A Breath of Fresh Air
Date: Tuesday January 15 2002, @07:01AM
Topic: The Big Picture

The BBC online has run an interesting article today which departs markedly from the rather oracular treatment that ICANN typically get from the US press. ICANN Watch already covered the issue at hand; but it's worth noting the Beeb's take as an example of what coverage can (and should) be when it swats aside ICANN's self-serving PR.

Example: Who cares what M. Stuart Lynn or Vint Cerf thinks about whether there should be new TLDs? Well, Reuters certainly did when it reported a chat with ICANN's CEO in which he contrasted "problem"-prone unsponsored TLDs with the allegedly tidier, and certainly more intensively regulated, sponsored TLDs. "More people I talk to think it's the more likely direction," sprach Lynn, practically begging the Reuters journalist to question whom Lynn's talking to and how he's talking to them. The article equivocated, "Lynn and Cerf both emphasized that their opinions were their own and not that of ICANN, but said others agreed with them." If these are their personal opinions, then there's no news there, right? Alternatively, if their personal opinions are news, then something's amiss -- and that would be a real story.

The Beeb's Mark Ward, by contrast, actually did a little legwork. Among the more interesting points he elicited is that ICANN may be (as well it should be) deathly afraid of inking real deals with rootserver operators, because it would then be required -- under pain of serious legal consequences -- to walk the technical walk rather than merely talking the trademark talk. Ward quoted Nominet's Willie Black point-blank: "They could not cope with that kind of insurance risk." And then he pulled the trigger: "'It's not exactly a complicated operation,' [Black] said. 'The Nominet database has millions of entries.'" I daresay Black knows a good bit more about the technical dimensions of the DNS than does anyone on ICANN's staff; yet here he is making light of the very procedures that ICANN has systematically represented as the mutant spoor of a breeder reactor and voodoo.

Then again, what would you expect from a ccTLD so mad as to actually unveil a new, personal SLD, ".me.uk"? In ICANN's benighted worldview, doing so placed the "security and stability" of the net in grave danger. Those UK fanatics -- reportedly 75% of Nominet's membership! -- even made so bold as to fend of "cybersquatting" with radical ideas like a sliding-scale fee. Where, then, is the inevitable clip-clop of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse? Off lending a gentle, rustic cadence to A Shropshire Lad, it seems.

All you journos, repeat after me: ICANN is not the organization "in charge of regulating the internet." On the contrary: if anything, it is a parasitic johnny-come-lately that's boosted itself by fronting for ambitious intellectual property claimants. The lingering tensions between ICANN and more properly technical organizations such as CENTR, which can legitimately claim to keep the net running, are a testament to that fact. Hence, in the Reuters article, Board Chairman Vint Cerf says, "It's probably easier for ICANN to pursue sponsored-type TLDs, as opposed to generic TLDs.... It also helps to balance trademark concerns." Balance them with what?, you ask? Oddly enough, one obvious alternative -- the public interest -- goes unmentioned. And, if it were possible to be any less evident than unmentioned, the technical aspects of the DNS, which of course are what ICANN supposedly coordinates, are even less in evidence.

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Re: A Breath of Fresh Air
by Muhhk on Tuesday January 15 2002, @11:13PM (#4657)
User #3085 Info
The full link to that article is here.
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Restricted TLD to replace trademark symbol
by WIPOorgUK on Tuesday January 15 2002, @11:50PM (#4658)
User #3146 Info | http://wipo.org.uk/

Quote: ICANN's CEO in which he contrasted "problem"-prone unsponsored TLDs with the allegedly tidier, and certainly more intensively regulated, sponsored TLDs. "More people I talk to think it's the more likely direction," sprach Lynn, practically begging the Reuters journalist to question whom Lynn's talking to and how he's talking to them. The article equivocated, "Lynn and Cerf both emphasized that their opinions were their own and not that of ICANN, but said others agreed with them."

I have been in contact, for quite some time, with US and UK authorities (and lawyers) about these domain and trademark problems.

I would bring your attention to Lynn's statement, which Vint Cerf agreed with, about regulated TLDs - "More people I talk to think it's the more likely direction,"

This is very interesting - because the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization and the United States Department of Commerce ALREADY knew this.

I wonder why they did not tell ICANN?

UN WIPO and US DOC always knew that a restricted TLD was required for trademarks.

They knew the answer to exclusively identify ALL trademark domains.

Information for lawyers - yes I know all about classifications and all the other 'so-called' problems.

Please visit WIPO.org.uk to see rationale behind the solution (which was self-evident).

Incidentally, you would think the news media would report on WIPO.org.uk - as the United Nations WIPO.org take away similar domains to trademarks - wouldn't you?

Also they would report the fact that the solution was ratified by honest attorneys - including the honourable G. Gervaise Davis III, a UN WIPO panellist judge himself.

I have contacted over 100 news editors and journalists of newspapers and TV. Perhaps they are all ignorant imbeciles and could not recognize a story if it bit their bottom ;-)
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
IOCANN
by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Tuesday January 15 2002, @02:56PM (#4652)
User #2810 Info
The comparison is quite apt. Prior to the last Olympics there were persistent reports on afternic.com message boards of failed attempts to register names containing the string olympic. Some registrations were successful, some registrants were told that name is unavailable even though it was unregistered, and other registrations were at first successful, and the registrants were later told sorry, we made a mistake, that name is unavailable, even though it apparently remained unregistered. Some may recall that the IOC went to extraordinary lengths to go after those posting news of events who had not paid the IOC dearly for the privilege, and to keep cameras out of their venues down under, worried that digital images might get online without the IOC making a percentage. Controlling the namespace seems to have been part of this push.

Although the proposal to have a Famous Marks list was turned down as unworkable, it seems Veri$ign went ahead with it, for the IOC at least there was (is?) an undocumented, unsanctioned, selective sunrise. Like attracts like. Those two supranational, monopolistic, corrupt, control freak bodies were bound to meet, it must have been love at first site.

Regarding me.uk, while it apparently hasn't destabilized or unsecured the internet, it has the usual silly problems, cybersquatting, and creative misuse of the domain for pr0n sites, with fuller, unfiltered, and generally funnier coverage available on this icann.org forum thread. -g

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  • This article comes from ICANNWatch
    http://www.icannwatch.org/

    The URL for this story is:
    http://www.icannwatch.org/article.pl?sid=02/01/15/110102