Re: DNS: DNS litigation Issues

Re: DNS: DNS litigation Issues

From: John Hilvert <hilvertj§>
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 16:53:01 +1100
At 02:11 PM 09-12-96 +1000, Geoff Huston wrote:
>Here's a draft - comments welcome
>   Geoff
>Internet Domain Names

The paper raises a number of issues but it seems to me your key reform is at
the last par:

>This does require some form of public instrument to effect this critical
>change in recognising the authenticity of the Internet Domain Name
>environment as a public name authority in its own right. It is noted that
>such public recognition of the activity may be accompanied by operation of
>the process by a duly created operating entity as a component of government
>administration, or it may be accompanied by a process of more formal
>delegation the responsibility for the operation to duly authorised bodies.
>Either approach would be a significant step forward in preserving the value
>and utility of the ".au" name domain over the current situation, as it
>would add a visible line of derivation of authority within a process where

I am not opposed to regulation, especially where it can make a market more

The four questions I wonder about are:

a) Who benefits from such moves? Can you spell out what you mean by the
"ultimate functionality of the Internet domain name system"? Are you arguing
for some legal shield for the naming authorities? By creating a new right of
ownership to a domain name, what responsibilities, if any, follow?

b) What role is there for conventional contract (between a naming authority
and the applicant, for example), intellectual property laws as well as
markets generally in this proposed scheme? Just because there is legal
backing for a naming process does not mean it can't or won't be challenged
in the courts. 

c) How does this fit in with how other countries are attacking the issue of
contested domain names? Given that certain domain names have value, if
Australia led in this area, can we rule out opportunism from overseas
applicants for example. 

d) Because the DNS seems connected to many other aspects of Net
administration such as routing tables and the like, how great a risk is
there of trading off creeping red tape for all for the occasional and
inevitable litigatory snarls of the future?

In short, why do you believe the litigation risk has become so great and so
uncertain that we need The Government to sort it out?

John Hilvert
Journalist at Large
"The shallower you are, the more ground you cover."
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Received on Mon Dec 09 1996 - 18:16:02 UTC

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