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Dear fellow-members of the drafting committee 1
of WG C,
Although I participate in this committee on
behalf of the INTA, I am also - being an IP/IT Lawyer from Sweden - asked to add
some Scandinavian view in this matter.
Firstly, I believe that we all can agree that
this committee will not be able to solve and answer all questions raised until
August 9, 1999. Therefore, we will have to focus on the most imporatnt issues
(that is: questions 1 and 2 as suggested by Javier) and to organize our work
(why not in the way suggested by Kevin).
The issue of new gTLDs was very much discussed
in Scandinavia in 1997-98. This year, I have hardly seen any debate at all, and
only one client have asked about the process (back in February).
Being also the Spokesman for the Board of Domain
Name Regulations in Sweden (NDR), I have therefore taken the liberty to
interrogate some of my colleagues in my part of the world what they think about
adding new gTLDs. Surprisingly, not many were any longer in favour of the idea,
at least not for the time being. Especially trade mark owners are concerned
about the risk that new gTLDs will create new possibilities for cybersquatters
and other infringers.
As to the questions raised:
1. Should there be new generic Top Level Domains
YES, I believe that it is necessary to (over the
time) increase the numbers of gTLDs, both for technical reasons (as there are no
official sub-domains connected to the existing gTLDs) and in order to create new
alternatives for _honest_ business people to protect their identification on the
1a). If yes: How many?
IANA suggested 150 new gTLDs in 1996, a number
that dropped to 7 in the IAHC recommendation of 1997. In my opinion, even 7 are
too many. I would suggest that we start slowly with the introduction of 2-3 new
gTLD. Of course, this number shall be possible to increase, should it be
necessary in the future.
1b). What should the new gTLDs, if any,
I am in favour of the .nom for
An introduction of a special gTLD for
porographic related sites, such as .sex or .xxx, would likely save a lot of the
problems you have when a trade mark or a name of a famous person is being
unauthorized linked to a porn site, but in such case registration under
..sex/.xxx must be mandatory (which will create the need for some sort of
supervision and control - perhaps not possible in practice?)
The seven gTLDs recommended by IAHC seems rather
closely related - what are, in reality, the difference between .arts and ...rec?
Are not all web sites on the Internet "emphasizing activities relating to
the WWW" (.web)?
I can, as an alternative, see the need for a
special gTLD for Search Engines (or is that the purpose of the suggested
..info?), as well as for all web sites related to economic activities, such as
bankers, insurance companies, stock brokers, etc.
We should also have in mind, when discussing new
gTLDs, that it will take a long time to get these as popular and well knowned as
the crowded .com.
2. There are many problems to be solved before
any new gTLDs can be introduced. One very important issue is the creation of
dispute policy and the need to stop cybersquatting. I do not want to be part of
a system where trade mark owners will have to register in all new gTLDs just to
protect themselves from infringers.
We will not have the time to solve this with the
current timetable for this committee. Therefore, new gTLDs should be introduced
slowly and one at a time, perhaps starting with the .nom.
Petter Rindforth, LLM
Member of the INTA Internet
Senior partner of Enderborg Trademarks AB
"When people agree with me I always feel
that I must be wrong"