[DNS] Geographic and generic names (was Re: [DNS] .au space proposal)

[DNS] Geographic and generic names (was Re: [DNS] .au space proposal)

From: Ian Johnston <ian.johnston§setel.com.au>
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2000 17:37:51 +1100
Ron Ipsen wrote in dns&#167;auda.org.au Thursday, November 23, 2000 9:25 AM:

> I think we have to be careful in pooling geographic and generic names into
the same bucket.

Ron, I agree that when it comes to the detail they may be in different
buckets.  But there are some common principles underlying policy for both.

> Whilst it may be easier to consider geographic names as a saleable asset I
cannot forsee any real public good coming from their sale.

We need to need clear from the outset that we are not talking about an

We are talking about a domain name licence.

A domain name licence is "a contract between an applicant/licence holder and
a registrar setting out the terms and conditions relating to the use of a
domain name" (form the Name Panel report's glossary).

The term "domain name licence" is used throughout the report to make it
clear that licencees a paying fees which gives them rights to use a domain
name.   My understanding is that licencees do not _own_ the domain name.

Regarding your comment " ...  I cannot forsee any real public good coming
from their sale."  The granting of geographic domain name licenses needs to
be done in a manner that is in or not against the "public interest".

The Panel noted:  Current policies recognise that generic and geographic
names have intrinsic commercial value, and respond to user and businesses
needs for access by prohibiting the licensing of these names.

There's a cost associated with the administration of a licence and that
needs to be recovered, unless we cross subsidise.  Are you suggesting that
the licence for melbourne.com.au should not be sold?

>Ian and I differ considerably on the probable structure required to
administer such an asset.

Ron, I happen to think that we are not that far apart.  We share many common
views on this subject imo.

My recollection is that you wanted a government entity to have
responsibility for the licensing of (the 240,000) geographic domain names.

My view is that:

(a) we don't have to have a government entity do it (but we might)

(b) we do need more than one entity competitively licensing geographic
domain names (including possibly a government entity competing on a level
playing field)

(c) these entities should demonstate "suitability" according to some
criteria (chosen in a "beauty" contest)

> I am in no way in favor of the geographic names being issued for the
exclusive right of any private enterprise, they are indeed IMHO a public
asset and should be administered by the appropriate body.

Nor am I in favour of geographic names being issued for the exclusive right
of any private enterprise.

The Name Panel's Report proposes: 4.2.2 Relax the current policy and enable
licensing of generic and geographic domain names using an appropriate
licence allocation system, such as a market-based one.


In the light of public responses, the Panel may move further forward with
Proposal 4.2.2, and a paper will be developed on these matters.

> I put a proposal early on into the panel and we discussed it at length, I
will abbreviate it and post it up for public comment.

Yes, it needs to be revisited.  What is in our Report to date does not
preclude you proposal.

> In short it is not dissimilar to the ideas presented earlier on trying to
build an intuitive addressing system within the dns structure. It bypasses
the firm and biz type arguments and utilises what scaleability is inherit in
the dns as we know it.

> basically it is whatever&#167;town.state.country with mail administrated by a
body like the post office and a "dont publish" paradigm utilised for the

> and yes, its a directory and has the mandatory web catalogue

> Once again I cannot for the life of think of a "commercial" body that i
would trust with such an asset. Publicly administration of an intuitive and
consistent system would be the only way that I could see it operating

How about auDA, or its agents?
Received on Sat Nov 25 2000 - 14:40:54 UTC

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