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<nettime> ICANN Watch: 'ICANN To Consider Other Naming Systems'
nettime's_roving_reporter on Sat, 26 Jan 2002 05:47:24 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> ICANN Watch: 'ICANN To Consider Other Naming Systems'

     [via t byfield <tbyfield {AT} panix.com>]


   ICANN Meetings 

   ICANN To Consider Other Naming Systems

   Posted by michael on Friday, January 25  {AT}  09:53:48 MST

   Contributed by jberryhill

   The mysterious "special topic" to which time will be devoted during
   the ICANN meeting in Ghana has now been announced as a discussion of
   the impact of other naming and navigation systems, such as "keyword"
   based naming systems for locating internet resource. This is an area
   deserving consideration.

   There are lots of things one can do with this computer network.
   Consider the development of file-sharing programs of the Gnutella
   variety. These programs enable a computer user to make files on their
   computer available to other people who are also using such
   file-sharing programs. In order to find files one wants to obtain, one
   must use a "search" function that locates files on remote computers
   according to words in the names of the files. This is a hit-and-miss
   proposition, much like the way that we all find information on the web
   by appending ".com" to the trademarks corresponding to products and
   services we are looking to buy, and avoiding those useless web sites
   which don't sell things.

   What I see happening in these file sharing systems is that people are
   not appropriately, accurately, or consistently naming the files on
   their computer. This results in wasted time and effort when one
   searches, finds, and downloads file having, say, "shell" or "gulf" in
   their filenames, but the file does not provide information about the
   products and services of the Shell Oil Company or the Gulf Oil Company
   respectively. In one very egregious case, I found a file that had both
   "shell" and "gulf" in its name, and it turned out to be a useless
   collection of information about oyster harvests off the coast of
   Louisiana. I was tremendously confused by this file and the blatant
   misuse of trademarks in its name. Who on earth would want to wade
   through information about some ridiculous mollusks, when they are
   trying to find out about wealthy and important multinational

   Clearly, to avoid these sorts of inefficiencies, wasted time, and
   potential lost revenue to trademark owners, we need to have a system
   by which computer users will not be able to abusively employ trademark
   terms within the file names on their computers. While this proposal
   will no doubt attract the usual wailing and moaning from liberal
   academics who believe intellectual property interests are opposed to
   their Socialist agenda, I believe the rest of the real world has
   already decided the issue against them. File naming conventions can
   easily be coded into licensed software, and the software licenses can
   further require users to adhere to those conventions. This would not
   be a matter of government regulation, but merely a private contractual
   matter. Surely those fuzzy-headed leftists would not argue against the
   right of private parties to make and enforce contracts.

   I applaud the initiative of ICANN to consider the impact of
   non-conforming naming systems upon the stability of the Internet for
   all who would like the Internet to function in a consistent,
   efficient, and non-confusing manner for the benefit of all consumers.

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