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

    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Name Rights Battle Takes a New Turn: Part 1 - GAC's Power Grab | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 5 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Name Rights Battle Takes a New Turn: Part 1 -
    by Jon_Weinberg on Thursday October 11 2001, @05:06PM (#2822)
    User #16 Info | www.threecats.net
    Some additional background: GAC's request comes in the context of a near-unanimous refusal by UDRP panelists to order transfer of names in the form of countryname.com or cityname.com to representatives of governments. Governments have argued that they should get these .com domain names because they are more worthy holders of the names than are the private individuals or companies that actually registered them. They have, quite properly, lost. The concept that each domain name has a single, most worthy holder, and that the architecture of the DNS should be designed to funnel the name to that holder, is alien to the historical development of the domain name space. While the UDRP does transfer domain names to trademark holders, ICANN added that mechanism on the theory that it was nothing more than an inexpensive way for trademark holders to vindicate pre-existing legal rights, external to the domain name system, that the trademark holders would otherwise be able to vindicate in national courts. Governments have been able to assert no comparable legal rights.

    It's precisely because governments have been unable to prevail under the UDRP in seeking SLDs in .com, that they've chosen another route to get the names in .info. And so far, they're succeeding; by order of ICANN, names such as formeryugoslavrepublicofmacedonia.info and southgeorgiaandthesouthsandwichislands.info have been placed off-limits to registration, at least through March 2002. (You can see the complete list here.) But the vision of the DNS this embodies, one in which central authorities have power to select the deserving recipients of particular names, is far different from the vision that now controls in the unrestricted TLDs. If governments want names for official sites outside of the ccTLDs, let ICANN establish a chartered TLD for official government sites, and leave the unrestricted TLDs unrestricted.

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