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[registrars] Additional comments which were promised.
During our just completed telecon, I said I was expecting a new analysis
from a colleague. I promised it within 48 hours. To my surprise, it
The contract creates:
1) Proprietary NSI ownership of the Referral Database which contains the
only complete list of domain names. It impairs legitimate trademark
holders by further complicating their Trademark searches. In order to "see"
complete domain name list they will need to pay the "bulk" access fees to
a current 70+, and growing, number of registrars at up to $10,000/yr per
registrar. Of course, NSI will also probably vend access to this new
monopoly Referral Database. All of the data in the current Whois was
property of the National Science Foundation under the terms of the
original contract with NSI. Additionally, in 1992 the United States
Supreme Court held that "white page" listings published in a mere
alphanumeric order of name, address, and number lacked the bare minimum of
creative input required by the U.S. Constitution for Copyright protection.
I submit that there is not a colorable argument to justify privatization
of this public domain information. A deliberate reduction of service to
the public is the hallmark of a cartel. The fractured database and access
fee approach embodied in this contract look dangerously close to a
"monopolistic combination of independent business enterprises", a cartel.
2) Proprietary NSI ownership of the Registry Referral Protocol (RRP)
software. This makes the addition of new gTLDs unnecessarily complicated
as new/different software will be required for name registrations.
3) While the "keys to the front door" will be surrendered for web-based
access to NSI's registration web-site, another de facto global monopoly
remains due to the nature of existing software Operating Systems (OS).
The "Whois" command in the Unix OS returns a default database at
"rs-internic.net". Therefore, current and future software which provide
any directory related function will only find DNS information about NSI
customers. This result unfairly benefits NSI at the expense of the new
registrars as Domain Name Holders will rarely wish to deny themselves the
benefits of enhanced Internet visibility (potential customer contacts)
made possible by third party DNS directory services. This Operating System
bias continues a "back door" version of the current NSI monopoly. In
my opinion, NSI's lack of candor through this apparent failure to
disclosure implies Bad Faith negotiation on their part and an incompetence
on the US government's part in not discovering this shortcoming.
All for now, BobC from Santa Cruz