t byfield on 20 Jan 2001 05:17:12 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] [Random-bits] Esther Dyson: The Domain Name That Got Left Out

----- Forwarded 

From: James Love <love@cptech.org>
Organization: http://www.cptech.org
To: Multiple recipients of list RANDOM-BITS <random-bits@lists.essential.org>
Subject: Re: [Random-bits] Esther Dyson: The Domain Name That Got Left Out
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 23:47:14 -0500

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Random-bits] Esther Dyson: The Domain Name That Got Left Out
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 19:10:22 -0500
From: t byfield <tbyfield@panix.com>
To: James Love <love@cptech.org>
References: <3A68BE92.5099A10F@cptech.org>

love@cptech.org (Fri 01/19/01 at 05:24 PM -0500):

> http://release1.edventure.com/release3.cfm?Counter=2235530
> The Domain Name That Got Left Out
> - distributed by the New York Times Syndicate (November 2000)
> By Esther Dyson


afaik, dyson first published this essay on december 5 in the
_south china morning post_, where she seems to have a column.
i wrote a short critical about it in the roving_reporter.[1]

i don't think many well-informed people take her support of 
name.space very seriously. it was pretty clear that, among
the applicants for the new TLDs, there was a good chance that
some might sue ICANN if they weren't happy with the results. 
two likely candidates were the ones that had already initiated 
lawsuits over DNS issues--i.e., name.space (which sued NSI[2]) 
and IOD (which sued IANA[3] and CORE[4]). in that regard, there 
were certainly pragmatic reasons for ICANN's boardmembers (dyson, 
as you know was chairman) to go out of their way to put on a 
public show of advocacy, even if these applicants didn't (as
i think) stand any realistic chance of being approved: doing 
so would make it all but impossible for them to sue ICANN.

name.space had already adopted an openly aggressive posture when
it challenged the validity of ICANN's nonrefundable $50,000 
application fee.[6] paul garrin's questions, btw, were excellent
--unlike ICANN VP louis touton's answers, which were nothing more
than bureaucratic evasions. his questions have only become more 
pressing, given the ambiguity of how ICANN will dispose of the 
$2.2M it garnered through the TLD application process.[7]

the discrepancy in the public discussions between the treatment
of the ".web" and ".biz" proposals provides circumstantial evi-
dence (imo) this kind thing of was going on. there was extensive 
discussion about the potential problems posed by afilias's ".web" 
application (IOD had filed to trademark the ".web" TLD and had 
sued CORE over CORE's proposal for the same TLD); but the fact 
that Neulevel's application for ".biz" would conflict with the 
atlantic root network's ".biz"[5] went unmentioned (ARN hasn't 
initiated any lawsuits in this regard) during the proceedings.

obviously, an op-ed that dyson writes *after* leaving ICANN might
suggest this slightly cynical reading is off-base, and that she
genuinely does support name.space. that could be; but does it 
really matter what she 'personally' thinks now that she's left
ICANN? her alleged support for 'the little guy' was hardly much 
in evidence during her tenure as ICANN's CoB. she could have used 
her two years in office as a bully pulpit; instead, she spent
that time overseeing the development of an institution that is
utterly dominated by intellectual property concerns. ah, but she
spent a few minutes during her last few hours talking up a pro-
posal about which she herself said with a titter, "Off the top 
of my head, the IP [Intellectual Property] constituency did not 
select you as one of their choices" for a new TLD[8]--basically 
acknowledging that rejection by the IPC is the kiss of death. 


     [1] http://www.tbtf.com/roving_reporter/icann5.html#5
     [2] http://name-space.com/law/
     [3] http://www.jmls.edu/cyber/cases/iod1.html
     [4] http://www.icann.org/tlds/correspondence/iod-v-core-22jun00.htm
     [5] http://www.biztld.net/
     [6] http://www.tbtf.com/roving_reporter/icann3.html#1
     [7] http://www.tbtf.com/roving_reporter/icann5.html#20
     [8] http://www.tbtf.com/roving_reporter/icann4.html#5


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