Name.Space.Info on Wed, 12 May 1999 20:49:17 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Please sign this petition to ICANN and US Dept. of Commerce

Please sign (and circulate) the following

and mail it back to <>

The newly formed, US Government sanctioned corporation, ICANN (Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is considering adoption of a
plan by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) that would impose
legal restrictions on the registration of domain names, that strongly
favor the interests of large corporations and trademark holders, at the
expense of individul rights and freedoms.

Will ICANN adopt the WIPO proposals and allow TM holders to crush domain
name holders? Will the formation of the DNSO (Domain Name Supporting
Organization)  be captured b corporate interests?

ICANN will meet in Berlin on May 27, 1999 to decide this issue and other
policies that will become the foundation for ICANN becoming the world
government over the Internet.  It is imperitive that individuals speak up
now to preserve any level of autonomy and freedom left on the net, before
it becomes the exclusive domain of large corporate interests, much as the
traditional "big media" companies rule television, radio, and the press.

Please sign and circulate the petition below, and if possible, attend the
event in Berlin on May 27.

Paul Garrin, Name.Space International,


m i l t o n   m u e l l e r // m u e l l e r @ s y r . e d u
syracuse university



On May 6, 1999, the following statement was posted on the ICANN web site

"The ICANN Board of Directors will consider the WIPO Final Report,
including its annexes, at its May 27 meeting and will take appropriate
action, which may include from [sic] seeking further comments on the
recommendations, referring of some or all of them to other ICANN entities,
and/or adopting certain of the recommendations."

The undersigned strongly object to the last phrase in this sentence,
referring to "adopting certain of the recommendations." We wish to see any
reference to "adoption" removed from the Berlin meeting agenda.

Under the "bottom up" philosophy articulated in the White Paper and in
ICANN's own by-laws, important decisions regarding domain name policy were
supposed to be passed up to ICANN's board by the DNSO. The DNSO does not
exist yet. ICANN has encouraged numerous individuals and organizations to
make substantial investments in the creation of the DNSO and its
constituencies, with the promise that good-faith participation in the
process would give them a voice in policy making. Those expectations would
be unjustly frustrated if ICANN adopted any recommendations of the WIPO
proposals in Berlin.

ICANN's current board was appointed on a temporary basis and was not
elected by a membership. Its sole mandate is to get the organization
started and to fill the gaps in its membership, board and by-laws. It is
not appropriate for a board with interim status to make lasting policy on
such a sensitive and complex matter. It is, in fact, a cause for great
concern for ICANN even to publicly propose adopting such proposals at this

The WIPO recommendations comprise over 120 pages of dense legal prose. The
final report will have been out for public consideration only three weeks
when the Berlin meeting is convened. Whether one supports or opposes the
proposals, it is undeniable that they will have a profound and permanent
impact on domain name registrations and on international intellectual
property rights. No legitimate purpose can be served by hasty adoption or
by short-circuiting the deliberative process that ICANN was created to
foster. Furthermore, we question the ability of the current Board to
properly assess the WIPO recommendations and comments about them amidst
the flood of comments and documents pertaining to other important matters,
such as the DNSO, ASO, and PSO formation, the definition of the
constituencies, and the Membership Advisory Committee recommendations.

We feel that the whole idea of ICANN would be undermined if the interim
board were to make fundamental and permanent changes in domain name policy
with inadequate information, without even the possibility of consultation
with a DNSO and the other supporting organizations, and without members.
The overall effect would be highly destructive of the trust and
cooperation that is required to run the Internet properly.

We urge the Board to avoid precipitating yet another legitimacy crisis.
Set aside the WIPO proposals in Berlin and concentrate on constituting the
DNSO and at-large membership.


Laina Raveendran Greene, GetIT Pte Ltd., and Member, WIPO Panel of
Experts, SINGAPORE Ellen Rony, Author, Domain Name Handbook, USA Milton
Mueller, Syracuse University School of Information Studies, USA Kathy
Kleiman, Esq., Counsel, Domain Name Rights Coalition, USA James V. DeLong,
USA Dan Steinberg SYNTHESIS Law & Technology, Canada Harold Feld, USA
Tressa Kirby, VRx, CANADA Richard Sexton, VRx, CANADA Gene Marsh, AnyCAST,
USA (?) David J. Steele, USA Gordon Cook, The Cook Report on the Internet,
USA Karl Auerbach, USA Chris Ambler, Image Online Design, Inc. USA Jay
Fenello, Iperdome, Inc. USA Patrick Greenwell, Telocity, USA Paul Garrin,
Founder, Name.Space International

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