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January 3, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:59pm

SEVEN NEW DOMAINS TO BE CREATED; NSI STRIPPED OF MONOPOLY

By CBR Staff Writer

The Internet Society’s IAHC Ad-Hoc Committee has finally released a draft proposal of the changes it wants to make to the Internet’s Domain Name System that would see the number of top- level domains such as .com, .org and .net increased by seven as well as an end to Network Solution Inc’s monopoly on assigning domain names. The IAHC would allow 20-30 new companies to become domain name registrars each year. Each registrar would pay an annual fee of about $20,000 after being vetted as suitably qualified by IAHC. If there are too many qualified applicants, the IAHC would operate a lottery to determine who would be awarded registrar status. Internet Society CEO Don Heath says the fees would go to the IAHC to cover the costs of overseeing the system. There would be no profits, though Heath said that some of the money could go towards funding the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) which manages the parameters of Internet protocols. Key to the proposal is IAHC’s call for a 60 day waiting period during which proposed domain names would be publicly posted. Heath says the idea is to have any possible trademark violations flagged before the domain is created, allowing disputes to be resolved by the courts rather than the domain registrars. The draft stopped short of revealing the actual names of the new domains. They will appear in the final document on January 31st. It did, however, propose an international trademark domain space (.tm.int) that it hopes will one day serve as the world’s first international registry of trademarks, an ambitious proposal, given that no-one’s yet come close to creating such a thing. Committee member David Maher, a partner with law firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, says a method of registering multiple trademarks, like United in the .tm.int domain has yet to be worked out. But he adds that IAHC members think the proposal would be a good start toward a more rational system of international trademark law Any such registry would have to be accepted by all countries involved, a process that would most likely be shepherded by an international organization like the World Intellectual Property Organization. Public comments on the draft are being entertained until January 17th. The final document will be published on January 31st. New registrars will be awarded contracts by the middle of March. See https://www.iahc.org/draft-iahc-gTLDspec-00.html

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