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The Internet

NSI and ICANN Bicker 41

BlackICE writes "NSI and ICANN are fighting, still. NSI is questioning what authority ICANN really has over them. The agreement with the Commerce Department gives ICANN power over registrars, however 'Amendment 11 is not entirely clear, and that NSI could have jockeyed for language that would put it in a different category from new registrars.' Now it might end up in a long legal battle. "
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NSI and ICANN Bicker

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  • providing service for a given domain name need not incur any expense beyond a miniscule fraction of the annual operating costs of the registry and the root servers
    Couldn't agree more. And in particular, the cost of maintaining a static entry in the database and root nameservers is essentially zero. I propose that a non-profit registrar should only charge for additions and changes to the information, with no per-year fee.

    For those of you that aren't familiar with the details of DNS, this would not require you to pay a fee every time you add or rearrange hosts in your domain. It would only occur when you add or change name servers. In other words, only for the stuff that currently requires you to submit a template to NSI.

    Of course, this won't work as long as the NSI owns the database and charges a per-zone annual fee to other registrars.

    I think it is a crock that the NSI has been allowed to usurp ownership of the database. It should be owned by ICANN.

    Note: I'm not necessarily a big fan of ICANN, but I think they're much less evil than NSI.

  • I don't understand what people don't like about ICANN. People opposed either seem to 1) make unsubstantiated name-calling slurs, 2) have strong monetary reasons they don't like ICANN, or 3) want the United States to rule the Internet.


    Several points to consider:

    1. ICANN is a non-profit corporation [icann.org] with a strong policy against conflicts of interest [icann.org]. They're not in anyone's pocket.
    2. Membership policy [icann.org] hasn't been finalized yet, but you will be able to participate. In fact, you're encouraged to now [icann.org].
    3. This is basically what Jon Postel [iana.org] proposed [doc.gov] .


    So what's people's problem?


    --

  • Yes, DO read about the initial board of directors [icann.org]. Looks like pretty competent people to me, and a good international mix of people from industry and academia.


    And read this [icann.org] while you're at it.


    Do you have any specific objections, or are you mainly into unsubstantiated slurs?


    --

  • by mattdm ( 1931 )
    This is completely doable under the current ICANN rules. Get together some people and find some funding, and make such a thing. I'll support it.

    --

  • Under the current ICANN guidelines, there is nothing that requires accredited registrars to be commercial entities. It seems to me that a great many of the current problems would be solved by setting up a not-for-profit, cooperative registrar operated for the public benefit.

    The actions of the Commerce Department and ICANN have all been predicated on the assumption that the area of domain name registration services was necessarily a commercial arena. This has clearly not been the case for the majority of the lifetime of the DNS system, and is only a peculiar aberration of the past four years. The namespace is a virtually unlimited resource, and providing service for a given domain name need not incur any expense beyond a miniscule fraction of the annual operating costs of the registry and the root servers. So why not form an organization that operates with that understanding, charging name owners only the actual costs of maintaining the infrastructure for the period of registration? With tens of millions of names registered, you're a fool if you think US$70 each is equitable.

    If I live by a vast, crystal clear mountain lake, why should the authorities force me to only drink water sold in small pricey bottles by a number of "accredited competitive water service providers"?

    The current system will benefit no one except the commercial competitors in a completely artificial and unnecessary marketplace. Time to knock them out of the way and do something that benefits everyone.
  • 1) You can't contact them via e-mail
    2) You can't contact them via phone
    3) Why in this day do you have to use their template e-mail form? I should be able to make domain changes instantly via the web.

    And they are scared cause they know if there is competition they are in deep crap. All the competition has to do is answer a telephone and they are already better off than NSI. I'd rather pay more money to a company that seemed to care than less money to NSI to register a domain.

    Also, if everything is so automated via their crappy templates, what does my $35 a year go to pay for? Yes, they need machines to run things, but I figure with the money they save on support personell, they should have plenty.
  • by joq ( 63625 )
    I couldn't have worded that better if I tried.

  • What gave ICANN the right to steal NSI's Domain name? They are Nazi's... I sent them 2 emails today saying so, and they both bounced!

    In my opinion, this is a hook to help government :

    • spy on us
    • tax the internet

    Agreed, NSI's system of FORM-EMAIL-RESPONSE was goofy, but what did they do to deserve having their domain stolen? It's like BEOS going to congress and having them redirect www.microsoft.com [be.com].

  • Please, no more of your juvenile flaming..

    can you respond to the points he brought up? What _is_ the story with tits.com? Was someone testing? Can you provide assurance of that? Your conjecture is useless... it doesn't matter what /could/ have happened.

    200 mb of logs a day isn't that much.. if you weren't keeping logs of who did whois lookups, then obviously you couldn't sell that information. Do you do any kind of logging? Is there any information of value that register.com could be selling?

    less misdirection (you check your sources), more answers... if you're a company representative, you're a lousy one.

  • First of all, lets clear this tits.com situation:

    http://www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/wh ois/?STRING=tits.com

    For one.

    2:I speak as an employee at a kick ass company. One which I know from working there that takes pride in what we do. Company spokesperson? No... Just an employee.

    Logging? Of connections to the system as any... ANY system administrators would do. Logging of who searches what name? A waste of time. Ourselves (the employess) Probably use it more then anyone else when we get e-mail on people with problems.

    customer: I registered www.whatever.com and I need to change the DNS info

    employees whois www.whatever.com

    Which would mean that if we did keep track of what was searched 75% would probably be duplicate registered domains. It would be ludicrous to log that information. But I see the perspective people are trying to get at. Bottom line: WE DO NOT KEEP LOGS OF THE WHOIS SEARCHES!

    But since your going to come back with some super spiffy *golly geez he's bullsh!tting response* I auto echo >> /dev/null



  • NSI: Uh oh, it looks like the government isn't too happy with our monopoly.

    ICANN: The government has appointed us to manage names and numbers. Give us control of the root servers.

    NSI: But... aren't you going to open up domain name registration to competition?

    ICANN: That's right. We're going to break up your monopoly.

    NSI: But then other companies would offer better service for lower prices. How can we survive?

    ICANN: Just improve your services as well.

    NSI: We don't know how to do that. Don't you dare take control of the Internet from us.

    ICANN: That's exactly what we're going to do.

    NSI: No! We won't give is back! It's mine! Mine mine mine!
  • >We need a neutral organization that honors the >'first come, first served' principle when it >comes to trademark disputes (as we all know > that a domain name != trademark).

    On the contrary:
    domain name = trademark when it comes to .coms and it always should be. Otherwise you'll get a bunch of ripoffs that use big names to provide you with porn ads.

    >We need cheaper domain registation fees.
    agreed.

    >We need the main database to be behind a >highly secure and highly private wall so that
    >info cannot be accessed or sold.
    If you want an "open source" solution to this, I dont think this model will work. The only viable model is something similar to Usenet:
    Every isp has it's own dns server. There's a network of trusts in which a dns server can submit a new dns like newsposts are done now.

    Centralized models imply big corporate backers with the money to hold up the system, which usually means that it's not open source or free.
  • Seriously, we need a global peer to peer network already.
  • Neither NSI nor ICANN care about net user interests. It's a fight for money and nothing else. Admittedly, there is more chance for competition under ICANN administration, but right now I don't care.

    All I want to see is my new shinny .web domain. How long more should we wait?
  • It's apparent that any solution that puts the
    core of DNS into the hands of for-profit
    companies is going to fail. Furthermore,
    situations where DNS naming gets in the way of
    corporate goals (see 'aolsearch.com') is
    going to be screwed up by any for-profit company,
    because they can be bought out.


    We need more than .com and .net.


    We need a neutral organization that honors the
    'first come, first served' principle when it
    comes to trademark disputes (as we all know
    that a domain name != trademark).


    We need cheaper domain registation fees.


    We need the main database to be behind a
    highly secure and highly private wall so that
    info cannot be accessed or sold.


    None of these are going to happen with NSI or
    ICANN aboard, but there's no way to break
    that system up unless an open source or
    open community solution was found.
    Unfortunately, as the net becomes more and
    more commercialized, the ability of such a
    solution to be viable drops less and less.

  • I speak out of dealing with NSI on a daily basis.

    Right now I work for register.com one of the "other" registrars, and what it boils down to is NSI being a bunch of jealous monopolizers. For one their service is lousy: Have you ever tried to change your contact info? DNS info? You would know. I'm glad ICANN broke up their monopolization of the registration game not only because I work for a registrar but because it's a sign of the times that things are going forward.

    Why should you care?
    Simple if you ever go to register a domain, wouldnt you want to have the option of choosing who'd you like to service you? Or... If you needed surgery, why would you HAVE to go to one doctor that someone else says you have to go to? Why couldn't you have the option of going elsewhere? Service is as service does and NSI's sevrice just doesn't cut it.

    5 reasons why we're better?

    1: We answer the damn phones and provide people with real time service not some second hand " fill-out-the-template-we'll-get-back-to-you-later" template.

    2: We allow users who register with us to modify their DNS, Contact info, etc, on the fly, without having to wait for three week confirmations on a template you have to fill out.

    3: Customer servive!^#@ We actually are there 7 days a week and pick up the phone and answer e-mails the minute they come in. NSI: don't know I sent an e-mail 2 weeks ago... waiting for a response.

    4: There's no harsh feelings towards other registrars. We try to accomodate and help the other registrars with their problems instead of sending them in a loopback. NSI: Gives us the runaround. (don't work with em go against them mentality)

    5: (personal reason) We have a cooler name^%$!@#^%$

    Anyways... This reverts to the Microsoft trial of
    David & Goliath...

    Down with the evil empire

    My two cents.

    Yours truly
    J. Oquendo Register.com employee

    joquendo@register.com http://www.register.com
    sil@antioffline.com http://www.antioffline.com
    sil@macroshaft.org http://www.macroshaft.org
    root@regret.org http://www.regret.org
    xp0rnstar@xt0rshun.org http://www.xt0rshun.org
    root@genexsys.org http://www.genexsys.org
  • Legislated, corrupted, hamstrung relic.

    Don't let it come to this!
  • Why is it that governmental and quasi-governmental
    organisations, when in conflict about serious
    issues, are described as "bickering", or
    "squabbling", etc, even when it may be a serious
    dispute over an important matter of principle
    (I'm not saying this current issue is, but it's
    a worrying trend I notice)
  • by strlen ( 117515 )
    I hope with new legal battles regarding NSI, NSI
    will make some changes for the better, especially
    regarding the way they treat customers. From my
    experiences, they are not nice to their customers.
    They have the impression "customers need a domain,
    we're the only one who give them a domain, hence
    they have no choice".
  • It's apparent that any solution that puts the
    core of DNS into the hands of for-profit
    companies is going to fail. Furthermore,
    situations where DNS naming gets in the way of
    corporate goals (see 'aolsearch.com') is
    going to be screwed up by any for-profit company,
    because they can be bought out.

    We leave DNS in the hands of the domain owners:
    http://mydomain.register.com


    We need more than .com and .net.

    Currently they are working on the .web .art and etc domains... sit tight


    We need a neutral organization that honors the
    'first come, first served' principle when it
    comes to trademark disputes (as we all know
    that a domain name != trademark).

    Where have you been? It's always been a first come first served basis. Trademark disputes go through court we don't ban anyone from registering www.whatever-they-want.com

    We need cheaper domain registation fees.

    I couldn't agree more. Unfortunately this has been addressed and is being looked into

    We need the main database to be behind a
    highly secure and highly private wall so that
    info cannot be accessed or sold.

    Going through our company you can actually change your info to show absolute minimal info.

    None of these are going to happen with NSI or
    ICANN aboard, but there's no way to break
    that system up unless an open source or
    open community solution was found.
    Unfortunately, as the net becomes more and
    more commercialized, the ability of such a
    solution to be viable drops less and less.

    You've failed to see the light over the ocean my friend. NSI isn't the only registrar anymore. Now you have choices.
  • I think it can be resolved fairly quickly, if the Commerce departement (who got NSI to where it is now) were to simply yank the carpet from underneath them. As long as NSI sits on its proverbial high horse, they will fight ICANN to their last breath. Every day that NSI stalls the process, they put more and more money into their coffers.

    If the Commerce Departement were to give NSI an ultimatum to come to an agreement with ICANN, this bickering would stop and the process could continue. I think NSI would be motivated to come to an agreement if they were fined X amount of dollars for every day they stall the process.

    If I sound like I don't have any compassion for NSI or the Commerce Department, I don't. Their past decisions have created this mess.
  • ICANN = the good guys? I hope so. But the initial signs are much less encouraging than I would have expected given the stellar composition of the Board. ICANN has chosen to meet behind closed doors. The Board, with the sterling exception of the Chair, appears to take no part in the relevant mailing lists, and generally shows no sign of being aware of the very great concerns some of their actions are causing.

    The main task of the "interim" Board was supposed to be to set up a fair means of choosing successors. This is going very slowly. Meanwhile two sorts of nearly irrevocable decisions are being made:

    1. A structure for election of the Names Council is being created that gives disproportionate weight to trademark and copyright interests. To date, the only method for individuals to have a voice is awaiting to be born (meanwhile the rump Names council sets working groups in motion to make policy recommendations on proposals which favor TM interests and disfavor indiviudals). And, oh yes, the acadmic users of the Internet -- the pioneers -- have no place at all in this structure
    2. The Interim Board is rushing ahead on policy issues, including the WIPO report. While the Board's approach to WIPO so far fails to disprove the hypothesis that they will reject the worst parts, procedurally there's something worrying and unsavory about having a group selected by a mysterious and as-yet-unexplained means, whose task it was to find a fair means to pick succcessors and get out of the way, making critical policy decisions that will be almost impossible to reverse. [On why the WIPO report is an issue, see my WIPO page [miami.edu].]
    Don't get me wrong: NSI is an evil monopolist. And it's possible ICANN will come out all right in the end. But so far it is secretive, insufficiently representative, over-solicitous of corpoarate interests, and .... utterly immune to any sort of check or balance. It is immune from market discipline, cannot be sued for breaking its own rules or for bad decisions (I'm told California nonprofits can be sued only by their members and ICANN has none at present), and being "private" it is not subject to Due Process.

    In short, if it does turn out badly, and it could, it will be too late to do much about it. Other than route around it of course. But that will be hard, at least in the short run, unless the tools are built and deployed before one knows if they are needed.


    A. Michael Froomkin [mailto]
    U. Miami School of Law,POB 248087
    Coral Gables, FL 33124,USA
  • Register.com has been conducting unethical activity for quite some time as well as cheating.

    1. Register.com has blacklisting some people who register domains through them, but don't buy their extra services - I'm among one of these people blacklisted so this is certainly real.

    2. Register.com sold whois lookup logs to domain speculators according to some sources. So people who did whois lookups through Register.com's interface may've had their queries logged and sold to others - this is unethical at best and possibly illegal.

    3. Register.com gave some registrants (possibly themselves) preference over the public in registering domain names such as TITS.COM - deleted by NSI after my complaints.

    Bottom line is where is ICANN in all of this and while many here don't care for NSI, it could be much worse as I illustrate with Register.com.

    Backgrounder regarding Register.com cheating with TITS.COM:

    On or about Jun-8-1999 TITS.COM shows up in the root servers and is shown registered to someone at Register.com. While registrars may have different rules in regards to domain names they accept, this is NOT the issue in this case.

    The issue was how could someone register TITS.COM through Register.com when the average person can't. Try to register TITS.anything at Register.com and your *request* is *immediately* rejected. So if the average person can't even get beyond the opening screen at Register.com, then how could TITS.COM been registered there??

    It turns out that Register.com was cheating and giving some registrants (possibly themselves) preference in registering domain names that the average person couldn't through their system. Their cheating is well documented. TITS.COM was removed from the root servers a few days after my complaints to NSI and is now officially removed from the domain name system.
  • Execute NSI. Execute anyone working for them. Everyone else should fall in line after that.

    You know, I really think there should be a better way. We need a complete redesign of the naming system that would render it completely decentralized and impossible to make money from. Seems like the only way everyone will play nice.
  • Well, I just did a whois (through rs.internic.net) it told me it was registered to "Chelsea Bayou Traders" in Sweden, and that the record was last updated 26-Feb-1999 (the creation date is not listed for some reason). Doing a whois through whois.register.com says it was registered by "Real Assets Limited" on Jun 08, 1999.

    So if it was registered in February through InterNIC, how did somebody register it in June through register.com?

    Also, why is everybody saying it's not registered according to InterNIC's whois? It appears to be registered to the Swedish people, as far as I can tell.
  • Anything but NSI.

    Can't think of anything worse.

  • Register.com has been conducting unethical activity for quite some time as well as
    cheating.

    Hopefully you're not getting your news from moronic sites like AntiOnline, where clubies right downright garbage

    1. Register.com has blacklisting some people who register domains through them, but don't buy their extra services - I'm among one of these people blacklisted so this is certainly real.

    Buy our services? We register names. Looking to buy a name... then register it. What blacklisting are you speaking of? Paying for the domain? sorry tough guy there's a fee for it. So what "service* are you speaking of?

    2. Register.com sold whois lookup logs to domain speculators according to some sources. So people who did whois lookups through Register.com's interface may've had their queries logged and sold to others - this is unethical at best and possibly illegal.

    Again where did you get this information from? We don't keep logs of what people "look up" that'd probably be a good 200mb file on a daily basis. Get your information correct or at least halfway so.

    3. Register.com gave some registrants (possibly themselves) preference over the public in
    registering domain names such as TITS.COM - deleted by NSI after my complaints.

    Again check your sources. We ban all those registrations. During the first few days of the registration process 1000's of people tried to pull registering fuck.com etc names. This was probably one instance of the matter. Giving ourselves preference? So you must think we get free registration? I wish... you really should check your sources Everything is being monitored by who other than ... ICANN themselves

    Bottom line is where is ICANN in all of this and while many here don't care for NSI, it could be much worse as I illustrate with Register.com.

    Bottom line is there should not be "ONE" source to register domain names under any circumstance. Can you say "MONOPOLY"?

    Backgrounder regarding Register.com cheating with TITS.COM:

    On or about Jun-8-1999 TITS.COM shows up in the root servers and is shown registered to someone at Register.com. While registrars may have different rules in regards to domain names they accept, this is NOT the issue in this case.

    The issue was how could someone register TITS.COM through Register.com when the average person can't. Try to register TITS.anything at Register.com and your *request* is *immediately* rejected. So if the average person can't even get beyond the opening screen at Register.com, then how could TITS.COM been registered there??

    It turns out that Register.com was cheating and giving some registrants (possibly themselves) preference in registering domain names that the average person couldn't through their system. Their cheating is well documented. TITS.COM was removed from the root servers a few days after my complaints to NSI and is now officially removed from the domain name system.

    As for the rest of your message I echo >> /dev/null you're replies are based on? Do some research and possibly get info from the source off hand, not some second hand 0-day news source. Remember there's always... wait let me re-phrase: ALWAYS, two sides to the story. Maybe someone in our comapany was testing cgi scripts to ban those names and you caught it at that point in time. Ever think of that?

  • We need a neutral organization that honors the
    'first come, first served' principle when it
    comes to trademark disputes (as we all know
    that a domain name != trademark).



    Where have you been? It's always been a first come first served basis. Trademark disputes go through court we don't ban anyone from registering www.whatever-they-want.com


    Then why did that person lose aolsearch.com
    to AOL, with *no* court action and no
    volentary arrangements? (Yes, there's
    more to it than just this, but...). NSI
    effectively broke first-come, first-served.


    And just because everyone else in ICANN is
    not NSI, this doesn't mean it can't happen
    again as long as the company is for-profit.
    Or, least, as long as we are limited to
    .com and .net names as well.


    (And am I mistaken that 'way back when',
    domain names were supposed to be ubiquious
    when the HTML/WWW basics were founded, such
    that the average Joe would not need to know
    site addresses or such, just go through bookmarks
    and links? Or is my memory failing here?)

  • Then why did that person lose aolsearch.com
    to AOL, with *no* court action and no
    volentary arrangements? (Yes, there's
    more to it than just this, but...). NSI
    effectively broke first-come, first-served.


    No one would be able to answer that except the people at NSI.

    It could've been lawyers scaring the sh!#@ out of the registrant for all anyone knows. It could've been a buy-out issue where he was given money for it. Who knows... contact NSI for that.

    heh hope they pick up the phone or answer their e-mail
  • The ICANN [icann.org] is on probation. So long as they seem to be making progress towards breaking the NSI monopoly, they will be tolerated by the IETF [ietf.org], however if the ICANN goes rogue, there are still technical mechanisms available to reign both them and NSI in again.

    The major problem is that Jon Postel died at the worst possible moment, when his vigilance was/is most required.

    NSI is fighting for its life, and its officers know that. Their "service" has been so poor over the term that they've had the InterNIC contract that the minute there is viable competition, it is likely that most registrants will switch providers, and NSI will dry up and blow away (but not before the Securities & Exchange Commission [sec.gov] gets ahold of them and prosecutes the corporate officers for fraud; they claimed that they owned ".com" in their prospectus. They do not).

    We live in interesting times.

  • >On the contrary: domain name = trademark when it >comes to .coms and it always should be. Otherwise >you'll get a bunch of ripoffs that use big names >to provide you with porn ads.

    Not true. Trademark law has never been directly applicable to domain names, and unless the laws worldwide are drastically rewritten in utterly preposterous ways, it never really can be.

    The reasons are many.

    1) Trademarks are always limited to a specific geographic region, whereas domain names are inherently global in scope. I may have all rights to FooBar Inc. in California, but there are no legal restrictions on the use of the same name in Massachusetts (or, for that matter, China).

    2) With very few exceptions, trademarks are only enforceable within a limited type of industry. If my FooBar, Inc. makes bicycles, there can be another FooBar, Inc. in the same town that sells groceries, and no trademark infringement can be said to have occurred. We can, in fact, both have a registered trademark for the same name. Check out http://www.naming.com/icclasses.html for a listing of trademark classes by industry. Domain names, of course, have no such specificity, especially in the extremely generic .com TLD.

    3) Trademarks are adjectives, which are used in a specific context, not generic words floating about in a vacuum. I cannot trademark the term "FooBar" and claim trademark infringement every time someone utters those sylables or prints them on a web page. Phrases like "FooBar bicycles" or "FooBar cycling products" are needed to establish context. Domain names exist outside of any context.

    4) In order for trademark infringement to be established, most jurisdictions require the plaintif to demonstrate that an average individual could reasonably be confused by the use of the mark. This is clearly not the case if, as you suggest, ibm.com was being used to distribute porn, nor was it the case when Prema Toys tried to steal pokey.org from a 12-year-old kid. Again, a domain name in and of itself has no context from which to establish trademark infringement.

    No, trademark law as it stands is not sufficient to determine ownership of domain names. Real infringements can and will occur, but the courts are more than capable of sorting those out. The tried and true "first come, first served" principle is the only fair way for the registrars and registries to handle this matter.

"If you can, help others. If you can't, at least don't hurt others." -- the Dalai Lama

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