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[Comment-Ip] Comment on WIPO Final Report - Revised

Further to my earlier email message posted on this website, enclosing a draft of a law review article discussing the WIPO Internet Domain Name Process, please find attached a revised version of the article. 
The paper suggests, in essence, that many of the problems identified and debated in the context of the WIPO process cannot be addressed without revisiting the present structure of the Internet domain name system, which lies at the root of the problems.  Having developed at a time when the Internet had not yet become the global medium that it currently is and when the concept of e-commerce did not yet exist, the system requires a structural overhaul to accommodate the various functions currently taking place on the Internet.  My paper contains certain suggestions on how the enhanced system might look like.
In this connection, it is important to understand that the domain name system effectively serves as the Internet's "constitution," determining, from the user's point of view, the conceptual structure of the Internet, allocating zones for the various activities, and generally structuring the activities taking place thereon.  The importance of a proper domain name structure for the development of the Internet's communicative functions in general and e-commerce in particular, as well as for the accommodation of these two functions, should not be underestimated.  The time seems ripe for the establishment of a more comprehensive, coherent and user-friendly domain name system.
The problems identified and debated in connection with the WIPO process deserve careful consideration.  No hasty decisions that would be prejudge the structure of the domain name system should be taken.
Veijo Heiskanen
Institute of International Economic Law
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
Tel. +358-9-191 24 102
Fax +358-9-191 23 390
Mobile +358-50-301 75 74
Email veijo.heiskanen@helsinki.fi