[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
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 18.104.22.168,
should either be removed or have an exception for such use.
Aaron Swartz [http://www.aaronsw.com]