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Username: Hather
Date/Time: Fri, October 20, 2000 at 3:45 AM GMT
Browser: AOL Browser V4.0 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Ethics, competition, pioneer rights


      I am a supporter of IO Design's application for .web and opposed to Afilias's application for the same TLD for the following reasons.
1. Ethics 
a. Members of Afilias knew that IOD was the original pioneer of .web for years and  yet are trying to steal that away from them.  Another greedy tactic practiced by one of Alilias's members, Network Solutions, is to wait for a TLD to laps and then try to sell it to the highest bidder.  This is my understanding because I have been pursuing a lapsed TLD for months and have been unable to get a response on the matter from Network Solutions and have heard the company is being legally challenged for this practice.  On the other hand, as a show of good faith IOD has offered to its customers that any domain name they have sold that may be affected by the new trade mark rules may be exchanged for free for any other available name.
2. IOD is truly independent from the group (Afilias) that already sells 80% of the domnain names. That means competition.
3. Conflicts.  IOD does not have the conflict associated with ICANN as Afilias clearly does.
After reviewing the applications for both groups, ICANN and IOD, it is quite clear and obvious that both groups have the know how, technology and access to capital to adequately maintain a registry.  But on the issues of competition, ethics and pioneer rights, IOD leads hands down.  My thanks to ICANN for providing me this opportunity to voice my opinion.
Bob Hather


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