Re: DNS: Re: INET: Proposed BIZ.AU Registry

Re: DNS: Re: INET: Proposed BIZ.AU Registry

From: Antony I. Stein <tonys§>
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 1996 01:03:13 +1100 (EST)
There appear to be a number of strands to this debate. I have a some 
observations I'd like to share:

Observation 1: Names and rights (I am _not_ a lawyer :) )
  While the underlying purpose of a domain name is to provide a mnemonic
  for an IP address, clearly organisations (and commercial organisations
  in particular) stand to benefit from having a domain name that is 
  associated with their company name or, to a lesser extent, their product.
  Given the commercial nature of 'naming', why re-invent a model when
  there is (and I'm sure this point will generate some debate) a perfectly
  good model in the form of the Corporations Law? Upon registering a
  company name in Australia, one is advised that:
  "... there is no subjective judgement to decide the availability of a name.
  Therefore the onus is on the applicant to have regard to similar names
  which may possibly be confused with or mistaken for another already registered
  name. The making available of a name ... does not make companies
  immune from any action which may be taken by another organisation or
  Government Agency". This seems to be a pretty good policy to me. Why
  the wheel? 

Observation 2: First-mover advantages, fairness and equity
  Those that get in first, have first choice of names. According to my set
  of ethics, this is perfectly fair. Domain names (unlike person names, place
  names, street names or project names mentioned below - but very much like
  organisation names) must be unique; 'nuf said. However, what is _not_
  fair from my perspective, is when the rules are changed. For example, 
  the fact that the 'new rules' for COM.AU prevent the registration of
  'dictionary' words, strikes me as being entirely deviod of fairness. 
  What this means is that newcomers have to play by a different set of 
  rules to existing players; already-registered domain owners can sit on
  the sidelines and smile merrily, safe in the knowledge that their
  competitive advantages remain intact. Does the Corporations Law
  prevent registration of company names containing dictionary words? Nuh-uh.
  Change the rules, yes - but then change them consistently through
  forced re-registration of all existing COM.AU domains. Then we'll see
  an interesting debate on fairness.  

Observation 3: New 2LDs in .AU
  BIZ.AU, ACN.AU, BOZO.AU ... why not have them all? After all, a name's
  just a name; if you feel your organisation will be disadvantaged by
  being registered in UNKNOWN.AU, then don't register there. After all,
  its your choice. You need to weigh up the convenience factors, the
  marketing factors, and ease-of-discovery factors. If you want to
  register in all of them, do so. If 'your' name has already been
  taken by someone else, then roll up your sleeves and meet them
  behind the dunny after school to have it out. Its your business.

Observation 4: Internet and freedom
  What's happening here, people? Let's get back to basics. We're supposed
  to be equals here in this cyberspace; that's the beauty of it. My 
  perception is that we've managed to progress this far without resorting
  to over-regulation - why start now?  

At 04:56 PM 05/12/96 +1100, Hugh Irvine wrote:
>Roland Turner wrote:
>> Simon Hackett wrote:
>> > >>As I said before, my main problem with your proposal is the inconsistency
>> > >>of having two commercial domains which do essentially the same thing.
If I
>> > >>want to find Microsoft Australia, it seems logical to look at
>> > >>  To have to check seems rather
>> > >>redundant and would probably mean most companies would go for both.
>> > 
>> > No, you read their URL on their products, or on their TV adverts, or on
>> Not true. I frequently locate organisations by guessing a URL. VERY
>> FREQUENTLY. This practice is so widespread that organisations choosing
>> unconventional URLs for their homepage find themselves registering the
>> conventional structure as well. ( springs to mind.)
>Herein lies the problem - at the moment, guessing oftentimes works, however I 
>believe Simon is taking the longer term view that as a *very* restricted 
>namespace as represented by any single DNS hierarchy becomes ever more 
>populated with ever less meaningful entries, the usefulness of a guess tends 
>towards zero. This is indeed what is happening already in .com especially.
>> There appears to be an inconsistency in what you are arguing. On the one
>> hand you are suggesting that what your domain is called is of no
>> importance at all, whilst on the other, registry services require some
>> demonstration of your entitlement to the name that you are registering.
>> If indeed the name is of no importance, then why require any proof of
>> anything. Why not allow me to register without any
>> demonstration of my "right" to use that name.
>Exactly - the desire has always been to somehow "impose order" (I use the term 
>advisedly) on DNS requests. I believe you are right in ascerting that this is 
>> I don't yet see the middleground. (One component of your URL is
>> significant, but the rest is not?) So it seems that you can argue (a)
>> that the name is important and therefore that the 2LD IS important or
>> (b) that the name is not important, in which case you should allow
>> anyone to register anything, or perhaps you should simply require the
>> use of names like
>Simon and I have proposed exactly this in the past. It seems to me very 
>beneficial to offer a completely different set of parameters for the 
>allocation of DNS entries in this way, as it will provide if nothing else a 
>different view of the problem.
>> In human affairs, naming IS important: the name of an infant, a street,
>> a nation, a project, a brand of peanut butter, whatever. I believe that
>> making an attempt to keep the naming sensible is worthwhile. I
>> acknowledge that a (tiny) proportion of commercial organisations in
>> Australia have names in wierdo domains, but the vast majority have
>> chosen to use, even despite the long delays that held up requests
>> when Mr. Elz was running the registry on a volunteer basis.
>Well - lots of companies have used, as well as, etc. - I would 
>prefer to think of them as simply seeking viable alternatives. Again - any 
>single DNS hierarchy based on words will lead directly to collisions, hence 
>the problems as everyone has described.
>> > funding the overheads required to support your database entry. Just be
>> > careful about confusing database entries with rights to a name outside of
>> > the Internet world.
>> It is a mistake to pretend that these things are indpendent. The very
>> fact that registries require some attempt to demonstrate your right to
>> use a name before allowing registration demonstrates this.
>I think you were correct above - the registries *shouldn't* attempt to do 
>anything other than provide a listing service.
>> Anyway, there is another point. If the names themsevles are not
>> important, if it is not worthwhile to try to get to the point where
>> competing entities can maintain the one address space, why then bother
>> with joint/multiple administration of the namespace? Why not
>> create and and administer them seperately? If the move
>> towards joint administration of a namespace is worth anything, why not
>> do it with the widely accepted domain for registering commercial
>> entities in Australia.
>> Simon, there's a lot in this post. To avoid the creation of a flame, I
>> suggest that the one useful response that you can make to this posting
>> is to explain why it is that you think that the third from the right
>> component of a name is important whilst the rest are not, or if you do
>> not think this, what you do think about the policy of most registries of
>> requiring an applicant to demonstrate a right to use a name in the real
>> world before registration.
>All Simon is advocating is something other than a single space - content 


Disclaimer: Please do not in any way shape or form consider this message to be
            anything other than an individual opinion. 
Received on Fri Dec 06 1996 - 01:50:15 UTC

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