ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

ICANN wants to "roll the dice" and admits "the benefits of innovation ..... are too 'speculative' to predict"

  • To: 5gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: ICANN wants to "roll the dice" and admits "the benefits of innovation ..... are too 'speculative' to predict"
  • From: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 11:54:21 -0800 (PST)

To add to our prior comment about "moral hazard":


which compared ICANN to irresponsible subprime mortgage brokers 
pushing risky NINJA loans (new TLDs), where the the profits are privatized 
the losses are socialized, we read with interest the letter by ICANN to the GAC 
dated November 23rd at:


We found it very interesting that the discussion of costs vs. benefits on page 
of the letter were described as follows:

"The economist reports to date reflect that the benefits of innovation, or the 
effectiveness of trademark protection developed by the intellectual 
property constituencies, are too speculative to predict with accuracy."

This is a very telling statement, and demonstrates that ICANN has failed to 
its Affirmation of Commitments obligations to prove that benefits exceed costs 
when making decisions. As discussed at length in a prior comment:


ICANN has not demonstrated *any* rigour whatsoever in presenting 
empirical evidence and analysis to support its decisions.  Indeed, they've done 
things improperly -- they've come to a decision first, and are grasping at 

trying to find *any* evidence whatsoever to support their decision. They have 
not even posted summaries or analyses of comments to Phase I of the "Economic 
Framework" made many months ago, nor published Phase II of the report (which 
due 15 business days before Cartagena, a deadline which was not met). The 
so-called "benefits" of new TLDs are imaginary, whereas the costs are very real 

The proper method of an independent and trusted custodian would be to seek out 
the evidence first, and then come to an informed decision only after the 
evidence/data is presented. ICANN has put the cart before the horse.

Experts like Tim Berners-Lee had warned ICANN that past TLD rollouts were a bad 


ICANN ignored this expert advice, and the advice of many other parties. Society 
suffered the real losses when these TLDs failed to live up to their hype, due 
ICANN's poor decisions of the past.

The root is too important to be managed by those who would "roll the dice" or 
actively pursue policies that are purely "speculative" in nature, especially 
when any gains go to a small number of ICANN insiders whereas the real losses 
are suffered by the greater public. ICANN's decisions were wrong in the past. 
Now, like a desperate gambler, they seek to "double down", increasing their bet 
to make up for past losses. However, they are more than simply "doubling down" 
-- they want to grow from 20 or so gTLDs to THOUSANDS of them. How would 
react if thousands of new telephone area codes were introduced simultaneously 
New York State? There would be mass confusion.

Any "gains" are illusory, as they are often simply taxes on other parties (e.g. 
defensive registration costs, or "protection rackets" or generate confusion for 
consumers, i.e. are simply splitting up a pie, rather than making the pie 
bigger). ICANN needs to present stronger evidence than simply the "hype" of a 
few loud ICANN insiders focused on short-term privates gains, especially when 
the lessons of history (past TLD failures) and the counter-evidence is so 
compelling AGAINST the introduction of large numbers of new TLDs. The 
self-serving positions that "this time things will be different", especially 
coming from parties whose decisions have been proven to be wrong in the past, 
should not outweigh the strong evidence produced by people who have been proven 
RIGHT time and time again.

Furthermore, even if a handful of new TLDs were introduced, ICANN's plan is 
*not* optimal for the public. Tender processes for operation of new TLDs for 
fixed terms at the lowest cost to consumers, as the DOJ/DOC recommended as 
offering the maximum benefits and lowest prices for consumers, were ignored by 

In conclusion, we call for the GAC, DOC, DOJ and NTIA to make it clear to ICANN 
that they will not support ICANN's half-baked plans, until such time as the 
standards of the Affirmation of Commitments have been met. If ICANN were to 
proceed, we call upon the DOC, DOJ and NTIA to terminate the IANA contract 
without delay. ICANN acts like the rogue North Korean government -- seeking 
private gains through provocation of the broader community. It's time for the 
GAC, DOC, DOJ and NTIA to compel ICANN to act responsibly, or terminate its 
relationship in favour of an institution that the public and consumers can 


George Kirikos

<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy