[linux-elitists] ICANN frenzy!

Joakim Ziegler joakim@ximian.com
Tue Mar 6 02:25:30 PST 2001

On Mon, Mar 05, 2001 at 08:17:07PM -0800, Heather wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 05, 2001 at 04:20:03PM -0800, Heather wrote:

>>>> I think it might be a good idea for ICANN to prevent commercial, for-profit
>>>> entities from registering .org domains in the future (and perhaps evicting
>>>> them from .org domains over a 5 year period, for instance). 
>>> Which pigeonhole do you delude yourself into thinking I fit in?
>> Well, are you a commercial, for-profit entity (other than in the way that
>> everyone who holds a job to support him/herself is)? No? Well, then.
> That's a very good question.  Starshine Technical Services is a "doing business
> as" alias (DBA) in the city of Campbell, CA ... my schedule C small business.
> But it's also the home site for all my non-profit work, volunteer work, and
> personal oddments (though fairly few of that fail to interlace somehow).

>> It should be pretty easy to determine that someone is *not* a commercial,
>> for-profit entity, without any privacy invasion. I believe even the US, with
>> it's morbid fear of registration, has a registry of corporations and
>> companies. After all, going into this register is a part of the process of
>> incorporation.
> I'm not incorporated as any flavor - "commercial" nor "nonprofit" nor even
> "not-for-profit".

Well, then, it seems to me you'd be fine as a .org, according to the policy
I'm advocating here. See below.

>> If you're not in this register, you're free to register a .org. Or maybe some
>> other, new gTLD. The point is, it would be good to have a gTLD where
>> companies were specifically prevented from registering domains.
> As I read it they hope to change things so that you have to be Blessed By The
> State As A Non-Profit in order to get and keep a .org domain.  My suggestion
> was that they stop screwing with a part that works, and if they want to spin
> up a "moderated" TLD use .non and all the nonprofits can fight their little
> trademark/moniker battles over there.

Well, that might be what they're doing, but what I was proposing as "a better
idea, not that anyone from ICANN is listening" is that any registered
commercial entity is prevented from registering .org domains, everyone else
go ahead.

See, I think the ICANN has the right gut feeling: Corporations are trampling
all over the place, suing people into oblivion, acting like insane bullies in
an Ayn Randian playground with no adults around, and they'd like to stop it.
I share this gut feeling. I think declaring some parts of the domain
namespace expressly off limits for corporations (preferably the large ones,
but it's difficult to set a limit in a formal way) is a very good idea.

Of course, neither the ICANN nor I have the perfect solution, but it seems to
me that mine is a little easier to implement, and is likely to piss off
somewhat less people. As well as influencing just the big corps.

> International ones like UNICEF or others probably should become .int anyway
> but I also don't see nonprofits leaping to change their current domain names.

I think UNICEF and other UN organizations generally are .int already.
Speaking of which, there's a domain that has some serious rules. Some people
I know are in the process of socially engineering their way to a .int domain,
but it's by no means easy, and I'm uncertain if they'll ever manage.

>>> I prefer to hold to the point that trademark defenses are rather different
>>> than internet space, and if someone is deliberately fomenting confusion 
>>> (attacking your trademark directly - Zero Micro Software would have skated 
>>> right over that line if they were selling copies of Windows OEM kits - 
>>> otherwise they *should* have been protected as parody, a recognized art form
>>> but oh well) rather than bumping into the name and using it for other things 
>>> in other contexts (Starshine Tub And Tile?  Nope, that's not me.  I couldn't 
>>> find em in a search engine either.  They probably don't even *have* a website)

>> You didn't complete this sentence (got lost in the parentheses?). 

> Nope, the parens are sealed properly :P   Maybe lost a dot, though.

No, I meant, you didn't complete the sentence. You stated an "if", but no
"then". But this seems to be solved below.

>> If someone
>> is deliberatly fomenting confusion, rather than bumping into the name and
>> using it for other things in other contexts, then what?
> My point is that "fomenting confusion" ... if they have trademarks ... 
> already has its courts to go to and ... this is important: DNS should not
> be one of them!  

True. It would be good, however, if the registrars and ICANN, not to mention
dispute arbitrators, would somehow respect trademark practice, and realise
that a trademark is meant to be valid only in given groups of trade. One way
to do this would be to enforce rules for different gTLDs.

> Their point on this matter didn't address trademarks.  My opinion there is
> that there should be a .tmark TLD and the level below that should be the
> categories the legal system applies to trademarks.  So an example:

> 	cocacola.food.tmark

> ...although the famous company probably would just sits a redirect on this 
> to their .com.  The social belief that DNS is a one-level search engine for
> dummies is a different bug, which I don't see ICANN having any power over.

A .tmark would definitely be rather sane. I'm uncertain if it would help much
on the general situation (since people could reasonably claim, say, .net
domain names to be infringing on some trademark for car polish), but it would
definitely be good.

As I said, I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I think that most
people could do better than THEYCANN. ICANN, I mean. Of course, it'd probably
be easier if ICANN actually had some power to wield. As it is, they have to
do all sorts of half-assed things, or Verisign/NSI will just refuse to
comply. Which is a totally screwed situation, and ripe for some antitrust
investigation, if you ask me.

Joakim Ziegler - Ximian web monkey - joakim@ximian.com - Radagast@IRC
  FIX sysop - free software coder - FIDEL & Conglomerate developer
         http://www.avmaria.com/ - http://www.ximian.com/

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