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[ga] Re: Single Letter Domains
Title: Re: Single Letter Domains
Mr. Kaufman -
I am sure that I am not the only person on this address list
that stands in awe of your entrepreneurial instincts.
Unfortunately, you have lots of company out there. That's why
there is an ICANN policy process through which the community can
arrive at equitable approaches to the use of domain names.
With regard to various comments about legal matters in your
emails, this list is not a useful place to air your opinions.
If your counsel has reason to believe that you have a particular
legal right to any domain name, then he or she should send a properly
supported brief to ICANN's General Counsel, Louis Touton, who will
take it under advisement.
- Mike Roberts
At 10:19 -0700 5/27/00, John Kaufman wrote:
Dear Messrs Roberts and Alvestrand, DNSO
Members of the ICANN Board, and the ICANN Board:
I will disregard the indiscreet email sent by Mr. Jeff Williams to
I appreciate your response to my query. Mr. Alvestrand, your fairness
in proposing a lottery for the purpose of disposing the 78
single-letter domains (.com, .net, .org) is kindly noted.
With not all matters of discussion or action being always equal or
fair, a lottery would not work for the purpose of serving my personal
agenda, which is to acquire the "k.com" domain. I
understand that the prohibition of the sale of these domains was
grandfathered into ICANN as a result of certain actions taken by Mr.
Jon Postel and the IANA. But, I also understand that no legal
standing whatsoever exists that prevents the immediate sale of
single-letter domains, and that the only reason said domains are
being withheld is that Mr. Postel simply wanted it that way.
I admit to not being particularly concerned about the way ICANN
by-laws are written or enforced. However, I am concerned about the
rule of law which, when applied in this case, could hold ICANN and
its supporting organization(s) in violation of exclusionary
practices, namely, the withholding of certain property (such as
single-letter domains) when other like (similar) property (such as
two-letter domains) are not being withheld.
Therefore, I respectfully submit to DNSO and ICANN that, first, the
"k.com" domain be sold and released to the undersigned
without delay, and that single-letter domains be opened for sale to
the general public. If it is decided that this action can or will not
be taken, kindly advise me of the specific reason so public debate
and legal review can begin.
John C. Kaufman
San Francisco, CA
May 27, 2000
Dear Mr Kaufman,
Let me clarify the situation with regard to single letter domains for
you. Some years ago, Jon Postel in his capacity as IANA reserved
these domains because in his judgment doing so would contribute to
successful operation of the domain name system for all users. Like
other pre-existing IANA policies, this policy is being continued
under ICANN management until such time as a policy proceeding
conducted under our organizational structure and Bylaws comes to the
conclusion that these domains should be treated in some other
They are not reserved for ICANN's use, they are reserved from any use
at this time.
If you believe that there is sufficient reason to change the policy
treatment of these domains, then the appropriate place for you to
begin is with ICANN's Domain Name Support Organization, information
about which may be found at
Thank you for your interest in our work.
Michael M. Roberts
At 08:13 AM 5/27/2000 +0200, Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
Dear mr. Kaufman:
These are my particular responses to the issues you raise, and have
no particular weight; I have asked you before to join the GA list if
you want to participate in a discussion about them.
You raise two interesting points in your message:
1) Should single letter domains be delegated under .com, .net and
2) If they should be delegated, who should be the recipient of the
The first question then leads to the third question:
3) Who decides what domains to delegate under a top level domain?
We have multiple conflicting precedents on this question:
- The NSI decision not to delegate domain names containing the
was dropped recently, after a period where NSI as a registry
even while NSI the registrar did not.
- The attempt to sell .com names ending in a dash was stopped after
decision was made that such names were not within the
On the question of single letter domains, there are precedents on
this in other contexts; the .dk domain allows them, the .no domain
does not, for instance. So clearly this has been decided in the past
on a per-domain basis.
There is as far as I know no precedent for requiring a registy to
register a name at all. While the trend recently has been that many
registries will be happy to sell any name you want to buy, many (like
.se, .gov or .int) are operated under far more restrictive rules.
Again, on a per domain basis.
I thus have a problem seeing the precedent for forcing the sale of
"k.com", given that the policy in place is not being
unfairly applied - nobody can get it.
All that said, I don't see at the moment any particular reason for
escrowing those 26 domains in .com - your request for a change of
policy may have merit, if we can figure out who has the
responsibility to change that policy.
On the question of who gets the domain, I am far less uncertain: If a
policy change is decided, there must be a fair method of allocating
"First-come-first-served" has served us well in the past,
but in this instance, it is likely to be decided on sub-millisecond
timing, given the number of people who will take an interest.
A more explicit form of lottery will probably seem fairer in this
Harald T. Alvestrand
Dear Mr. Alvestrand and the DNSO Members of the ICANN Board:
> >I have been directed to you by Mr. Michael Roberts, CEO of
> >regarding a change in the policy treatment of single-letter
> >the sale of said domains to the general public).
> >After reviewing the charters, by-laws and other documents of
> >and IANA, I see no precedent that would stand a legal test
that would deny
> >the sale of single-letter domains to the general public. Nor
do I see a
> >precedent that would stand a legal test that would disallow
the sale of
> >single-letter domains to the public. If I have missed such a
> >please so advise.
> >Therefore, I would like to propose that the Names Council of
the DNSO, as
> >a supporting organization of ICANN with respect to policy
> >to the Domain Name System, propose to ICANN that the
> >policy barring the sale of single-letter domains now being
> >ICANN management be struck down and, at the same time, that
> >"k.com" be the first such domain to be sold under
the new policy to the
> >Please be advised that, in the interest of the general
public, I may issue
> >a press statement next week to the effect that a change in
this policy has
> >been requested.
> >Thank you very much.
> >John C. Kaufman
> >Kaufman Communications
> >San Francisco, CA