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RE: [wg-b] RE: opportunity to pre-empt, or license to infringe?

>At last year's annual meeting of the International Trademark Association, I
>stated that the Internet is a unique phenomenon: It is a worldwide,
>instantaneous communication system that is democratic and decentralized. It
>should remain so and, as I said then, how the Internet community copes with
>the issue of regulation and governance in dealing with problems such as
>privacy, criminality, taxation and economic competition without jeopardizing
>the Internet's essential character will be the fundamental challenge.
>That said, I believe that you, and others, underestimate the economic value,
>opportunity and importance of the Internet. The Internet has the potential
>of significantly increasing productivity, reducing costs, and ultimately
>improving the standard of living of all peoples around the world. Not today
>or tomorrow, but in 10 years, maybe 25. One can glibly say that free speech
>is paramount, but to most people in the world, and to their governments, a
>decent standard of living takes precedence.

Steve, with all due respect, I co-founded the first commercial Internet
software company on the Macintosh platform.  I have been on the Internet
since 1982.  I have helped formulate Internet policy issues since 1984.  I
am also not unique amongst the people who have been involved with this
process.  Many of us have improved living standards, reduced costs,
increased productivity, etc. not tomorrow, but yesterday.  We are well
aware of the Internet's potential.

We are also well aware that there are many things in this world that are
more important than short term "decent standards of living" etc.  The
environment, human rights, and basic freedoms are far more important to
many of us than is the protection of trademarks.  Especially given that in
this case the special interests are CLEARLY overreaching any mandate given
them by ANY government on the earth.
>Commercial interests and other trademark owners will inevitably play a large
>role in the growth and economic development of the Internet. Those who do
>not accept that fact and are unwilling to cooperate in that development,
>will have little influence in maintaining the character of Internet I
>described above.

You are ignoring the Internet's rich history.  The very commercial and non
commercial interests who created the Internet's current technology,
culture, robust nature, etc. would have been put out of business completely
by the draconian measures being contemplated here.  My company, InterCon
Systems Corporation, would have had its domain name pulled (or we would
have been prevented from registering) because of previous trademarks.  So
would amazon.com, yahoo.com, ebay.com, digex.com, and on and on.  Under
this "sunrise +20" proposal, most variations of those names would ALSO be
pre-empted and/or removed.

Please do not assume that those of us who "glibly say that free speech is
paramount" are somehow economically naive, and do not understand the
potential of the creature we have helped to create over the past 18 (and in
many cases 20+) years.  Many of us know firsthand how the growth and
economic development of the Internet may be crushed by caving in to the
demands of special interests.  I postulate that it is those special
interests who are unwilling to cooperate in Internet development, NOT those
who promote the communications interests that created the robust
marketplace of ideas that those same special interests are trying to
exploit.  It is ironic that these special interests seem bent on killing
the goose that laid the golden egg.

Mikki Barry					Internet Policy Consultants
Attorney					http://www.netpolicy.com