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

    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Judge Holds Domain Names are Not Property | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 12 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Judge Holds Domain Names are Not Property
    by dtobias (dan@tobias.name) on Tuesday August 14 2001, @05:06AM (#1819)
    User #2967 Info | http://domains.dan.info/

    The judge made the right decision here. Domain names are not, strictly speaking, property of the registrants -- the fact that you must renew them indicates that they are really being rented rather than owned. You, as a registrant, gain some contractual rights over the name in question, but not true "ownership". In fact, RFC 1591, the closest thing that exists to an "official" statement of what the creators of the domain name system intended, has the rather idealistic statement: "Concerns about "rights" and "ownership" of domains are inappropriate. It is appropriate to be concerned about "responsibilities" and "service" to the community." This sentiment came from the notion that the domain namespace was a resource for the community, not property to be speculated in, which unfortunately has a quaintly archaic ring these days.

    At any rate, the issue in that particular case was that somebody was suing a registrar for putting the registrar's default page, with ads for the registrar and its sponsors, on the website reachable by the domain registered by the plaintiff, which he claimed was a violation of his ownership rights to the domain. This is a really silly suit, since if he had paid the slightest attention to where the domain was pointed when he registered it, and subsequently, he could have easily made it go to anywhere else he desired; the registrar page was merely the default, not a mandatory page. It seems he's asking the court to punish the registrar for the registrant's own technical ignorance.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Judge Holds Domain Names are Not Property
    by hofjes on Tuesday August 14 2001, @06:15AM (#1821)
    User #60 Info
    I agree with the sentiment of your message, however the summary of RFC 1591 is not totally correct.

    The language you cited relates to top level domains, and more specifically country-code top level domains. RFC 1591 does not address the administration or regulation of second level domain names, or other lower level domains.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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