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Re: [ga] Re: Single Letter Domains

At 11:17 AM 5/27/00 -0700, Mike Roberts wrote:

Could someone please explain how the following domains have already been 
registered - some as long ago as 1997 and long before ICANN existed?

JG (Q225-DOM), Athens, GA 30606, US
Record created on 30-Mar-1999

X.com Corporation (X880-DOM), Palo Alto, CA 94301, US
Record created on 20-Oct-1999

United Internet Artists, Inc (Z509-DOM), Burbank, CA 91504, US
Record created on 20-Apr-2000

Inet Corp. (I737-DOM), Roadtown, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLES
Record created on 10-Dec-1999

Q Networks, San Juan, PUERTO RICO
Record created on 10-Mar-2000

The Open Group (X57-DOM), Reading, Berks RG1 1AX, UNITED KINGDOM
Record created on 18-Jan-1997.

>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 this list.
>>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 
>>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.
>>Respectfully submitted,
>>John C. Kaufman
>>Kaufman Communications
>>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 manner.
>>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 www.dnso.org.
>>Thank you for your interest in our work.
>>- Mike
>>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 .org?
>>>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 "network 
>>>   was dropped recently, after a period where NSI as a registry 
>>> permitted it,
>>>   even while NSI the registrar did not.
>>>- The attempt to sell .com names ending in a dash was stopped after an ICANN
>>>   decision was made that such names were not within the specifications
>>>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 the 
>>>"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 
>>>particular case.
>>>My thoughts.
>>>                       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 ICANN,
>> > >regarding a change in the policy treatment of single-letter domains 
>> (e.g.,
>> > >the sale of said domains to the general public).
>> > >
>> > >After reviewing the charters, by-laws and other documents of both ICANN
>> > >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 precedent,
>> > >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 issues related
>> > >to the Domain Name System, propose to ICANN that the pre-existing IANA
>> > >policy barring the sale of single-letter domains now being continued 
>> under
>> > >ICANN management be struck down and, at the same time, that the domain
>> > >"k.com" be the first such domain to be sold under the new policy to the
>> > >undersigned.
>> > >
>> > >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
>> > >President
>> > >Kaufman Communications
>> > >San Francisco, CA

Best Regards,

Simon Higgs

It's a feature not a bug...

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