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Re: [alac] new gTLDs, GNSO call

  • To: Wendy Seltzer <wendy@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [alac] new gTLDs, GNSO call
  • From: Vittorio Bertola <vb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 17:59:53 +0200

On Thu, 10 Apr 2003 05:21:28 -0700, you wrote:

>There are two questions on the table regarding new gTLDs:
>1. criteria for introduction of 3 sponsored gTLDs, as a continuation 
>of the "proof of concept" stage of TLD additions

A note: the Board's resolution from Amsterdam, as a result of the
public forum discussion there, does not say "3" (as originally
proposed) but "a limited number". In fact, I think we should actually
push for another principle to be applied - all applicants who meet a
certain threshold, even if 10 or 15, should be approved, or, in Vint
Cerf's words, "a TLD should be approved if it does no harm to the
DNS". I think this is possible and was widely supported in Rio during
the public forum, so it doesn't seem to me such a weird proposal.

>2. whether the namespace should be "structured" for the addition of 
>further new gTLDs going forward
>In many of the analyses put forward on both of these questions, the 
>prime focus seems to be on exclusion:  do the sponsored gTLDs 
>represent a limited community and adhere to their charters by 
>permitting registrants only from within that community?  Little 
>attention seems to have been given to the other side: are there 
>people or organizations who are left without logical places to 
>register domain names, or who are denied registration in a sponsored 
>TLD whose charter they fit?

This is an important point in my opinion, because the approach in
which you have to find "the" organization for a community in order for
this community to start its sponsored TLD is quite wrong. It means
that only strongly organized communities (example: airline industry
with SITA) can have a sTLD. And even in that case, it usually means
that there's a part of the community who's left out of the sTLD,
especially because there's a strong organization that represents the
majority of it! (For example, I'm quite sure that there are a number
of airline-related entities that are not member of SITA, just to make
an example.) I would have another approach - I would allow less
strongly organized and defined communities to have their own sTLD, as
long as there is a real chance for the registrants and the members of
the community to have a voice in the process. So if the policy-making
process is open, there's no need to have a strong already existing
organization to manage the sTLD.

>At-large Internet users are both domain name registrants and users of 
>the domain name system.  As users, they are well served by names that 
>are not confusingly similar, enabling them to differentiate the names 
>they encounter and minimizing typographic or semantic mistakes.  As 
>registrants, the "at large" are perhaps the most likely to be 
>underserved by community-defined, chartered gTLDs.

Agree. Perhaps if you had thousands of small sponsored TLDs, you could
hope to cover a good fraction of the diversity through their union.
But not in the present situation.

>A second tension appears between market competition and desire to 
>protect registrants from the consequences of registry failure.  I 
>tend to think that the intermediate choice of a heavily regulated 
>market is worse than alternatives on either end (free market or 
>openly acknowledged planning), because it leads to false assumptions 
>and conclusions about what "the market" will support.   How concerned 
>are we with this type of stability, or are we comfortable letting bad 
>competitors fail?  (Note also that a separation between the technical 
>provider and policy provider could make it easier to move a registry 
>if a component failed.)

I think that perhaps there should be a sort of "warranty fund" to cope
with failing registries and to cover the expense of moving their
domains to existing registries, which could manage them without too
much cost or effort. Also a third party escrow of the registration
data should be required so that a safe copy always exists. But apart
from that, I don't think you should require any special warranty.
vb.                  [Vittorio Bertola - vb [at] bertola.eu.org]<---
-------------------> http://bertola.eu.org/ <-----------------------

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