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Username: jmgraham
Date/Time: Tue, April 11, 2000 at 3:25 AM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: Internet belongs to the world


   Under current US law, US corporations can register hundreds of trademarks and claim legal rights under all top-level domains. For example, Walt Disney Corporation has rights to its own business name "" Walt Disney Corporation also owns hundreds of movies, cartoons, and television shows that are also trademarked. Under the current US "anti-cybersquatting law" Walt Disney Corporation is also entitled to,,,,,, etc. This overly broad law also grants Walt Disney Corporation all the other domain names that contain similar sounding names but are spelled different, like,,, and anything else that would "water down" a trademark. The cybersquatting law has already been interpreted to grant trademark rights across all other domains as well - ie:, mickey.firm, donald.web,
   The real nasty thing about this situation is that the rest of the world has to deal with American trademark law and a US Congress that takes money from these big US corporations to get elected. The US Congress passes laws that protect big business at the expense of small business, individuals, and the international community of internet users. What about the other five billion seven hundred fifty thousand people on this planet that want fair and equal access to the internet?
   Most of the arguments for not releasing new top level domains are, in my humble opinion, US specific. They show a geocentric bias for American big businesses and US domain name speculators who got into the internet early and have a lot to lose if their hoarded domains are suddenly worth a lot less. There just isn't enough room in the current gTLDs for all foreign languages, international business, and the billions of private individuals on the planet Earth that want a domain name.
   I urge ICANN to think of the internet as the property of the world and not the private club of just a few rich American businessmen. The internet will bring the world together if it is administered fairly and justly. If not, other countries will break away or will not abide by ICANN's directives. Think of all the people on the planet Earth when you make your decisions. Think like the scientists that invented the internet, not like the businessmen that want to monopolize it.
   Please create a new global Top Level Domain (gTLD) for registered United States trademarks. (I suggest .TM or .REG). Make it a policy that only registered US trademarks can use this new gTLD. Make it a policy that all other gTLDs are free from any trademark restrictions. If everyone in the world knew that there was a single gTLD reserved for registered trademarks, there will be absolutely no confusion finding a company by means of its trademark. This will help small US businesses grow on the internet, it will help individuals retain their identity, it will help large companies that want to protect trademarks, and international business. This suggestion would also curtail lawsuits, dispute policies, domain hoarding, and cybersquatting. It would be a step towards bringing the world together - not splitting it apart for the sake of a few US monopolies. Remember, the internet is the property of the world.


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