comments on "Defensive Applications for New gTLDs"
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>