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[comments-whois] make bulk whois available for research and archival

Whois data is extremely valuable information for the public, 
researchers, and archivists. The public can review what domains an 
organization has purchased to find out more about them. Researchers can 
do studies on rates of adoption of different domains by different 
peoples. Archivists can provide historical whois information for public 
review. Thus if, say, expertsexchange.com (previously used by Experts 
Exchange) was later bought to advertise an Expert Sex Change,  people 
could make sense of older documents by reviewing whois records from 
that era.

Sadly, the current bulk whois policy encourages registrars to charge 
$10,000 for access, thereby practically ensuring that the data will 
only be used for marketing purposes.

I suggest that the agreement should be changed to require:

  * A complete electronic copy of the data is available for purposes of 
research and archival at cost.

Furthermore, rules preventing research and archival, such as, 
should either be removed or have an exception for such use.

Respectfully submitted,
Aaron Swartz [http://www.aaronsw.com]

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