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Fifth Publication of the UN ICT Task Force Series

The following is the introductory excerpt from the United Nations ICT Task Force's recently published "Internet Governance: A Grand Collaboration". This publication offers a collection of works from the March 2004 meeting. more

Internet Governance Has Become a Non-Issue

It's funny, but I recall the battle cry that the WWW was "free" back in its early days. When contributing game concept to the early and great gaming pioneers like Infocom, there was such a great esprit-du-corps amongst our team regarding the fun as well as utility that the WWW offerred. In retrospect, we were so naive. I recall the days when guys like Bill Gates prided themselves on being such a great "hackers" - it was a noble term back then.  more

MARID is Dead

As long suspected by some, the IETF is going to be closing up the Mail Transfer Agent Authentication in DNS (MARID) Working Group according to today's post by Ted Hardie, co-AD for Applications. Larry Seltzer of eWeek was right on target about this: "The rest of the SID standards process will now be a waste of time thanks to Microsoft, and the other participants will afterwards pick up the pieces and get the job done with another spec." more

An Analysis of Microsoft's MARID Patent Applications

The IETF MARID working group has been slogging away all summer trying to produce a draft standard about e-mail sender verification. They started with Meng Wong's SPF and Microsoft's Caller ID for E-mail, which got stirred together into a hybrid called Sender ID. One of the issues hanging over the MARID process has been Microsoft's Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in Caller ID and Sender ID. The IETF has a process described in RFC 3668 that requires contributors to disclose IPR claims related to their contributions. more

Can TCP/IP Survive?

The following article is an excerpt from the recently released Internet Analysis Report 2004 - Protocols and Governance. Full details of the argument for protocol reform can be found at 'Internet Mark 2 Project' website, where a copy of the Executive Summary can be downloaded free of charge. ..."In releasing this section for comment, I would like to point out that the report's conclusions are based on a cumulative examination of various protocols and systems. We are at a point of time where other protocols and systems are equally problematic -- the report points to some significant problems with DNS structure and scalability, and also points out that, to all intents and purposes, the basic email protocol, SMTP, is broken and needs immediate replacement." more

NCUC Group Releases Nominations

The Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC) is the constituency group representing civil society organizations in the formation of domain name policy. In August 2004 it initiated a process to nominate people to serve on the UN Secretary-General's Working Group on Internet Governance, as representatives of civil society. Our purpose was to assist the Secretary-General to identify qualified and widely-supported individuals capable of serving on the WGIG on behalf of civil society. more

Your Trademark Sucks.com

Recent attention to the Eighth Circuit decision in Coca-Cola v. Purdy brings to mind the class of sometimes difficult cases involving the use of another's trademark as a domain name for criticism. An ICANN UDRP decision, Full Sail Inc. v. Ryan Spevack, Case No. D2003-0502 (WIPO October 3, 2003), by Mark VB Partridge, presiding panelist, with Frederick M. Abbott and G. Gervaise Davis III, included a review and analysis of the "your trademark sucks.com" cases that remains a useful reference worthy (I hope) of the lengthy quote below. more

As WGIG forms, Ideas about Defining its Scope Circulate

The Internet Governance Project (IGP) issued a set of reports analyzing the current "state of play" in Internet governance. The reports were commissioned by the United Nations ICT Task Force as an input into the deliberations of the UN Secretary-General's Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG). The report identifies the international organizations and agreements affecting the Internet, and points out where there are conflicts and gaps. more

The Rumors of Sender ID's Demise Are Exaggerated

While several news stories are reporting that Sender-ID has been killed, that is not entirely true. While Sender-ID in its current form is dead because of Purported Responsible Address (PRA), the compromise version with MAILFROM and PRA scopes is not. Also, the co-chairs want to stay away from any other alternative algorithms that do RFC2822 checking because of possible Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) claims by Microsoft on that as well. Andrew Newton, one of two co-chairs of the working group, wrote in an email today to the group's discussion forum... more

.EU: Lucy's Football?

Those of you familiar with the American comic series "Peanuts" by the late Charles Schultz may be familiar with the recurring theme of Lucy's football. Lucy holds a football on her toe for Charlie Brown to practice a field goal kick. Charlie Brown realizes that the last 25 times Lucy has held the ball for him to kick, she pulled the ball out of the way at the last minute, causing him to trip and fall. Charlie Brown knows full well that Lucy may not keep the ball in place for him to kick, yet his determination gets him running towards that unlikely opportunity each and every time. more

A Network by Any Other Name

Last month Wired News, the online service that grew out of Wired Magazine, decided that it was going stop using an upper-case 'I' when it talked about the internet. At the same time Web became web and Net became net. According to Tony Long, the man responsible for their style guide, the change was made because 'there is no earthly reason to capitalize any of these words'. In fact, he claims, 'there never was.' ...Forgive me for saying, but those who choose 'internet' over 'Internet' are as wrong as those who would visit london, meet the queen or go for a boat trip down the river thames. more

Perfect Information: Involving Registrants in the Expiring Domain Names Market

This proposal outlines the creation of a new market for the efficient disposal of domain names that are about to expire and how Registrants are best included as an integral part of this process. This document does not make any proposals regarding the existing primary or secondary markets for domain names. Further, this proposal is not intended to criticise, condemn or make any declarations about the appropriateness of any particular primary or secondary market business models. more

Sender ID: A Tale of Open Standards and Corporate Greed? - Part II

While everything seemed fine and various participants in these discussions were celebrating the merger of these proposals into one, as well as the support of Microsoft in this endeavor, there was an elephant in the room so to speak, and a rather large one at that. When the original Caller-ID proposal was published, a patent license came along with it. Microsoft indicated that they were planning on filing patents on Caller-ID or some of its aspects, and offered a royalty-free license for the use of their intellectual property. There was some talk about the incompatibility of the license with open source software, including comments from Eben Moglen of FSF and Richard Stallman, but Microsoft employees assured the MARID WG that the licensing issue would be resolved in time for the San Diego meeting. Except that it wasn't.  more

Sender ID: A Tale of Open Standards and Corporate Greed? - Part I

A long long time ago when the Internet was still young and most people were still using clunky Apples, PCs and mainframes; two documents were published by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), part of the US Government's Department of Defense. They were called "RFC 821 - Simple Mail Transfer Protocol" and "RFC 822 - Standard for the format of ARPA Internet text messages" respectively. Written by the John Postel and Dave Crocker respectively, often referred to as some of the founding fathers of the Internet, they defined a simple text-based email system for the use of the fledging network then called the "ARPA Internet"... more

ICANN UDRP and Contract Disputes

When domain name conflicts between manufacturers and distributors rest on contractual disputes over the use of the trademark owners' marks, ICANN UDRP panels have frequently denied relief. See generally the cases cited and discussed in Western Holdings, LLC v. JPC Enterprise, LLC d/b/a Cutting Edge Fitness and d/b/a Strivectin SD Sales & Distribution, D2004-0426 (WIPO August 5, 2004) by Mark Partridge as sole panelist. The decision summarizes other ICANN UDRP decisions involving contractual disputes. For instance... more

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