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Username: nicholasmoraitis
Date/Time: Sun, October 15, 2000 at 1:05 AM GMT (Sun, October 15, 2000 at 11:05 AM EAST)
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.5 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: further points



I do appreciate your reply. I certainly realise that your mandate begins and ends with the management of a registry of the domain name space, and that you won't be creating the content or the sites which fit within this space. Nevertheless, as I'm sure you realise, the policies and technical practices you put in place for this domain name will impact significantly on the type of content that emerges within it.

I simply think young people should be active shareholders/stakeholders in this organisation you are creating, for this is *their* space. I think your proposal demonstrates an ignorance of the real needs of young people.

A good example is actually something you mentioned... You will be giving discounted domain names to young people to develop their own sites - these, for example, might be $19.95. Have you considered, for instance, that while $19.95 might be an accessible amount for a kid in the United States or here in Australia (although it would mean saving up for a few months worth of pocket money!), it is more than some of their parents earn in an entire month (!) in the majority of the world. This is a major flaw in your model, one that would have stood out immediately if you had put together a panel of young people to critique, even completely plan the model.

Then there is the issue of filtering vs free. It's a fraught issue, both for young people and for adults. I'm not going to say that filtering is bad (but I do encourage you to visit But the only way you will create legitimacy for whatever position you decide is by actively involving all stakeholders, especially young people in the decision making process. My belief is that the majority of young people are very concerned about what is available (and not suitable) online, but nevertheless are against filtering. I think some extensive community consultations, not only in the USA, but also globally (for, as another poster rightly pointed out, this is a global domain space) are in order.

With regard to profits, I think it is only right that if no youth-based or international organisation (such as UNICEF) is willing to take on this space, then that responsbility should fall into the hands of a company. And it is only right that this company should be allowed to make a fair profit on its investment. Neverthless, I think you need some more structured form of on-going community giving.

The current model you have is no good either: by selling the best domain names to the highest bidder, you deny young people the right to these names. Surely the best names should be donated to youth based cooperatives or organisations. I think the best thing to do would be to charge a hefty premium (ie. $1million+) for those corporations which demand their own trademarks, but do not necessarily focus entirely on youth -- for instance McDonalds or Disney.

warm wishes,



Nick Moraitis
Co-Coordinator -
Nation1 -
Author, "Cyberscene: a teen traveller's guide to the web"
(Penguin Books 1999)

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