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[ICANN-EU] Re: questions for candidates

On Mon, 14 Aug 2000, Marc Lehmann wrote:

[Topic: determining and measuring whether a domain is actually used]
> On Mon, Aug 14, 2000 at 08:32:34AM +0200, Marc Schneiders <marc@venster.nl> wrote:
> > "relatively few centralised machines". Unless you are talking about
> > checking whether the nameservers for a domain do actually work (as they
> > should!).
> No. As a starter, just counting the number of requests for a specific
> domain on the root nameservers (i.e. every server that serves
> icann-controlled domains). I guess one could come up with a nice analysis
> of domain usage <=> dns request count/pattern, and maybe this would allow
> enough of an error margin to be useful. Just as FCFS is a useful strategy,
> *often*.

I am not sure all owners who run a root server (more than we know!) will
want to cooperate.

> > why not persue this matter a little further? Can you explain how you would
> > do this "accounting"?
> I'd love to ;-> Ok, let's try:
> What I am after is to augment the FCFS strategy in a similar way many
> existing registries do it (current systems in use are: has to have working
> nameservers or a working mx, has to have a working a* record etc..
> non-usage leads to cancelation of the domain). The decision would be
> binary: "domain in use / not in use".
> The first problem is finding a measure for domain usage: traffic would be an
> obvious measure. web hits would be another (obviously a very bad one ;). If
> you can think of others, please tell me!
> Now, as you said, measuring traffic is out of the question (at least for
> the near future, and most probably forever), so how could one approximate
> traffic? The obvious one is counting the number of requests for a domain
> at the nameservers.
> I am not aware of any statistics about this, but I think it would be
> useful to do some research into that matter. Chances are good that our
> notion of "domain is used" and actual request numbers compare well. (It
> might be different).
> Important however is, that the above model is *not* something I would
> advocate to do. 

Well, then comment is rather needless, isn't it? :-) It would involve
changes to nameserver configurations, to say the least. I doubt there is a
simple way to let named/bind do this counting. This would all be a lot of
hassle, and the use of it would be minimal. For what would it proove when
a domain did have a website as well as the capability to receive mail.
Only nobody looked at the webpages or sent mail to it? Not in use? Not in
demand maybe, but in use. So taking such a domain from the owner would be
wrong. Free speech does not mean anyone has to listen to what you say. But
if nobody does, it does not mean you can be shut up...

> I mentioned it *just* because I am after alternatives
> to the FCFS strategy which is so bad, and the current UDRP which is
> also obviously "unfair" in many cases. So what I want is to think about
> alternatives. And yes, the current way of resolving conflicts is highly
> sub-optimal, and I don't expect too many people to think otherwise ;)

Great! We are on the same line. I would not mind enforcing the nameserver
etc. rule, even though it is no great help. 

> Another way to get around conflicts would be domain sharing. Now, this is
> obviously quite fair, but protocol-dependent. http for example is quite
> easily "shareable", smtp less so and ftp about not at all (there is also
> the qesution of additional workload). Pure DNS as we know it, of course,
> will not help, however, enhancing DNS should also be thought about,
> as the problem of domains will IMHO become much worse and (political
> statement:) I don't think additional TLD's (which *are* to come) will
> solve it in any way.

Sure, the new TLDs will solve nothing. I've said enough about that
elsewhere. There is enough space though, if we use domains a bit
smarter. There are third-level domains and they can be used
profitably. And I mean this literally. Think: shoes.cheap.com,
cars.cheap.com etc.
In theory there are so many domains possible: a-z, 0-9, plus -, is 39
characters. There can be 63 characters in a com/net/org name (some country
level domains have 256 max.). There is much more possible with this, even
on the level of pronouncable domain names, than with numbers which are
limited to 10 characters. No numbers, please, please, please.
> > So, in short, I am in favour of assessing the situation and trying to
> THINK BIG about problems in the future, since the current (technical)
> model is not very useful in a trademarked world.

It is OK to think big. But it is not necessary at all. The number of names
about which a potential TM conflict might arise is limited, if the rules
are applied correctly. Trademark law does not allow you to claim the
absolute right over a common word, or a name for that matter. You have to
limit yourself to a class of goods or services. The claim made by some
website that has Easy in its name against other sites with Easy in their
name is really ridiculous. Get rid of this type of nonsense. Reform the
UDRP rules a little, and make sure that they are applied as they are
written and intended and not stretched to mean anyting to please the IP
and TM people. 
As for the shortage of names this has not very much
bearing here. Names about which conflicts arise are so very few. But
don't let companies get a right in common words where domains are
concerned. Let me keep my domain woord.net ("woord" is Dutch for "word").
(Not that anybody wants it, AFAIK.) Let people be free to register the
Swahili equivalent of windows, a common word, or (e-)toys.

Marc Schneiders ------- Venster - http://www.venster.nl 
 marc@venster.nl - marc@bijt.net - marc@schneiders.org