24 February 2007

Domain Names: A French Perspective

One of the advantages of registering my .eu domain name with indom.fr is that I receive a very good newsletter called "DomainesInfo" on domain names and internet governance from a French perspective. Today's lead story, for instance, is "A quoi sert l'ombudsman de l'ICANN ?" or What's the Point of an Ombudsman for ICANN by St├ęphane Van Gelder. Setting out his stall Monsieur VG asserts
"The Anglo Saxons have a mediation culture. In business they have set up an official to carry out such function. The ombudsman is the mediator whose job is to try to defuse potential crises. But does ICANN really have a need for such an official."

All good stuff for folk like me for whom Neoconservativism is only slightly less objectionable than Fascism or Stalinism who think that Servan-Schreiber had a point though I am not really sure that I appreciate the argument. There is an English page on the website but not everything seems to get translated.

Also on the site is a law page ("Cahier Juridique") with regular updates on WIPO, the Czech Arbitration Court (the sole dispute resolution service provider for the .eu domain) and decisions of the French courts though they charge for that service.

One of the most interesting articles in English is another story by Monsieur VG on phasing out redundant ccTLDs (country code top level domain names for states that no longer exist such as .su for the former Soviet Union, .yu for Yugoslavia and possibly soon .uk if the Scottish nationalists win the May elections which they very well might). Apparently there are still quite a few .su domain names and their owners have threatened to sue ICANN if it touches their last vestiges of national pride.

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