In a surprise announcement at the ICANN Board Meeting in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Vint Cerf, chair of the ICANN Board, declared that the US-based agency responsible for the web’s domain system was now taking charge of assigned names and locations in the virtual world. Mr. Cerf is expected to be holding a virtual press briefing on this at the new Second Life Headquarters of ICANN shortly (direct teleport SLURL.)
Keep reading for the full statement….
Statement from Vint Cerf, Chair of the Board, International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
December 12, 2006
Sao Paolo, Brazil
As you know, ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet’s
domain name system (like .org,
.museum and country codes like .UK), the system that allows people to reach sites on the web no matter where they are located. Careful management of these
resources is vital to the Internet’s operation, so ICANN’s global
stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the
Internet’s ongoing security and stability.
With the expansive growth of virtual environments such as World of Warcraft, Eve, and Second Life, it has become clear that there are growing challenges in managing and coordinating unique name and virtual address locations. As the body which has since the inception of the World Wide Web kept the addressing system functioning and expanding, it seems natural and appropriate that ICANN should step into the role of managing virtual name and address assignment.
So, as of today, December 12, 2006, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will be forming an ancillary body entitled the Agency for Virtual Nomenclature and Addressing (AVNA.) AVNA’s authority will supercede the naming authority of such private companies as Linden Labs and Blizzard and will be the first contact point for virtual world residents, MMORPG players, and other denizens of the evolving metaverse seeking to procure the use of particular names and virtual locations.
Our first order of business will be the levying of regular fees for all virtual land, object and avatar names. For your convenience, these fees will be payable in Linden dollars, There bucks, Everquest gold or any of the other standard virtual currencies. Then we will begin adjudicating intellectual property disputes for companies that feel that their trademarked names and images have been illegally appropriated by virtual world residents. Finally, we will engage in a lengthier and much more complicated process of creating multi-verse name and identity tracking so that whether you are on gmail, Everquest or myspace, you are always known by the same identifier. This, we have been assured by government authorities, is the basis for a secure and stable multi-verse environment.
Rest assured that while we implement these changes, we will seek to continue to be available to the public, whether at our regular public forums around the world, on the internet via IRC chat, or in our Second Life headquarters where I will have regular office hours starting in January.
We rely on your trust and support as we expand our work into this exciting and important arena of human communications and information exchange.
For more information see icann.org .