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SIDN's comment on draft Application Guidebook v3

  • To: <3gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: SIDN's comment on draft Application Guidebook v3
  • From: "Roelof Meijer" <Roelof.Meijer@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 09:26:22 +0100

On behalf of Roelof Meijer, I herewith send you SIDN's comment on draft 
Application Guidebook v3. 

Kind regards, 
Natasja Leushuis
Secretary to CEO

1. Vertical separation between registries and registrars
SIDN's position on this matter is that ICANN needs clear rules, based on 
bottom-up developed policies for the issue of  separation or (partial) 
integration of registries (and back and providers) and registrars (incl. 
resellers). Therefore we  would like ICANN to clarify the current policy and 
rules and how they could be used for the new gTLD process. We understand from 
the the current debate on registry-registrar separation that there might well 
be reasons to modify those policies and rules. Some argue for stricter rules, 
others for more freedom. In our opinion, however, this is a complicated issue 
that cannot be solved overnight. Therefore it is SIDN's position that any 
changes in the existing registry-registrar separation policies need to be 
developed using the Policy Development Process. Due to the fact that such a 
process takes considerably time and thus would significantly (further) delay 
the new gTLD process, it is out opinion that it should be a parallel track to 
the new gTLD program and not an overarching issue that needs to be solved 
before new gTLD's are implemented.

2. Root scaling study
SIDN supports  the methods and the conclusions of the root scaling study 
report. We agree with the authors that the provisioning chain of the root 
system does not allow for large or fast increases in the root zone file and 
therefore we agree with the conclusions of the report that a combined 
introduction of IPv6, DNSSEC, IDN ccTLD's and gTLD's is not a good idea. It is 
now up to ICANN to provide the community with a proposal and a roadmap on how 
to deal with this issue and how to prioritize the implementation of these four 
changes in the root. Furthermore ICANN needs to show the community a solution, 
or a roadmap to such a solution, for the provisioning problem if there will be 
no boundaries for the number of new gTLD's per round or the total number of 
gTLD's in the root. If ICANN, however, wants to design these boundaries they 
will have to be designed in a Policy Development Process, since there is 
clearly no policy at this moment for implementing such boundaries.

3. Demand for new gTLD's
SIDN considers the study for the fundamental demand for new gTLD's to be 
important. ICANN needs to do more research on this issue, but this research 
should be (internet domain) market research based on facts and should focus on 
demand of potential new applicants and internet users and should not have the 
theoretical approach of the previous studies. ICANN furthermore should present 
the benefits of the new gTLD's, resulting from the demand, vis-à-vis the 
possible drawbacks and the potential costs associated with these drawbacks. 

4. Proposed EOI  mechanism for new gTLD's
The discussion on many issues still unresolved, including  the three issues 
mentioned above, will merit from a clearer picture of how many and what kind of 
proposals supported by whom can be expected in the first round. Therefore SIDN 
supports a EOI mechanism as proposed in the public forum in Seoul. Such a EOI 
should consists of the possibility to express ones interest in a particular 
TLD, supported by the objectives, target group and  the underlying business 
model. The results of this EOI should be public and therefore only those who 
presented their interest should be enabled to participate in the subsequent 
first round of applications. The fee for the EOI should be significant (but 
deductible from the application fee) in order to prevent frivolous 
applications. We suggest an amount of $55.000,- which equals the costs of 
withdrawing an application after the initial evaluation has taken place. The 
EOI should in our opinion not lead to a "fast track" handling of the presently 
unsolved issues. The evaluation should only start as soon as all outstanding 
issues are resolved which guarantees that there will not only be one round now 
and no other rounds in the foreseeable future. 

5. Trademark issues
We generally support the way staff has worked out the IRT proposals.  We 
however feel that a sunrise or other pre launch rights protection mechanism 
should be mandatory for all  TLD's offering domain names to the public. The 
same applies to the URS. 
With regard to the URS we do not see why the remedy has to be different from 
the UDRP. We assume that as soon as the registration period of a URS suspended 
domain ends, it will be caught by another registrant with the same intentions 
as the previous holder or will be renewed (the rules do not mention if this is 
allowed) by the current registrant and then the URS  will start again. In the 
case of a transfer to the rights owner, it will be up to that party to decide 
to run such risk and cancel the domain or keep it registered to avoid further 
trouble. If the current proposed remedy remains in place, we suggest that in 
default cases a registrant (after paying a fee) will be allowed to reopen the 
URS-procedure at any time during the suspension and so avoid the 'I have not 
been duly informed' discussion. 

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