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"Open" is not the opposite of "community-based"

  • To: gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: "Open" is not the opposite of "community-based"
  • From: "Werner Staub (CORE)" <werner.staub@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2008 21:00:03 +0100

The Draft Applicant Guidebook calls TLDs "Open" when they
are not "Community-based" (see Glossary pages G-2 and G-5 as
well as page 4-6). The word "open" is misnomer and leads
serious follow-on errors.

A defined community does not necessarily have a "restricted
population". The policies of a community-based TLD do not
necessarily have to restrict access to card-carrying
community members. Conversely, a Non-community-based TLD
is not necessarily open.

The determinant factor is not openness/closedness, but the
appropriate source of governance.

A Community-based TLD is one that must primarily be
subject to the governance of the respective community, as
opposed to the non-specific governance of ICANN. This is
the case when the ICANN community at large is neither
equipped nor legitimated to provide governance in that

I propose to replace "Open" with "Non-community-based" and
to change the definitions in the Glossary as follows:

"Community-based TLD:
 A Community-based gTLD is a gTLD that is operated under
 the governance of a defined community with a specific
 purpose or an identifiable population. An applicant
 designating its application as Community-based must be
 prepared to substantiate its status as being a collective
 representative organization for the community it names in
 the application, or as being fully accountable to such an

"Non-community-based TLD:
 A Non-community-based TLD can be used for any purpose
 consistent with the requirements of the application and
 evaluation criteria, and with the registry agreement. A
 non-community-based TLD may or may not have a formal
 relationship with an exclusive registrant or user
 population. It may or may not employ eligibility checks
 or use restrictions."

Werner Staub

CORE Internet Council of Registrars   http://corenic.org
WTC II, 29 route de Pre-Bois, CH-1215 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel +4122 929-5744 Fax +4122 929-5745 secretariat@xxxxxxxxxxx

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