Get Out of My Namespace

James Gleick with a good summary of the issues: “…So Jeff Burgar, accused cybersquatter, speaks for many Internet users when he views Icann and WIPO as defenders of the corporate trademark establishment. ”It’s a business,” he said. ”The arbitration process is geared to take domain names from one party and give them to another” — from the have-nots, he means, to the haves. ”The arbitrators are almost all of them attorneys who have a vested interest in looking out for big business or celebrities.”

To cope with the dynamic, entangled, variegated nature of our information-governed world, perhaps the law just needs to relax — loosen the cords, instead of tightening them. A system based on property rights in names may be the wrong approach. The principle people really care about is authenticity and truthfulness. The law needs to prevent miscreants from pretending to be people they’re not or from passing off spurious products — but that is all…

Namespaces will collide. Let them. ” —New York Times