Strong support for EOI and moving TLDs forward
- To: draft-eoi-model@xxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Strong support for EOI and moving TLDs forward
- From: Elaine Pruis <elaine@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 16:25:21 -0800
To ICANN Board and Staff:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed EOI process.
It is unfortunate that the International Trademark Association (INTA)
has used the public comment venue to make a mockery of the consensus
building process by mass-mailing their members and telling them to
submit anti-new TLD comments. As this comment forum is for the
proposed EOI process, please note that comments such as "we don't like
new TLDs" and "we have yet to see any real benefits of the
introduction of new gTLD’s" are outside of the scope of the proposed
EOI Process, and must be thrown out. This is not the question. The
decision to launch TLDs was made through a PDP process and was
announced to the world by ICANN in June of 2008 from Paris.
The GAC letter calling for the board to delay a vote on the EOI
Process must be considered against the following points. Three months
ago the EOI process was introduced in a public session at the ICANN
Seoul meeting. There was a proposal put forward at the beginning of
December (with the input of a GAC member, BLC), allowing the GAC a
significant amount of time to consider the effects of the proposal.
This is the second comment round on the EOI. Does the GAC not feel led
to participate in the process in the same way the rest of the
stakeholders must? The GAC waited until the day before the comments
closed to express their concerns. They have had the same time,
information, and access as the entire ICANN community. By submitting
a request for delay at the very last minute they are introducing delay
for delay's sake. This cannot be allowed. Their concerns cannot be
taken seriously because of this last minute move. One of their
complaints is that "no request has been made for the GAC's opinion".
Is not a public comment forum a request for opinion? The fact that
they are willing to wield their new found AoC review power in such an
irresponsible way makes one question if the allocation of oversight to
the GAC is a good idea.
We must remember the reasons for the EoI, why the EoI was conceived,
and proposed. At the Seoul meeting ICANN staff announced they would
not commit to a timeline because of some unresolved overarching issues
such as root scaling, demand, and public order issues. The community
responded with a proposal, the EOI, which would answer these questions
and allow forward movement of new TLDs. The EOI is meant to be tool
ICANN staff may use to resolve some of the issues standing in the way
of the completion of the Applicant Guidebook. ( On this note, those
parts of the DAG where we have reached consensus should be frozen.)
The uncertainty created by a lack of firm commitment by the ICANN
staff and board has wreaked havoc with project planning, securing
investment from financial backers, and resource allocation for new
TLDs. Perhaps the Board and staff need to be reminded of the cost of
a. Loss of faith in the system: ICANN staff announced at Domain Fest
in Los Angeles on January 26 that the DAG 4 would be out before the
June meeting in Brussells, and the final version of Applicant
Guidebook would be published before the end of 2010. Is this a
timeline we can now believe in? Parties interested in funding and
applying for new TLDs (such as the City of New York) are holding
their breath waiting for a date, but one is hesitant to rely on these
dates as past experience has proven there is no reason to trust such
b. Alternate roots springing up to deal with demand (YES there is
demand for new TLDs).
c. Serious attrition of knowledgeable and committed professionals that
volunteer a huge amount of personal time to support ICANN efforts.
Consider an ICANN where the incumbents, IP, BC and GAC are the only
folks left in the game. The extreme conservatism shown by this crowd
will prevail and the concept of a single open internet, with choices
and competition, will be lost forever.
Finally, The EOI is meant to remove the guesswork staff is facing. If
the community had not been sidelined by the statements "no timeline,
no dates because of the remaining unknown factors" in Korea, the EOI
would not exist. The EOI is not necessary if ICANN truly commits to a
deadline for resolution of outstanding issues and a time line for
Nevertheless, I support the Expressions of Interest proposal. The EoI
is an outcome from ICANN's request to the community to solve the
issues causing the new TLD roadblocks.
A high fee must be charged for submitting an EoI. This topic was
thoroughly debated during the EOI proposal discussion and $55k is not
a random number. A lower fee of $10k allows for a speculator to bid
on 5x the number of TLDs as a potential applicant. The higher fee is
to keep speculators from clogging the system. Only parties that are
serious about running a new gTLD should be considered, not parties
that can bet $10k on the opportunity that a legitimate applicant will
pay them off to go away. As to the opinion that the high fee
marginalizes parties interested in applying for a new TLD, this number
is only a percentage of the cost of applying overall. "A high fee
will give weight to the process and the submissions."
Mandatory submission provides that the results of the process will
"state with certainty" the number of gTLDs that will be applied for.
If the EOI is not mandatory, the root scaling question, the staff and
resource allocation, and the public order questions are not answered.
"A mandatory EOI will lend greater certainty to the process and
reliability to the information received." And "Full transparency of
the process will mitigate litigation risk".
Refunds should be allowed under VERY limited circumstances. If ICANN
fails to launch the application program by a set date for instance.
Yes, that means ICANN staff must perform by a certain date or the
money is returned. This allows for some certainty on behalf of the
applicants, which is SORELY needed!
The communications period should be the GNSO recommended 4 month
period. There is no doubt from the (256 and counting) number and
variety of comments submitted on this EOI proposal that Many Many
people already know about new gTLDs, and Many of those are actually
ICANN "outsiders", whatever that is... as anyone is invited to
participate and attend, and all have equal access to information via
the ICANN website.
ICANN should openly publish EOI results. This allows for previously
unknown issues to surface early; and, much to the chagrin of an
incumbent registry operator, the time for folks with a legitimate
objection to allocate the resources and gather the necessary support
for objection when the application process opens!
The only argument I've heard against a pre-application is "what if I
see your idea and find it compelling, so then I want to apply for the
same string?" The overall cost to the process of not making EOI a pre-
application far outweighs the marginal benefit of opportunity to those
not so creative. The EOI is not meant to be an avenue for secondary
market level TLD trading, we must avoid encouraging a high level of
Some comments submitted claim that the EOI is a distraction from the
new TLD process and unproven, yet the very proposal the commentators
are writing to review states:
-Staff has not paused or slowed ongoing work on the new gTLD program
for the consideration of the EOI process (they are diligently working
on resolving the TM issues).
-There is precedent for an EOI process with the launch of the IDN
ccTLD Fast Track (how was the GAC involved in that process?)
Two words to the IP crowd that would hold the process hostage with
claims the ICANN Board must not make a decision in Nairobi because
they will not be in attendance due to safety and security concern:
ICANN Board and Staff, please, consider the costs of allowing the
incumbents (who benefit from NO NEW competition) to continue to delay
this process. The community has worked together to hash out numerous
issues and concerns of the TM holders, the clearing house, the URS,
etc. We are facing a breakdown in the system and instead of consensus
building we are caught in a stranglehold. YOU can move things forward.
With very best regards and sincere appreciation for the difficult work
you do everyday.