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Module 3 comments

  • To: 2gtld-dispute@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Module 3 comments
  • From: "S. Subbiah" <subbiah@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Apr 2009 22:14:34 -0700

3.1.1 If we pursue down this path, and assuming that meaning similarity across languages can even be defined, the equivalent IDN meaning of every current existing ASCII gTLD in every IDN script will end up being either blocked for use by anyone or operated by the exisisng ASCII gTLD operator. At the same time, maybe 500 new ASCII gtLDs (Paul Twomey was quoted widely) may be issued, all representing 500 new meanings,and they will proceed to become existing TLD operators for the next round. And at the next round these 500 operators (and some IDN operators that may have also been issued gTLDs) will under these same rules collectively ensure that they "own" these 500 or more meanings in every IDN script ( for the IDN operators, all other IDN scripts). So by the end of thsi first round, where only those who can spend a few hundred thousand dollars can particpate, pretty much all terms of any possible value as a gTLD will have been land-grabbed already in every script by in practice mostly companies from Western/rich/incumbent countries. An identical scenario can be imagined for "sound similarity". By the time 500 ASCII gTLDs are issued for some meaning or other, it is quite likley many many words highly meaningful words in a wide array of IDN scripts/languages that may have nothing to do with the 500 issued ASCII meanings may forever be off-limits for use by the people's of those unfortunate hundreds of Unicode languages (let alone the thousands that one day make it to Unicode). As per the near-uananimous GNSO IDN Working Group Recommednation, the strong Katoh IDN COmmitee recomendation from several years ago, public minuted utterances by the gNSO chairs and Seniro ICANN staff it is very clear that the only rational string confusion to be allowed is a simple visual one - and even then only when it is very likley to decieve the end-user. For reasons that hardly anyone in the IDN community can fathom, IcANN has insisted on leaving the wording regqarding this vague until this version. ANd now it has gone the further step of making it explicit (in connection with the joint outcome of String Confusion step and Legal Rights objection steps) - basically if you alraedy operate or get to operate a TLD of a given meaning or sound in a single script (for now de facto ASCII) you will own rights (or at least prevent others) to that meaning or sound in every IDN script now in Unicode or the thousands that may one day be introduced into Unicode. See comments to 3.1.1. If a string is rejected on the ground of visual confusion (and if unfortunately menaing/sound

3.3.4 When IDN TLDs are involved it is only logival that at least one expert must be a speaker of that language and
hailing from the key country/region that speaks/uses that language/cript.

3.3.5 It does not cost much to hold hearings via phone/conference call. No reason to restrict it to only rare situations.

3.4.1 Strong objection - see comments to 3.1.1.

3.4.2 If an applicant is an existing TLD operator (particulary a gTLD one) then the only course of objection based on the operator's rights to the existing string should be objection based on the String COnfusion Module 2 grounds and not on trademark or brandname Legal Rights Objection grounds. In the case where the existing string is not a trademark the limitation of objection rights should be simply String Confusion Module 2.1. If in addition the existing string is also a trademark (presumably in future gTLDs as opposed to currente eisting TLDs) the objection rights for the trademark holder should be limited to String COnfusion Module 2 only, unless in the exceptional instance where the existing TLD string has been trademarked in every single jurisdiction where the Internet is accessible. These issues should be clarified in clear writing in the applicant guidebook.

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