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2. Registered JP Domain Names Exceeds 100,000 Japanese Page

2.3 Futher Expectations on Domain Name

Susumu Sano
(Chair of the JPNIC Steering Committee) Chair of JP Domain Name Working Group in 1996

Domain names are the identifiers of resources on the Internet - this is their basic role. For that reason, the basic role of the registry is to quickly and fairly approve domain name registrations by organizations who wish to have an Internet presence. As the use of the Internet increased, we began to have new expectations for domain names. That is, we began to look at service, product and brand indicators.

Up until that time, the Internet served primarily as an inter-organizational communication tool for companies and schools, and their members. Therefore, it was fine if the organization was identified. However, when PC-based communications began to emerge and WWW services began to tap into the Internet to provide services, they began demanding that domain names should identify the services themselves.

In addition, the emergence of commercial ISPs gave individuals the ability to connect to the Internet and they in turn wanted domain names that identified individuals.

In response to this movement, a study was begun for the creation of new SLDs (Second Level Domains), which were really more like brand and personal domains. When we began our study, we found that there was a serious problem with these domains, in that there were issues related to trademarks of brand domain and the scalability of personal domain. With regard to setting up a brand domain, discussions concentrated on conforming to the existing trademark system, and in particular, how we could implement a name space for which the scope is determined by the range of usage referred to as a class in domain name space. For personal domains, we were primarily interested in how to handle identical names and manage large numbers of registrations, with the assumption being that there was the possibility of large numbers of individuals who would register their own names as a domain.

As we continued to study the concept of brand domain names, people who are familiar with trademark-related issues pointed out that the handling of legal disputes and well-known brand names would be a big problem because brand domains could increase legal disputes on trademarks. In fact, at that time trademark-related disputes were already cropping up in the COM domain.

Because of our awareness that this problem must be handled carefully, we postponed setting up a brand domain name for a while. However, because of the rapid rise in the number of ISPs, we set up NE domain name for members of the provider community.

Our study of personal domains continues to this day because we do not yet have sufficient information regarding needs, and there will continue to be many implementation-related problems.

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