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Username: rachelmacgregor
Date/Time: Sat, October 20, 2001 at 10:20 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Subject: What gives people the right to own the Internet?


Coca Cola is an extreme case.

But there are thousands of bona fide people who want to run fan sites and information sites on favourite musicians or actors, and want a share of good-quality internet traffic.

There are thousands of people who'd like to run information sites on their hometowns, and use the most obvious domain name for obvious ease of access for interested visitors.

The whole point about .INFO ... its distinctive identity, if managed well, which can make it different to .com and in many cases better... is that it is an amazing "INFORMATION" TLD for the WHOLE Internet community.

As has often been pointed out in this forum, the tendency of big business to requisition large "chunks" of Internet traffic, and reduce the "front-line" names to a kind of monolithic control (eg I'm a big company, so I want to control .com .biz .org .net .info - when just ONE of them would be sufficient) is an example of how "powerful economic forces" want to take a firm grip of something which is really for the whole world.

.info is a TLD for the whole world, providing myriads of information sites, and fan sites, and satire sites, and interest sites for the whole internet community.

Domain names are NOT trademarks. And having a Trademark should NOT give you the right to "hijack" someone else's domain, and legitimate internet presence - unless they are very clearly causing criminal damage to your business.

The issue of "bad intent" must remain the crucial issue in these cases. It is NOT a question of Trademarks giving people right-of-ownership over someone else's property.

Each case must be judged, in fairness, on its arguments. But the domain name system must not descend into a kind of Trademark imperialism.

What gives big business the right to own the Internet or rob people of their own legitimate domains?

There is a very strong case for arguing that Trademarks should be represented in a .Reg or .TM TLD, and that Trademarks should simply afford a claim in a single registry set up for that purpose.      


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