[DNS] criteria.

[DNS] criteria.

From: Matthew King <mking§cinfo.com.au>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 16:00:02 +1000
>There are two critical questions to be resolved:
>1. Should there be criteria restricting entry to .edu.au?
>2. If yes, what should that criteria be?
>But its a complete waste of energy trying to resolve 2 if 1 hasn't
>been completely nailed down.
>> The whole point is I personally don't want one
>> person having to decide. It gets objective and very messy
>> and in turn very unfair.
>I think that is the wrong way around.  If the criteria are objective,
>then they can easily be applied fairly to all applicants (whether the
>criteria are right or wrong is a separate issue).  If the criteria are
>subjective, that's when applicants are treated unfairly.

I am the first to admit that it is logical to have some form of criteria
restricting entry. What this should be is another point alltogether.

However I feel that it is important that these criteria should be based
upon principles similar to those below.

Proposed Principles:

* It seems logical that the rules that affect one domain should be extended
to all the others. A kind of universal constant. (However one cannot escape
history or the global system. Certain restricted domains will exist. .gov
.mil and country codes being a case in point. They are part of the
landscape. The structure  does matter either as a guide or to give form to
the spatial landscape.)

* Domain names should not exist outside the law. (As a recent post
suggested US federal law suggests corporations cannot always prevent others
from registering domain names that coincide with their brand names. However
the decision doesn't protect cybersquatters but it places a heavy burden on
companies to show that someone who has registered its name did so to cash
in on the trademark's value. A recent Australian decision supports this

* Thus it must be recognised that English is only so varied. It is clear
ACME Roadrunner Inc. does have as much right to acme.com.au as as the All
Chrome Metal Engines Pty Ltd. A first come first served policy is only
fair. However this leads to the next point.

* Domain names have value. If one entity is prepared to offer a high level
of "value" for a domain then all parties are best served if this is
allowed. The quick are rewarded for their foresight and the new owner is
happy with possession.

* Whatever principles are agreed they must seek to make entry into the
Internet as easy as possible within the bounds of legality, functionality
and common sence.

Currently two extremes exist with a whole host of "flavours" in between.

* The first example is based on the .com system. The criteria is based on a
first come first served approach with an underlying market emphasis on
value. The barrier to entry is low to encourage participation however it is
high enough to discourage overtly easy speculation.

* The .gov domain is the other side of the coin. Its criteria is strict as
it is based upon membership or direct linkage with local state or national

The edu.au criteria is somewhere in between. It currently seeks to
construct a framework of "legitimate" domain holders. Legitimacy is based
upon an existence as an educational institution. This is loosely based on
structure, institutional status, linkage to goverment bodies,  institutions
and funding. The fine print however is a tad fuzzy.


* There is no equivalent of ACN or RBN.
* The registra should not have to judge educational activity  based upon
say a % of activity. This would be open for abuse and subject to change
over time.
* Direct linkages to Governmental legitimacy may not exist, yet the
institution may be a legitimate educational body. Religious schools, early
childhood centres, and non-profit private schools spring to mind. There are
probably scores of examples. And they are bound to multiply  and
increasingly will require an Internet presence.
* How are the large number of non-profit organisations  that are only
active within the educational sector to be treated. Teachers Unions for
example or publishers of educational  journals. They are valid educational
players and should be involved.

Possible Criteria:

* A financial barrier to entry, low to encourage participation but high
enough to discourage overtly easy speculation.

* Some form of legal legitimacy  (with an educational focus). ie a relevant
ACN,RBN incorporation or articles of association.

* A Statutory Declaration stating an intention to pursue an educational focus.

Matthew King
Received on Thu Aug 26 1999 - 14:00:02 UTC

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