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Proposed "Santiago" changes to domain name dispute resolution policy.

October 11, 1999

To: Icann, and all other involved organizations and individuals who will be 
voting on the proposed changes to the domain name dispute resolution policy;

I feel very strongly that any decisions on issues that affect the
domain name system should be definitely postponed until all constituencies, 
including small businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs, like myself, are 
properly represented within ICANN.

It was only by chance that I found out about your proposed changes to the 
dispute policy, and with only 2 days before the opportunity to comment on 
them expires! I am disappointed in your organization for not publicizing 
this important matter. Specifically, every single owner of a domain name 
covered by the proposed changes, should have been notified. Neither I nor my 
company were.

First of all I would like to state that both the current and the proposed 
dispute policies are unconstitutional. You cannot mandate that any citizen 
or legal entity must give up their right to due process of law (i.e. the 
court system). That is simply unconstitutional.

Secondly, I see a number of additional unconstitutional elements in both the 
current and the proposed domain name dispute resolution policy:

A. In the United States of America, and most other countries, anyone has the 
right to sell whatever they have bought - for any price, for any reason. Any 
policy or law that infringes upon this right is unconstitutional. Thus you 
cannot put any restrictions whatsoever on the rights of domain name owners 
to sell their domain names.

B. The lack of money to develop a domain name into an actual web site cannot 
in any way whatsoever infringe upon or put in jeopardy the owners ownership 
of and all right pertaining to ownership of that domain name. A good analogy 
would be a land owner who must wait for a loan or other financial assets to 
be available before building his or her home.

In general, you need to take far more viewpoints into consideration before 
changing any regulations or rules regarding domain names. Specifically:

1. All current domain name holders must be notified of any proposed changes, 
with plenty of time and opportunity to comment on the proposed changes, and 
to take part in the modification of proposed changes.

2. At least 3 months of this comment time and modification time should be 

3. Any changes must not be allowed to be retroactively applied to domain 
names already registered.

4. Common words and phrases must not be allowed to be trademarked. Thus no 
one should be able to steal my domain name LowestPrices.com, and other 
similar "generic" domain names away from me for any reason whatsoever.

5. The rights of all to free speech and freedom of expression must not be 
abused or limited. Thus, speaking hypothetically, the right of a domain name 
owner to keep ownership of the domain name "Coke.com" must not be infringed 
in any manner whatsoever. Regardless of whether this owner is planning or 
serving a web site: pro or anti cocaine, pro or anti Coca Cola, or for any 
purpose whatsoever, the Coca Cola Co. should not be allowed to infringe upon 
this owners rights. Thus, any proposed mandatory arbitration agreement, any 
proposed mandatory dispute resolution fee, etc. cannot be allowed, and 
should be found unconstitutional, as they infringe upon the owners rights. 
Some cannot afford to pay $1000, simply to defend their right of ownership.

In conclusion, your proposed changes to the domain name dispute resolution 
policy are entirely unacceptable, and for the most part unconstitutional and 

As the owner of a number of domain names, only some of which I have been 
able to afford to turn into functioning web sites, I feel that I will be 
greatly harmed by your proposed policies. I have plans for all of the domain 
names I have registered. It is only a temporary lack of capital that keeps 
me from building the ring of related internet companies and web sites that I 
will build.

I hereby register my strongest complaint and entire rejection of the 
proposed policy changes. Please do not proceed with this foolishness. Not 
only should the proposed changes be scrapped, but the existing policy needs 
to be revised to come into accordance with the constitution.


Matt Hooker

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