MediaFilter on Thu, 12 Dec 96 12:53 MET

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nettime: Re: Much Ado About Names

>Date: Thu, 12 Dec 1996 05:25:29 -0500
>To: Jamie Murphy <>
>From: (MediaFilter)
>Subject: Re: Much Ado About Names
>Hello Jamie,
>I am Paul Garrin, and I wrote the post, "Much Ado About Names".
>I have some comments and clarifications about your apparent misreading
>of the article.
>>The rootserver conspiracy seems farfetched to me.
>This is not about a conspiracy.  It is about specifically the fact that
>IANA is assuming a position of regulatory body without the mandate to
>do so.  The "license" fees that IANA proposes to collect amount to
>double tax and corporate subsidy if the money collected is spent
>"to maintain the rootservers".  As the detail of the identities of the
>rootservers and their operators clearly points out, there are several
>US tax dollar supported computer systems that run the root nameserver
>Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN-DOM)
>   Department of Defense High Performance
>   Computing Modernization Working Group,
>   Networking Subcommittee
>   c/o Director
>   U.S. Army Research Laboratory
>   Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005-5067
>   Domain Name: DREN.NET
>   Administrative Contact:
>      Reschly, Robert J., Jr.  (RJR3)  reschly@ARL.ARMY.MIL
>      (410) 278-6808/8676 (DSN) 298-6808/8676
>   Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
>      Fielding, James L.  (JLF)  jamesf@ARL.MIL
>to name one, and other private, for-profit companies who run the
>other computers serving the root name database.
>>The story for me, would be a further explanation of how domain names work,
>>the current crisis of space in the .com iTLD, NSI's monopoly (current
>>InfoWorld has a piece, "Who Made Them God"),  the anarchists homesteading
>>iTLDs and an update on the IAHC's progress.  Recently I forwarded you both a
>>list of all the iTLDs like .biz, .web or .sex that a handful of speculators
>>sent to Postel at IANA.  Heck, we could send an e-mail to him today and lay
>>claim to iTLDs.
>the problem with the current models is the question of ownership of the
>new top level names.  In fact, the common words used as descriptive top
>level names should be seen as a public resource, and the registries hold a
>stewardship on the name in the public's interest.  Multiple registries
>must then share a database, and can assign names under the same top levels
>and insure uniqueness of names by cross-checking of their databases.
>This is all technically feasable with today's advanced distributive
>database technology, and easily implemented using standard http protocol.
>The model of creating islands of privately owned words is one of the
>final assaults on what is left of the public domain. Trademark holders
>of certain words only own such words in their descriptive contexts, as
>in "Apple Computer"....Apple doesn't own the word "apple", it owns
>the only "Apple Computer".  Otherwise, every time one would use the
>word, "apple" in print or otherwise, they could face potential trademark
>infringement.  This is to the point of absurdity.  The issue of intellectual
>property is pushing the envelope of what I call the privatization of the
>public domain.  When factual data or statistics become the property
>of some media conglamorate who invested money to package the information,
>does this lead to the total commodification of knowledge?  When the facts
>in an encyclopaedia become the property of Time Warner, do we win or
>do we lose?  When does culture and history become private property?
>And when this happens, when our society reaches the total control
>over information by the info corporations, will they take our
>language, too?
>> is an alternative registry where you can create
>>your own iTLD for $25.
>Incorrect.  The public can suggest a new rootname, which is created for
>free and made available publicly for anyone to register under, for an
>annual fee of $25.00.  Presently, there is no charge for registrations,
>for those who regiter now get the first year free.
>This is a collaborative process, and seems to be the most popular
>amongst our users.  There are suggestions for new rootnames every day,
>and the current number totals over 200.  The number of public requests
>outnumber the amount of private requests by 20 to 1.  That should say
>something about the preferences of the users, and their acceptance of
>the words as a public resource.
>>It works only if the individual user or ISP goes
>>through some steps to 'see' your personal iTLD.
>>A  handful of anarchists are trying to balkanize the net with their first
>>come, first served rush towards iTLDs. and are two
>>other examples.  These are the people screaming the loudest on the IAHC
>>mailing list for 'first come, first served.'
>If you havn't gotten it by now, you should know that I am the founder of
>, and I am not an anarchist, but I am an Artist with a
>reknowned international career--even reviews in the NY Times--
>and a businessman and owner of, the proprietor of
>  Our network is an international one, with nodes presently
>in Helsinki, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Berlin, Dortmund, Ljubljana, New York,
>with servers coming on line in Sydney and Melbourne and San Jose in the
>very near future.  We are not trying to "balkanize" the net, we are
>attempting to deliver it back to the users, and create an economy of
>scale where registries, providers and users can benefit from low cost
>and value-added services on their networks.
>For example, there are several new techniques on servers of late
>which allow "soft homes"--directly addressable web pages,
>called as a result of which name the server answers to.
>(i.e. ""
>as opposed to "")
>This obsoletes the so-called "virtual domain" which required the
>use of scarce ip numbers.  Now, the limits on how many web pages
>can be directly addressed through their domain name have been removed,
>thereby dropping the price of virtual hosting to around $20/month
>as opposed prices up to $150./month. This is another of the most
>requested services among our users.
>There is a lot more, but it may be better to speak.
>You can reach me at (212) 979 0642.  I will be available
>after 6pm EST.  Or you can drop me an email.
>If you want to feel better, and take another look at the
> website, try this url (you should read our policy, etc.
>and the users comments):
>maybe it's a little less "anarchistic" for you :)
>I don't know who came up with the "anarchists" quote, but
>I havn't stopped laughing yet!  This one will crack me up for
>a long time.
>I even have a lawyer!  come on, guys!  and a credit card and
>bank accounts!  does that sound like Bakunin to you?
>I know that his "Anarchist Heaven" which was Locarno, Switzerland
>became the haven for real estate speculation and development,
>but I don't think he participated in that process....I havn't
>purchased my chateau in Locarno just yet...
>Best regards,
>Paul Garrin

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