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An Economic Analysis of Domain Name Policy - Part III

"Competitive Bidding for new gTLDs" is the focus of part three of a three-part series based on a study prepared by Karl M. Manheim, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and Lawrence B. Solum, Professor of Law at University of San Diego. Special thanks and credit to Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. 317, 2004. ...When new radio frequencies become available for commercial use, federal law requires that licenses be auctioned off to the highest qualified bidder. The FCC does a reasonably good job in designing and conducting spectrum auctions. They are often familiar in format, not much different than found for consumer goods on eBay. In other cases, such as with "Simultaneous Multiple-Round" or "combinatorial bidding," the auction design is fairly complex. Because of complexity in these cases, the FCC sponsors periodic conferences on auction theory and seminars on auction mechanics for potential bidders. more

An Economic Analysis of Domain Name Policy - Part II

"Comparisons with Telecommunications Policy" is the focus of part two of a three-part series based on a study prepared by Karl M. Manheim, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and Lawrence B. Solum, Professor of Law at University of San Diego. Special thanks and credit to Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. 317, 2004. ...In the United States, an independent federal agency, under the direction of Congress, is charged with developing and implementing policies governing the major telecommunications industries. These include broadcast radio and television, wireline and wireless telephony, and video distribution via cable, wireless, and satellite. One might wonder why the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") does not likewise have jurisdiction, at least in the US, over perhaps the most significant telecommunications industry -- the Internet. more

An Economic Analysis of Domain Name Policy - Part I

"The Root Server is a Scarce Resource" is the focus of part one of a three-part series based on a study prepared by Karl M. Manheim, Professor of Law at Loyola Law School and Lawrence B. Solum, Professor of Law at University of San Diego. Special thanks and credit to Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. 317, 2004. ...We begin our analysis of domain name policy with a brief excursion into economics. Economics cannot answer all of the questions raised by domain name policy. First, domain name policy must answer to the discipline of network engineering. A useful domain name system must work, and the functionality, scalability, reliability, and stability of the system are determined by the soundness of its engineering. Second, domain name policy must answer to public policy. The Internet is a global network of networks, and Internet policy is answerable to a variety of constituencies, including national governments, the operators of the ccTLDs, Internet Service Providers, information providers, end users of the Internet, and many others. more

Techies Wanna Do Policy

I'm sure we have all heard a techie or standards body tell legislatures, courts, and business groups to keep their mits off of the internet; that such groups are "clueless" and that they will damage some noumenon or other indistinct, but critical, principle of the internet. Consider, for example, the condemnation of competing DNS roots by ICANN and the IAB. What makes today so interesting is that two well respected techies have stepped forth and made strong social/economic/business policy statements. more

ICANN's Picture of Itself

ICANN has released its draft new budget. The document gives us a good look at how ICANN sees itself. It's arguably an internally inconsistent view. ...This budget calls for ICANN to have almost 60 staff members by the end of the next fiscal year. Expenses under this budget are predicted to be twice those of last year ($16 million v. $8 million). more

Why Do Chinese Enterprises Ignore the Internet?

Judging from the development of the Internet in the world, the popularity rate of domain names is one of the primary parameters to measure whether the Internet is well developed or not in a country. The popularity rate of domain names is 11 percent in North America and reaches as high as 12.5 percent in Europe, while in China, which has over 20 million enterprises, there are only more than 300,000 domain names under .CN and the total number of domain names is only 1.187 million, including a lot of governmental and individual websites. more

Can Technology Can Spam?

It seems to be impossible to implement a law against spam - unsolicited bulk email - without making a hash of it. At best, anti-spam laws are ineffective; at worst, they cause more problems than spam itself. Can technology fare any better? ...But despite this flurry of initiatives, we are yet to see a definitive answer to the spam problem. An Anti-Spam Technical Alliance has been formed by Microsoft, America Online, Yahoo! and EarthLink, but these companies continue to proffer competing solutions. Meanwhile, the technology being deployed in the spam wars is causing collateral damage, in the form of 'false positives' - email that is incorrectly categorised as spam, and so never reaches its intended recipient. more

Will DNS Rescue the Future of Search?

Researchers from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China have started work on a project based on a distributed information retrieval system that promises to address future search engine scalability issues that are believed to be inevitable as the Internet continues to expand: "With the rapid increase of web pages, the coverage of search engines will become poorer and the update intervals will be much longer. If the current architecture of search engines is still in use, it will be an impossible mission to find the precise and comprehensive information in the future. This problem will be more serious when IPv6 technology is widely implemented in communication networks. The problem of 'Too much information means no information' may become a disaster with information explosion." more

JET Guidelines for Internationalized Domain Names

It is difficult to explain RFC 3743 or commonly known as the Joint Engineering Team (JET) Guidelines without some lesson on Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK), particularly how it relates to Internationalized Domain Names (IDN). Luckily, an Internet-Draft we wrote back in 2001 discusses the issues quite neatly in this context. In brief, Chinese characters (Hanzi) or Han ideographs are evolved from pictographs (writing made up of pictures) across thousands of years. Unlike other writing systems, Han Ideographs are constantly evolving.  more

To Fight Domain Name Theft: Sex.com Gives Birth to a New Property Right

For those who are Star Wars fans, the following scene from the prequel, Attack of the Clones, will be easy to recall: a young and misinformed Jedi, known as Obi-waan Kenobi, opines about how an army of clones had been able to snatch a victory from imminent defeat. Yoda, a Jedi Master and virtual fountain of wisdom, immediately gushes forth an important correction: "Victory? Victory you say? Master Obi-waan, not victory." Yoda explains that winning a battle is not a victory, if the win merely signals that the war has just begun. Yoda's apparent perception seems particularly apt for the precedent setting federal court opinion involving the sex.com domain name. Notwithstanding that individual domain name registrants may seek comfort in the victory obtained from the Ninth Circuit's opinion in Kremen v. Cohen, that decision merely signals a beginning -- not an end -- to the controversy over the proper legal framework for resolving domain name theft.  more

A Tangled Web

A recent ICANNfocus article discussed the magnitude of ICANN's legal fees. Specifically, ICANNfocus questioned whether the extent of ICANN's legal fees, about 20% of their total revenues, was related to the organization functioning as a regulator instead of simply as a technical manager of the internet.  more

U.S. Moving Forward with ENUM

One of the pieces of infrastructure that makes all kinds of networks work and yet gets very little attention is the directory. Directories are big business. For example, there's directory of telephone numbers run by NeuStar, Inc. NeuStar has annual revenues of $92 million. Now, according to Light Reading, AT&T Corp. and MCI Inc., together with unidentified cable companies, telephone companies, and ISPs are preparing to form a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) that will run a process to define a new company that will run ENUM. more

Non-Commercial Website Domain Names Using Trademarks

There are now several different courts of appeals that have upheld the right of individuals to post a non-commercial website using the domain name www.company.com, and there are as yet NO appellate decisions that forbid such websites outside the context of the serial cybersquatter who tries to erect a so-called gripe site as a CYA measure after being sued. In fact, it seems to me that we are getting close to the point where companies that sue over such websites have to consider seriously the possibility that they will not only lose the suit, but face a malicious prosecution action... more

Internet Governance and Diplomacy

Developments in modern international relations have shown that traditional diplomacy is not capable of sufficiently addressing complex new issues, for example, the environment, health protection, and trade. Governance of the Information Society and the Internet is probably one of the most complex international issues facing diplomacy today. Issues surrounding the Information Society require a multi-disciplinary approach (the various concerns include technology, economy, impact on society, regulatory and legal issues, governance and more); a multi-stakeholder approach (various actors are involved, including states, international organizations, civil society, private sector, and others) and a multi-level approach (decision-making must take place on different levels: local, national, regional and global). Diplo has developed a research methodology which takes all of these approaches into account. Post includes illustration from Diplo Calendar 2004. more

Sex.com Settles Monumental Case Against VeriSign/Network Solutions

Sex.com announced today a final settlement with VeriSign (formerly Network Solutions, Inc.), concluding a six-year legal fight that set several important precedents for the future of the Internet. After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Sex.Com a sweeping victory that held VeriSign/Network Solutions, Inc. (collectively "VeriSign") strictly responsible for mishandling the famous domain name, Sex.Com and VeriSign have settled Sex.Com's lawsuit against VeriSign. more

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