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Architect of the Modern DNS David Holtzman Joins as Technical Advisor

Internet technologist, security expert, and digital privacy guru David Holtzman has joined forces with ascribe as a technical advisor. As one of the internet’s early pioneers, Holtzman will serve to help ascribe realize the vision of building the ownership layer of the internet.

Holtzman has extensive experience in designing and building large-scale information-based software systems and is the author of several patents including the Domain Name Registry (DNS). He has been assisting ascribe in strategic technology thinking related to the internet and copyright. Most recently, he collaborated with ascribe’s CTO Trent McConaghy on the whitepaper “Toward An Ownership Layer for the Internet”.

“The vision of creating an ownership layer for the internet is a game changer for creators, ” said David Holtzman. “The Internet makes it difficult for creators of digital content to be fairly compensated for their work. In our paper we propose a fix that simplifies control of intellectual property.”

The approach to building the ownership layer of the internet has two pieces: a registry with easy, secure legals; and visibility into usage / provenance of the content. The legals formalize existing copyright of digital objects, making them easy and fluid for a creator or collector to use, transfer or modify. The bitcoin blockchain is used to securely record ownership transactions that are impossible to later repudiate or manipulate.

Internet-scale media search provides visibility into usage of the media by crawling the web, applying machine learning to identify similar or identical media, and subsequently reporting their existence and location to the registered owners. Taken together, these pieces constitute “ownership processing” – a simple tractable solution to make ownership actions of digital property universally accessible.

“Holtzman is one of the world’s true technology visionaries and we are very excited to join forces.” said Trent McConaghy. “Building the ownership layer of the internet, on behalf of the creators of the world, is a huge task. David’s experience and vision will help us to succeed.”

Download the whitepaper “Toward An Ownership Layer for the Internet”

About David Holtzman

David H. Holtzman ( is a former security analyst and military code-breaker, a futurist, activist, security expert, technologist, technology executive, and writer. Initiatives he spearheaded have radically changed the way people interact with technology. During the Dot Com Boom of the late 1990s, Holtzman ran one of the most critical networks in the world —- the domain name system. As Chief Technology Officer of Network Solutions and the manager of the Internet’s master root server, Holtzman oversaw the growth of the commercial Internet from five hundred thousand to over twenty million domain names.

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Image Credit: By The Opte Project CC BY 2.5 or CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons