toward domain names in the public interest

Hmm... at W3C, we advocate putting the year-of-issue
in URIs to help manage them over the long term... e.g.

An issue that is often raised in response is: what
if goes poof? i.e. what if ICANN changed
a policy, or somebody offered W3C a zillion dollars,
or whatever? W3C has a lease on, but we don't
have any permanent or even really long-term contract
with the world about it.

I've heard TimBL suggest that we lobby ICANN to give
us permanent rights to, or to w3c.2001.anno
or some such. But I could never really see a workable
comination of technology and policy to do that sort
of thing. ICANN couldn't just do it for W3C; they'd
have to have a scalable policy.

But re-reading Graham's observation that URN
namespace "... allocation is subject to some degree of
consensus process" it occurs to me: perhaps
ICANN could issue permanent ownership of domains
based on some sort of process sorta like USENET
newsgroup selection...

Thinking out loud... try this policy:

If you can get 1000 signatories (and no credible
complaint is lodged with WIPO over a 6 month period,
say), you can get ICANN to permanently reserve your domain name
for your use. You have to get another 1000 signatories
every 5 years to keep it. If you ever fail to get enough
signatories to keep it, it is permanently retired.

There are all sorts of details... who is "you" after
all? I think we could ground the authentication
in surface-mail-callback, ala ISOC voting.

Anyway... the details seem workable, and the value
of having permanent domain names in the public
interest seems worthwhile.

Dan Connolly, W3C

Received on Tuesday, 25 September 2001 18:58:31 UTC