[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[wg-c] TUCOWS.com Comments on IPC Sunrise Proposal

15 April, 2000

Michael Palage
Chair, Working Group B/Registrars Constituency Secretariat
Domain Name Supporting Organization
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers


TUCOWS.com Inc. is responding in the limited time available to your
request that we comunicate our views concerning the latest proposals from
the Intellectual Property Constituency, called "sunrise plus twenty."

While we are aware that you are acting as best you can in limited
circumstances of budget and time, TUCOWS must protest the inadequate
consultation that has taken place in regard to these proposals, and must
on grounds of substance reject them in their entirety. We find it
increasingly anomalous that the secretary of the registrars association is
acting to compromise the interests of IP holders with the interests of the
vast mass of Internet users in this way.

The essence of ICANN's problem is the disproportionate attention which is
being given inside the working groups, and, increasingly outside, in
private conferences, to the pretensions of the IP community to stall the
process of domain name expansion, on grounds that we and our Internet
users consider to be dubious and, in some cases, in outright error: error
both as to policy as regards the future direction of the Internet, and
more fundamentally, as to their power to hold up domain name expansion
based on the monopoly of the NSI over the root server.

You have received commentary from John Berryhill, which, in our view,
devastates the position of the IPC that they are entitled to extra-legal
privileges in the matter of establishing domain names for famous names,
and lately, for all trade mark holders in all countries.

The IPC's contentions that trade mark holders are owed a special set of
privileges regarding domain names, different from and superior to those
worked out in national legislatures, is not something that other users of
the Internet need to accept. Moreover, it is unnecessary. The fastest way
to eradicate the problem that the IPC pretends to solve is to have a
rapid, large expansion of domain names.  The IPC is threatened by this
approach because it diminshes the value of what they are protecting, and
the value fo the services they render.

The issue is not, as  they suppose, "confusion" in the marketplace, or
the protection of consumers. It is the protection of the economic
position of intellectual property lawyers.

What we are actually observing in the saga of domain name expansion is a
power-grab of major proportions over the architecture of the Internet,
using ICANN not so much as a representative forum for IP interests as the
embodimenet of IP lawyers' interests. This tendency is not good for the
Net, for Internet users, for small businesses which need the increase of
namespace, and ultimately it will lead, if unchecked by common sense and
contrary interests, to the avoidance of the DNS and the downfall of ICANN.

The policy that should be followed in relation to IP interests is this:
no privilege shall be granted to any trade mark or famous name holder by
ICANN that is not available under domestic trade mark law. We understand
that this principle will need adjustment to accord with the global nature
of top level domains, but by sticking to it ICANN will do better for the
Internet, for millions of users, and even for the interests of IP owners,
than a policy of restriction.

TUCOWS has been supporting reasonable compromise between IP owners and
domain name expansion for some time. On reflection, We have decided that
we are not going to get domain name expansion in this way, and that we are
in fact acceding to a takeover of the political processes of ICANN by a
set of interests that oppose what the Internet stands for. We urge you to
reconsider the nature of the compromises you may be making, and what you
may consider to be realistic. To us at TUCOWS, compromise with the kinds
of proposals we are seeing coming from the IPC will get us nowhere.

Yours sincerely,

Ross Wm. Rader
Director, Assigned Names Division
TUCOWS.com Inc.

Ross Wm. Rader                     http://www.domaindirect.com
Director, Assigned Names Division       http://www.opensrs.org    
TUCOWS.com Inc.                     http://www.domainwatch.com
ross@tucows.com                    http://www.domainsurfer.com
t. (416) 531-2697 x 335                      f. (416) 531-5584