© 1999 A. Michael Froomkin.

Professor, University of Miami School of Law and quondam Member, World Intellectual Property Organization Panel of Experts, Domain Name Process. Internet: froomkin@law.tm. Thanks for very helpful comments to Caroline Bradley, Joseph Froomkin, Patrick Gudridge, and Jonathan Weinberg. Except as otherwise noted, this paper seeks to reflect legal and technical developments as of March 6, 1999, the day it was delivered at the Berkeley conference on The Legal and Policy Framework for Global Electronic Commerce: A Progress Report. Readers are advised that the final version of the Interim WIPO Domain Name report discussed in this article should be available by late April 1999, at <http://wipo2.wipo.int/process/eng/processhome.html>.

1. WILLIAM J. CLINTON & ALBERT GORE, JR., A FRAMEWORK FOR GLOBAL ELECTRONIC COMMERCE (1997), available at <http://www.ecommerce.gov/framewrk.htm> (discussing the need for a set of globally recognized commercial law rules) [hereinafter FRAMEWORK].

2. ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN owes much of its authority to an agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce. See Memorandum of Understanding Between the U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN (visited Mar. 3, 1999) <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/icann-memorandum.htm>.

3. DNSO is an acronym for "Domain Name Supporting Organization." The Commerce Department's White Paper on Management of Internet Names and Numbers-a Statement of Policy dated June 10, 1998-suggested that ICANN "could rely on separate, diverse and robust name and number councils responsible for developing, reviewing, and recommending for the board's approval policy related to matters within each council's competence. Such councils, if developed, should also abide by rules and decision-making processes that are sound, transparent, protect against capture by a self-interested party and provide an open process for the presentation of petitions for consideration." Management of Internet Names and Addresses, 63 Fed. Reg. 31,741, 31,750 (1998), available at <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/domainname/6_5_98dns.htm> [hereinafter White Paper].

4. For an explanation, see A. Michael Froomkin, A Critique of RFC 3 (last modified Feb. 21, 1999) <http://www.law.miami.edu/~amf>. See also Pamela Samuelson, The Copyright Grab, WIRED, Jan. 1996, at 134 (for perspective on how intellectual property rights holders seek to manipulate legal rules to their pecuniary advantage).

5. JEAN MONNET, MEMOIRES 360 (1976) ("Rien n'est possible sans les hommes, rein n'est durable sans les institutions.").

6. FRAMEWORK, supra note 1, Principles 2-3.

7. Id.

8. Subsidiarity is the devolution of responsibility to smaller political units in the context of a federal system.

9. Compare FRAMEWORK, supra note 1, 4, at 11 (discussing domain name issues), with White Paper, supra note 3 (calling on a public body, WIPO, to make recommendations on domain name management).

10. FRAMEWORK, supra note 1, 1, at 6.

11. Id.

12. Id.

13. See id. 3.

14. See id. 4, at 9.

15. See id. 8, at 19-20.

16. See id. 6, at 15.

17. See infra text accompanying notes 33-35.

18. See generally A. Michael Froomkin, The Essential Role of Trusted Third Parties in Electronic Commerce, 75 OR. L. REV. 49 (1996), available at <http://www.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/trusted.htm>.

19. See id. (explaining function and uses of a public key infrastructure).

20. See FRAMEWORK, supra note 1, 8, at 18.

21. See generally A. Michael Froomkin, The Internet As a Source of Regulatory Arbitrage, in BORDERS IN CYBERSPACE: INFORMATION POLICY AND THE GLOBAL INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE 129 (Brian Kahin & Charles Nesson eds., 1997), available at <http://www.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/arbitr.htm>.

22. See Symposium, Intellectual Property and Contract Law in the Information Age: The Impact of Article 2B of the Uniform Commercial Code on the Future of Transactions in Information and Electronic Commerce, 13 BERKELEY TECH. L. J. 809 (1998); Symposium, Intellectual Property and Contract Law for the Information Age: The Impact of Article 2B of the Uniform Commercial Code on the Future of Information and Commerce, 87 CALIF. L. REV. 1 (1999).

23. See, e.g., Richard L. Berke & Steven Lee Myers, In Washington, Few Trifle With Jesse Helms, N. Y. TIMES, Aug. 2, 1997, 1, at 1 (noting and describing power wielded by current Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee).

24. Nations can ratify a treaty with reservations attached, but there are diplomatic costs to this practice.

25. See White Paper, supra note 3.

26. See World Intellectual Property Organization, The Management of Internet Names and Addresses: Intellectual Property Issues (Dec. 23, 1998) <http://wipo2.wipo.int/process/eng/rfc_html> (Interim Report of the WIPO Internet Domain Name Process) [hereinafter WIPO Interim Report].

27. See Froomkin, A Critique of RFC 3, supra note 4.

28. Since I delivered this paper in Berkeley the balance has been somewhat redressed, in substantial part due to the written comments to WIPO by several members of the conference audience. See, e.g., Kurt Opsahl, Law Professors, Academics, Students, Attorneys and Industry (last modified Mar. 19, 1999) <http://wipo2.wipo.int/dns_comments/rfc3/0164.html> (submitting letter signed by more than 60 opponents of RFC 3).

29. I base this on my attendance at the Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Brussels and Washington, D.C. second round consultations. Transcripts of these hearings, and the Singapore and Dakar hearings also, will be available at <http://wipo2.wipo.int/process/eng/consult2.html>.

30. See, e.g., World Intellectual Property Organization Internet Domain Name Process (visited Apr. 6, 1999) <http://wipo2.wipo.int/process/eng/processhome.html>.

31. Comments and responses are available at <http://wipo2.wipo.int/dns_comments/rfc3/index.html>.

32. At least within the U.S. government, consultation was imperfect. Eric Menge, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration, Statement at the WIPO consultative meeting (Washington, D.C.) (Mar. 10, 1999) (stating that he had only learned of the proposals a week earlier).

33. See generally A. Michael Froomkin, The Metaphor is the Key: Cryptography, the Clipper Chip and the Constitution, 143 U. P ENN. L. REV. 709 (1995), available at <http://www.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/clipper.htm>; A. Michael Froomkin, It Came From Planet Clipper, 1996 U. CHI. L. FORUM 15, available at <http://www.law.miami.edu/~froomkin/articles/planet_clipper.htm>.

34. True security would make it difficult or impossible for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to intercept communications when they, and a court, believe it necessary.

35. See Conférence de presse de Monsieur Lionel JOSPIN, Premier ministre, à l'issue du Comité interministériel pour la société de l'information Hôtel de Matignon (Jan. 19, 1999) <http://www.premier-ministre.gouv.fr/PM/D190199.HTM>; see also Décret no 99-199 du 17 mars 1999 définissant les catégories de moyens et de prestations de cryptologie pour lesquelles la procédure de déclaration préalable est substituée à celle d'autorisation (Mar. 19, 1999) <http://jya.com/decret031799.htm>.

36. On Open Source software, see GNU General Public License (visited Apr. 6, 1999) <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html> (text of model license); Ira V. Heffan, Copyleft: Licensing Collaborative Works in The Digital Age, 49 S TAN. L. REV. 1487 (1997). I owe the analogy to a conversation with Patrick Gudridge.

37. See WIPO Interim Report, supra note , 57, 101, 142, 221.

38. Matters are more complex in the statutory context, where we sometimes dub judicial creativity "common law-like"-and yet more complex in the constitutional context.