Re: DNS: trading domain names

Re: DNS: trading domain names

From: Geoff Huston <gih§>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 08:15:41 +1000
Thanks for the constructive posting George. I too agree that there is scope at this
point in time to deliberately make changes in process on the basis of discussion
and a deliberate effort to seek consensus.

I see a DNS system which admits only a small set of instruments of policy:
 - obtaining a name should involve a mandatory public notification period. Any
   party which feels that its intellectual property rights are about to be infringed
   may use this period to contact the applicant and work through the issue in
   whatever manner the parties see fit. Obviously the registry will undertake the
   delegation at the end of the public nofitication period unless the original
   applicant requests that the action be held over, or a court of juristiction
   issues an injunction against proceeding.

  Why slow down a process that folk want to happen quickly?

  To ensure that the process does not bog down in damages claims over
  abuse of intellectual property rights. The use of a mandatory notification period
  serves the purpose of allowing a third party to object to the proposed action,
  but as the action has not happened, there is no damages component. 

  It also serves the prupose of assisting the legitimacy of title to the applicant -
  in so far as if a third party chooses to wait until the public notification period
  has expired, the subsequent claim of infringement of rights and consequent
  damages is severely weakened by their delay in not acting during a period
  of public notification.

  In previous posts I had bemoaned the lack of public recognition of the legitimacy
  of authority of DNS names, and the issue that after the event third parties
  were appearing citing some form of superior authority for a name by citing
  some other name authority. The instigation of a mandatory public notification
  period prior to delegation does in my mind mind address this issue from a 
  practical viewpoint very effectively.

- the name space should be managed using a competitive marketplace model.
  The issue here is that a monopoly provider runs the risk of engaging in
  various forms of monopolistic trading practices, from overservicing to
  price manipulation and discriminatory trading practices. To address such
  risks you either have to regulate and then police the regulations, or you can
  deliberately structure a competitive marketplace where the competitive 
  pressures effectively balance the market.

- Periodic charges for the maintenance of names are an effective mechanism to
  reduce the risk of hoarding and speculation.

Note that I have NOT claimed that a party should need to provide any substantiation
of a claim to any particular name, Instead I'm advocating the opposite - any
party can apply for any name, and other parties can initiatie objections to
the propsed action of delegation.

Note that I have NOT claimed that names are not tradeable. Indeed I see no
reason why names should NOT be tradeable. (Of course you should expect
to pay sales tax once the various taxation authorities get wind of these
transactions :-) ).

Now if I uses these 3 policy principles (and just these)  to respond to George's points:...

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

Charges for names do have a role.

>(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

You can either structure a competitive marketplace to ensure that charges
are kept to a level which would quate to cost of operation, or you can regulate
and then expend resources to enforce the regulation, or you can mix the
two a little.

I would be in favour of the latter (a mix of a regulatory framework of reserve
powers to yank us out of the soup if it all breaks down, coupled with a
competitive supply structure to ensure that the market is balanced in
favour of providing efficient service to the consumer).

>(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)

The Directory Problem is huge. I wonder if this is the right way to get
resources to bear on it? However I agree that any directory structure
is a public asset and should be treated as one from the outset.

>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.





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And as a quick postscript  ....

Copyright of the original material in this message is asserted by Geoff Huston
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Received on Tue Dec 31 1996 - 08:48:01 UTC

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