paul van den bergen wrote:

Hi all,

given how clearly you-all answered my query about 'hostname' (thanks folks) I thought I'd chance my luck.

so, let me get this straight...

in the IPv4 world there is this thing called DNS and domain names... I can buy my self a name off a name vendor - eg. I then get to own that name... so, Question 1) where does the DNS record for that name reside? with my ISP? with the name vendor?

Well, the short version is there are several 'root servers' which anyone running BIND/DNS should laready have a list of- they are the initially consulted servers with respect to which servers are 'authoritative' for a given TLD(Top level domain, eg .com, .net, .edu, ....)

If you registered a .org domain, one of the TLD Domain servers for .org would be queried, and then down to your domain, eg, which would point to who is registered as being Authoritative for the domain. This is generally handled when you register the domain name- you're given the option in many cases to have the registrar (eg, Network Solutions, (sucky name, but very inexpensive domain registrations), etc) handle DNS for your domain, or to specify your own name servers (which can be hosted by yourself, or someone that has agreed to providfe DNS services for your domain(s)). In theory, and generally in practice, these changes can take up to ~12 hours or so to propgate, up to 48-72 hours to propogate your DNS records to the rest of the nameservers online.

lets say I have a network and wish to name the boxen depending on the OS running on them thus...

Question 2)
where do those DNSrecord reside?

On whomever is authoritative for the domain. type at a Unix prompt:

and you'll see the system is Authoritative for that domain...although you may want to do a 'dig' for comparison :-)

surely I'm breaking copyright or trademark laws here? whats to stop me being sued? for that matter, whats to stop vexatious litigation? and what about the name brokers? do they have legal responsibilities? and if I run DNS server on my network am I then a name provider for myself and have to worry about litigation?

This is a grey area (surprise), with both the Trademark owners as well as the 'little people' winning in various cases. AFAIK, I haven't seen anyone go to court over the hostname portion of their site- remember, 'the Net as we know it' has now almost been reduced to simply ftp.domain.TLD and www.domain.TLD at this point, with 'the world at large' rarely using hostnames other than ftp or www. Also, see:
for some info on domain disputes, or Google for 'domain disputes'

or to put it another way, what is the relationship between trademark control institutions and name brokers?

See above, it's still being figured out ;-)


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