Community-Based gTLD applicant definition
- To: <2gtld-intro@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Community-Based gTLD applicant definition
- From: "Robert C. Hutchinson" <bob@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 13:44:29 -0700
Dear Mr. Dengate Thrush and Dr. Twomey,
In the Mexico City gTLD Guidebook Public Forum, I asked the board to
clarify the definition of "Community-Based" [see transcript below], and Dr
Twomey invited comment on how ICANN could better define "Community-Based"
strings that are not subject to gaming by commercial interests. This issue
is very important to potential applicants because as the Guidebook is
currently written, the definition of "Community-Based" could be interpreted
very broadly. I understand and agree with the overall concept of the two
categories; "Community-Based" gTLDs and Open gTLDs. My preference would be
to clearly define "Community-Based" gTLDs as: a TLD that is operated for
the benefit of a defined existing community consisting of a restricted
population which self-identify as members of the community and the string
"applied for" is a full or abbreviated representation of term used for
self-identity, and the community is neither defined as; a subscriber or
customer base; a business or a country or other region that is represented
by a ccTLD.
Commercially sponsored TLDs should be identified as a separate class of TLD;
where the string being "applied for" is a full or abbreviated representation
of a commercial trademark owned by the applicant.
As an example I would cite the case of .apple. Using the above
categorization of TLD applications, Apple Computer would be prevented from
improving their application by using their customer base as a justification
for a "community" gTLD. And a level playing field would exist, as it
should, between Apple Computer and Apple Records when both are applying for
the .apple gTLD.
Transcript from Mexico City Public Forum:
BOB HUTCHINSON: My name is Bob Hutchinson, with Dynamic Ventures a software
development outfit. And we consult with businesses that have interest on the
Internet. In the spirit of reducing confusion in the gTLD process, can I
please ask the board to, ad hoc, come up with some better definitions for
community gTLDs than what is currently in the guidebook, either by
representation or -- by example?
It's very difficult for us to understand whether commercial interests that
have communities associated with them would be legitimate under this current
PAUL TWOMEY: May I respond to that? Your question is an excellent question.
The difficulty -- and this partly comes to the previous comments about the
community objection -- is how to be able to devise a nonsubjective process
that allows people to put forward community objections without necessarily
opening it up to all sorts of gaming, including interpretation by commercial
strings that are going to be for the public generally, that they are a
community. We would appreciate any thinking you have in response to what's
presently being posted to help us think about how to achieve that. This is a
very difficult area.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the ICANN second draft
of the new gTLD Draft Applicant Guidebook.
I look forward to the next draft version of the Applicant Guidebook and the
coming meeting in Sydney.
Robert C. Hutchinson