on Tue, 7 Apr 1998 08:43:20 +0200 (MET DST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Name.Space.Charter: Establishing Policy for Equitable Global Nameservice Through Practice

On the Name.Space Charter
By Paul Garrin

A lot has been said in the sometimes heated discussions on the issue of
Domain Name Service, but amidst the noise and disinformation, Name.Space
has stood strong in its commitment to Independence, Free Expression,
Privacy, Technical Development and Implementation, and Responsible
Practice.  Many of the views and policies of Name.Space have been echoed
in the positions of groups such as the Computer Professionals for Social
Responsibility (CPSR) and the Domain Name Rights Coalition (DNRC) as well
as in the writings of Professor Milton Mueller in his paper on Domain
Names as Free Expression. 

While others have devoted time to writing proposals, Name.Space has
concentrated on writing CODE and putting its theories and Policies into
practice in running and evolving its service for more than 18 months,
since August, 1996, pre-dating the formation of the IAHC;  Name.Space was
the first to introduce a fully automated registration system with user
controled portable address management, and the first to advocate an open
and shared toplevel namespace, and the first to develop and implement the
technology to enable realtime synchronization of internet name database
enabling a coordinated "." and a a shared toplevel namespace through its
project SINDI. 

Name.Space has greatly contributed to the dynamic to shape the direction
of the imminent changes to the Global Namespace through technical
development and implementation, and through its historic legal action to
break the Network Solutions monopoly. Such pressure on NSI along with the
investigations into NSI/SAIC by the US Department of Justice, precipitated
by the pgMedia/Name.Space Antitrust lawsuit, and the Hearings before the
US House Subcommittee on Science, has guaranteed that the future
implementation of sharing the "com" "org" and "net" databases equally, by
all registries, will soon become a reality (as announced at the House
hearings on September 25, 1997). 

It is essential to find a common ground to break the NSI monopoly and
establish an independent and global solution to Network Solutions.  The
following Name.Space.Charter is a good place to begin. 

                       Establishing Policy for
                       Equitable Global Nameservice
                       Through Practice
                       and Technical Innovation


   The toplevel global internet namespace is a
   virtual public space. With this charter, and in
   accordance with the People's Communication Charter
   a fair structure for Self Governance of the
   Global Internet Namespace will be established.

   No single Government, Corporation,
   Organization, Group, Individual or otherwise
   shall make any exclusive claim to any
   individual zone in the toplevel and generic
   second.level, or other generic namespace
   whose exclusive ownership would by its nature
   harm the public interest.

   Names are registered on a first come, first
   served basis. The party requesting
   registration of a name is responsible that, to
   her/his knowledge, their use of a given name
   does not violate trademark or other statutes.

   Registering a domain name does not confer
   any legal rights to that name and any disputes
   between parties over the rights to use a
   particular name are to be settled between the
   contending parties using normal legal

   The generic toplevel namespace is public
   domain and registries managing the global
   toplevel namespace agree to make peering
   and datasharing agreements to insure the
   smooth interoperability of global
   nameservice, and to insure a stable and
   fault-tolerant infrastructure.

   Operation of parallel namespaces in intranets,
   virtual private networks, etc. shall be held not
   to interfere with the Global Internet
   Namespace by creating conflicting, redundant
   or non-unique namespaces which conflict with
   established global addresses, and will be
   bound to the Responsible Practice Policy as
   agreed to by registries, and as set forth in
   this document.

   Private ownership and branding of toplevel
   domains is not appropriate on the global
   internet and should be reserved for use in
   non-global, private intranets and virtual
   private nets.  In no case should an entry
   in the toplevel namespace ever be redundant
   or in conflict with any other global toplevel

   Freedom of Expression, being a fundamental
   right, is encouraged in the use of the Global
   Internet Namespace. The right to express
   oneself in the creation of an is
   guaranteed by the the First Amendment to the
   US Constitution and the People's Communication Charter.

   The registration of a name to any group,
   organization, government, individual, or
   otherwise constitutes the intent to put the
   name into service as a functional and reliable
   internet address which answers to an active
   host on the internet.

   Mass registrations should be arranged for
   legitimate purposes and not as a means of
   trademark hijacking, hoarding and speculation,
   or as overly-zealous and aggressive
   multi-zone registrations under the pretext of
   "trademark protection". Legitimate purposes,
   as defined in this document pertain to the
   registration and implementation of an internet
   namespace to identify an individual, idea,
   product, corporate identity, content of any
   nature, or otherwise, that the registrant has
   rights to such namespace as defined through
   use and practice, and in accordance with all
   agreements pertaining to global trade, and
   that the namespace will be put into active
   service as an accessable site on the internet
   providing content and/or services to the
   Global Public.

   All Registrants rights to Privacy and Free
   Expression are guaranteed and all Registries
   are committed to strict non-disclosure rules
   in accordance to the First and Fourth
   Amendments to the US Constitution. All
   information related to registrant's identity,
   address, and all other identifying and contact
   information will be kept confidential and
   private unless otherwise specified by the
   registrant. Information will not be disclosed
   to any Goverenment, its agents, or to any
   individual without proper procedures as
   determined by the laws set forth in the US

   The Root.Zone, the "." (Dot) or Root Directory
   of the Global Internet Namespace is an
   Essential Facility which makes it imperitive
   that any toplevel namespace be included in
   the List of Servers contained in the Root.Zone,
   or "." file in order for that toplevel namespace
   to be recognized globally by all hosts on the
   Internet. No proposed toplevel namespace
   shall be refused inclusion into the Root.Zone,
   or "." file as long as it will benefit and serve
   the public interest, and provided that the
   registry or network manage the namespace in
   accordance to Responsible Practice Policies
   outlined in the agreements between individual
   registries and networks, and in accordance
   with the provisions set forth in this document,
   in the People's Communication Charter, and in
   accordance with the laws of the United States
   of America and of the State of New York,*
   without respect to its conflict of law rules.

   Registries who manage the Global Toplevel
   Namespace of the Internet do so in the
   interest of the global public, whether as for-profit
   business, or as a not-for-profit, and must
   provide service of the highest reliability at
   reasonable costs. Reasonable fees is defined
   as revenue sufficient to fund the operation and
   staff of facilities so as to insure the stability
   of the network, at the lowest possible rates to
   the public.

   Provisions of free or highly discounted
   registration services are available for
   qualifying educational, non-profit,
   non-commercial groups or organizations who
   are unabale to pay the registration fees or
   otherwise demonstrate need.

More information and links to Name.Space
political and legal actions toward the equitable
reform of the Global Namespace and the dismantling
of the Network Solutions monopoly:

  -  Summary of Meeting Between pgMedia, Inc./Name.Space and
     NTIA, Washington, DC March 13, 1998

   _ Statement of pgMedia/Name.Space on the NTIA Green Paper, March 23, 1998

   - Statement To Subcommitee on Science, September 30, 1997

   - Petition To The US Department of Commerce, August, 1997

   - pgMedia, Inc./Name.Space vs. Network Solutions, Inc.,
                                  National Science Foundation

*the reference to the "...Laws of the State of New York"
 pertains specifically to pgMedia, Inc./Name.Space, a
 registered Corporation in the State of New York.
#  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  URL:  contact: