[gnso-idn-wg] Internationalized sTLD labels
- To: gnso-idn-wg@xxxxxxxxx
- Subject: [gnso-idn-wg] Internationalized sTLD labels
- From: Cary Karp <ck@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 18:10:16 +0100
I've been thinking about the comments made by Marilyn and others about
the need for recognizing distinctions between sponsored and
unrestricted gTLDs, and the corresponding need for differentiated
treatment of requests for localized correlates to existing TLD labels.
The following text is only intended to be read as me thinking "out loud"
while trying to focus on the central issues, and it is being posted here
in case any of the other w.g. members might find it similarly useful.
If, in my role as the sTLD representative on the GNSO Council there is
need to put a constituency position forward, this text would also be
likely to appear recognizably in any such more formal statement.
- - - - - - - - - -
The concept of sponsorship in the context of ICANN's first round of
gTLD applications was applied to situations where, a.) names in the
proposed TLD would only be available to bona fide members of a
community that was clearly established independently of that TLD and,
b.) that corresponding eligibility requirements would be enforced by a
sponsoring organization that was internationally representative of the
target community, again entirely independently of the TLD. The terms of
reference for the second round of gTLD applications retained the sTLD
nomenclature but modified it to permit greater latitude in the
component definitions of community, eligibility requirements, and scope
of the sponsoring organization's representativity.
Regardless of the signficance any differences between these two groups
may have, all of the sTLDs share the common attribute of having labels
that designate their sponsored community, and are explicitly intended
to be associated with that community and nothing else that might
coincidentally be evoked by the label. In contrast, a uTLD label is
available for anyone who wishes to register a name with it, even if
marketing efforts may be focused on specific segments of what is
nonetheless an unbounded community of prospective name holders.
This distinction gains importance in an internationalized name space. A
sponsored community of global extent will naturally designate itself
in a large number of languages. However, each of these vernacular terms
designates precisely the same community. If its full battery of names is
applied to a community's projection into the digital realm, its sense
of commonality on the Internet will readily be heightened, as will the
resulting clarity and utility to the broader user community. The entire
purpose of using an sTLD label to signify this global identity would,
however, be undermined if it were permitted to designate different and
unrelated things depending on the language in which it is expressed.
The only constraint on the determination of new TLD labels that this
statement is intended to suggest -- particularly on those expressed as
IDNs or otherwise of non-anglophone derivation -- is that the target
community for a sponsored TLD must not be splintered in the process.
This requires that all of the various labels that can be associated
with any such community are operated on a shared and coherent policy