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Re: [alac] new gTLDs

  • To: Wendy Seltzer <wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [alac] new gTLDs
  • From: Vittorio Bertola <vb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2003 08:53:23 +0100

On Wed, 05 Mar 2003 07:20:18 -0800, you wrote:

>I'd like to get a sense of whether the ALAC wants to comment on either the 
>substantive issues of namespace structuring or the procedural issues of how 
>at-large should be involved with the substantive discussion going forward.

I think that the ALAC should comment, but as we do not have time to do
it now, your approach to listen and report could be fine for now.
However, we could maybe try to draft a submission (even if late) and
to send it in the next few days.

Personally, I think that there should be a complete reversion of the
approach that ICANN has had in the past. It should not be "ICANN
decides that the time has come to create N new TLDs, so it puts out a
call for proposals"; it should be "there is an entity which would like
to create a new TLD, so ICANN should examine the request and, unless
there is a valid reason to reject it, it should approve it". Thus I
think that ICANN should create a sort of "permanent new TLD process"
through which anyone at any time may submit proposals for new TLDs.

While it is true that there are considerations and safeguards to be
made about new TLDs being launched and then failing, I think that the
market will judge whether the new TLD really has a reason to exist or
not (or whether new "competing" TLDs have a reason to be launched). If
not, its numbers will possibly be so low that either the TLD may be
safely dropped or it will be possible to find an already existing
registry which, having other successful TLDs already up and running,
can afford to maintain the existing registrations without significant
marginal cost.

The only reasons to avoid to launch a new gTLD (with 3 or more
characters, not to be confused with ccTLDs) could be confusion with
another existing TLD, geopolitical issues (eg .cat for Catalunya - I
think GAC should have veto power on these requests), or flaws in the
technical plans; also there should be some technical and policy
requirements (for example that the TLD is actually global, ie
registration is allowed independently from the country of the
registrant). But ICANN should not judge the business or the business
chances of anyone wishing to establish a new enterprise, nor impose
requirements on things such as sponsored vs unsponsored, IP policies,
cost of registration etc. There should be a clear and finite list of
requirements and once a proposal meets them ICANN should have to
approve it.

Also, non-profit entities should be able to apply for new TLDs at a
very low fee, ie at the cost recovery level (and $50K is not cost
recovery unless someone can document the opposite).

Please let's discuss this as I think that we should really prepare a
statement on new TLDs before Rio (or in Rio, if there's time, but I
guess there's not).
vb.                  [Vittorio Bertola - vb [at] bertola.eu.org]<---
-------------------> http://bertola.eu.org/ <-----------------------

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