Elgar Intellectual Property and Global Development series
From day one, the Internet domain name system has created puzzles for law and policy-makers. These challenges have included questions about whose responsibility it is to develop and enforce domain name policy, and on what basis policy decisions are to be made. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)1 is formally tasked with the administration of the domain name system.2 However, there has been some confusion over the years about the appropriate balance between ICANN’s technical and policy functions.3 It was originally assumed that ICANN was a purely technical body, and not a policy-making organization.4 However, ICANN was fairly quickly forced to make policy in some areas related to its core technical functions.5 An obvious example of ICANN’s policy-making role is its implementation of an online dispute resolution procedure for Internet domain names, the Uniform Domain 1 See www.icann.org, last accessed December 11, 2008. Details of ICANN’s development and structure can be found in David Lindsay, International Domain Name Law: ICANN and the UDRP, ch. 2 (2007); Milton Mueller, Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace, ch. 8 (2002). 2 Lindsay, supra note 1, at 66 (describing ICANN’s mission as set out in article 1.1 of its Bylaws); see also Bylaws for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, available in full text at www.icann.org/en/general/bylaws.htm#I, last accessed December 11, 2008. 3 Id. at 65 (‘The scope of ICANN’s responsibilities and functions has been one of the most controversial areas of DNS governance. In particular,...