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Re: [wg-b] .UNION Top-level domain name

I'm sure that John Berryhill and other clever people on this list can
identify all sorts of interesting issues that the manager of the .union
TLD will confront.  It should not surprise Dr. Berryhill or others on
this list that there smart people in the union community that are also
thinking of these and many other issues.

I don't know if WG-B wants to become the WG on .union.  However, I think
at one level, we can ask, 

    (a) Should a TLD like .union be managed by the labor union
community, or should it be just another commodity TLD?

   (b)  Can the .union TLD be used in connection with a company,
organization or product name?  

   Dr. Berryhill seems to have staked out a position, namely that unions
should have no claim on the use of .union, and could not even restrict
its use for union purposes if they were the registry. He presents this
as a rejection of political considerations.

  In my view, a decision by ICANN that labor unions could or could not
impose restrictions on the use of .union is political, no matter which
way you go.  The "TLDs are commodies" approach is one way to do this,
but it is hardly the only way.  

    However, for WG-B, I assume the issue isn't whether or not a
particular groups of unions can manage .union, or even if a chartered
TLD can restrict use.  (Issues for others in ICANN). But rather, if
there exist charted TLDs, like .union, .isnotfair, or .ecology, can they
be used in connection with a product, organization or company name?  
For example, would boeing.union, exxon.union, cocacola.union,
volvo.union and similar names be permitted without the permission of
Boeing, Exxon, Cocacola, Volvo, etc?

    I think the answer should be a clear yes. 


On Sat, 25 Mar 2000, John Berryhill Ph.D. J.D. wrote:

> From: James Love <love@cptech.org>
> To: John Berryhill Ph.D. J.D. <john@johnberryhill.com>
> > a company or a product.  Thus, every union that represented workers at
> > Boeing, worldwide, could have a link to boeing.union.  However, it does
> > seem to me that this will be something for the unions to sort out.
> And at delta.union will they be the faucet makers or the airline employees?
> You cannot avoid the fact that as long as anyone is having anything to do
> with strings of letters, there are going to be those who believe in "magic
> words" as Prof. Mueller has called them.  Why the string of letters "union"
> is inherently more of one thing than another thing to a non-English speaker
> escapes me entirely.  And, no, I can't see how someone registering
> "viagra.helps.your.sexual.union" should be any more "free speech"-y than
> anything.com.
> If the answer is to have delta.airline.union and delta.faucet.union , then
> how is that any different from having a single unionsite.org , which could
> be started in five minutes from now, and have:
> boeing.unionsite.org
> nike.unionsite.org
> delta.faucet.unionsite.org
> There are "narrow technical" answers to the "narrow technical" issues that
> ICANN is intended to address.  Having more TLD's makes sense for technical
> reasons.  More options, more namespace, etc.  Conditioning how and which
> TLDs will or will not be made in view of political or legal considerations
> has nothing to do with the "narrow technical" mission of ICANN.
> There is no technical reason to have .union be treated any differently than
> any other TLD proposal other than it is politically interesting or
> attractive.  In terms of ICANN's function, the phrase "no technical reason"
> equates to "no reason", because ICANN is not a political enterprise.  There
> would have been additional TLDs by now had it not been for technically
> irrelevant concerns having brought the process to a standstill.  It is time
> to realize that ICANN is not a political body and for those with political
> motivations to allow the technical process to follow its course.
> John Berryhill, Ph.D. J.D.
> Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

James Love, Consumer Project on Technology    
P.O. Box 19367        | http://www.cptech.org 
Washington, DC 20036  | love@cptech.org       
Voice 202/387-8030    | Fax 202/234-5176