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RE: [wg-b] me thinks thou dost protect too much ...

I diagree with your statement that ownership of domains does not bear on the
Internet's integrity. To give one example, Nabisco received numerous
complaints at one time from consumers whose children, presumably looking for
the producer of Oreo cookies or the information about them, typed in
<oreos.com> only to be pointed to a pornographic site. The usefulness and
value of the Internet as a communicative tool is decreased by that use. The
issue, to my mind, is whether the costs of allowing certain domain names to
be monopolized in some TLDs are justified by the benefits.

Cybersquatting of well known names fosters miscommunication and is
exploitative.Who should be entitled to reap the benefits (whatever they may
be) of names such as <nabisco.com> or <billgates.com>? Those domains have
recognition value because of the efforts of Nabisco and Bill Gates. If
others believe they are entitled to own them, they ought to bear the burden
of demonstrating a right or consumer benefit to use those domain names
greater than Nabisco's or Bill Gate's and the confusion such unauthorized
use causes.

Steve Hartman
Nabisco, Inc. 

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Mark C. Langston [SMTP:mark@bitshift.org]
> Sent:	Friday, April 07, 2000 4:39 PM
> To:	wg-b@dnso.org
> Subject:	Re: [wg-b] me thinks thou dost protect too much ...
> On Fri, Apr 07, 2000 at 03:36:36PM -0400, Hartman, Steve wrote:
> > The percentage of cybersquatters may be small, but the absolute numbers
> are
> > large.The one percent rate is ten thousand registrants per every
> million.
> > But that aside, no one would argue that we shouldn't have laws against
> theft
> > or pollution because the number of thieves or polluters comprise only a
> > small percentage of the population. The larger point is that
> cybersquatting
> > is not simply a private injury; it's also public injury, an injury to
> the
> > communicative value of the Internet. Which is not to say that I agree
> with
> > your remarks that trademark owners have received preferences at the
> expense
> > of non-trademark owners. What preferential treatment are you referring
> to?
> > 
> > Steve Hartman
> > Nabisco, Inc.
> "an injury to the communicative value of the Internet"?  
> When did the owner of $FOO.$BAR break ARP caching, create routing
> loops, cut fiber, or corrupt frames?
> The "communicative value" to which you and those like you refer is not
> a value to the public.  It is instead a direct value to the owner of
> the domain, and no one else.
> The issue of who owns what domain name does not inhibit, degrade, or 
> eliminate the proper functioning of the Internet.  Indeed, few people
> care at all if Nabisco owns Nabisco.com, or if Mr. Nabi foobert of
> Maryland
> owns it to advertise his at-home software business, Nabi's Co.   
> The only thing it  impacts at all is the trademark owners bottom line.
> The sooner you corporations stop painting these issues with the broad
> brush of public good and start being honest with your consumer base,
> the sooner you might find a friendlier ear for your issues.
> To appropriate a quote from Russ Allbery, "I know what this network is
> for, and you can't have it."
> -- 
> Mark C. Langston
> mark@bitshift.org
> Systems & Network Admin
> San Jose, CA