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Reject the .jobs Amendment!

  • To: jobs-phased-allocation@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Reject the .jobs Amendment!
  • From: David Manaster <david@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2010 12:23:03 -0400

July 15, 2010

Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman
Members of the Board of Directors
International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6601

Dear Chairman Dengate Thrush and Members of the Board,

I am the CEO of ERE Media, Inc., a trade publisher that serves HR and 
recruiting professionals. My organization has been observing the evolution of 
the .jobs TLD since its inception, and we have been reporting extensively on 
the proposed amendment at our web site, http://www.ere.net/.

ERE Media, Inc. would not be directly and adversely affected by this request 
except in a tangential way, since both HR professionals and job boards are our 
customers.  I write this letter not to advance my own interests or those of my 
organization, but as a concerned citizen of the Internet.

As I read the letters posted as part of the public comment period, I am struck 
by how political the process has become, and how transparently the vast 
majority of the letters on both sides were driven by their respective trade 

Lost in this politicization of the .jobs TLD are fundamental problems with the 
proposed amendment:

1.) The proposed amendment fundamentally changes Employ Media from a domain 
order processor to a domain kingmaker.

The discretionary powers that the proposed amendment would give to Employ Media 
over the use of the .jobs domains are shockingly broad.  They turn the company 
from a domain name order processor into a domain kingmaker, who can pick and 
choose who develops .jobs domain names entirely at their own discretion.  To my 
knowledge, this would be a unique role for a registrar, and it is a troubling 
precedent for public policy to have one organization able to unilaterally 
decide who gets to utilize broad swaths of domains in a TLD. 

2.)  The proposed amendment is driven by the financial concerns of the 
registrar, not concern for HR professionals.

Financially speaking, the .jobs TLD has been a failure.  Employ Media sold only 
around 15,000 domains since 2005, and because of the disappointing sales they 
are pushing for more creative ways to promote and sell .jobs domains. This is 
what is driving the proposed amendment, not concern for the profession of HR.

Employ Media has never disclosed the details of their financial relationship 
with DirectEmployers, despite repeated inquiries.  The SHRM PDP Council minutes 
of April 9, 2010 state that the council intended to ask Employ Media about the 
financial impact of the proposed amendment on the company, but never got the 
opportunity to even ask the question.

3.)  The registrar has already violated the .jobs charter.

Employ Media and DirectEmployers partnered to launch the first of their 
geographic and occupationally focused websites using the .jobs domain in 
October 2009.  At the time, these site were a direct violation of the spirit of 
the existing .jobs charter, which states ".jobs domain registrations are 
limited to the legal name of an employer and/or a name or abbreviation by which 
the employer is commonly known."   It was not until March 22, 2010 that Employ 
Media proposed an amendment to the charter that would allow it to do what it 
had already attempted.

4.)  SHRM has failed in its oversight responsibilities as the sponsor of the 
.jobs TLD.

I am a longtime member of SHRM, and believe that they are well-intentioned and 
a positive force for the HR profession.  However, they have clearly failed in 
their oversight responsibilities. The first PDP Council was managed by Bill 
Warren, the Founder of DirectEmployers, and the second included Rhonda 
Stickley, the Association's President, people with obvious motivation to see 
the amendment pass. Gary Rubin, the SHRM executive who managed the second PDP 
Council, was completely unaware of the first public comment period that had 
been publicized on Policy.jobs until we questioned him about its details, and 
the second attempt at a "public" comment period was conducted by SHRM in such a 
way that all of the responses were secret.

Further, SHRM receives a fixed annual payment of an undisclosed amount from 
Employ Media for its role as the sponsor of the .jobs TLD, and Employ Media 
also advertises heavily in SHRM publications. There is a very strong argument 
to be made here that this has resulted in a situation of "regulatory capture", 
where the organization that is supposed to be policing behavior by the 
registrar, is in fact financially tied to its success.

It is my belief that this amendment is not in the best interests of HR 
professionals, and it is not in the best interests of users of the Internet.  
The only ones who benefit here are Employ Media, DirectEmployers, and SHRM.  I 
urge ICANN to not only reject the this amendment, but to reconsider the 
governance structure of the .jobs TLD.


David Manaster
ERE Media, Inc.

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