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Re: [alac] new gTLDs

  • To: alac@xxxxxxxxx, Thomas Roessler <roessler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, denisemichel@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Re: [alac] new gTLDs
  • From: Wendy Seltzer <wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2003 05:04:21 -0800

The council had earlier suggested that we might comment on the reports made by the constituencies. Since most of those aren't in yet but are expected in another week, we could probably give our input around the time we're in Rio.

Discussion on today's call started from this summary of Business and Non-Commercial constitutencies' reports [my comments are the non-quoted parts interspersed]:

Points of common ground between the BC and the NC on new gTLDs
- a demand-driven approach.
- a bottom-up approach with names proposed by the interested communities/registries to ICANN.

[The general agreement was that names shouldn't come from above, but be selected from among actual expressions of interest. So one role for At-Large Structures / RALOs could be to coordinate the public demands. ]

- names can be commercial or non-commercial as demand dictates.
- names assigned upon request of a technically qualified registry* (*BC would add a sponsor also).
- one registry can operate multiple domains.

[Issues of balancing technical qualification requirements and competition. Discussion also favored making new gTLDs chartered to a registry, but not owned by the registry, so that names and WHOIS data would survive failure of the specific registry and couldn't be sold off in bankruptcy.]

- names in any language possible.

Points with a different approach:
NC - maximum 30 new names per year.
BC - no limit.

NC - sponsored and unsponsored OK.
BC - sponsored only.

NC - synchronous requests determined by auction.
BC - first come first served, nature of the sponsor may be deciding factor.

NC - names need not be distinct from one another.
BC - names have to be distinct from one another.

[There was agreement in principle that new names could provide competition for existing names, but should not introduce confusion. The critical issue, of course, is how to distinguish between the two.
There was basic consensus against typographical confusion, e.g. .com versus .comm, even if the latter were earmarked for "communications." There was less agreement around possible semantic confusion: some participants said that each new name should serve only a distinct segment; others said that so long as the names were audibly/visibly distinct, multiple names could serve the same market without causing confusion.

I think this is an important area for further discussion. I agree with Esther that "scarcity of attention" is real, but not on where it kicks in. I think .biz, .shop, and .sale could co-exist, for example.

Finally, in fields where there is already a natural differentiation (e.g., public libraries by geographic location), it would be useful for the namespace to enable registrants to reflect that taxonomy online.]

NC - registries must be linked to the name. BC - registry need NOT be linked to only one name.

NC - any name OK.
BC - names must meet six principles.


At 11:24 PM 03/06/2003 +0100, Thomas Roessler wrote:
On 2003-03-06 22:21:07 +0000, Denise Michel wrote:

> According to the schedule, it seems that it would be useful if
> the ALAC had an initial statement by April 10 (3rd gTLD Cmt.
> phone conference and "alignment on consensus view, preparation of
> preliminary report").

I don't think that the council would be too excited about getting
any new positions at that point of the process...  The point of
letting us participate in task forces is that we can provide input
as early in the process as possible.  The 10 April call will,
according to the schedule, probably be the last "policy-making" call
of the gTLD committee, so any input should probably be provided at
least a week before that call -- or earlier, if possible.
Practically, that means "ASAP."

Anyway, I suppose that Wendy can tell us more after today's call, so
I'll shut up now. ;-)

Thomas Roessler                        <roessler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Wendy Seltzer -- wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx
Staff Attorney, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School
Chilling Effects: http://www.chillingeffects.org/

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