Robert Mathews-ICICX mathews at
Wed May 5 20:19:27 UTC 1999

Courtesy: EDUCOM.


The Justice Department has launched an inquiry into allegations that
Network Solutions (NSI) has violated antitrust laws by retaining absolute
ownership of a database of customer names and electronic addresses,
according to sources.  The allegations have been leveled by several NSI
rivals who claim they need access to the database in order to effectively
compete against the company. NSI is arguing that language in the company's
agreement with the National Science Foundation allows the company to claim
ownership of any intellectual property created in the address-registration
process.  NSI's Christopher Clough contends it is "very clear" that NSI
has the rights to the data.  In addition, NSI claims that releasing the
data could cause privacy problems that would allow Internet retailers to
send out millions of bulk e-mail messages.  A Justice department
spokeswoman says the department is "looking into the possibility of
anti-competitive practices in the Internet address registration industry."
	Source: Washington Post 05/05/99

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