DNS: trading domain names

DNS: trading domain names

From: George Michaelson <ggm§connect.com.au>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 22:04:09 +1000 (EST)
I want to re-iterate something I said before:

>I think whats wanted is a process which permits ford to have their name
>but excludes speculative investment in generic forms as a traded or valued
> thing in itself.
>Unless people in com contexts actually *want* to create a new dirivitives

Geoff makes a very good point in asking why we DON'T want to do this. I think
he is probably right to say that this and similar outcomes are inevitable,
but I probably disagree about *when* the inevitability should be recognized
and accommodated. Well I guess we have to recognize it *now*, but I don't know
we need to walk into it without a bit more knowledge and planning.

I am sure I don't know the answers. I am entirely open to being proven wrong,
and I am very happy to see some reasoned discussion here. I think thats what
we're doing right now in fact.

However I stand by my earlier argument: I think for MIT to float a change
in process being used *now* which possibly has this outcome as a *side effect*
is the wrong way to go about it. It needs to be done conciously, and
with some understanding of the outcomes 

	*which may well include beneficial ones*.

If we're going to do this, then

(1)	like vanity plates, the infrastructure should certainly NOT incur
	cost in the procedure, and probably SHOULD raise revenue as an outcome

(2)	the company running a given domain below .AU should NOT make profit
	from this kind of decision above and beyond that assessed as fair for
	the provision of this kind of service: Public interest dictates there
	be a far wider beneficiary (all of us) from what is essentially
	"common wealth" in any case

(3)	substantive changes in service provision in this area to provide
	directory and related services will become vital. They probably need
	to be funded as hinted at in (1) and (2)

	[remember the directory is also going to do stuff like X.509 
	 certificates and things which mean REAL MONEY so simply farming it
	 out to MIT is probably not a good idea. There are rock solid
	 reasons why X.509 class usage of a directory needs to be under
	 public-interest oversight]

Something to be borne in mind is that DNS functions by common consent. We
consent to be told what is and is not a true mapping of name to address
and vice-versa. Now I do that (like most of us on this list) from a position
of trust and knowledge: I know what DNS looks like, and I trust people to
implement it sanely. I don't trust the mappings to the point where I let
them dictate my security choices, and I don't trust the mappings to the point
where I believe and email from: address. 

But for almost all of the recipients of .com.au names, this is not going to
be quite the same. They are going to trust "us" in a collective sense to get
this right, but without anything *like* the same level of knowledge about the
outcomes and consequences.

Its very easy to see from the whole ALTERNIC shambles that when the trust
breaks down, everybody looses. I think we owe it to a far wider audience
to get this right.

Enough pomposity. happy 1997

Received on Tue Dec 31 1996 - 00:16:05 UTC

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