> Leinster House yesterday about such problems arising and Double D Betie said
> that legislation was more than likely going to be be brought out to prevent
> this sort of thing. Now there are major legal implications to this which I
> will not deal with here, but how is this going to affect the IEDR (BTW The
> domain is a .com ) and is this tantamount to government control over the
> internet. Now I know we have not seen the legislation yet but the mere
> reference to this is frighting.
Why is this frightening?
I'm heavily in favour of tighter regulation of the DNS (as anyone who's
ever mentioned such things to me will know, probably to the extent that
they regret mentioning it in the first place) - the current system is
a totally unstructured mess.
Firstly, there effectively _is_ government control over the DNS as it
stands. Unfortunately, it's US Government control. The contract for
looking after the thing is currently between, IIRC, the US Government
and ICANN, which is now also taking over the IANA's functionality - if
I read their website properly. Much noise is made about the DNS and
other assigned stuff (IP space, protocol numbers, etc) being a global
resource, but there is still massive US domination. This is not
necessarily a conspiracy, but just the result of the US-centric nature of
the Internet in the past (and hey, in the present.. who am I trying to
As far as generic TLD registrations are concerned, all the agreements
regarding .com et al are governed by US law, so if you're overseas and
have a dispute you're automatically at a disadvantage - taking legal
action across international borders is mind-numbingly difficult and
expensive. The only teeth that individual countries really have are
their policies on delegation from their geographic domains. Dot-com
et al need to be given a truly international framework for them to
make any sense as a set of international domains -- I believe this was
the crux of the EU's submissions to the US government when the whole
thing was being hammered out a couple of years ago.
I think your view that legislation on cybersquatting would constitute
"government control over the Internet" is slightly overstated -- taken
as an extension of existing property and trademark laws, it would merely
be adding teeth to the current policies that the IEDR operate. The
laissez-faire "first come first served" view is not going to scale in the
long run. What's going to happen when you can't get _any_ domains under
20 characters issued because some enterprising carpetbagger's got there
first and hoovered up all the meaningful permutations? You'll end up with
a layered market - the corporates who can afford to pay outrageous sums to
domain speculators will have a better bite at the DNS cherry than those
who can't, who'll end up with, as it were, the burnt offerings - either
going for massively long names that haven't been carpetbagged yet or
incomprehensible consonant clusters like qtrqpmbx.ie which haven't been
deemed "commercially interesting" enough to grab by the speculators.
And this just plain isn't fair, in addition to making the functions of
the registries themselves a laughing stock.
In summary - cybersquatting legislation would do far more to protect
freedom of trade than it would to inhibit it.
Sorry. This has been my DNS rant for the week. *grin*
Computer Science System Administrator, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
mike.knell at cs.tcd.ie -=- http://www.cs.tcd.ie/Mike.Knell/
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