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RE: [dow1-2tf] Moving forward on "conspicuous notice"?

  • To: Tim Ruiz <tim@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: RE: [dow1-2tf] Moving forward on "conspicuous notice"?
  • From: Marc Schneiders <marc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2004 14:59:02 +0200 (CEST)
  • Cc: Milton Mueller <Mueller@xxxxxxx>, <dow1-2tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • In-reply-to: <20041006031921.12478.qmail@webmail07.mesa1.secureserver.net>
  • Sender: owner-dow1-2tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


What follows may sound as part fantasy or dreaming, part
frustration. It is also part what the DNS was meant to do. Which is
why I write it.

I'd like to see a domain as a way to put yourself on the map without
being dependent on others. Indeed like owning property (US: real
estate). You can do what you want on your own land, as long as
it doesn't hurt others (or is against the law).

Of course, if you own a niece piece of land, you are dependent on
planning permissions, for example. You cannot just start building
whatever you like. But most of the time, these things are known before
you get the niece plot. So I am not talking about registering a domain
that is clearly infringing on existing trademarks.

On the internet a domain is like a piece of land. It is not a house,
or a factory, or an office, or a park. You can turn it into all of
these. You talk about websites. But a domain is much more. Many
domains do not have websites, but are used only for email. I have a
domain, schneiders.org, and I am now mainly using it for private
purposes. But if I change my mind, I could produce tree seeds and
start selling them over schneiders.org. Like a piece of land, where
you can keep pigs or grow trees, or build a swimming pool.

My point is that a domain is an open thing. Your own space, where you
can do what you want. And change your mind about it. Again, as long as
you don't hurt others.

I don't know about you, but I'd never build anything on leased land.
Not even leased for 99 years. With domains you can even have (at
present alas only in theory & technoloy) a better deal than with
land. You can build on a domain and even if its present space on the
map disappears (e.g. the ISP, that does your website and email goes
bankrupt) you can move the domain. Your can replace it on the map.
Nobody even needs to notice that you moved. DNS can do all these
things smoothly. You just change IP numbers in a flat text file, and
people who type your domain for mail or web or whatever, still get to

DNS is a very intelligent system to have a place on the internet map.
A place that you can change yourself without having to tell everyone
you know that you moved. It a selfadjusting map (well, nearly).

Therefore I think it is most important that people can be CERTAIN
about OWNING a domain. So all these solutions you present seem to me
equivalent to telling people that it is a pity that ownership of space
is against the policy. Rent yourself some piece of land and plant your
trees there. But what if the lease ends before the trees have grown?

I strongly believe in a system where people can be certain of
ownership of land. Not in an absolute way (your land may be needed for
a road) but still. Nobody builds anything really good on land he
doesn't own (or controls... but lets not think about wars).

It is not a good idea to tell people that if they don't want to be in
whois, they can get a website in some other way. You can rent a house,
plant trees on leased land. But who wants that? It is not taking full
advantage of possibilities. It leaves you uncertain for the future.
Dependent on others.

Now, if it were good for mankind that some authorities decided who can
use what and for how long and how, things would be different. But
recent history has taught us, this is not the case.

A free market needs secure ownership of important assets. Nobody
repairs his house if it is rented. It will fall apart. Sure the
landlord should maintain it, but who is the landlord of the DNS? HAs
he any incentive to maintain the system?

The DNS is a brilliant system for worldwide communication. We can
create structures that maintain it, or leave it to decay.


Marc Schneiders

On Tue, 5 Oct 2004, at 20:19 [=GMT-0700], Tim Ruiz wrote:

> Milton,
> I did not mean to come off as antagonistic. And perhaps I could have been 
> clearer.
> I am familiar with contracts of adhesion. I am not arguing 
> whether the Registration Agreement for
> gTLDs is one or not. My point was meant to be that regardless, I would only 
> view it as a problem
> if there were no other choices.
> As I said, there are options available to obtain many of the benefits of 
> domain name *ownership*
> (which may be a bit of misnomer in itself) without being the registrant of 
> record. If you
> consider the ultimate goal in most cases is to have a web site, there are 
> numerous ways to
> develop and maintain a website without *owning* a domain name.
> The context of this task force's work is within the ICANN accredited 
> TLDs whose agreements come
> along with the provisions that are being debated here. However, there are 
> alternatives, ccTLDs
> for example. In fact some of them are becoming as popular within their own 
> countries as COM, take
> DE for example. Many are available to anyone outside their country, TV, CC, 
> and WS for example.
> And others rival the new gTLDs, US for example.
> I'm also not arguing one way or the other on your specific privacy concerns, 
> just suggesting that
> any policy development done by this task force should be properly framed.
> Tim
>       -------- Original Message --------
>       Subject: RE: [dow1-2tf] Moving forward on "conspicuous notice"?
>       From: "Milton Mueller" <Mueller@xxxxxxx>
>       Date: Tue, October 05, 2004 4:50 pm
>       To: tim@xxxxxxxxxxx
>       Cc: roessler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, dow1-2tf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx,
>       metalitz@xxxxxxxx, tom@xxxxxxxxxx
>       Tim:
>       Please explain to me how you can "have a domain name"
>       without registering it through an ICANN-accredited registrar.
>       Your message rather naively implies that the "caveats and
>       responsibilities" associated with a domain name were
>       created by God or the laws of physics. I'm sure you know
>       better than that. They were imposed by ICANN accreditation
>       contracts. ICANN has a monopoly over the root, and, due
>       to the dominance of certain interest groups over ICANN
>       policies, it uses that monopoly power to impose certain
>       conditions on registrants.
>       In short, you are not "choosing" the responsibilities
>       and caveats, they are imposed on you. Ask your lawyer
>       what a "contract of adhesion" is and you'll understand
>       what I'm talking about.
>       >>> Tim Ruiz <tim@xxxxxxxxxxx> 10/3/2004 12:00:52 PM >>>
>       Not that I'm not somewhat sympathetic to your argument, but it doesn't
>       really hold water. Becoming the actual registrant of a domain name does
>       has certain *caveats* attached, if you will. However, it is not the only
>       way to have a domain name, make use of it, or have a web site. You have
>       choices. If you choose to register the name as your own, you are
>       choosing the responsibilities and caveats that come along with it.

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