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Username: jmgraham
Date/Time: Sun, April 16, 2000 at 7:17 AM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: Proposed gTLDs .REG and .TM


    The existing major problem with .COM is that US businesses with federal trademarks want all the domain names that contain those trademarked names and phrases. This leaves very little left for smaller businesses, foreign businesses, and individuals (the other 99 percent of the internet community.)
    Simply adding more domain names won't really fix the problem. Businesses would spend more to register all the names in the new gTLDs and cybersquatting, domain hijacking, and a lack of good names will still be norm. There will be more lawsuits, more people will be angry, and ICANN will likely receive a lot of bad press.
    Lobbyists for big business say that internet users will become confused if other websites are allowed to exist with the same names as “famous” businesses. They say that allowing the free use of names on the internet will “water down” their trademarks. On the surface it would seem that big businesses should be allowed “first crack” at the new top level domains.
   However, it is not fair to smaller businesses with the same name, foreign businesses, and individuals to allow big business to snatch up every name, phrase, abbreviation, and sound-alike variation of a registered trademark. What we need is a different approach.
    If a separate top-level domain existed for registered trademarks then there would be no confusion and no excuse. People would know exactly where to look for a “famous” name or a registered trademark.  And big business would know exactly where to put it.
    I propose a .REG top-level domain for “famous names” and a .TM top level domain for registered trademarks. There could even be a structure like “.US.TM” (US trademark) or “.EU.TM” (European trademark) or even individual states “.MI.TM” (Michigan trademark).
    ICANN may not have any political power when it comes to passing laws. Its main task is the technical management of the internet naming and numbering system. ICANN is not here to solve the world’s problems or fight injustice. However, if a top-level domain existed for registered trademarks, it would be a rather simple task to get popular support for laws that would require its use. It is certainly more logical and technically correct to try to place registered trademarks in one place rather than trying to come up with rules about “sunrise periods”, “dispute policies”, “alternative character sets”, and the threat of foreign governments making their own rules. I hope that the media and the world is watching these comments.


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