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Asia Cloud Computing Association opposes assigning of Closed Generic Top Level Domains

  • To: comments-closed-generic-05feb13@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Asia Cloud Computing Association opposes assigning of Closed Generic Top Level Domains
  • From: Bernie Trudel <btrudel@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2013 18:19:20 +0800

The Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA), would like to register
concerns with the process now under way enabling companies to acquire, own
and control generic top level domains (gTLDs) for the purposes of exclusive
use and competitive advantage. We wish to add our voice to the growing
chorus of voices requesting ICANN to reconsider the current process, and
specific concerning applications.

As an association defined by the “cloud” and with a mission to accelerate
broadly-based and *inclusive* cloud computing adoption across the Asia
Pacific region, including the removal of barriers to adoption, we are
deeply concerned that certain companies are seeking the right to own the
gTLD ‘.cloud’ in particular, and would then be able to decide and restrict
who was able to use the domain and therefore who was able to access it.

We note that ICANN is similarly considering a host of applications for
generic terms such as .book, .movie, .search, .insurance, .app, which could
have similar deleterious impact across a host of sectors and businesses and
strongly urge for three steps to be taken:

1.    For ICANN to reconsider the process currently underway which would
allow exclusive and uncompetitive ownership of gTLDs;

2.    For ICANN to introduce and include a review process that only
approves new gTLDs on the basis that they are to be open to any company
that seeks to register therein OR that special cases need to be made for
restriction on a neutral basis (in the same broad manner that .org, .net
and .gov have been handled previously);

3.    That a broader and more extensive information and education campaign
is conducted prior to any gTLDs being awarded under the current process.

As an association based in and representative of the Asia Pacific region we
are concerned also that there is a general lack of awareness of the current
process, and that business, organizations and governments across the region
would all have stark objections if they understood the process now under
way and the potential economic and developmental impacts.

We note for example that advertisers have stated that their concerns were
not adequately addressed during the initial review process and are worried
that the new domains will result in companies having to have several
defensive addresses – negative sounding names that a company purchases to
keep a rival from exploiting them – to keep counterfeiters at bay. Far from
serving ICANN’s objective of expansion, inclusiveness and increased
competition, this would be a retrograde step, revisiting the chaos of the
early days of the Web and having companies held hostage profiteers in an
expensive land grab.

 From our perspective, however, this is only one of a number of potential
problems. Any number of companies, some that do not yet exist, face the
prospect of emerging only to find that their general sector is ‘owned’ by a
single company able to dictate particular online access. And in a world
where the Internet stands as a platform for democratic global reach, that
development would immediately serve to balkanize the Net into specific
fiefdoms. As others have noted, if a single grocery store were to control
the .grocery TLD under the new regime, it will theoretically be able to
exclude competitors from listing their sites there.

We respectfully urge ICANN to withhold approval of currently pending
applications for closed generic TLDs, and to set up a further review
process to engage more stakeholder voices before proceeding.

Yours sincerely,

Bernie Trudel

Chairman of the Board Asia Cloud Computing Association


Attachment: ACCA closed gTLD comments.docx
Description: MS-Word document

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