Re: [DNS] the road ahead

Re: [DNS] the road ahead

From: Michael Malone <mmalone§>
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 18:34:34 +0800
vicc&#167; writes:
> b) anti business sentiment amongst many of dns participants.
> c) silly dns rules.

I don't believe that this is as cut and dried as you believe
it to be.  The domain name of an organisation is more than a
postal address, or a phone number.  It is not arbitary.  Users
wish to choose specific domains because they have a specific

As such, a domain takes on status more similar to that of a
descriptive label, or trading name.  At some point, someone
needs to be saying "Organisation X has a legal right to use
this name".

Under the current system in .AU, the registrars ask the client
to provide specific information.  Assuming that the information
provided is correct, then the registrar makes a judgement call,
based on (mostly) objective criteria, that the applicant has
a reasonable "claim" to the use of this label.

Its not perfect, but it defensible.  In the past, I suspect it
was an attempt to reduce hording, or ambit claims for many domains
where unpaid registrars were doing the work.  Today, it is an
attempt to protect the rights of entities with a legal claim to
use of the label in other media.

An alternative method is to step a little further back.  Ask the
client to specify the domain they wish to have, and have the
client state that they have a legal claim to the domain.  Require
the client to defend any action taken by another claimant, and
the registrar becomes a technical only function.   We would accept
the client's statement that they have a legal claim to the name,
in the same way as we currently accept that the information they
provide to us is true and correct.

Personally, I prefer that option.  Strangely, it is actually at
odd with you next request:

> e) lack of privacy within the sld.
> 	the dns rules have a blatent disregard for client ownership
> 	and the privacy of customer information, this has to stop.
> 	the public whois db is a spamer delight.

If client X reserves the domain "", Microsoft will
attempt to defend their right to the use of the name.  It is naive
to say "Its FCFS, let them choose another one" or "they've already
got a COM.AU anyway".  These organisations will defend their right
to use the name in the court.

The question is "who will they sue?".

If there was a move to a situation where clients state "I have a right
to this domain so give it to me", then we would like any disputes to
not include the registrars.  Therefore, there needs to be a way for
potential litigants to identify the current holder of the domain.

There is a social argument as well.  There is a public benefit in being
able to identify the owner of a domain, in order to direct complaints,
or to protect against illegal hosted material.  Also, in the event that
a registrar goes belly up, the continuing permenance of the domain holders
need to be ensured.

On the other hand, as an employee of an ISP myself, I also have a
concern with the way in which the aunic based domains make contact
directly with the client.  If one of our staff make a silly error
during the submission, the rejection is cc'd to the client.  Bills
for renewals go to the client.  Nasty threats about deregistration
are sent to the client.

ASN.AU and NET.AU work a little differently.  The client must be
the true "owner" of the domain, to ensure that they retain
portability.  However, if they have asked an ISP to act as their
agent to register the domain, then communication should be between
the registrar and the agent only.  At the end of the process, the
agent can inform the client that the process has been completed.
All future contact should be between then registrar and the agent,
unless the client specifically requests otherwise.

> f) lack of sub domains under .au.
> 	there is a clear requirement for a substantial increase
> 	in the number of sld under .au.

I'm not convinced that this is the answer.  The two public meetings
held by ADNA in Sydney and Melbourne of trademark stakeholders seemed
fairly clear in their view.  They wanted to be able to register
in COM.AU, because that's where all the Big Boys are.  Aestethically,
I'd prefer to tell people "look, this is where you can register",
but that's often difficult.

I think the short term goal needs to be to clean up today's scene,
and introduce competition, carefully, into the existing structure.
The medium term goal is to evaluate the community demand for any
additional 2LD's, and carefully deploy them into a proven competitive

The Nominet model is worth a look.  Those interested may want to
have a read of:

Received on Tue Jun 23 1998 - 18:33:01 UTC

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