Re: Mississippi Hißes

John C Klensin klensin at
Mon Dec 14 14:10:56 CET 2009

--On Monday, December 14, 2009 07:46 +0100 Cary Karp
<ck at> wrote:

>> I don't mind if the working group decides that it doesn't
>> want to build some bundling form into the standard, but that
>> should be presented as "because we choose not to", not
>> "because we can't".
> It can also be presented as "many registries think it is a bad
> idea".

And perhaps as "even most of those registries who believe that
registration-time linkage among names don't believe that
long-term bundling is a good idea".  Cary or other may have
better data about how many registries fall into that category
than I do, but the number is certainly not large.

While I think the discussions are interesting and useful, and I
agree that making or not making a recommendation or requirement
it is a choice rather than a necessity, I think someone could
also plausibly argue that the WG has not demonstrated a high
enough density of DNS operational knowledge and experience to be
able to competently make such a requirement.

>> I meant that legally (real laws, not computer standards), it
>> was earlier stated that, in Germany, trademark law would
>> disallow a company from differentiating from another
>> company's trademark only on the form of the ss/Eszett.

That is not what was said (see my followup exchange with Mark).
More important, since trademark law and practice generally
permits _exactly_ the same string to be used for different
purposes and/or in different jurisdictions, it has never been
considered, even by WIPO, as a particularly good guide for DNS
registration practices.

>> If our
>> social system disallows such assigmnents, I postulated that
>> it is illogical for us to enable a technical scenario that the
>> target society wouldn't allow us to use. (Except for the
>> my-server-in-my-domain case, which I hadn't allowed.)

Even if trademark law did have the effect that you posit above,
that wouldn't say much about the "social system".  If the social
system disallowed use of similar or identical names (much less
similar-sounding ones, which the trademark system usually does
disallow if they are in the same jurisdiction and represent
similar types of business), it would not be possible to have
more than one living "Joe Smith", etc.

> The established practice for most TLDs is to accept labels for 
> registration without prior control of their being trademarks.
> The extent  to which a label may be an infringement is
> determined after the fact  through special dispute resolution
> processes or in the courts.

That is the obvious consequence of the above... and much more
nearly aligned with how trademark law actually works.


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