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.BERLIN Comments DAG5

  • To: <5gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: .BERLIN Comments DAG5
  • From: "Dirk Krischenowski | dotBERLIN" <krischenowski@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2010 16:28:14 +0100

The dotBERLIN GmbH & Co. KG participated in and contributed to the new gTLD
process from the very beginning in 2005. We represent thousands of Berlin
based SMEs, Federal State of Berlin owned or shared organizations, major
Berlin based companies, hotels, Internet businesses, registrars, individuals
and other members which form an unparallelled community for a city top-level
domain application. For the gTLD Applicant Guidebook (proposed final
version) we have comments and change requests by which we are aiming to get
a fair and timely treatment on our way to acquire our own identity on the

RE: 1.1.1 Application Submission Period

The dotBERLIN GmbH & Co. KG has started in 2005 with its project to launch
the .berlin top-level domain. Only a year later the topic of new gTLDs for
cities and regions was on the agenda of the Association of German Cities and
Regions. By this the opportunities and risks of creating and operating a
cityTLD became aware to all German regional authorities. A resolution of the
German Bundestag based on the cityTLD movement made the topic even more
prominent and official a year later. Meanwhile the same happened in many
countries worldwide, where local GeoTLD initiatives and GAC representatives
created awareness, discussion and even workinggroups on the topic. 

>>> For the reason of a long lasting and broad discussion on GeoTLDs we
think a 30-days application window should be more than sufficient,
especially if the next application opportunity arises a year later.

RE: String Contention

During a Community Priority Evaluation ICANN will submit the comments
received during the public comment period to the evaluators with
instructions to take the relevant information into account in reaching their
conclusions. We are concerned that this provision could lead to thousands of
comments on behalf of a particular applicant in order to score higher in a
Community Priority Evaluation or in opposite to impair a particular
application. We ask ICANN to clarify which kind of comments and information
submitted is really relevant and will be considered by the evaluators and
how it will be ensured that the pure quantity of comments will not
necessarily lead to a better scoring.

RE Geographic Names Requiring Government (capital cities)

We've spoken to many governmental representatives and they appreciate that
capital cities are protected to a certain extent. Furthermore the
requirement of "governmental support at the national level" for capital city
names within the current AGB provides additional protection for GeoTLDs. The
concept of protecting famous cities worldwide is anchored not only in German
law, but many legal frameworks around the world. However, with a simple
gaming scheme it is possible to undermine this provision: In case an
ostensibly  "good faith" applicant for confusingly similar strings like
.pari or .belin shows up he can easily drag a .paris or .berlin application
into a contention set with a subseqent auction. This may end up in a
scenario where the cityTLD applicants are forced to pay a high redemption
fee. We think it is not acceptable that malicious TLD applicants make
cityTLDs a target for blackmail.

>>> Therefore we ask for an universal protection of capital city names over
all other applications, similar to that of country and territory names.

RE 4.2.3 Community Priority Evaluation Criteria

The Community Priority Evaluation Criteria have been set up by ICANN with
the goal to score community TLDs higher than standard TLDs with regards to
the accountability to the community and the global representation of the
community on the Internet. For instance a long-standing community-based
application for .football that has support of major global football
organizations should be scored higher than an application that has support
only by a national football association or is just a standand gTLD
application. However the current Community Priority Evaluation scoring
system does not fully support this goal. Currently bona fide community-based
applicants for a certain community are not able to get a higher score than
ostensibly "good faith" applicants which are assumed to take advantage of
potential loopholes in the Community Priority Evaluation scoring system.
This affects long-standing bona fine GeoTLDs such as .berlin or .paris as
well as bona fide generic community-based TLDs such as .hotel or .gmbh.

>>> For this reason we claim that for each of the following conditions one
extra point in the Community Priority Evaluation should be given:

- If the applicant's organization has shown in its application that is based
and supported by a sound multi-stakeholder community of the string concerned
and is accountable to the community. 

- If the applicant's TLD initiative was already established before the
publication of the first Draft Applicant Guidebook on 24 Oct 2008 which is
evident by the incorporation date of the applicant's organization or a
publically accessable website or by other equivalent provisions.

- If the applicant's organization has untertaken fundamental, continuous,
and documented outreach at least during the last 2 years within the
community concerned. This is defined by having spoken-up and/or presented on
relevant conferences, stakeholder groups, ICANN and on other occations as
well as having published about its TLD initiative.

Dirk Krischenowski
Founder and CEO
dotBERLIN GmbH & Co. KG
Akazienstrasse 2
10823 Berlin
Tel +49 30 49782354
Fax +49 30 49782356
Mobile +49 173 2339156
E-Mail krischenowski@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Skype "krischenowski"
Web www.dotberlin.com

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