As the March 23 deadline for comments on the government’s proposals for the management of internet domain names rapidly approaches, comments from more significant players have started to arrive. The Internet Society (ISOC) submitted its contribution on Wednesday, which can be broadly summed up as a proposal to merge the green paper with that of […]
As the March 23 deadline for comments on the government’s proposals for the management of internet domain names rapidly approaches, comments from more significant players have started to arrive. The Internet Society (ISOC) submitted its contribution on Wednesday, which can be broadly summed up as a proposal to merge the green paper with that of the Council of Registrars (CORE). This grew out of work done by something called the International Ad-Hoc Committee, which was in turn started by ISOC back in 1996. ISOC is also the umbrella organization for such bodies as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). ISOC agrees with the need for a central non-profit authority. It believes registries should be non-profit; registrars the opposite, and that the IAHC/CORE dispute resolution mechanism should be adopted. It says that in terms of representing users of the internet, it is in the best position to fulfill that role. However, ISOC believes that on issues such as the number of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to be added to the internet; the number of gTLDs per registry (CORE wants one registry for all gTLDs, the green paper calls for one registry per gTLD) and whether registries should be for- or not-for-profit should be left to the bottom-up consensus building process that has prevailed in the internet so far. And in saying so, it believes it is merely reflecting that consensus, having worked at its proposals for more than a year-and-a-half. ISOC executive director Martin Burack emphasized that the organization is not religious about CORE, it’s just that it hasn’t seen any other proposal that is in any way complete. Perhaps that is a symptom of bottom-up consensus building? However, Burack did note the efforts of the Open Root Server Consortium (ORSC), which is attracting supports from some significant individuals in the internet community, and said if a better proposal came along, it would back it. Meanwhile, the 120 year-old International Trademark Association (INTA) has also submitted a reply, noting that in its opinion, the green paper lacks concrete minimum standards for obtaining and maintaining a domain name; a reasonable and uniform dispute resolution policy which renders administrative – not legal – decisions; and adequate representation for trademark owners and businesses on the governing body of the proposed corporation. The INTA has served on the IAHC and its successor the Policy Oversight Committee (POC), and would support the dispute resolution policy adopted by POC and CORE. ISOC’s claim that its proposals are based on industry efforts that have led to a consensus usually gets the backs up of many in the community who, while recognizing that ISOC is comprised of many knowledgeable people who have made, and will continue to make valuable contributions to the internet’s development, they do not speak for everybody. Which is perfectly logical when the ISOC itself says decisions are best left to consensus and not decided by one body.