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Criteria to be used in the selection of new sponsored TLDs
  • To: <stld-rfp-comments@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Criteria to be used in the selection of new sponsored TLDs
  • From: "Jeff Davies" <j@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 18 May 2003 18:20:59 -0400
  • Importance: Normal
  • Reply-to: <j@xxxxxxxx>

Title: Message
Response to Request for Comments on the Criteria to be Used in the Selection of New Sponsored TLDs
 
You will be aware, from my current lawsuit against Afilias, of my interest in the lawfulness of the granting of exclusionary preferences to trademark holders in so-called 'Sunrise Periods' prior to other registrants being able to register domain names in the implementation of a new TLD.
 
Further legal action against ICANN and/or the US Department of Commerce is pending an evaluation resulting from your statements to the Court (in your defense of my earlier lawsuit) that you were not responsible for the terms under which Afilias was granted the right to operate the .info domain and that your role was limited to making recommendations to the US Department of Commerce. In the context of the issue of further TLDs, I believe that it should be made clear to all concerned as to whether it is ICANN or the US Department of Commerce that will ultimately determine the terms under which the release of new TLDs will be implemented.
 
Your proposed criteria for selecting applicants for new TLDs contains two sections that concern me:
 
Section D. 5 relates to the protection of the rights of others. Without being specific, the criteria refers to the applicant's requirement to "ensure compliance with other ICANN policies designed to protect the rights of others". I trust that this does not signify that a "Sunrise Period" should be provided. Clarification as to what this vague and ambiguous language actually means in real and practical terms should be provided to applicants and the public before the process proceeds further.
 
Section C. defines the RFP process as "an extension of the Proof of Concept that was commenced through the selection of the seven new TLDs in November 2000". I think that sufficient should have been learned about the use of a Sunrise Policy for this process not to be deemed to be continuing. The widespread abuse that it spawned in the .info rollout - that resulted in over 17,000 abusive registrations being made and earned widespread criticism for Aflias and ICANN - should suffice. The condemnation of the .biz process by the Courts that has cost its registry $1million+ should provide further impetus for a clear decision of ICANN that future TLDs will be released in a manner that allows free and fair registration to all - without arbitrary exclusions and conditions that serve only to provide an impetus for, and numerous examples of, abuse. The operation of a business or non-profit organization or the possession of simple skills and interest in the provision of new Internet content relating to a descriptive domain name should be reason enough to grant an applicants request for a domain name. The possession of trademark rights is an extremely poor criterion for the award of a domain name - especially as the US Courts have clearly determined that there is no right to a domain name as a result of the possession of trademark rights. Attempting to enforce such unlawful preferential policies serves only to exclude applicants who intend to make wholly fair and uninfringing use of a domain name - and leads to such abuse as the granting of the right to the domain name sex.info as a result of flawed Sunrise Policies and a trademark for a child's pull toy... If ICANN's Proof of Concept is a valid process - and not hiding a hidden agenda to enforce Sunrise Policies - ICANN should immediately provide the reports of the registries that were due to be published a year ago and were to have assessed the extent to which such policies succeeded or failed. Let applicants - and the public - see the evidence from the Proof of Concept of the new TLD launch of  2 years ago before the process proceeds further...
 
Jeff Davies

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