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Username: keith246
Date/Time: Tue, October 17, 2000 at 10:23 PM GMT (Tue, October 17, 2000 at 4:23 PM CST)
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Getting in the way of what is seen as the ICANN get-rich-quick scheme


Some restrictions should take place up front, and some later.

1.  The upfront restricitons would be the same sort of restrictions currently used by company name and trademark registrars all over the world.

a)  Words that are too common are not available as company names or trademarks.  They shouldnt' be available as domain names either.

Confering common words as names grants an unfair competitive advantage, and leads to consumer confusion, court cases, and lots of money for lawyers settling disputes that never should have arisen.

It is only a matter of time before some smart lawyer goes after the mega bucks to be potentially obtained from a class action suit against the new wealthy registrars, rather than the petty cash from the smaller disputes between celebrities and small time entreprenures.

b)  Also, every legitimate experienced name registrar in the world strictly limits the number of names that can be registered.  It is only the new inexperienced internet name registries that allow a free-for-all. 

This is the root cause of running out of good domain names.

2.  Other restrictions could only be applied at renewal time.

a)  Anyone could register a web site in, say, .travel.  This has to be the case in order to allow entry of new businesses into the marketplace. 

However, at renewal time the registrar would have to check that:

i) the web site actually catered to travelers or the travel industry.

ii) the web site was not simply a synonym for another web site operated by the same company or a closely affiliated company.

These simple steps do require some actual work on the part of the registrar.  In particular, the steps at renewal can't be easily automated.

These steps definitely get in the way of the get-rich-quick schemes that most prospective registrars see this ICANN exercise as affording.

But these steps are necessary if the new gTLDs are to solve any problem other than, "How do I get rich like Bill Gates or Michael Dell without having to exert myself in the same way."

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