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Username: mueller
Date/Time: Sat, July 1, 2000 at 5:22 AM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.01 using Windows 95
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Subject: Comments of Dr. Mueller, Part 4 (Questions 34-48)



Q34: Has the inventory of useful and available domain names reached an unacceptably low level?


Q35: Assuming it is important to increase the inventory of available domain names, should that be done by adding TLDs that are not differentiated from the present ones?

That is for the registry applicants to decide.

Q37: What measures should be employed to encourage or require that a sponsoring organization is appropriately representative of the TLD's intended stakeholders?

ICANN is not in a position to determine who is and is not "representative" of the millions of different “stakeholder” groups in the world. This is “mission creep” with a vengeance. Re-read the White Paper. The only workable policy is to allow dissatisfied groups to start their own TLDs.

Q38: In cases where sponsoring organizations are appointed, what measures should be established to ensure that the interests of the global Internet community are served in the operation of the TLD?
Other than interoperability and technical stability issues, it is not clear to me why "the global Internet community" (whatever that is) has any interest in the operation of a specific TLD. Put differently, the registration of a name in a SLD is not subject to the approval of the "global Internet community." It is a simple assignment process and market transaction. Any attempt to make it something more than that would be a stifling restriction on the freedom of the Internet. The same is true of TLDs.

Q39: How should global policy requirements (adherence to a TLD's charter, requirements of representativeness, interoperability requirements, etc.) be enforced?

See answer to Q 28 above. ICANN should not get into the business of approving and enforcing registry policies.

Q40: Are there any types of new TLDs that should not be included in the initial introduction? If any types should be excluded, why?

No. Let a thousand flowers bloom.

Q41: Does the start up of a new TLD pose additional risks to intellectual property rights that warrant additional protections?

No. The legal and UDRP precedents are clear and eliminate the economic basis for cybersquatting. Cybersquatters stand to gain nothing by registering trademarked names in new TLDs. Of course there will be good-faith disputes and borderline cases, as there are now. Currently, trademark-disputed registrations are filed at a rate approximately 0.000269 of monthly domain name registrations. The rate of bad faith registrations is likely to be lower in a new TLD than in an old, established one such as dot com, because the value of names in those spaces is likely to be less certain. If anything, over the long term as new TLDs are added they will gradually reduce the risk to intellectual property by undercutting the artificial economic value of specific SLDs.

Q42: Should the protections afforded intellectual property in the start-up phase of new TLDs differ depending on the type of TLD?

Ideally, protections, if any, should be the same in all TLDs. But if ICANN adopts some boneheaded scheme like Sunrise +20, then non-commercial TLDs should be exempted from it.

Q43: Is the availability of the UDRP and court proceedings as remedies for violations of enforceable legal rights an appropriate element of protection of intellectual-property rights that should apply to all new TLDs? Are there any other protections that should be made available in all new TLDs, regardless of their type?
The UDRP has proven to be quick and inexpensive; if anything it is biased toward trademark holders because it gives complainants a choice of dispute resolution service provider. No other protections are needed.

Q45: What mechanisms for start up of a new TLD should be followed to ensure that all persons receive a fair chance to obtain registrations?

Let registries propose their own methods. This is outside ICANN's scope.

Q46: Is exclusion of names appearing on a globally famous trademark list a workable method of protecting such marks from infringement at the present time? Would an exclusion mechanism be approprate in the future?

This question has been answered by Working Group B. The answer was No.

Q47: Should introduction of new TLDs await completion of an evaluation of the operation of the UDRP and be subject to a finding that the UDRP has been successful in meeting its objectives?

No. This is a transparent delaying tactic proposed by interests who do not want any new TLDs. Even the DNSO IP constituency has publicly stated that the UDRP is protecting IP interests sufficiently.

Q48: Should introduction of new TLDs await extension of the UDRP to cover claims for transfer of domain names based on the relevance of a well-known trademark to a chartered gTLD? How long would implementing such a revision to the UDRP likely take?

No. Such a policy presumes that domain names are users' primary means of navigating the net (they are not) and that the semantic structure of the domain name space is to be driven by trademark concerns. Such policies perpetuate the valorization of domain names, which makes them flashpoints for economic and political conflict. DNS policy will never be rational and stable until they are relegated to the status of unique identifiers with mnemonic qualities. Further modification of the UDRP along the lines suggested above perpetuates the underlying problems.

Introduction of new TLDs has been waiting for five years. Enough is enough.


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