SYSOPS – Sweeny Legal

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Another proposal to govern the Internet has been put forward by David G. Post, he argues that “the same decentralized decision-making that created the Internet and currently runs the Internet at the structural level, eg technical protocols, can be applied to governance of the Internet at the substantial level.”[1] Post also suggests that the enforcement mechanisms could be laid down by the “sysops”. The sysops are the system operators, who control ID issuance and the servers that hold the files. In other words the sysops of the internet are the engineers that manage the root servers that provide Internet access.[2] Technically it is possible to “pull the plug” and exclude someone from the Internet. For example the Internet Service providers ISPs can withdraw your IP address, without this you cannot operate on the internet.[3] Post also suggests that the sysops and the domain name registries “should coordinate to condition domain name use by sysops on certain basic prohibitions of fraud and force”. [4]Additionally Post argues that the domain name registries should substitute for state institutions as the key players of the Internet governence.[5]

The counter argument to this is, that sysops may standardise on take-it-or-leave-it terms under the treat of exclusion.[6]


Nguyen[7] identifies and analyzes the new trademark jurisprudence, and critiques its impact on international trade relations and language propertisation. Professor Nguyen proposes a certification mark regime to end the expansion of generic name protection and to promote fair competition. Generic name protection is also a phenomenon that causes problems in domain names.

This proposal suggests changes to the trade mark registration system itself and tying generic names to geographic indications, by introducing a certification mark regime and by adopting this system it will achieve the balance of competition. Will this work in cyberspace. How will all the new languages, such as Chinese, which will appear on the Internet? A plethora of conflicts awaits Internet law governance in the future.


[1] Johnson, & Post  “And how shall the Net be governed?” The basic philosophy of the Internet can be described by the IETF motto: “We reject Kings, Presidents, and Voting: We believe in rough consensus and running code” in Gulliksen, Tonje Roste Internet domain names and trademarks. Institutt for rettsinformatikk, 2001 p. 117

[2] Ibid p. 118

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid p. 119

[6] ibid

[7] Ngygen,  Xuan-Thao “Nationalizing trademarks: a new international trademark jurisprudence? (2004) 39 Wake Forest L.Rev 729. p11

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Filed under Domain Names Law, Intellectual Property Law, Trade Marks Law

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