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.name response

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mole

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GNR admits they have no money to do anything about cybersquatting of restricted gTLD .name and that the UDRP is the only way to resolve this. No worries, .name sucks anyway :-

We read with great interest the report of Ben Edelman entitled ".NAME Registrations Not Conforming to .NAME Registration Restrictions"and published on 31 May 2002. As our response below demonstrates, we have designed our registration practices to implement the ICANN-approved Eligibility Requirements in a manner that is practical and, at the same time, consistent with our obligations under the ICANN Agreement.

In drafting the Eligibility Requirements for the ICANN Agreement, we paid particular attention to the definition of a “Personal Name.” A Personal Name, as set forth in Appendix L of the .name ICANN Agreement, is meant to be the personal name of (1) an individual or (2) a fictional character to which a person or entity has rights (together with any additional characters to differentiate it from other Personal Names). Under the ICANN Agreement, as Mr. Edelman points out, Personal Names are either a person’s legal name or a name by which the person is commonly known, which includes, without limitation, a pseudonym used by an author or painter, or a stage name used by a singer or actor. In addition, both domain names and email addresses within .name can follow the firstname.lastname.name format as well as the lastname.firstname.name format.

The types of names listed in the Agreement by which a person may be “commonly known” was not meant to be exclusive. As long as a person is commonly known by a particular moniker, whether “President Bush,” “Queen Elizabeth,” or even “Prime Minister” (as in the case of the United Kingdom’s Tony Blair), the Eligibility Requirements permit that person to register a string in the .name space that includes the moniker. For example, George W. Bush would be permitted to register “president.bush.name” (though his father might object!), Bruce Springsteen would be permitted to register the.boss.name and Fred Rogers of famed American neighborhood fame would be permitted to register mister.rogers.name.

As Mr. Edelman notes, Appendix L, Section (1)(c)(iv) indicates that as the .name registry operator, GNR is not required to review, monitor, or otherwise verify that any particular Personal Name Registration was made in compliance with the Eligibility Requirements or the UDRP. This is so because at the present time, meaningful verification would be difficult and costly. As an alternative, the .name registry implemented a post-hoc policing system, the Eligibility Requirements Dispute Resolution Policy (the “ERDRP”), designed to permit aggrieved individuals to pursue objections to registrations with a fair amount of ease and based on fairly objective standards.

Mr. Edelman cites some examples of “personal name usage inconsistent with the .name registration conventions.” Clearly, some of these examples are not consistent with a rigid interpretation of the Eligibility Requirements. In most cases, however, these examples are consistent with the spirit of those requirements. For example, we do not believe that most people would be disturbed by the fact that couples are using .name for mutual email addresses or web sites or that families are using .name for web sites. These registrations seem consistent with the .name goal of providing domain names and email addresses for personal use by individuals.

There are, as Mr. Edelman indicates, a small number of humorous registrations as well as a number of defensive commercial registrations that may not meet the Eligibility Requirements. These raise some difficult issues; however, currently, we do not believe that it is necessary to prohibit these kinds of registrations or that these registrations undermine the concept that .name was designed for individuals.

Mr. Edelman suggests a number of ways in which the .name registry can better serve the individuals for whom it was created. Our responses to these specific suggestions appear below.

Improvements to communications between registrars and customers. Both the Eligibility Requirements and the ERDRP appear on our web site and have been incorporated into registrar/registrant agreements. GNR can certainly explore with ICANN and the registrars ways to highlight these requirements.

Automated systems to prevent obviously-nonconforming registrations. Although this appears at first blush to be a sensible approach, it would be a daunting task to develop a system that is sensitive to the diversity of cultures and naming conventions around the world. To illustrate cultural sensitivities that need to be taken into account, the English article “the” is a common first name in Vietnam, as are “van,” “do,” and “long.” In addition, common English words such as “odd,” “even,” “bull,” “butt,” “eek,” “hole,” “hella,” “lover,” “lie,” “moan,” “rod,” and “saga” are first and last names in mainstream Norway.

In a slightly different context, some time ago Network Solutions developed an automated system to block registrations involving six of the seven so called “dirty words” banned for on-air use by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. It turns out that blocking the seventh was impracticable, as the offending letter string was a common root in the Japanese language.

Human review. The economics of domain name registration as contemplated for .name and in general simply will not support the costs involved in human screening of .name registrations for conformity with the Eligibility Requirements on an ongoing basis. It may sound relatively easy, particularly in the short-term with registrations at current levels. However, it would take a serious commitment of capital and resources to devote staff to undertake these reviews and the follow-up investigations that would be required. The costs associated with this kind of review are not trivial and would have to be passed on to consumers, which we have not done. In addition, this kind of review would expose the registry operator to significant legal liability – for terminating or failing to terminate a registration that seems to be non-conforming. These costs would also have to be passed along to consumers. We are unaware of any general interest top level domain that monitors its name space for non-conforming registrations. The ERDRP is designed to provide a workable, efficient alternative.

Limits on the number of .name registrations per individual. Many valid registrations can be made by one person on behalf of another. For example, a father might register all five of his children and his wife, while a net savvy individual might give all of his/her friends .name registrations for Christmas. This kind of registration activity is completely consistent with the purpose of the .name top level domain, and we certainly do not want to prevent it. And, as Mr. Edelman points out, restrictions of this sort are easy to evade, and it does not seem desireable to drive individuals in this context to adopt multiple usernames and identities. It seems preferable to us to allow individuals to register as many names as they wish to, leaving themselves open to the risk of a challenge under the ERDRP if they do so illegitimately.

As a general matter, in exploring the various possibilities in trying to protect the .name space, we, and the general public, also must keep in mind that we are running a business. As such, we must pay attention to issues of cost, feasibility and practicality. To the extent that people are not bothered by registrations that do not conform to the exact letter of the Eligibility Requirements, we will not be compelled to take action to investigate such registrations.

That said, we truly want our .name space to be the address for individuals, and we will continue to market the .name space to customers in that manner. To the extent we deem feasible and necessary, we will certainly endeavor to pursue abusive registrations that are brought to our attention through the ERDRP, and we will try to influence customer behavior by educating end-users on the .name registration conventions. Finally, we will explore other options in making this name space for that which it was intended – the exclusive domain for use by individuals.
 
Domain Summit 2024

Guest
If Hole is a common last name in Norway, what if a first name was Ash? :D
 
M

mole

Guest
Agreed.

GNR promoted .name usage as a form of netidentity. They were suggesting that since this would be a restricted domain, they would be providing backend services in the future to make it an official id on the internet.

Now they are saying that they can't even police cybersquatting.

I believe they had in mind to target the maternity wards, and promote the extension to new mothers or something.
 
M

mike

Guest
It took me a while to figure out that it was actually .name! I thought it couldn't be .name its too stupid. I thought .name stood for creating a tld of your surname like .jones, .smith, .mole, etc. I was really kind of shocked to discover it was actually .name! .Name is a big steamy turd and thats my final word!
 

Guest
We seem to sell them on a regular basis. It will be interesting to see if they are renewed though.

In looking back on those registered in the past two months, I don't think any were registered by speculators though - all the registrations match the contact information and are just plain old people registering plain old domains for themselves.

-t
 
M

mole

Guest
I did :D

.name is really not a good thing to have for speculation. It's too blatently speculative obvious to register Prince.Charles.name when you are Donald.Duck.name.
 
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