W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > uri@w3.org > September 2001

toward domain names in the public interest

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 17:58:28 -0500
Message-ID: <3BB10C14.F3BD9484@w3.org>
To: uri@w3.org
Hmm... at W3C, we advocate putting the year-of-issue
in URIs to help manage them over the long term... e.g.
  http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml

An issue that is often raised in response is: what
if w3.org goes poof? i.e. what if ICANN changed
a policy, or somebody offered W3C a zillion dollars,
or whatever? W3C has a lease on w3.org, 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 w3.org, 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 http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Tuesday, 25 September 2001 18:58:31 UTC

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