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Comments of INTA DNS Subcommittee

  • To: "'stld-rfp-general@xxxxxxxxx'" <stld-rfp-general@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Comments of INTA DNS Subcommittee
  • From: Michael Heltzer <mheltzer@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 10:47:14 -0400

Comments for Proposed Sponsored Top-Level Domains

        The Subcommittee on Registration Practice and DNS Administration of
the International Trademark Association's Internet Committee welcomes the
opportunity to comment on the proposals for new Sponsored Top-Level Domains
that were posted on ICANN's web site on March 31, 2004.  The subcommittee
would like to take this opportunity to thank the proposed sponsors for their
hard work in putting together the proposals.  


The mission of INTA's Internet Committee is to evaluate treaties, laws,
regulations and procedures relating to domain name assignment, use of
trademarks on the Internet, and unfair competition on the Internet.  This
committee also develops and advocates policies to advance the balanced
protection of trademarks on the Internet.  In particular, the subcommittee
focuses its efforts on reviewing and commenting on proposals relating to
registrar and registry practices (e.g., domain name transfers, Wait List
Service, and IDNs).  In addition, the subcommittee is charged with
considering proposals for expansion of the gTLD namespace, including an
analysis of applicants for the administration of new gTLDs as well as
providing analysis and commentary on DNS administrative matters,
particularly the administration of ICANN.  In furtherance of its mission,
the subcommittee has conducted a thorough review of the proposed mechanisms
for protecting intellectual property set forth in the proposals posted by
ICANN on March 31, 2004.  A chart reflecting the subcommittee's conclusions
with regard to intellectual property protection is attached.


The subcommittee utilized the same criteria developed by the ICANN
Intellectual Property Constituency when it reviewed the initial proposals to
expand the TLD namespace back in November 2000.  Specifically, the
subcommittee focused its review and analysis on the following four areas:

                1.      The mechanisms set forth in the proposals for
protecting the rights of others (e.g., sunrise proposals); and

                2.      The mechanisms set forth in the proposals for
assuring charter compliance and the avoidance of abusive registrations; and

                3.      Assurance of adequate dispute resolution mechanisms;

                4.      Provision of ICANN policy-compliant Whois

These four areas were then rated by the Subcommittee on a scale of Good (G),
Satisfactory (S), Insufficient Information (I) and Unsatisfactory (U).  In
addition, each proposal was given an overall rating based on the
aforementioned scale.

Summary of Results

As a preliminary matter, the subcommittee wishes to highlight its concern
that several of the posted proposal do not seem to qualify as a sponsored
top level domain ("sTLD").  It is generally understood by the subcommittee
and the Internet stakeholder community as a whole that an sTLD is a
specialized name space directed towards a very specific group of potential
users most affected by the namespace. See, Top Level Domains posted at
www.icann.org/tlds/.   In addition, an sTLD has a sponsoring organization
and a charter that "defines the purpose for which the TLD has been created
and will be operated."  Id. Despite this clear understanding of an sTLD,
several of the posted proposals are not specifically tailored to a focused
group of potential end users.  In contrast, several of the proposals are
designed to appeal to potentially infinite numbers of end users and have
broad and ill-defined charter definitions outlined in the proposal.  The
subcommittee finds this development disturbing and is hopeful that ICANN
will remember its mandate to limit the introduction of any new TLDs into the
root to sTLDs.

After carefully reviewing the posted proposals, the subcommittee gave the
following proposals an overall rating of Good:  .mail and .travel.  The
following proposals were rated Satisfactory: .cat, .jobs and .xxx.  The
subcommittee rated four proposals as "I" because it felt that there were
several areas where the proposal did not give sufficient information: .mobi,
.post and .tel (pulver.com).  The subcommittee recognizes that with added
information from the sponsors its concerns, if any, may be adequately
addressed. Lastly, the subcommittee rated two proposals as Unsatisfactory:
.asia and .tel (Telname).  


In closing, the subcommittee wishes to again thank ICANN for the opportunity
to participate in this process.  The subcommittee would also like to invite
any of the sponsors to contact J. Scott Evans, Chair of INTA's Internet
Committee, if any sponsor would like to discuss or clarify any issues
relating to this report or its proposal.  J. Scott's e-mail address is
jse@xxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:jse@xxxxxxxxxxxx>.

 <<INTA DNS sTLD Chart.DOC>>  

Attachment: INTA DNS sTLD Chart.DOC
Description: MS-Word document

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