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IN THIS COLUMN the authors of The Domain Name Handbook weigh in. Look here for informal comments on the domain name activities, disputes, news, bylaws amendments, voting process and policies of ICANN.
At Large Membership: ICANN's Ultimate Tar Baby
By Ellen Rony - Prepared comments delivered as a panelist at the ICANN At Large Study Committee Meeting on August 13, 2001

The At Large Membership is ICANN's tar baby. For those unfamiliar with the Uncle Remus about Bre'r Rabbit, a tar baby is a situation from which it is impossible to extract yourself. Consider the image.

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Whither .ORG?
By Ellen Rony - This article was written for Matrix News June 2001

The .ORG top level domain is the weakest sibling of celebrated .COM. A slowing economy has turned dot-com into dot-comatose, but dot-orgs have always languished on the sidelines, receiving attention mostly by spillover. Attached at the hip through shared registry administration, ORG is a proverbial pretender to the throne. If you can't get the domain name you want in COM, you check whether it is available in .NET or .ORG.

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The ICANN-VeriSign Agreement: A Sweetheart Deal
By Ellen Rony - This article was written for Matrix News May 1, 2001

Those attempting to comprehend the antics of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and the impending changes in registry services might find several cardinal themes in play: control, Machiavellian politics, semantic gymnastics and a zero-sum game. The latest ICANN-VeriSign Agreement manifests all these in certain measure.

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The Divine Right of Names: New TLDs Prep for Start-up
By Ellen Rony - This article was published on Domain Notes on November 2, 2000

Market theory suggests that with moreTLDs, registrants will have greater opportunity to acquire the names they want. As the supply of TLDs increases, the resale prices for desirable names will collapse, removing the profit incentive that drives domain speculation. However, trademark owners have not embraced this solution.

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The Envelope Please:
New Top Level Domains on the Horizon
By Ellen Rony - This article was published on Domain Notes on October 2, 2000

October 2 was the deadline for submitting proposals. How many TLDs? Which ones? How soon will they be functional? It's anyone's guess, but the technical coordinating body, which holds such key decisions very close to its virtual chest, has provided us with some discernible clues.

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Procter & Gamble Bids Adieu
By Ellen Rony - This article was published on Domain Notes on July 6, 2000

On June 27, Procter & Gamble announced its intention to sell nearly 100 of its "consumer-friendly" domain names acquired nearly five years ago.

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Words First!
By Ellen Rony - June 2000

The Intellectual Property Constituency recommends granting all trademark owners a sunrise exclusion on domain names when new generic top level domains are introduced. The Sunrise+20 proposal is an infringement avoidance mechanism in the form of a pre-emptive right to register the mark and 20 variations as domain names before registration is made available to the general public. The Words First Project is being launched to collect common dictionary words that are now registered as trademarks.

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Sunrise+20: The Numbers Tell the Story
By Ellen Rony - May 2, 2000

Working Group B was created in Berlin last summer explicitly to address Chapter Four of the Final Report of the WIPO Internet Domain Name Process, "The Problem of Notoriety: Famous and Well-known Marks". The report insinuates support for a Trademark Sunrise+20 Proposal submitted on deadline by the Intellectual Property Constituency. The proposal is inherently inequitable, operationally impractical, internally inconsistent, and nonconforming with the tenets of trademark law.

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Famous Marks
By Ellen Rony - March 31, 2000

On June 25, 1999, ICANN's Names Council resolved to create Working Group B to review the treatment of Famous Trademarks. The entrance criteria for what is globally "famous" are not defined and do not exist.

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Clicks or Mortar: Are Domain Names Property?
By Ellen Rony - This article was published on Domain Notes on February 28, 2000

What are your long term plans for your domain name? Do you expect to convey the name and the goodwill associated with it to an interested buyer or bequeath it your heirs? Perhaps you intend to use the domain name to secure a loan for a business expansion or for your child's college tuition. You may be in for a surprise.

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Res Ipsa Loquitur
By Ellen Rony - February 20, 2000

This is a quiz. Who is the cybersquatter/hoarder in this example--the trademark owner or the domain registrant?

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RDND: Reverse Domain Name Denigration
By Ellen Rony - January 2000

Here is a new term to add to the Internet lexicon: reverse domain name denigration. RDND occurs when a corporation registers a domain name that deprecates itself, to preempt others from claiming it.

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IIR: Internet Impact Report
By Ellen Rony - November 16, 1999

What does an expansion project for the San Francisco Airport have to do with ICANN?

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The Devil is in the Details
By Ellen Rony - September 27, 1999

On September 25, 1999, a message from John Patrick of IBM was posted on several DNS-related mailing lists. As one who has closely monitored and archived ICANN's development and the evolution of the administration of the DNS for 3.5 years, I take great exception to several assertions that Mr. Patrick's message contains.

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An Alternative to ICANN?
By Ellen Rony - September 24, 1999

Recently I was asked, what alternative to ICANN will stand up to global scrutiny? An interesting and worthwhile question. For starters, perhaps the Internet contracts, agreements and standards oversight should be moved under the sphere of the Federal Communications Commission, not the Department of Commerce, where it currently resides.

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