Responds To Lynn Plan
Date: Saturday March 09 2002, @12:09PM
Topic: ICANN Staff and Structure

Anonymous writes "Responding to the Lynn plan, has issued a paper (.pdf or html) proposing a diametrically opposed vision of deregulation. ICANN would be reduced to a "more limited advisory and educational role as a trade association"."

Here's's press release:

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif., March 8 /PRNewswire/ ( ), a domain name registry created to meet the market demand for Web addresses with logical, easy-to-remember extensions, today announced the release of its most current policy paper entitled, "A Proposal for More Realistic Domain Name Governance." The paper supplements's previous paper released in June 2001, "A Proposal to Introduce Market-Based Principles into Domain Name Governance." The current paper highlights the deficiencies inherent in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) governance structure and proposes to replace the existing structure with one that relies on market forces and ordinary business regulation to govern the Internet naming and addressing industry.

The Paper follows a recent report President's Report: ICANN -- The Case for Reform, February 24, 2002) from ICANN's CEO, Stuart Lynn, highlighting the shortcomings of ICANN and offering a solution that contemplates ICANN becoming a global Internet regulator with supra-national power and dispensing with the need for ICANN to become more democratic in its processes and more representative of the broader Internet community.

"The need for decisive action to reform a broken ICANN governance process has existed for some time and is reflected in Mr. Lynn's report, but Mr. Lynn's proposal for reform only serves to throw more money, responsibilities and power at a process that has proven flawed," said David Hernand, CEO of

In light of the failure of ICANN to fulfill its original mandate as a technical coordination body and its efforts to assume a much larger role as a worldwide regulator of Internet addressing, the proposal takes into account past experiences and represents a more realistic solution for domain name governance.

Highlights of the proposal include the following:

ICANN as Consensus-Based Trade Association proposes that ICANN continue to do much of what it currently does well in its capacity as a trade association for parties interested in issues related to domain names, IP addresses and Internet protocols instead of trying to become a powerful, global quasi-governmental regulator, as Mr. Lynn's recent President's Report proposes. As a trade association, ICANN would be able to continue serving its educational and advisory functions, but with no pretense of authority over U.S. or international Internet infrastructure assets.

Greater Reliance on Market Forces Instead of Regulation proposes that market forces should be the dominant factor in regulating the conduct of persons buying, selling and using Internet-related products and services. believes that the market ultimately will serve as the most efficient mechanism, driving persons and companies to innovate and introduce new products and services using the Domain Name System (DNS), and regulating their conduct, much in the same manner that market forces drive innovation and regulate conduct in other areas of technology.

Greater Reliance on Local vs. Global Regulation proposes that where formal governmental regulation is needed to supplement industry practices and market forces, such regulation should occur at the national or local level in the same way that national and local laws regulate virtually every other industry. Prior to the advent of ICANN, few bodies have sought to be international regulators without the establishment of treaties. National and local regulation is much more effective at protecting the interests of national and local constituencies.

Continued Control of Legacy DNS Root by U.S. Government proposes that the U.S. Government maintain control over the legacy DNS root and not ever cede control to an organization with ICANN's characteristics. By maintaining control over the legacy DNS root, the United States could be assured that its national interests are protected, and the legacy DNS root likely would continue to be the most widely used root in the future.

Recognition of Non-U.S. Interests in Content of Legacy DNS Root Related to Non-U.S. Country Code Designations proposes that country code top-level domain (ccTLD) operators form a new organization to represent their interests vis-a-vis ICANN, the U.S. Government and other entities involved in Internet addressing matters. believes that any reform of the current process for managing the DNS needs to acknowledge the legitimacy of the interests of non-U.S. country code top-level domain operators and must do a better job of addressing their concerns. A common non-U.S. criticism of the current ICANN process is that it affords too much regulatory control over ccTLD operators to ICANN itself and too much control over ccTLD delegation to the U.S. Government.

As with the previous paper issued by that stimulated significant discussion and debate, hopes that this new paper will stimulate further discussion regarding the need to reform domain name governance and the specific means for doing so.

For a complete copy of the Paper, please contact Brad Copeland at +1 (818) 385-2021 or via email, Alternatively, the Paper will be posted shortly on's Web site at

About ( ) is the leading innovator in Internet addressing, and is best known for its efforts to build the Internet's leading market- driven domain name registry business by selling domain names with logical, easy-to-remember domain name extensions that make the Internet easier to navigate. Headquartered in Sherman Oaks, California, the company was started in May 2000 by idealab!, a leading Internet incubator. ISPs around the world now provide access to domain names through a simple network upgrade. also distributes a small software application that provides access for those Internet users whose ISPs have not yet upgraded their networks. Both methods work within the existing Internet infrastructure and currently enable over 100 million Internet users worldwide to view the new domain names.

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Re: Responds To Lynn Plan
by hofjes on Sunday March 10 2002, @07:59AM (#5206)
User #60 Info
Though I don't totally agree with its premises, the paper is well written, analyzed, and researched, and provides excellent points for debate.

For all the criticism receives, at least it attempts to take an active role in shaping the policy and governance of its industry. Smart business move. Good for the Internet community.
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Re: Responds To Lynn Plan
by michael ( on Sunday March 10 2002, @05:29AM (#5203)
User #4 Info |
Yes, if you write an interesting paper. Why not?
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Re: Responds To Lynn Plan
by michael ( on Sunday March 10 2002, @01:17PM (#5210)
User #4 Info |
We publish most of the coherently expressed ICANN-related material we're sent. We publish it whether we agree with it or not; the main tests being (for me at least) relevance, and that it will interest at least some of our readers. Publication of material authored by others doesn't mean we 'endorse' it -- how could it, when the editors of this site sometimes disagree among one another, and the site publishes things that disagree with each other? All it means is one of the editors of this site thought other people would be interested in it.

Speaking purely personally, I'm more interested in discussing the merits of the issue than the motives of the speakers.

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Re: Still Exists?
by DavidHernand on Sunday March 10 2002, @02:40PM (#5212)
User #3254 Info
Dear Mr. Anonymous,

Thanks for taking time to make so many posts to this thread, all with the same malicious intent and without regard in any way to the merits of our proposals to reform DNS governance. Perhaps next time you could save space by grouping your comments in one post, so that others could spend more time actually addressing the substantive policy issues at stake than weeding through irrelevant garbage!

As for your dispersions, I regret to inform you that the speculative reports of's demise on what may be your favorite authoritative news site -- the "Happy Fun Slander Corner" on f***** -- are not true. We just completed our first year (on March 5), and remain bullish about the future. We recently launched our new registry platform that will enable third-party registrars to sell our names, continue to add millions of new Internet users with access to names each month, continue to sell many new names and take renewals of previously-registered names, and we have several new commercial relationships in the works. We fully intend to continue building our business and participating in the growth of this industry.

As such, we also intend to continue trying to make significiant contributions to the development of public policy that affects the domain name industry, including ICANN related issues. We participate in ICANN processes in order to influence the development of policy within ICANN, and in other places where such policy is made. We do so because we disagree with the direction that ICANN has taken in the past and appears headed in the future. We issued a sigificant policy paper last June the elicited a very strong and lengthy response from the ICANN staff, which we regard as healthy debate. We hope that our latest paper similarly will stir significant debate about what type of ICANN reform should be implemented. Obviously, there are many persons who will find our proposals unacceptable, but I know that there also are many out there who consider Stuart Lynn's proposal unacceptable. For those of you who prefer to take anonymous pot-shots from the sidelines, I suggest that you might be more effective if you attempt to offer solutions in addition to criticism alone.

David Hernand

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