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Serious failings of both process and design which need to be remedied prior to implementation

  • To: 5gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Serious failings of both process and design which need to be remedied prior to implementation
  • From: Paul Tattersfield <gpmgroup@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2010 11:54:09 +0000

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the latest version of the
Applicant Guide Book.

The Internet is *the* phenomenon of our age. The reason why it is so
successful is because it is so inclusive i.e. open to all while providing
huge benefits over more traditional non–Internet models.

A lot of the thinking behind the latest version of the DAG doesn’t continue
this inclusive approach rather it seems to have allowed certain parties to
quietly advantage themselves over all others.

If one looks at the success or otherwise of more traditional economies,
there are several recurring ideals that make certain economies more
successful than others. Fairness and trust are often overlooked but are both
massively important and need to be ingrained in to any new system at every

 There will always be highly innovative people looking to play at the edge
of any system therefore it is important, from the beginning, when building a
framework to design a system which doesn’t have fundamental inequities and
flaws running through it.

If these flaws are ignored because they impact certain involved parties
interests then inevitably at some later stage someone else will have to try
and redress these failings. After the event remedial actions to try and stem
abuses and inequities are so much harder because the concerned parties have
often built up rights. This leads to a situation where the issues are
decided on the details of a contract rather than the best solution for the
wider public interest. Further there shouldn’t be an environment which
enables people who were central to implementing these bad decisions to be
retained and rewarded to sort out the ensuing problems.

Introducing additions to a very successful system in an equitable way is not
a simple notion and is not helped by the fact that many of the parties
looking to shape the policy only see the “problem” from their point of view
and therefore appear extremely self serving.  This is why in a multi
stakeholder, bottom up, consensus driven organization like ICANN “Process”
is so important.

The impacts of new gTLDs and their global nature mean any failure of design
brought about through failure of process will reverberate around the world
for years.

It takes time to distill all the competing interests into a workable

The failure of process in the last few months means several fundamental
issues have come to a head in the final days before the board seeks to pass
a motion to approve the DAG into a Final version.

 In a complex organization such as ICANN this is totally unacceptable and
will inevitably polarize positions further, while allowing fundamental flaws
in the detail of the whole new gTLD process to pass through almost

The seriousness of these issues can not be understated and ideally need
supporting examples, the extreme time constraints combined with the
significant changes which have occurred in recent months makes it almost
impossible to be sure all of the impacts can be identified.

We therefore provide only cursory examples of these failings.

*Examples of failings in the 4th over arching issue - Economic Impacts*

The lack of both comment analysis and community discussion on the Economic
Studies is very concerning and as a result there are still significant
serious concerns buried in the detail.

One quick example to show the depth and seriousness of these issues

What happens if Microsoft secures .search?

How does Google or any startup search provider for that matter feel about

Microsoft may be happy to allow Google to register google.search if they can
point video.search and news.search to Bing.

If there is a wholesale migration to the right of the dot then yes this
matters because once users come to perceive entities to the right of the dot
as superior we have managed to create a series of private monopolies in
perpetuity in every vertical in the world.

This allows a contracted party to use the implicit branding of the DNS to
compete against all others in their market who are forced to compete from
the second level.

Trademark law doesn’t allow such advantage nor should ICANN

We really fail to see how granting the most economically advantaged private
corporations such implicit DNS branding advantage can ever be in the pubic
interest? We can see the [would be] contracted parties interest and we can
see ICANN’s interest; but where is the public interest required under the

Throw in the recent Vertical Integration / Vertical separation 180 degree
switch in ICANN’s position on the organization of the relationship between
groups of contracted parties at this late stage makes working out all the
impacts and consequences very difficult if not impossible in the time

VI / VS is a complex issue and failure to publish the Boards thinking behind
the recent change of position isn’t helpful. At this point it is worth
noting that a layered open market place often provides greater consumer
benefit than silo’d positions often advocated by the contracted parties

*Examples of failings of process *

We believe the summary of the comments of the DAG 4 were held back so that
staff could update the comments after the Trondheim Board resolutions.

What may have been better would have been to get the summaries out earlier
and then issue a separate summary document after Trondheim giving only the
impacted comments and the update rational.

There are massive potential externalities hidden in the detail of the new
gTLD process, this hasn’t been helped by the plan to allow the economists to
summarize and analyze the comments at some point in the future while
presenting a draft final guide book!

These comments on the 4th overarching issue have never been summarized since
2009! The comments contain a lot of valuable suggestions some of which could
have been used to get a much less worrying DAG and get the community to
discuss these issues.

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