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Undermining competition and innovation

  • To: "comments-gac-safeguard-advice-23apr13@xxxxxxxxx" <comments-gac-safeguard-advice-23apr13@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Undermining competition and innovation
  • From: John Berard <john@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 May 2013 21:40:13 +0000

I would like to thank the ICANN new gTLD Board Committee for the opportunity to 
offer comment on the effect of the safeguard measures for new gTLDs as proposed 
by the GAC.

It is clear from the other comments made to this forum that the extent, intent 
and mandatory (or not) nature of the GAC advice has been well-framed.  
VoxPopuli Registry shares many of those concerns in general but there is one in 
particular that has not been fully addressed.

The GAC Advice has created a competitive disadvantage for applicants who have, 
from the start, committed to responsible policies that others in their 
contention set now have a third chance to get right.

This “yet another chance to get it right” undermines the willingness of those 
who have from the start made a commitment to policies of the sort the GAC 
Advice now requires:  WhoIs verification, partnerships with appropriate 
industry groups, trademark protections and, in the specific case of certain 
sensitive applications, anti-cyber bullying provisions.

If an applicant did not have such commitments in their initial application, 
they were given a second chance when the call came for Public Interest 
Commitments, particularly in light of GAC Early Warnings.  If they passed on 
that (and many did), now comes the GAC Communique from Beijing and yet another 
(a third) bite at the apple.  This is a move that undercuts the market value of 
competition and innovation.

On this basis, the ICANN Board should do what the Applicant Guidebook provides 
it may do when GAC Advice is not adhered to by an application.  Endorse and 
approve those that have gotten it right from the start and reject those that 
clearly, from the start, made no effort to comply.

John Berard
VoxPopuli Registry

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