I would like to note that I am
commenting on this application from a personal point of view.
I would also note that I am
very sympathetic to the efforts of the Catalan community to maintain a distinct
cultural identity, being a member of a minority linguistic community in North America.
This being said I believe
that the approval of this application, or any of its variations, would create a
significant precedent for ICANN and immediately generate expectations from a
large number of other cultural and political entities internationally.
If ICANN approves this
application without first having established a clear policy and process for
granting cultural or political TLDs, it will then
find it difficult, if not impossible, to reject any other similar applications,
and there will certainly be many more, without placing itself in the position
of judging cultures and politics – an extremely undesirable position at
best and quite contrary to what I believe to be a core value of the Internet.
I believe that this was the
thinking behind J. Postel’s decision to create
the ccTLDs in the fashion he did - completely
removing himself and IANA from the decision process of what is, or is not, an
Similarly here, I would think
that if ICANN believes it should be allocating TLDs
to cultural or political entities that it should:
1 Define a clear policy, as
per its established processes for doing do, for the delegation of cultural or
political TLDs which would be based on criteria and
definitions generated by an internationally recognized organization, such as
the UN, which is completely independent of ICANN.
2 Establish a separate formal
process where all cultural and political entities can compete on an even
footing to obtain such TLDs.
Another possibility would be
that ICANN not make any judgement on any TLD application and simply proceed on
a first-come-first-served basis simply limiting the number of entries it
accepts at any given time and imposing conditions to insure technical stability.