Re: Mississippi Hißes

Mark Davis ☕ mark at
Fri Dec 11 19:09:47 CET 2009

I agree with you that Michael can put whatever he wants into If, however, no client software ever ends up going there,
it doesn't matter much what he does. So if he wants to have <$>
(which equals <>), there isn't anything stopping him -
it just won't work in practice.

On trademarks, however, what you imply I said about them doesn't seem to
have much to do with what I actually did say about them.


On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 09:47, John C Klensin <klensin at> wrote:

> --On Friday, December 11, 2009 10:20 +0000 Michael Everson
> <everson at> wrote:
> > On 11 Dec 2009, at 09:32, Shawn Steele wrote:
> >
> >> I'm not a lawyer, but I suspect you can't even register
> >> and fuß <> individually.
> >
> > I can't register and fuß<>
> ?
> > Says who?
> Shawn,
> Because I fear that this is still not clear, Michael is making
> the point that several of the rest of us have been trying to
> make in other ways.  The DNS is a distributed administrative
> hierarchy.  In the general case, no one has any control over
> subdomains (whether delegated or not, see Andrew's recent
> comment about zone cuts) of other than Michael; no
> one has any control over subdomains of other than me; no
> one outside Microsoft has any control over subdomains of
>; and so on for probably hundreds of millions of other
> domains.
> Each of us sets our own policies.  Not only does nothing prevent
> Michael from putting both "fussy" and the ACE/Punycode-converted
> version of "fußy" into the zone, nothing prevents
> him from also installing "fußy" as a UTF-8 (or even UTF-16 or
> UTF-32) string into that zone, nor even from installing it as a
> ISO 8859-1 string.  Barring his going to considerable effort to
> carefully set up aliases (again, see Andrew's recent note and
> understand that there are even more possibilities depending on
> what he actually wants to do with the names), each one of those
> is --both conceptually and operationally-- labels a completely
> separate DNS node with whatever record types he wants to attach
> at that node.  If you can't register both and
> fuß <> individually, that is an issue
> between you and
> Microsoft -- not only do the rest of us not care, but someone,
> somewhere, will probably conclude that Microsoft's imposing that
> restriction is a market opportunity and offer both of those
> labels in some other second-level domain.
> While, in theory, the TLD registry -- .com in this case-- could
> impose contractual requirements on Michael (or me) about what we
> could or could not insert in our zone files, no major TLD
> registry has tried to do that in years and years, much less
> tried to enforce such rules.   Even then, the requirements would
> be contractual, not anything imposed by the DNS protocols or
> other technical requirements.
> >From the standpoint of anything this WG --or the IETF in
> general-- can do, the decisions are, like it or not, strictly
> local ones.
> There are two actual sources of restrictions.  I will leave it
> to you to estimate how important they are in the general case
> (remember, hundreds of millions of zones):
> (1) I manage my own zones.  I assume from his comment that
> Michael manages, or has very close control over, his.  Someone
> who has some other entity managing a zone for them, or who
> manages it via a web interface to a server they don't control,
> may be fairly restricted about what they can put into a zone.
> If those interfaces were making tests on their input, I assume
> they might block UTF-16 or UTF-32 and maybe even UTF-8 and some
> other forms (that blocking might occur either as a design
> decision or via careless coding).  But those would be
> restrictions imposed by the chosen operator, not the DNS.  And
> registrants for domains can change their operators at any time.
> (2) With apologies to Mark's wife and her colleagues, trademark
> lawyers do get involved in these situations on a case by case
> basis, sometimes deep in the tree.  It is plausible to assume,
> based on several prior episodes, that, while Michael could
> install,,
>, and, he might hear from
> someone demanding that he remove them if that set of domains
> started to be widely publicized.  But that is a different
> problem, it wouldn't prevent him from inserting those names into
> the zone, and the odds of its occurring if he installed
> and fuß <> as
> separate nodes is,
> well, low.
>    john
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