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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    NewTLDs : The Long and Winding Road | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 51 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re:Quantitative Methods of TLD Evaluation
    by Richard_Henderson on Sunday October 26 2003, @05:57PM (#12533)
    User #3269 Info | http://www.atlarge.org/

    You make a very good point about the multiple occurrence of Trademarks. You may get the same word being trademarked several times in a single country for different kinds of products, and this multiplicity is then multiplied further when you consider the same word being trademarked in many countries.

    It follows logically, that for one company to "snap" the domain name for 'their' trademark, they can only do so by excluding all the other companies who have a similar trademark. So the principle of 'Sunrise' reservation of generic names to "protect" one Trademark holder is itself contradictory since it excludes others.

    But more importantly, it excludes everyone else who speaks or uses that language. For the IP community to 'hijack' generic words which really belong to everyone is spurious and unduly restricting.

    As you say, these companies already have recourse to law and courts if someone deliberately abuses their product, and that is the due process which should occur.

    It's true that my .reg proposal would not overcome the problem of names that have multiple trademarks, but I feel it is preferable to the status quo, and if the same shortcoming exists anywhere, I'd rather the Trademark identity was 'coralled' within a specific section of the namespace like .reg, so the rest of the namespace could just be left alone!

    Mind you, there is a further phenomenon which restricts the useful development of new TLDs, and that is the commercial warehousing of domains for speculative profit. In the .info and .biz rollout there were thousands of generic names snapped up by a dozen or so major speculators and this is where Ben's analysis would be really interesting.

    I find it disappointing that a registrar like Yesnic attempted to stockpile over 200 .info generic words in the 'Sunrise', using fake TM numbers, and yet they remain in business, fully accredited by ICANN. When challenged, ICANN won't even dare reply on matters like these.

    Then there are the .biz names which are supposed to be for actual business purposes, not for speculation. Although Neulevel intervened against a few speculators early on, once the attention died away, they ignored later requests to "release" names which had been stockpiled by others, in contravention of the specific registry rules.

    A third area where generic names get grabbed away from the ordinary public is the issue of "deliberately short lists" in the Round-Robin processes. This occurred in both the .biz2B and the .info LR2. Companies like Signature Domains were glaring examples of this, not opening their lists to the public, but exploiting their registrar privilege in order to effectively 'queue-jump' the public for the benefit of their own individual business partner.
    Again, no intervention by ICANN.

    I accept that some people will try to 'warehouse' domains for later selling on, but I don't think ICANN should positively enable IP people to annex swathes of the namespace, or allow registrars to game the system to the detriment of the public.

    So there are various problems, not just the IP problem, which get in the way of ICANN's undertaking to USG to guarantee "the fair distribution" of the DNS.

    The great pity is that ICANN ignore reasonable requests for dialogue on these matters, and preside over Agreements which have loopholes which allow these things to happen. But this is just a symptom of an institutional malaise, which less generous souls might term: corruption.

    Richard Henderson

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Quantitative Methods of TLD Evaluation by Richard_Henderson
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    Re:Quantitative Methods of TLD Evaluation
    by Richard_Henderson on Sunday October 26 2003, @06:21PM (#12535)
    User #3269 Info | http://www.atlarge.org/

    Incidentally, my remarks about a .reg TLD were originally raised (at least, the first time I saw them) by Garry Anderson, who also made the point about a generic word like 'apple' which has multiple trademarks for various products in Britain, multiple trademarks for various products in the US, multiple trademarks for various products in Australia, and you can carry on, working your way round the globe. The very existence of a Sunrise process would exclude the majority of these businesses - and worse than that, exclude everyone else who might have perfectly good reasons for developing an 'apple' domain without any bad intentions against any 'Apple' company whatsoever.

    So ICANN has favoured the IP community (or at least, ONE trademark holder out of hundreds) and unduly excluded everyone else from access to a very ordinary word in the DNS

    As I say, Garry Anderson first brought this to my attention - my thanks to him!

    Richard Henderson

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Quantitative Methods of TLD Evaluation
    by ldg on Monday October 27 2003, @05:54AM (#12540)
    User #2935 Info | http://example.com/
    For the most part, I think we're in agreement. However, if you were to think in terms of many (hundreds or even thousands) TLDs, there would really be little need for ICANN or any "authority" to limit the rules of operations other than critical technical aspects.

    What I'm getting at is issues like warehousing by registries or individuals for whatever reason, IP interests... All the areas that have been so controversial would be largely irrelevant with a plethora of TLDs available in the market place.

    Consumers would choose a registry based upon their own needs and wishes. Those registries that met their needs would do well, while others might just fail altogether. The most popular models would survive, whether small entities or large.

    Quite frankly, I would rather see two hundred small registries that catered to their registrants than two or three huge registries that were nothing but greed mongers.

    The entire industry is still too new to start forcing restrictions. We have not had enough experience when there are still only a handful of registries to choose from and most of them are sponsored TLDs (museum, pro, coop, name) that are questionable models to start with. We need to see many more in order to begin to evaluate the success or failure of any of them.

    Comsumers will drive the success of the registries no matter what is done, but ICANN can certainly kill the industry by placing undue restrictions on them and further bungling their job. ICANN should stay completely out of the business end of registries except for the original DoC-owned domains (com, net, org, edu). The only areas they should address for these and all others under contract are technical issues. SiteFinder would fall under a technical area as well as business, for instance. The technical issue should rule, IMO.

    Again, even with the SiteFinder issue as it relates to business practices, if there were hundreds of TLDs, consumers might be willing to make the change from .com to another TLD if they could avoid the issues that injured them. It's food for thought anyway.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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