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Username: Merlin
Date/Time: Sat, October 14, 2000 at 4:59 AM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.08 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: More TUCOWS info


      I promised you more here it is. TUCOWS does not support a sunrise period! Then tell me what are they doing hooked up with Afilias. Shame on you!

15 April, 2000

Michael Palage

Chair, Working Group B/Registrars Constituency Secretariat

Domain Name Supporting Organization

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

Michael, Inc. is responding in the limited time available to your request that we comunicate our views concerning the latest proposals from the Intellectual Property Constituency, called "sunrise plus twenty."

While we are aware that you are acting as best you can in limited circumstances of budget and time, TUCOWS must protest the inadequate consultation that has taken place in regard to these proposals, and must on grounds of substance reject them in their entirety. We find it increasingly anomalous that the secretary of the registrars association is acting to compromise the interests of IP holders with the interests of the vast mass of Internet users in this way.

The essence of ICANN’s problem is the disproportionate attention which is being given inside the working groups, and, increasingly outside, in private conferences, to the pretensions of the IP community to stall the process of domain name expansion, on grounds that we and our Internet users consider to be dubious and, in some cases, in outright error: error both as to policy as regards the future direction of the Internet, and more fundamentally, as to their power to hold up domain name expansion based on the monopoly of the NSI over the root server.

You have received commentary from John Berryhill, which, in our view, devastates the position of the IPC that they are entitled to extra-legal privileges in the matter of establishing domain names for famous names, and lately, for all trade mark holders in all countries.

The IPC’s contentions that trade mark holders are owed a special set of privileges regarding domain names, different from and superior to those worked out in national legislatures, is not something that other users of the Internet need to accept. Moreover, it is unnecessary. The fastest way to eradicate the problem that the IPC pretends to solve is to have a rapid, large expansion of domain names. The IPC is threatened by this approach because it diminshes the value of what they are protecting, and the value fo the services they render.

The issue is not, as they suppose, "confusion" in the marketplace, or the protection of consumers. It is the protection of the economic position of intellectual property lawyers.

What we are actually observing in the saga of domain name expansion is a power-grab of major proportions over the architecture of the Internet, using ICANN not so much as a representative forum for IP interests as the embodimenet of IP lawyers’ interests. This tendency is not good for the Net, for Internet users, for small businesses which need the increase of namespace, and ultimately it will lead, if unchecked by common sense and contrary interests, to the avoidance of the DNS and the downfall of ICANN.

The policy that should be followed in relation to IP interests is this:

no privilege shall be granted to any trade mark or famous name holder by ICANN that is not available under domestic trade mark law. We understand that this principle will need adjustment to accord with the global nature of top level domains, but by sticking to it ICANN will do better for the Internet, for millions of users, and even for the interests of IP owners, than a policy of restriction.

TUCOWS has been supporting reasonable compromise between IP owners and domain name expansion for some time. On reflection, We have decided that we are not going to get domain name expansion in this way, and that we are in fact acceding to a takeover of the political processes of ICANN by a set of interests that oppose what the Internet stands for. We urge you to reconsider the nature of the compromises you may be making, and what you may consider to be realistic. To us at TUCOWS, compromise with the kinds of proposals we are seeing coming from the IPC will get us nowhere.

Yours sincerely,

Ross Wm. Rader

Director, Assigned Names Division Inc.


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