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American Booksellers Association Comment on Closed Generic gTLDs

  • To: comments-closed-generic-05feb13@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: American Booksellers Association Comment on Closed Generic gTLDs
  • From: David Grogan <david@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2013 13:43:10 -0400

Dr. Stephen D. Crocker, Chairman of the Board
Mr. Fadi Chehadé, President & CEO
Mr. Cherine Chalaby, Chair of the New gTLD Committee
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90094

On behalf of the American Booksellers Association, the national,
not-for-profit trade association representing independent bookstores, we
are writing to express our strong opposition to “closed generic” gTLD
applications, especially for generic book industry terms, such as .book,
which is a closed generic gTLD application that was submitted to ICANN by
Amazon EU S.a.r.l.

ABA concurs with the Association of American
allowing a single company to have exclusive rights to a particular
string is not in the best interest of the public. The Generic Names
Supporting Organization stated that a key benefit to introducing new
top-level domains was that these domains had the potential to “promote
competition in the provision of registry services, to add consumer choice,
[and] market differentiation….”

However, offering closed generic gTLDs would run completely counter to all
of those goals.

Amazon.com, for example, stated in its gTLD application that the .book
registry would remain its property and that the company would “strictly
control” the use of .book domains.

Clearly, closed gTLDs are at odds with the potential benefits of market
differentiation, consumer choice, and fostering competition. The only way a
string such as .book would offer these benefits would be if the domain were
open to the entire industry. Indeed, it is likely that a string such as
“.book” would be sought after by bookstore owners, authors, publishers,
libraries, and many others.

With this in mind, we oppose ICANN’s plan to sell closed generic gTLD. We
believe it goes against the very nature of a free and open Internet and is
not in the best interest of the public.

Thank you for your consideration.

Oren Teicher, CEO
American Booksellers Association

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