[ih] Funny how things work out

John Gilmore gnu at toad.com
Mon Feb 1 18:04:41 PST 2021

Hey, why not rehash all this useless domain name controversy -- it's a
history list anyway.  Everybody knows how to fix the system, if only
everyone else would change; the main challenge is that nobody made you
ruler of the universe.  Things are pretty much the same as they were 25
years ago, except that now there's a corrupt series of self-serving
nonprofits "in charge" of these policies, whose attention is mostly on
small tweaks that have the effect of feeding themselves cash.

Here was my small suggestion to the Economist Magazine when they covered
domain names in 1996:


Of course, nobody made me ruler of the universe, so my suggestions were
not accepted.  Instead, a domain-name adjudication system favorable to
trademark holders, biased against ordinary users, was instituted by the
corrupt self-serving nonprofits.  Yet despite trademark holders'
successful lobbying, now there are thousands of TLDs in which trademark
holders can pay uselessly for "brand protection" by sending money to
corrupt self-serving nonprofits or for-profit businesses.  When your job
is to fleece people out of their money, apparently trademark holders are
a better long-term target than ordinary Internet users.  Some might even
argue that by feeding money to ICANN from clueless places like CERN, the
policies are keeping domain name prices low for average joes -- though
they would be wrong, since ICANN's fees for domain names have nothing to
do with their costs nor their profit margins, being a monopoly.  I don't
know if the Economist has covered this aspect of the Internet Economy


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