Some in the internet community are getting the feeling that people are becoming bogged down in process issues regarding the forthcoming non-profit entity charged with running the domain name system (DNS); and not paying enough attention to other issues, such as the addition of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) or the problem of trademarks conflicting […]
Some in the internet community are getting the feeling that people are becoming bogged down in process issues regarding the forthcoming non-profit entity charged with running the domain name system (DNS); and not paying enough attention to other issues, such as the addition of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) or the problem of trademarks conflicting with domain names. But, this being the internet, there is another group of people that feel that this concentration on the construction and responsibilities of the new entity are important if this effort, unlike all the previous ones over the past few years, is going to succeed. The main reason for this current obsession is the recent International Forum on the White Paper (IFWP) meeting in Reston, Virginia that concentrated on laying the ground work for the new entity and much of the discussion in the community has picked up from where that left off – which was the exact intention of the IFWP’s organizers. As Network Solutions Inc senior VP Don Telage put it at the Reston meeting: No process? No progress. Admittedly one of the parties expressing worry about the focus on the process, PGMedia does have a vested interest in the addition of new gTLDs. It is currently in the middle of a lawsuit with Network Solutions Inc and the National Science Foundation over the addition of new gTLDs. PGMedia is one of NSI’s many resellers of names in the .com, .net and .org top-level domains and its president, Paul Garrin reckons some people in the community are being seduced by the process. Ken Stubbs chair of the executive committee of the Council of Registrars (CORE) – the group of 80 or so domain name registrars who are waiting for new gTLDs to be added to the root so they can register second-level names with those extensions – is of the opinion that the two main areas of contentions will be trademarks and the question of whether or not registries will be for- or not-for-profit. However, the president of another domain name registry, Antony Van Couvering of NetNames Inc believes that the focus on process is absolutely necessary, citing the experience of the gTLD-MoU process, which attempted to add seven new names to the root, but has thus far not succeeded, the eDNS alternative registry, the Open Root server Coalition and others that have not really addressed the problem of having a single entity overseeing the whole lot, performing the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), whose contract with the US government is up on September 30. However, we guess some of those at the Reston meeting the ultimate vested interest: the chance, maybe to serve on the board of the entity and have a real say in how the DNS is run.