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[ga] GA's rights and obligations

Fine Members and Collegues,

I don't really think the nay sayers would be intersted in reading this
it just happens to be the Federal Registry document that allows ICANN to
operate within it's guidelines.

If the Verisign Contracts, Any Roots and the New gTLDs are not within
the GA's province then all of ICANN is a fraud.

I really do not expect many to go and read much of this so let me just
put a nice little synopses for you:

It basically points out, ahead of time what our responsibilities are and
that we are required as citizen internet users to maintain and require
our rights.  That the history and legacy of bottoms up consensus is
historical and a good thing for our part of the Internet. (keep in mind
there is another side that is so technical that it was purposefully
protected from the likes of me).
No this is not a fun document, it is a document that charges you and me
to act responsibly and to insist in taking part in all parts not
specifically technological and even then when we can.



National Telecommunications and Information Administration

15 CFR Chapter XXIII

[Docket No. 980212036-8036-01]
RIN 0660-AA11

III. The Need For Change

    From its origins as a U.S.-based research vehicle, the Internet is
rapidly becoming an international medium for commerce, education and
communication. The traditional means

[[Page 8827]]

of organizing its technical functions need to evolve as well. The
pressures for change are coming from many different quarters:
    <bullet> There is widespread dissatisfaction about the absence of
competition in domain name registration.
    <bullet> Mechanisms for resolving conflict between trademark
holders and domain name holders are expensive and cumbersome.
    <bullet> Without changes, a proliferation of lawsuits could lead to
chaos as tribunals around the world apply the antitrust law and
intellectual property law of their jurisdictions to the Internet.
    <bullet> Many commercial interests, staking their future on the
successful growth of the Internet, are calling for a more formal and
robust management structure.
    <bullet> An increasing percentage of Internet users reside outside
of the U.S., and those stakeholders want a larger voice in Internet
    <bullet> As Internet names increasingly have commercial value, the
decision to add new top-level domains cannot continue to be made on an
ad hoc basis by entities or individuals that are not formally
accountable to the Internet community.
    <bullet> As the Internet becomes commercial, it becomes
inappropriate for U.S. research agencies (NSF and DARPA) to participate
in and fund these functions.

 There appears to be strong consensus that, at least at this time,
domain name

[[Page 8829]]

registration--the registrar function--should be competitive. There is
disagreement, however, over the wisdom of promoting competition at the
registry level.
    Some have made a strong case for establishing a market-driven
registry system. Competition among registries would allow registrants
to choose among TLDs rather than face a single option. Competing TLDs
would seek to heighten their efficiency, lower their prices, and
provide additional value-added services. Investments in registries
could be recouped through branding and marketing. The efficiency,
convenience, and service levels associated with the assignment of names
could ultimately differ from one TLD registry to another. Without these
types of market pressures, they argue, registries will have very little
incentive to innovate.
    Others feel strongly, however, that if multiple registries are to
exist, they should be undertaken on a not-for-profit basis. They argue
that lack of portability among registries (that is, the fact that users
cannot change registries without adjusting at least part of their
domain name string) could create lock-in problems and harm consumers.
For example, a registry could induce users to register in a top-level
domain by charging very low prices initially and then raise prices
dramatically, knowing that name holders will be reluctant to risk
established business by moving to a different top-level domain.
    We concede that switching costs and lock-in could produce the
scenario described above. On the other hand, we believe that market
mechanisms may well discourage this type of behavior. On balance, we
believe that consumers will benefit from competition among market
oriented registries, and we thus support limited experimentation with
competing registries during the transition to private sector
administration of the domain name system.

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