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Re: new.net: yet another dns namespace overlay play

  • From: William Allen Simpson
  • Date: Wed Mar 07 17:13:53 2001

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To be "on topic", the addition of new pseudo-TLDs by a well-funded 
pirate organization concerns me greatly.  As several have noted, this 
is going to be a support nightmare.  In short, the pirate new.net is 
trying to make money by taking it out of my pocket.

The DNS is much more fragile than we like to admit.  Security is not 
widely deployed.  The most secure versions of BIND are having 
birthing pains.  

To combat this piracy, we need a signed root, and resolvers that won't 
accept the insecure version.

===

Somewhat "off topic", the stated rationale for these new pirate domains 
is that ICANN is moving too slowly.  That's silly.

The few TLDs that have been approved are not yet in operation.  If it 
takes this much time for operational experience, then throwing more 
such domains in the mix isn't any "faster".

As I stated earlier, I have a number of concerns with ICANN.  I really 
believe in open participation, was a leader in the revolt at the IETF 
back in '91-'92, and have won several FOIA cases "pro se".  

I think we took the best step we could in electing a stellar 
representive for North America.  After all, this is N.A. NOG....  

I'm not sure how adding pirate domains improves ICANN sunshine.

===

Another stated rationale is that ICANN UDRP is "flawed".  I'm not sure 
how adding pirate domains improves the UDRP.  The pirate has publically 
stated that it will follow the UDRP.

Several folks suggested examples of "reverse-hijacked" domain 
decisions.  I've taken a bit of time to look at the most frequently 
cited.  Here's two that are exemplar:

- - -

barcelona.com -- a UDRP decision by a WIPO panel.

Seems to have been correctly decided.  They lost on not one, not two, 
but three issues!  

Look at those dates.  A race to the registrar, by mere days, clearly
designed to prevent the city from using the .com domain.

I'd have decided it on the final issue alone: they tried to extort 
money.  Bad faith.  Clear and convincing evidence.

   "... according to Respondent Business Plan, filed in these
   proceedings, it is obvious that the main and only purpose of such    
   plan is to commercially exploit information about the city of 
   Barcelona in Spain and its province, particularly, using the 
   information prepared and provided by Complainant as part of its 
   public service.

   "... Respondent planned to obtain some kind of payment from 
   Complainant -- naturally quite in excess of "out-of-pocket costs"

   "... that Complainant "invest" in Respondentís Business Plan to 
   develop the Domain Name, through acquiring twenty per cent of the 
   stock."

Just the kind of behaviour that the UDRP was designed to fix. 

Barcelona should have gone after them with the US ACPA, to get 
financial penalties and costs.  Pond scum....

- - -

vw.net -- in US Federal Court by US citizens, who lost under the US 
"Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act" (ACPA) of 1999.  Upheld 
on appeal.

It has nothing to do with ICANN, nor the UDRP. 

Mind you, these citizens lost before they even got a hearing: Summary 
Judgment.  Why?  Because VW was able to demonstrate "bad faith" on the 
part of the US citizens.  Clearly, and conclusively.  The idiots took 
vw.net with the expressed purpose of selling it "for a lot of money", 
based on the their OWN testimony!

While I agree that VW is not an internet service provider, and does not 
qualify for .net as a manufacturer of automobiles, the Act gives them 
the disputed name as a PUNISHMENT for cybersquatters.  VW can keep it, 
or throw it away.

And I don't see any reason why VW could not set up a network service, 
much as the Automotive Network Exchange in the US, for the purpose of 
conducting business with their suppliers.  Then, they qualify.

===

In short, there might be some bad UDRP or ACPA decisions out there.  
Arbirtrators and Judges are fallible.

But, based on these "cause celebre", bad cases do not make a good argument for change.

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