Category Archives: Information Law and Policy

ICANN and New Top-Level Domains

This post originally appeared in a very similar form on This version has received additional editing, mostly related to format and presentation more than to content itself.

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has begun to accept applications to operate new “generic Top-Level Domains.” A “top-level” domain amounts to the right-most portion of a domain name, after the final dot. Venerable examples of “generic” top-level domains include .com, .edu, .net, and .org. Applicants are to propose new TLDs while applying to be the entity that will maintain a registry of that nominated domain. Unlike previous additions of new TLDs, the new policy does not merely envision a specific one-time expansion of the namespace, but instead creates a policy mechanism for continued, possibly rapid, expansion of the number of TLDs in use.

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Google-Verizon Net Neutrality Announcement

This post is a minor update and revision (I fixed a few more typos!) of one that appeared on in August 2010.

Google and Verizon made a joint announcement today of general policy principles that they billed (in a joint blog post) as a “joint policy proposal for an open Internet.” Such an announcement can be very significant in setting the parameters of debate within Congress and the FCC for the appropriate “neutrality” standard in regulating Internet service providers — regulation in which major Internet content companies and major Internet network/bandwidth providers are two of the major stakeholders (though query whether Google doesn’t now wear both hats).

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DMCA Rule-making by Librarian of Congress – Jailbreaking iPhones is legal

You may not realize that the Library of Congress is a federal regulatory agency, but the Library’s Copyright Office—which historically registered copyrights and still maintains the registry for those works that actually are deposited and registered—makes implementing regulations under the Copyright Act. Today, it did so.

In one of the LOC’s regulatory tasks, the Librarian of Congress has the power (every three years) under 1998’s Digital Millenium Copyright Act to exempt specific actions from the DMCA’s ban on circumventing the technological protections put in place to prevent duplication of copyright works. This regulatory mechanism was created as one of the checks to monitor functioning of the DMCA’s controversial ban on circumvention. Technical protections of which circumvention is barred include various “locks” built into the “container” for a digital file to prevent unimpeded copying of that file, such as the CSS system that governs the ways DVDs can be played back, or the rights management systems that allow some music files (and any downstream copies of them) to be played only on certain registered hardware. Read more on

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