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comments on "Defensive Applications for New gTLDs"

  • To: newgtlds-defensive-applications@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: comments on "Defensive Applications for New gTLDs"
  • From: James Carlson <carlsonj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 07 Feb 2012 17:38:18 -0500

Although I can see obvious cases in which large corporations with the
cash to spare (e.g., IBM, Oracle) may well be able to justify defensive
registrations of new gTLDs, I suspect that the question asked in this
request for comments is itself incomplete.

The primary issue for those of us with existing domains isn't the threat
of new gTLDs using our trade or service marks.  The primary issue is the
proliferation of new TLDs and the threat of paying protection money to
hundreds of new registrars.

As the situation exists today, it is all too common for domain owners to
be faced with registering not just "myname.com", but "myname.org",
"myname.net", and, in a recent and ominous twist, "myname.xxx".

With perhaps a few dozen of these at USD$50/year, it gets expensive
quickly.  With hundreds or thousands, it is simply prohibitive.

And for what are we forced to pay this money?  Essentially, the
registrants buying domains in these new TLDs get no value whatsoever.
Does anyone at ICANN think that International Business Machines sells
pornography?  If they don't, then why does ICM Registry LLC have an
entry for "IBM.XXX"?

The only logical explanation I can see is that they (like many others)
are paying for protection.  It amounts to being forced to pay every new
registrar that pops up an extra USD$50/year (or so), under threat that
they'll use their new ICANN-blessed franchise to sell a bit of your good
name to someone else, or (worse) use it to try to destroy your
reputation by creating a fake "this domain for sale" web page.

Obviously, we've had to deal with deceptive practices before, such as
the common case of typo-squatting.  However, adding new TLDs to the mix
 makes that whole practice much more attractive to bad actors, because
it becomes much more practical and convenient to own a new TLD cash cow.
 It's a turn-key opportunity ready-made for fraud.

If the new TLDs were being used for some good and limited purpose --
e.g., a new ".\u4E2D\u56FD" domain for China -- then the plan would be
easier to understand.  But there appear to be no practical limits to the
new TLDs, and the likelihood that they'll be used to siphon money away
from legitimate businesses is unacceptably high.  It's hard to see how
this doesn't end in disaster.

James Carlson         42.703N 71.076W         <carlsonj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

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