FW: Article 8.1.1 of ICZN

Richard Pyle deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Thu Aug 1 01:06:00 CDT 2002

I accidentally sent this directly to Markku Savela by mistake, so I've
revised it a bit, and am reposting to Taxacom, its original intended

> Except, that "www.namesRus.com" would want to send you a bill for the
> service. Say $100 / name? 1000$ / name?

That's why I changed it to "org", instead of "com".  Obviously, it would
have to be a free or nearly free service.  I would think that several
organizations would galdly provide a web server with free name registration
service in exchange for the honor of hosting (but not "controlling") it.
For instance, I'm sure the name registration system would represent only a
tiny additional overhead to the existing BIOSIS web site, for example.  In
fact, I'd bet the biggest problem would be the politics of selecting which
one of the many willing participants would get dibs. But if the arbitrary
numbers are generated randomly instead of sequentially (as I FIRMLY believe
they should), then there could be any number "mirror" sites around the
internet that would all be keeping themselves in synch with each other
during the "five nines" that that are online, thereby eliminating the
concern that you could not register your new name during the "three zeros"
(0.001% of the time) that the main server is down (o.k., maybe better to be
conservative and go with "four nines" and "two zeros", but you get the
point...).  In fact, this would help ensure its perpetual availability and
free-access.  If it was mirrored on dozens (hundreds?) of sites around the
globe, all of which conformed to a simple synchronization protocol, then no
one organization could claim ownership (or capitalize on a monopoly), and it
would be perpetually available and redundant.  The key is the
synchronization protocol, that would ensure that no two servers would ever
provide the same number for two different names, and also ensure that all
servers are kept in relatively real-time synch with each other.  I'm sure
the technology exists to do this.

And, even if no organization would be willing to pick up the tab (which I
*HIGHLY* doubt!)....even at *today's* rate of new species descriptions, a
couple of dollars per name (certainly less than $5) ought to cover the
purchase, service, and maintenance of the server box, plus the annual salary
of the one technician needed to keep it running. If we are able to ramp up
species description rates (ala All-Species, etc.), then this number will
surely rise. But this is all moot, because I can't believe that nobody would
be willing to host the regisration server.


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