concern - please read

Mark Andrews Mark_Andrews at
Mon Jun 18 09:25:56 CEST 2007

> To the IETF Committee:
>   Hi, my name is Laurie Goldberg and about one year ago I got involved in buy
> ing, selling, and developing domains. I got involved out of great interest, a
> nd out of the possibility of supplementing my near poverty-line teacher's sal
> ary that has me living paycheck to paycheck.
>   My mother loaned me money to invest in domain names because I really believ
> ed that this could help me find my way out of being poor and to pay off a var
> iety of loans. The category that interested me most was/is IDN's. It made sen
> se to me to have DNs in the user's language, and so I did hours and hours and
>  hours of research, for months, before I started investing. 
>   There is one more category that I really liked and felt has a lot of potent
> ial for the internet/e-commerce world, and that is symbols/special characters
> . It is this which I am writing to you about today.
>   I want to paste here a quote from someone on the IETF thread:
>   "What John says is that we who look at this problem so far have not
> > seen enough evidence that these classes really are needed so that
> > they should be included. We are using an inclusion based algorithm
>   > this time."
>   I'd like to provide some strong evidence that these classes ARE needed, fro
> m people like me on the outside.
>   My first question is, what are the standards for "really needed?" Have you 
> spoken to Johns and Marys out there, many of whom are like me, that want to f
> ind a way to use the internet to start up some kind of business for themselve
> s and perhaps provide a better life for themselves and their families? Does t
> he difference between near poverty and a higher socioeconomic status qualify 
> as "really needed?" For me it sure does!
>   And why does something have to be "really needed" in order to include it an
> d allow it to resolve in the browser?

	Someone with a HTTP centric view of the world. 

> Can it be "really wanted?" If there is 
> a large group of people (relatively speaking) who VERY MUCH WANT the symbols/
> special characters, does it matter so much to include them? Does it cause har
> m to include them? I genuinely don't understand the issue here. If there are 
> gun symbols, a Nazi symbols, it makes sense to ban those, but the rest? A Eur
> o symbol? A heart? A flower? A peace sign? What in the world is the point of 
> excluding these?

	You exclude all symbols because otherwise you have to choose
	which symbols to include and which to exclude.  Note we
	have always excluded symbols from hostnames.  Hostnames
	have been Letters, Digits, Hypens and with the advent of
	multi-label hostnames periods.

>   If someone wants to sell clothes on the internet that have hearts on them, 
> and they want to have the heart symbol in their URL, what is wrong with that?
>  Who is getting hurt from it? It may bring more people to her website! It's c
> apitalism at its best!

	No, its insanity at its best.  Everyone would then have to learn
	how to type in all these symbols that are not any any keyboard.

	People learn how to type what they write.  They don't learn how
	to type exotic symbols.

>   The symbols are unique, and those who have them -- just like those who have
>,, and other valuable domain names in English and other la
> nguages -- they will be lucky because symbol domains are interesting, clever,
>  eye-catching, and can be a big draw for someone wanting to use one to advert
> ise their website.

	And just about no-one will know how to type them in.  If
	you can't easily type it then its worthless.
>   Of course I am someone (of many) who bought some symbols and therefore my i
> nterest in keeping them included is very strong. Please note that I emailed V
> erisign BEFORE I bought any, and asked if these symbols will be allowable as 
> IDNs, and I received an email back reassuring me that that is the case. She e
> ven showed me a list of which symbols were NOT allowed, so I would know not t
> o buy those, and said the rest of them are. How can you go back on that now, 
> for what reason? (I am sure I didn't delete that email, if you'd want to see 
> it.)
>   So clearly I feel very upset to have spent dollars that are very precious t
> o me with the WRITTEN REASSURANCE that I am making a STABLE investment (and V
> erisign gets their information from what your committee is doing, of course).

	Verisign sold domain names with underscore in the label as well.
	They were withdrawn / not renewed.
>   I don't want to make this email too long because then people's eyes glaze o
> ver. But when you asked, "Are these really needed?" you are asking people who
>  are sitting on the same committee as you are, in the same world as you are (
> like if I asked a very broad question to a group of teachers...I would need t
> o extend the scope of my questioning to involve people whose worldview would 
> be quite different from mine - THEN I might get a true indication of opinion)
> . If you ask would-be entreupeneurs (a flower shop - www.✿flowers&#100
> 47;.com, or a site urging creative, original ideas for peace www.☮.com,
>   or a site telling people to get out and vote! www.☒☑.com,) ther
> e are SO many original and creative ways to use symbols that will give flair 
> and uniqueness to people who are developing websites and are trying to stand 
> out in a crowd. Isn't that what we DO in America? in any democracy? 

	You mean,
	and as that is what most people
	will have to type to get to these sites. and work *because* people can
	type these in.

>   You are making a decision that has strong financial ramifications for a lar
> ge group of people now and even more in the future. Please don't think that t
> he idea of symbols is not a big deal. Much of my money will have gone down th
> e drain if you exclude them (AND my renewal dates are in less than a month so
>  I am panicking because I do not know whether to attempt to renew any of them
> . Can you imagine spending much-needed money for renewals and then weeks late
> r the symbols are canceled? But what if I don't renew them, and symbols are s
> aved, and I have wonderful and fun names that I know others will want to buy 
> and I could have started to make a little better life for myself. What should
>  I do? You can see the dilemma.)
>   For me, these symbols mean a way out of near poverty. It will be devestatin
> g to exclude them when there's really no reason to. And when many people (on 
> a forum I'm on) also own and need and want them, and 1000s will end up using 
> them, all over the world. 
>   I am happy to answer any questions or do anything else that you would like 
> if it will make a difference. If your mind is made up and symbols are OUT and
>  nobody else's opinion matters, please please tell me because then I will not
>  renew them and I will tell the forum as well. It will save a lot of money th
> at would go to waste. If hearing from me has given you some things to think a
> bout and maybe you'll end up moving in the other direction, please let me kno
> w this too, so I'll know to renew them. 
>   I can't urge you enough to rethink your position and allow these innocuous 
> symbols/special characters to become a part of the internet ecommerce world. 
> It will make an enormous difference to many people.
>   Thank you for your time.
>   Laurie Goldberg
>   St. Louis, MO
>   USA
>   314-732-8887
Mark Andrews, ISC
1 Seymour St., Dundas Valley, NSW 2117, Australia
PHONE: +61 2 9871 4742                 INTERNET: Mark_Andrews at

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