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Module 2 comments

  • To: 2gtld-evaluation@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Module 2 comments
  • From: "S. Subbiah" <subbiah@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Apr 2009 22:10:28 -0700 (same comment in conjunction with 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. The case and need for one or two character IDN TLDs, particularly for the scripts that use ideographs and account for some 30% of the current Internet users, was closed long long ago based on unanimous recomendation by the GNSO IDN Working Group Report. It is completely inconcievable that even at this current version of the document, we are even debating this. Clearly that Working Group's recomendations, like the recomednations of the Katoh IDN committe of years ago are long forgotten and for those of us who stayed up at night to participate it in them for weeks it was just a dream. & .2 Countries have or will be getting ASCII and IDN ccTLDs for their unrestricted use. Additionally it may make some sense to prevent other versions of the country names (or perhaps even their capital city names) from being abused by requiring a simple non-objection letter from relevant government authorities. But to go beyond that and try to protect every state, region, town and maybe even village names and their nicknames (i.e. New York is Big Apple), and every fragment of eac name, in every ID script is going too far. When combined with an onerous requirment for the non-objection letter to state that the relevant Minister or President understands all of ICANN's many rules and financial liabilities and is tacitly "approving it" not only opens up the perception that the goverment is somehow liable later but will surely drastiaclly reduce the number of geopolitical TLD applicants - the one area of TLDs which, based on history thus far, might actually find some usefulness when the ASCII gTLDs are greatly expanded.

2.2.1 Limiting technical exchange to a single online event will be extremely unfair to non-native English language applicants, whether or not translators and translations are available.

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