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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 11 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
    by Anonymous on Tuesday January 22 2002, @07:50AM (#4703)
    I'm not often motivated to correct the reporting on ICANNWatch, but your post so grossly overstates ICANN's role in the Verio case that I can't leave it uncorrected. As is plain from the text of ICANN's submission to the Court, ICANN filed an amicus brief in connection with the Verio case at the request of the District Court Judge, not on a whim. As is also plain from the face of that submission, the issue in the Verio case wasn't just spam, but whether Verio could assert rights as a third party beneficiary to the Registrar Accrediation Agreement, which Verio alleged forced Register.com to allow Verio to use software robots to mine Register.com's WHOIS database for marketing leads.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
      Re: 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
      by Anonymous on Wednesday January 23 2002, @06:09AM (#4708)
      I certainly didn't suggest that ICANN weighed in "on a whim." On the contrary; I think we agree that the issues at hand in that case were quite serious. As to your claim that I "grossly overstate[d] ICANN's role in the Verio case," I'm afraid that's just not true: I noted that ICANN filed a brief in that case, which is an objective fact. I made no claims as to whether or how decisive the brief was.

      As to your first point, the fact that ICANN was responding to a request from a judge -- even a DC judge -- is hardly compelling; and even if ICANN felt that it was somehow compelling, it could have punted in any number of ways. It responded, and did so substantively.

      As to your second, you can deck out the issues with legal niceties however you like, but even you concede that the practical consequence was that Verio was "mining Register.com's WHOIS database for marketing leads." The notion that the real issue was that ICANN would henceforth have its hands tied by a precedent of assertion of third-party beneficiary rights is just silly; if that subsequently proved to be a problem, ICANN could have -- and would have -- initiated the process of revising the RAA.

      Oh, and on the subject of third-party rights and mining with regard to whois, let us not forget who's on ICANN's Whois Committee: the RIAA and the MPAA. Why are they there? Because they are locked in (they themselves insist) mortal combat with multitudes who evidently disagree with them. If their membership doesn't boil down to a de facto assertion of right by third-party beneficiaries to the legal niceties of whois, I don't know what does; they definitely aren't there looking for "marketing leads." And how did they get there? As ICANN GC Louis Touton said, when the existence of this then-sort-of-committee was accidentally disclosed in an Names Council teleconference, "the Whois Committee is just a group of people that...of various interest...who the ICANN staff asked to get together and try to formulate some proposals or ideas that might then be passed as appropriate to either the Names Council or the ICANN staff" -- how very bottom-up! -- "depending on whether it's a policy matter or an implementation matter."

      ICANN was right to file a brief in the Verio case, and the brief it filed was right. But it was wrong to punt on the issue of mediaone.net; either that, or it should quit pontificating about the "security" and "stability" of DNS. The only reason anyone cares about stability or security is -- precisely -- to avoid what will happen in greater or lesser degrees to the 630,000 people affected.


      [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
    by Anonymous on Tuesday January 22 2002, @10:11AM (#4704)
    Suppose Micro$oft is sucessful with its .net thing and gets lots of users, all of whom would start to be unsettled by the confusion caused by the .net top level domain.

    Should the choice of which predominates be based on comparative counts of inconvenience? I mean, if the midwestern marketing company's rights (assuming that they are valid) can be overridden because the assertion of those rights would inconvenience 630,000 people, then why shouldn't Micro$oft's .net prevail over those in the .net TLD if and when Microsoft gets more users?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
      Re: 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
      by Anonymous on Wednesday January 23 2002, @06:22AM (#4709)
      That would be a different matter, because the issue would be one of weighing the conflicting interests of two broad populations, which isn't the case with mediaone.net. I doubt it would come to that, though, because MS's unfortunately named ".net" initiative will accumulate users incrementally; and if for some reason the tension were as clear as you suggest, that would inhibit the adoption of MS's ".net" services.

      But perhaps I should turn the question back to you: If MS's ".net" conflicted with the .net gTLD, would ICANN's professed interest in safeguarding the "security" and "stability" of the DNS militate in favor of weighing in on behalf of MS?

      [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Tuesday January 22 2002, @09:32PM (#4707)
    User #2810 Info
    An advertising firm wants and fights hard for mediaone.net? LOL! Remind me not to hire them for any auditory ad campaigns. Errr, was that media1.net or mediawon.net or mediaonenet.com or...?

    Anyway, the WHOIS figures in this in another important respect. If I desire presently registered domain names that may expire, I mine WHOIS looking for *@mediaone.net contacts. After their email starts bouncing there will be a lot of folks unaware their registrations are expiring so their domain names are more likely to subsequently become available than a random sampling.

    With the continuing failure of email providers (EG: @HOME) for any number of reasons, this is a great opportunity for those who snap up expiring names (EG: see my XXX-piring namespace submission). The $napNames/Veri$ign WLS, and SFAICT all other, proposals do nothing to address this issue. We'll see (eventually, one presumes) what ICANN makes of the fuzzy moral-right claims of those having their domain names dropjacked, if I may coin a term. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
      Re: maybe AT&T is at fault
      by Anonymous on Friday January 25 2002, @03:30AM (#4730)
      This post makes a good case on behalf of AT&T for defense of the domain name, and another defense would be that under U.S. law [not UDRP logic] trademark infringment mostly around names can only occur within the same industry--not between an Internet portal and a media advertising firm for instance. I would not be surprised to find out that AT&T is abandoning the name because it also can not stop the Midwest ad firm from using "MediaOne," rather than out of fear of losing the domain name itself. Since UDRP decisions can be appealed to U.S. courts, I'd be surprised to find AT&T is losing or has lost.
      [ Reply to This | Parent ]
      Re: 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
      by isdnip on Wednesday January 30 2002, @03:15PM (#4768)
      User #3204 Info
      I don't think ATT-B is telling the whole story here.

      I'm a MediaOne/AT&T subscriber and have been told that my .mediaone.net addresses are going away. But did AT&T even try to preserve them? Did they put up a realistic fight? There's no record, is there?

      My suspicion is that they just use this as an excuse. There are many overlapping trademarks out there. Digital.com was a computer company when digital.net was a Florda ISP. Biostar.com does biological testing; biostar.net makes motherboards. Diningout.com and dining-out.com are competitors. So the other "media one", whomever they might be, could use some other domain that sounds the same. AT&T-B, I suspect, just wanted to screw the mediaone users the same way the @home users were screwed, with some kind of cockamamie notion that having peoples' mail in the attbi domain is better advertising for them than having them use the obsolete mediaone brand name.

      AT&T-B is in the process of being sold to Comcast. Will the .attbi.com addresses remain, or will Comcast decide to change them again? This creates a real demand for third-party redirection services and mail services, so that users won't have to change twice!

      [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
    by Anonymous on Tuesday January 29 2002, @04:14AM (#4752)
    Who is this "midwest agency" that is causing all my business stationery to be made obsolete? I want to send them an invoice for my reprinting costs.

    And when did AT&T make this settlement? If it was before I had my stationery printing, I'm really, really mad!
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
      Re: 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
      by Anonymous on Tuesday January 29 2002, @06:39PM (#4759)
      How about all the email lists maintained by, oh, alumni groups, church groups, all sorts of charities, professional and trade associations, etc.

      Mediaone subscribers were generally early adopters - the web literate, the people with a little money.

      Some casual observations: 10% of a mailing list I maintain are mediaone.net subscribers. 10% of my personal address book too.

      Of the 5 mediaone.net subscribers I asked in the last 3 days, only one had even seen the letter from AT&T and she misread it (who has time) and thought she was o.k. because her email would be forwarded. She was aghast at the details. The others, none of them ignorant, were totally unaware of the situation. The email header looks like the kind you might read someday when you "have time".

      Consider that similar could happen to yahoo.com or hotmail.com, or even AOL subscribers.

      We really don't need outside forces to bring our country down. We are quite capable of self-destruction. Let's not forget that this very same AT&T owns the physical pipes that bring many of us our cable TV with its news channels, and data lines for business, and yes, some phone lines. If you don't buy from them, you certainly use them anyway.

      Possible actions:

      Short-term: an injunction against this action - overturn whatever settlement in the interests of national security. And, investigate and make public the "deal" that was made. There is at least one other Fortune 10 company that wasn't playing clean so we need to "be vigilant".

      Long-term: legislate a formula for moving email subscribers over to new names in a controlled way, similar to area code changes. Large email providers (define what "large" is) can be forced to keep acquired domain names alive forever.
      [ Reply to This | Parent ]
      Re: 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
      by Anonymous on Thursday January 31 2002, @12:52PM (#4778)

      I suspect that the reason we can't find the legal case anywhere is that AT&T really doesn't care about the inconvenience to their customers, wasn't willing to spend a lot of money for a domain name for the defunct brandname of a company they bought. So they rolled over and let these losers steamroller them without even going to court.

      As the terms of service say:

      (b.) Ownership of Addresses. Customer acknowledges that use of the Service does not give Customer any ownership or other rights in any Internet/on-line addresses provided to Customer, including but not limited to Internet Protocol ("IP") addresses, e-mail addresses and web addresses. AT&T Broadband may modify or change such addresses at any time and shall in no way be required to compensate Customer for such changes.

      So, they have reserved their legal right to inconvenience the customer.

      If the domain name in question had included the letters att, I suspect they would have spent the money to defend themselves.

      The one upside I see is that I get a new e-mail account that isn't getting SPAM. I'm going to put in Norton Personal Firewall so nobody can use the "one pixel GIF in HTML mail" trick to mine my e-mail address @attbi.com.

      The most annoying downside for me is that my current "username" @attbi.com is already taken. So I will have a less convenient e-mail address on both sides of the at-sign...

      [ Reply to This | Parent ]
        Re: 630,000 Users Can't Be Wrong
        by Anonymous on Tuesday February 05 2002, @12:05PM (#4819)
        If AT&T had stopped to consider how much of a pain these conversions would be for themselves, I wonder if they would have fought harder (or even a little) to keep the mediaone.net domain.

        Maybe this "midwest ad agency" really and truly owns the mediaone mark and tried to shake down AT&T for much more than their cost of migrating everyone. I wish we could find out who was causing us all this pain and do something appropriate to them... something senseless, futile, but satisfying none-the-less.
        [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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