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.university as an example

  • To: comments-gac-safeguard-advice-23apr13@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: .university as an example
  • From: Georges Malamoud <georges.malamoud@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2013 14:51:59 +0200

The GAC advice covers a lot of domains.

I want to concentrate on the higher education sector, including universities, 
one of the regulated sectors pointed by GAC.
I work for one of the most important international association of universities 
worldwide and I express here a personal comment.
This may be applicable to other similar sectors.

GAC is right.

We have a regulated sector worldwide, and in all countries separately. We have 
all sorts of bodies regrouping the main actors of this sector. This sector is 
well educated in all sorts of fields and is also one of the main contributors 
for the Internet (past and future). It is also a sector where competition is 
hard, and quality requirements at a high level.

If any structure or anybody can buy a "something.university" domain, it raises 
a lot of concerns, for the general public, students and their families, 
professionals and institutions of this sector. In this case, the different 
country states have responsibility for this sector, public and private, to 
define rules allowing for example : recognition of diplomas, exchange of 
students and academics. Each state may have a different strategy of course 
depending on a lot of factors. But some principles appear to be shared among 
this community.

No "community project" for a top level university domain has been launched, and 
I regret it. We had one nearly ready with several international associations. 

So there are several solutions :

- the acceptance "as is" inside the ICANN process of the only domain received 
(by Donuts), and the launch of this top level domain in a few months with the 
possibility for anybody to create domains in it, without any regulation or 
compliance with rules of this community, except the normal copyright issues. No 
other top level domain will be allowed to be created using roughly the same 
letters afterwards. Confusion is more than possible.

- the reject of this proposal (for any reason, including the GAC advice), so 
the possibility for a community project is offered. Such a project will or will 
not be conceived for the future, but it depends solely on this community. We 
are willing to participate in it.

- the evolution of the .university project (including recommendations form the 
GAC advice) to incorporate answers and solutions to these comments. This will 
only be possible if such evolutions are mandatory and enforced.

So, not taking into account GAC advice, or the questions raised, would then 
drive towards the first solution.

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