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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    This discussion has been archived.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 jberryhill on Thursday October 11 2001, @01:56PM (#2819)
    User #3013 Info
    It will be most fascinating to observe the spectacle of a technical coordinating body making such decisions as to whom to award "Afghanistan.info", the first country appearing on the ISO list. Are we to understand that ICANN is holding it in trust for the Taliban? Will a California corporation convey control over "Iraq.info" to Mr. Hussein, and "Libya.info" to Mr. Qaddafi, in contravention of U.S. law relating to providing services to those coutnries?

    The ISO list includes "Palestinian Territory, Occupied", but no "Palestine". Which name shall they reserve? Shall ICANN recognize "Tawain, Province of China", or simply "Taiwan"?

    Which government shall control "Puerto Rico"?

    To whom shall we award "Cyprus.info"?

    These and similar questions are the precise reasons why Dr. Postel did not engage in the business of determining who is the recognized government of a coutnry, nor did IANA consider TLD's to be national assets of some kind. As Dr. Mueller notes, the action plan refers to the WIPO2 final report, but it is apparent that no one responsible for the resolution appears to have noticed that the WIPO2 report reccomended against this kind of nonsense, nor did anyone notice that it was the "final" report of the Second Domain Name Process. To read the plan, one would come away with the impression that WIPO made no recommendations of any kind. The action plan calls for the question "to having the matter addressed" in the WIPO2 process. It has been.

    Now that WIPO has accused ICI, Roche, and other pharmaceutical companies of "abusive" domain name registrations of INN's (e.g. alcloxa.com), watching them dictate to the people who have, not only lawyers, but guns as well, should provide a new level of comedy.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Name Rights Battle Takes a New Turn: Part 1 -
    by Jon_Weinberg on Thursday October 11 2001, @04:06PM (#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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