. As our response below demonstrates, we have designed our registration practices to implement the ICANN-approved Eligibility Requirements in a manner that is practical and, at the same time, consistent with our obligations under the ICANN Agreement."



    In drafting the Eligibility Requirements for the ICANN Agreement, we paid particular attention to the definition of a “Personal Name.” A Personal Name, as set forth in Appendix L of the .name ICANN Agreement, is meant to be the personal name of (1) an individual or (2) a fictional character to which a person or entity has rights (together with any additional characters to differentiate it from other Personal Names). Under the ICANN Agreement, as Mr. Edelman points out, Personal Names are either a person’s legal name or a name by which the person is commonly known, which includes, without limitation, a pseudonym used by an author or painter, or a stage name used by a singer or actor. In addition, both domain names and email addresses within .name can follow the firstname.lastname.name format as well as the lastname.firstname.name format.

    The types of names listed in the Agreement by which a person may be “commonly known” was not meant to be exclusive. As long as a person is commonly known by a particular moniker, whether “President Bush,” “Queen Elizabeth,” or even “Prime Minister” (as in the case of the United Kingdom’s Tony Blair), the Eligibility Requirements permit that person to register a string in the .name space that includes the moniker. For example, George W. Bush would be permitted to register “president.bush.name” (though his father might object!), Bruce Springsteen would be permitted to register the.boss.name and Fred Rogers of famed American neighborhood fame would be permitted to register mister.rogers.name.

    As Mr. Edelman notes, Appendix L, Section (1)(c)(iv) indicates that as the .name registry operator, GNR is not required to review, monitor, or otherwise verify that any particular Personal Name Registration was made in compliance with the Eligibility Requirements or the UDRP. This is so because at the present time, meaningful verification would be difficult and costly. As an alternative, the .name registry implemented a post-hoc policing system, the Eligibility Requirements Dispute Resolution Policy (the “ERDRP”), designed to permit aggrieved individuals to pursue objections to registrations with a fair amount of ease and based on fairly objective standards.

    Mr. Edelman cites some examples of “personal name usage inconsistent with the .name registration conventions.” Clearly, some of these examples are not consistent with a rigid interpretation of the Eligibility Requirements. In most cases, however, these examples are consistent with the spirit of those requirements. For example, we do not believe that most people would be disturbed by the fact that couples are using .name for mutual email addresses or web sites or that families are using .name for web sites. These registrations seem consistent with the .name goal of providing domain names and email addresses for personal use by individuals.

    There are, as Mr. Edelman indicates, a small number of humorous registrations as well as a number of defensive commercial registrations that may not meet the Eligibility Requirements. These raise some difficult issues; however, currently, we do not believe that it is necessary to prohibit these kinds of registrations or that these registrations undermine the concept that .name was designed for individuals.

    Mr. Edelman suggests a number of ways in which the .name registry can better serve the individuals for whom it was created. Our responses to these specific suggestions appear below.

    Improvements to communications between registrars and customers. Both the Eligibility Requirements and the ERDRP appear on our web site and have been incorporated into registrar/registrant agreements. GNR can certainly explore with ICANN and the registrars ways to highlight these requirements.

    Automated systems to prevent obviously-nonconforming registrations. Although this appears at first blush to be a sensible approach, it would be a daunting task to develop a system that is sensitive to the diversity of cultures and naming conventions around the world. To illustrate cultural sensitivities that need to be taken into account, the English article “the” is a common first name in Vietnam, as are “van,” “do,” and “long.” In addition, common English words such as “odd,” “even,” “bull,” “butt,” “eek,” “hole,” “hella,” “lover,” “lie,” “moan,” “rod,” and “saga” are first and last names in mainstream Norway.

    In a slightly different context, some time ago Network Solutions developed an automated system to block registrations involving six of the seven so called “dirty words” banned for on-air use by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. It turns out that blocking the seventh was impracticable, as the offending letter string was a common root in the Japanese language.

    Human review. The economics of domain name registration as contemplated for .name and in general simply will not support the costs involved in human screening of .name registrations for conformity with the Eligibility Requirements on an ongoing basis. It may sound relatively easy, particularly in the short-term with registrations at current levels. However, it would take a serious commitment of capital and resources to devote staff to undertake these reviews and the follow-up investigations that would be required. The costs associated with this kind of review are not trivial and would have to be passed on to consumers, which we have not done. In addition, this kind of review would expose the registry operator to significant legal liability – for terminating or failing to terminate a registration that seems to be non-conforming. These costs would also have to be passed along to consumers. We are unaware of any general interest top level domain that monitors its name space for non-conforming registrations. The ERDRP is designed to provide a workable, efficient alternative.

    Limits on the number of .name registrations per individual. Many valid registrations can be made by one person on behalf of another. For example, a father might register all five of his children and his wife, while a net savvy individual might give all of his/her friends .name registrations for Christmas. This kind of registration activity is completely consistent with the purpose of the .name top level domain, and we certainly do not want to prevent it. And, as Mr. Edelman points out, restrictions of this sort are easy to evade, and it does not seem desireable to drive individuals in this context to adopt multiple usernames and identities. It seems preferable to us to allow individuals to register as many names as they wish to, leaving themselves open to the risk of a challenge under the ERDRP if they do so illegitimately.

    As a general matter, in exploring the various possibilities in trying to protect the .name space, we, and the general public, also must keep in mind that we are running a business. As such, we must pay attention to issues of cost, feasibility and practicality. To the extent that people are not bothered by registrations that do not conform to the exact letter of the Eligibility Requirements, we will not be compelled to take action to investigate such registrations.

    That said, we truly want our .name space to be the address for individuals, and we will continue to market the .name space to customers in that manner. To the extent we deem feasible and necessary, we will certainly endeavor to pursue abusive registrations that are brought to our attention through the ERDRP, and we will try to influence customer behavior by educating end-users on the .name registration conventions. Finally, we will explore other options in making this name space for that which it was intended – the exclusive domain for use by individuals.

     
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    Global Name Registry Response to Edelman Study | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 115 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Global Name Registry Response to Edelman Study
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Friday June 07 2002, @04:10AM (#6933)
    User #2810 Info
    I consider this a cop-out. First, it admits to allowing a small number of humorous registrations as well as a number of defensive commercial registrations that may not meet the Eligibility Requirements, but nowhere does it admit to, or directly address, intentional gaming of the system by those such as the prolific Adrian Miles. They also state that [c]learly, some of these examples are not consistent with a rigid interpretation of the Eligibility Requirements. when clearly many of these examples don't fit even a loose interpretation of the Eligibility Requirements.

    Ben Edelman's study called 8% of the names into question. While some of these do fit within GNR's loose interpretation of its Eligibility Requirements as given above, many do not. There are no doubt other names that Ben did not list as he did not filter on those terms. So what is the extent of the .names registered that don't fit even a loose interpretation of the rules? 5%? 10%? I'd suspect more towards, or past, the latter figure, and it is likely to increase now that GNR has copped out.

    To say that the DRP can be invoked to deal with this is absurd. First, who is going to pay over $1000 per name to ensure that such names are removed from registration? Second, to put this in context, the UDRP in its approximately two years of operation has heard complaints regarding approximately .01% of registered names, and in the vast majority of those cases the complainant had the additional incentive that they would wind up as the new registrant.

    The reasons given for not pre-policing are also suspect. First, as I said earlier, if Ben (a single individual) can do such research using software, why can't GNR do so proactively? Sure, a suspect name in one language may be acceptable in another, one could use additional sorting criteria (such as incoming IP) to further pare down and flag non-conforming names. Only names that failed a series of such tests would need to be flagged for human review. This wouldn't get rid of all non-conforming names, but it might make it enough of a hit and miss proposition that those intent on registering non-conforming .names would give up and go elsewhere. Second, this idea that someone might register, say, dozens of .names for their friends is unlikely. Policing each individual registration as it comes in may well not be economical, but specifically disallowing multiple registrations (let's say, over 5, or 10) unless one goes through a human would also cut down on non-conforming names while remaining economical. Indeed, it would allow for upselling that could well be an additional source of revenue.

    Someone intending to game the system might attempt to get around this by registering a few names at a time, going through different registrars, using different identities, different credit cards, but again, if it become difficult enough, it becomes uneconomical to game the system. Or are we to believe that we should throw up our hands in defeat, as GNR has done, and admit that it is economical to game the system and uneconomical to attempt to address that gaming? If that is so, we're in big trouble.

    And are we also to believe that those who paid their $50k to ICANN in good faith to be considered for a new TLD should learn from this that one can mislead ICANN about one's intentions and get away with it (Afilias and NeuLevel also aren't blameless in this regard, so this is a disturbing trend)? The only lesson the New TLD Evaluation Task Force, or anyone else, can get out of all this is that to be successful under the ICANN regime at any level it is best to lie. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Global Name Registry Response to Edelman Study
    by PeterBarron (pebarron@hotmail.com) on Friday June 07 2002, @07:22AM (#6937)
    User #3240 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
    This is so simple as to be infuriating.

    ICANN differentiated between generic and restricted domains, and insisted that applications be specific as to their restrictions.

    GNR did that and was approved, and is now choosing to ignore their promises.

    If they cannot live up to their proposal, ICANN should terminate their contract and rebid the .NAME registry to a company that can live up to the proposal.

    This is yet another example of either ICANN's incompetance or inability to manage. Or both.

    ++Peter
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Told You So
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Friday June 07 2002, @09:35AM (#6942)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    I hate to say it but, "I told you so."

    GNR have, as I expected and hoped, taken the common-sense, non-legalistic spirit-of-the-law approach which I advocate.

    Clearly, in light of their response, Ben needs to revise his lists significantly, especially mine regarding "PRINCE.CHARLES.NAME", "THE.QUEENS.NAME", "SIR.PAULMCCARTNEY.NAME", etc.

    So much for Mr Anonymous & Co. saying all of my .NAMES were illegal or cybersquatting...

    Eat your words guys! (Or should I say, devour your own .NAMEs and leave mine alone!!)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    So where' my public apology then?
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Friday June 07 2002, @10:15AM (#6948)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    I think I deserve one after all the abuse I've taken on this board.

    Face it - GNR have almost totally exonerated me with their own words echoing my own statements written last week, some time before their comments were published, at http://www.ad2000d.com/.NAME/

    I don't suppose I'll get many apologies or thank yous, but that seems to be the modern way these days..

    (*sigh*)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    HURRAH FOR GNR !
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Friday June 07 2002, @10:18AM (#6949)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    Hurrah for GNR - so ICANN register and use these .NAMEs after all... cheers guys! (like I say, I told you so...)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Global Name Registry Response to Edelman Study
    by PeterBarron (pebarron@hotmail.com) on Friday June 07 2002, @10:33AM (#6953)
    User #3240 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
    Adrian, sod your public apology.

    GNR says that names, nicknames and the like are for what people are commonly called.

    Are you, personally, commonly called Prince Charles? The Queen? Any of your .NAME names?

    GNR excuses these kinds of registrations for individuals, not wholesale squatters, like you.

    But solice to everyone else - GNR's legal department intends to make an example of a few serious squatters in order to get by claims that they're doing nothing at all, and our good friend here is top of their list.

    ++Peter
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Ben's use of WhoIs Data
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Friday June 07 2002, @11:29AM (#6965)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    What someone buys or sells is really their business and their business alone in any other business, so why not in domain names too?

    Buying a domain name is not either theft or squatting.

    Cybersquatting is a self-contradictory term people generally loosely use to unfairly label people they are jealous of and is often indicative of that, "Darn! I wish I had thought of that name!!" Syndrome.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: AMERICA ONLINE, ICANN, NAF AND UDRP PANEL
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Friday June 07 2002, @07:59PM (#6988)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/



    WE ARE SUING THE NATIONAL ARBITRATION FORUM, THE UDRP PANEL AND ICANN FOR FAILURE TO APPLY OR ENFORCE THEIR OWN POLICIES...



    ...WE ARE ALSO SUING AOL FOR HARASSMENT (SECTION II), TRADEMARK ABUSE, REVERSE DOMAIN NAME HIJACKING (ACPA - ANTI-CYBERSQUATTING CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT) AND ANTI-COMPETITIVE PRACTICE (LANHAM ACT, ETC.)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    No More Controversial Famous Name Registrations
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Saturday June 08 2002, @01:41PM (#7011)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    A number of people have questioned the integrity of my famous name registratrions.

    As a Christian, I do my utmost to avoud unnecessary controversy and offence, so I have decided to offer ALL famous names and domain names incorporating trademarks of any kind FREE OF CHARGE to their rightful owners.

    If you don't believe me, check out my website.

    Perhaps this will pacify a few dissenting voices on this issue.

    Regards,

    Ady Miles
    ANNO DOMINI 2000
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Something else used to be here
    by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Monday January 20 2003, @01:10PM (#10993)
    User #4 Info | http://www.discourse.net/
    On Jan. 20, I deleted two items that had been just added to this thread, and which appeared to be spam ads. This had the effect of deleting some responses complaining about them. I will investigate how we close down old fora to prevent this sort of abuse in the future.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Global Name Registry Response to Edelman Study
    by PeterBarron (pebarron@hotmail.com) on Friday June 07 2002, @08:19AM (#6940)
    User #3240 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
    One must really be doing a good job, when all of the detractors are anonymous ad-hominem attacks.

    Ben points out valid flaws that ICANN regularly ignores.

    If ICANN were elected, they'd be thrown out on their arse. No wonder they want to remove the last vestiges of oversight.

    ++Peter
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Squatting 101
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Friday June 07 2002, @06:09PM (#6979)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    You are TOTALLY wrong.

    I would also win hands-down under the ACPA and as soon as I can practically sue under that Federal Law to prove I am NOT a CyberSquatter, I will.

    BTW Stop slandering and defaming me, it is even more illegal than cybersquatting under both US and UK Law.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Global Name Registry
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Friday June 07 2002, @06:19PM (#6985)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    From what I hear they're doing very nicely - better than they hoped for.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    THE ANT-CYBERSQUATTING CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Saturday June 08 2002, @04:29AM (#7005)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    1

    Read the rest of this comment...

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Squatting 101
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Sunday June 09 2002, @03:12AM (#7023)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    What do YOU know about TRUTH?!?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: ACPA
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Sunday June 09 2002, @03:15AM (#7024)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    I won't, cos I am not!

    AOL & Co. will be ****ed.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Global Name Registry Response to Edelman Study
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Monday June 10 2002, @11:30AM (#7062)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    zzzzzzzzz
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Standards of research and proof
    by edelman@law.harvard. on Friday June 14 2002, @06:59AM (#7175)
    User #884 Info | http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/edelman.html
    Kojin,

    You raised a number of interesting points. Key among them, as I think about future work using generally similar methodology, is the question of how much research and verification is necessary to support an inference.

    You suggested, for example, that my listing of "rebecca.rebecca.name" does not, in and of itself, establish that this .NAME was registered by someone other than a person in fact named Rebecca Rebecca, or commonly known as such.

    You're certainly correct that I have not "proven" as much to an absolute certainty. And you're right that it would be difficult and costly to prove this, to an absolute certainty.

    But my goal wasn't to prove that any particular domain was absolutely and indisputably out of conformity with .NAME restrictions. Instead, my goal was to document a large number of domains that seemingly were likely not to conform to the rules. I've reported my raw data in a number of different formats, letting anyone interested examine the data for themselves. To me, the implication is quite clear -- Rebecca Rebecca may (conceivably, though I think unlikely!) be a person's actual or commonly-known name, but a decent portion of the names in my listings are not.

    Tabulating names by registrant also supports this inference. Take a look at .NAME Registrants with Most Nonconforming Registrations, with Listings of Registered Domain Names. Look at the 625 .NAMEs registered by Pascal Leemann-Pluot (the registrant with the most .NAMEs in my sample). He has names like bonaparte.napoleon.name, boogie.man.name, bossa.nova.name, box.office.name, brain.surgeon.name, brown.lady.name, bus.ratp.name, buy.discount.name -- and that's just a sample of the names that start with B. My own inference, based primarily on reading through this list of names, is that Mr. Leemann-Pluot is, in the overwhelming majority of his registrations, not in conformance with the .NAME registration requirements. Can I prove it to an absolute certainty? I suppose not -- maybe he has a friend who does call him "Buy Discount" on a frequent basis. But I doubt it.


    Ben
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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