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Comment on the top-level-domains, "unique name", "well known mark",and and trademark issues.
I just read your "final report". I understand that the
comment period has expired, but wanted to send you my two-cents worth as a U.S.
I've no 'special' expertise in the internet nor am I a
lawyer. The whole issue of trademarks, 'well known marks', etc. relative
to the internet seems to me to be one which you shouldn't be involved with
except that perhaps your organization has been subverted by the commercial and
While I can understand that Ford Motor Company might desire
that they have exclusive use of the word 'Ford', that should be their
problem, not the internet community's problem. The idea that the general
public will not know that ford.com is different from and may be a different
entity than ford.firm or ford.nom or ford.whatever is
insulting. Obviously we are very used to the idea that similar
names are not the same entity. I would not address mail
to Jerry.Ford when I wanted to reach George.Ford. If I sent
mail to Gerry.Ford instead of Jerry.Ford, that would be my problem and I think I
am smart enough to quickly realize upon reaching the wrong person or
company that I misunderstood the spelling. If I couldn't recognize that
Ford.com is different from Ford.sex, then I would be not just ignorant but
stupid and either way deserve no special consideration.
The whole problem seems to me to be a remnant of the decision
(most likely a good technical decision at the time) to restrict the number of
top-level-domains. I have a hard time believing anyone who says this is a
technical problem now. In fact, my technical intuition tells me that
having a larger number of top-level-domains would be relatively easier to manage
using today's technology than having everybody stuffed into the .com
domain. If you simply opened up the number of tld's it's obvious
that the problem would go away, since it would not take long for most everyone
to realize that they need to consider the whole name significant, not just
assume that everything ends in .com.
As far as the "squatters" issue. So what. Once
people realized that the whole name is significant, their potential economic
gains would be greatly reduced. If they recognized that
starwars.whatever was valuable before the producers of the Star Wars movies then
more power to them.
In summary, it's obvious that this whole thing has been
co-opted by special interests that wish to restrict the rights of the rest of
us. My wish is that you open up the number of top-level-domains
completely, establish a policy to issue names on a first-come-first-serve basis,
and stay out of the trademark/copyright issues.
Also, quit spending my money on catering to the special
interest groups (probably a hopeless dream). I realize you are an
international organization, but you're still spending some of my
By the way, a long time ago I found that the domains
"harkness.com" and "harkness.org" and "harkness.net" were already
occupied. I realized that those people were more foresighted than I.
My problem, not yours.