"IANA" was a name Jon Postel made up and had no actual legal personality. In the eyes of the legal system IANA can't approve anything, it doesn't exist. Originally ICANN was to be legal protection for Jon who at the time was worries he would be held personally liable for blocking the creation of new top level domains.
IANA was simply the name Jon gave to a "task" that he had a $15,000.00 contract for, as a "part time activity". In other words Jon Postel used to do everything ICANN does now as a part time job for 15K a year.
The RFC series documents that define the Domain Name System specify that they apply to all levels in the tree, and in fact at the time Jon/IANA stated that applications for new top level domains should be sent to Jon/IANA and he would at the very least record the dates as first come/first served applied to all levels in the domain name system including the top level.
This was never changed. ICANN merely said they were in charge, change the rule, but without the important step of "measuring and implementing community consensus" per their own bylaws. Nor was it ever shown charging for domains was "community consensus" either. Where is list of names of poeple who thought domains should be pay-for? And how many were there?
Are there in fact any people who do not directly or indirectly profit from these fees that think "renewal fees" are a good idea? By artificially escalating the cost has ICANN set up new top level domains to fail? Not one of them has even broken even in two years and the names are not taken seriously. Most are blocked frankly as they've become associated strictly with spam.
This one really stunk. In fact each one was worse than the previous. That's when we knew something was wrong.
"11.2 Appendix B - SLD Renewal Application Requirements
Every application for renewal of a SLD must include the
following four elements (incomplete applications must be
returned to the applicant for completion):
1. Applicant's name, business or residential address,
email address, fax and phone number(s).
2. The state or country of incorporation or partnership
3. The name and address of the designated agent for
service of process if there has been a change since the
initial application or the last renewal.
4. A sworn statement by the individual applicant or by an
officer or general partner of a corporate or partnership
(a) that the domain name has actually been used for [fill
in the blank, e.g. "for a web site to advertise applicant's
candy manufacturing business"]. This may be a broad
statement and is not intended in any way to restrict actual
use. However, to the extent that a commercial use is being
made, this statement should identify the industry in which
the use is being made and should indicate which of the
following uses are being made: web site, email, bulletin
board and/or other (describe);
(b) that the applicant believes that the actual use of the
domain name does not infringe any rights of any other
Reaction at the time was to assume Postel had become insane.
"The courts will either decide that domain names don't
infringe trademarks, simply because of their existence
(unless possibly someone has a trademark on a full name like
"isi.edu" or "cisco.com") at which stage the trademark
holders will know that they don't have to go chasing every
domain that happens to use their magic word somewhere in it,
or they made decide that the use of "foo.com" is actually a
violation of someone's trademark on "foo", in which case
people may make trademark searches before registering domain
Emails from Jon Postel years after he died. Community reaction was "mixed".
From: Rick Adams Rick.Adams@xxxxxxxxx
> To: dave@xxxxxxxxxx
> Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 21:58:03 -0400
> Subj: RE: [IP] more on letter from Jon Postel
> I find it rather astonishing that someone would attempt to justify fraudulently impersonating a dead person.
> Identity theft comes to mind.
> It is certainly acceptable to forward mail address to Postel to someone who answers it but it is ethically indefensible to respond in his name.