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

    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    What's in .NAME? 5000+ .NAME Registrations Not Conforming to .NAME Restrictions | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 185 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: What more can you say
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Sunday June 02 2002, @02:26PM (#6759)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/


    A Reply to .NAME Registrations Not Conforming to .NAME Registration Restrictions

    A Reply to .NAME Registrations Not Conforming to .NAME Registration Restrictions
    original article by Ben Edelman
    Harvard University

    reply by Adrian Paul Miles
    ANNO DOMINI 2000

    (part 1)


    In 2000-2002, the ICANN New TLD Program co-ordinated the introduction of seven new top-level domains to the Internet's Domain Name System. Among these new TLDs was .NAME, a namespace intended, according to an appendix to its agreements with ICANN, to be used for "personal name registrations" of the form JOHN.DOE.NAME.

    It is true that .NAME was initially only intended for "personal name registrations", such as "JOHN.SMITH.NAME."

    On a lighter note, I personally do not believe your use of "JOHN.DOE.NAME" is a good example, as it would most likely refer to nobody in particular who was actually already dead. It would therefore not currently be eligible for official and indisputable registration as a .NAME. However, I guess this is really just yet another "grey area" for .NAME registrations, as there may be many good reasons for registering .NAMEs for deceased people, the publication of people's Wills by their Trustees on the internet, for one example, or the development of a website in memory of a lost loved one or deceased famous person (ie, "LINDA.MCCARTNEY.NAME") or a group of people (ie, "WTC.VICTIMS.NAME.") Indeed, .NAME is also potentially very useful for reporting very useful lists of survivors of major disasters and tragedies (ie, "WTC.SURVIVORS.NAME") or for commemorating the lessons to be learnt from a such an evil event and terrible loss of life (ie, "WTC.MEMORIAL.NAME.")

    However, a large number of .NAME domains do not follow the format specified in ICANN's agreement with the .NAME registry. Rather than matching the first and last names of their registrants, or matching their registrants' commonly-used nicknames or pseudonyms, these many domains instead seem to have commercial, humorous, or other intentions inconsistent with the .NAME charter and the .NAME registration agreements that bind all .NAME registrants; to follow naming conventions other than those required by the .NAME registry; or to reflect defensive registrations performed outside .NAME's official Defensive Registration system.

    Global Name Registry's website clearly states that a .NAME is registerable in ways other than just the rather restrictive "first name . last name . NAME" format.

    Fictional and cartoon characters can be legitimately registered, as well as trademarks of any kind. This means that "BUGS.BUNNY.NAME" or "DONALD.DUCK.NAME" or "MICKEY.MOUSE.NAME" or "ROAD.RUNNER.NAME" are all clearly acceptable uses of the .NAME principal, at least, according to the Global Name Registry's own published acceptable use policy. It also clearly implies that domain names, such as "AOL.INSTANTMESSENGER.NAME" or "ALTA.VISTA.NAME" are able to be legitimately registered either through the use of rather expensive Defensive Registrations or simply as individual domain names that can be linked to authentic websites associated with the famous trademark(s.) Actually, as I recall GNR expressly discourage trademark holders from doing this as, to be blunt, they would clearly rather make a lot of money from Defensive Registrations.

    A clear and good example of an apparently ineligible .NAME domain, which is actually proven to eminently eligible, is "DURAN.DURAN.NAME." This domain is (i) not only a registered and famous trademark of the recently reformed Duran Duran - specifically, band member Nick Rhodes (real name, Nicholas Bates, who could legitimately also register  "NICK.BATES.NAME", "NICHOLAS.BATES.NAME", "N.BATES.NAME" or his alter ego "NICK.RHODES.NAME" or, indeed, any other 'Nick' name, alias or alter ego he was commonly known by, etc.)

    "DURAN.DURAN.NAME" also (ii) conforms to the "first name . last name . NAME" principle for any personal names within the .NAME registry. The reason for this being that "DURAN DURAN" is both the first name and the last name of a fictional character called "Mr Duran Duran" in the movie "BARBARELLA." (Hence the band's release of "ELECTRIC BARBARELLA" on one of their less-successful albums "MEDAZZALAND.") "DURAN.DURAN.NAME", therefore, is a genuinely registerable and maintainable .NAME domain, even though it is not - as far as I know! - any real person's name.

    Furthermore, if your are the Queen of England, for example, you would be eligible to use your Official Title, as you were clearly extremely "commonly known by" this name! In such as case, it would sensible and most interesting to register "THE.QUEEN.NAME" or "THE.QUEENS.NAME." The same logic, therefore, also applies to Prince Charles and both of his two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, who could legitimately register "PRINCE.CHARLES.NAME", "PRINCE.WILLIAM.NAME" and "PRINCE.HARRY.NAME", respectively, on the same basis.

    With regard to whether "SMITH.FAMILY.NAME" or "THE.SMITH.NAME" conform strictly to the "first name . last name . NAME" rule, clearly they do not.

    However, in all honesty, who cares and does it really matter? If someone's name is "SMITH", then surely it would be considerable reasonable and in good faith for them to attempt and succeed in registering "SMITH.FAMILY.NAME" or "THE.SMITH.NAME"?

    The assumption has been made that ICANN's authorisation for .NAME to be used only for personal names in the "first name . last name . NAME" format is surely flawed. Unless the Global Name Registry is deceiving us all, they clearly state that other combinations of names and word can be legitimately registered. Even within personal names, we are told, domains such as "last name . first name . NAME" or any alias, nickname or alter ego by which the person is "commonly known" are equally acceptable and "conform" to GNR's policy on .NAME Eligibility. Let us take one example. Say you're nickname happens to be "DUMB ASS", you are clearly not going to register "DUMB.ASS.NAME", "A.DUMBASS.NAME" or "THE.DUMB-ASS.NAME." However, that is not the point. The point is, you could legitimately register either of these as a .NAME if you wished, without anyone being able to "steal" or cancel you new domain name, providing you could prove to some extent or other that "DUMB ASS" was an alias you were commonly known by (and poor you, if it is!)

    In my opinion, whether one uses the word "A", "MY", "OUR", "THE" is irrelevant. The reason being that if you wished, for example, to register your nickname which happened to be - for illustration - "TIGER", then clearly you would not wish to register a meaningless domain name such as "TI.GER.NAME." Quite clearly, you would in fact register "A.TIGER.NAME", "MY.TIGER.NAME" or "THE.TIGER.NAME." Indeed, much more likely, you would cleverly register "DOWN.TIGER.NAME" or "TIGER.TIGER.NAME"!

    Of course, I realise domain name purists would most likely baulk at such suggestions, but if use of many of so-called "non-conforming" domain names such as these could - potentially, at least - benefit the internet community as a whole, then who are we to object?

    Surely such objection is simply a sign of old-fashioned rigidity and an inflexible legalism that encourages a regard for "the letter of the Law." Generally speaking, this is - more often than not - lukewarmly or coldly opposed to encouraging free speech and liberty within "the spirit of the Law", which is always ultimately much more important, is it not? In my opinion, this is where so many of ICANN's policies and methods have gone wrong (and are still going wrong, to a lesser extent.) Such attitudes simply keep formality and legalism entrenched in a rigid and inflexible system. Hardened advocates of such a policy thereby often throw common-sense to the wind. Clearly, the spirit of such matters is not what they are concerned about. They seem to just wish to maintain the Status Quo and not rock the boat of traditions and previously established principles.

    Such Rules and Regulations limit creativity and inventiveness within the .NAME registry, which I think would be a bad thing, if it were allowed to prevail by either ICANN and/or GNR.

    Surely we should be encouraging Freedom of Speech, Information, Liberty, Support and Usefulness and not insisting on letter-of-the-Law Legalism or nit-picking for the sake of it simply because of an outdated list of Rules?

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: What more can you say by ANNODOMINI2000
    Re: What more can you say
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Sunday June 02 2002, @04:29PM (#6761)
    User #2810 Info
    Nitpicking? Ya right. I can't say any more, I'm nearly speechless. I'd give a day's pay to be a fly on the wall when Adrian wafts this past GNR or a panel. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: What more can you say
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (reversethis-{KU.OC.OOHAY} {ta} {D0002DA}) on Sunday June 02 2002, @11:38PM (#6768)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/
    The first part of your reply in quite well reasoned and welcomed; the second abusive (yet again) and also incorrect (again)...

    Someone's 'legal' name can be their 'actual' name, ie that as on their Birth Certificate... However, it can also be their name on any of the following basis...

    In most legal systems, provisions are made for individuals to change their names officially if they so wish: for example, in Britain by deed poll, a deed made by one party only.

    When people use names other than their given and inherited names, they may be doing so for professional purposes (a performer's stage name, a writer's pen name) or for socially dubious purposes (to avoid the police, the payment of debt, a spouse, etc.)

    In such cases, the new name is an alias (Latin: otherwise) and the police and other authorities may refer to someone as John Smith a.k.a. John Bland where aka means 'also known as'.

    (BTW - I care as much about Internet Governance and the integrity of the domain name system as anyone else)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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