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Removing unnecessary restrictions in the sTLD process
  • To: stld-rfp-comments@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Removing unnecessary restrictions in the sTLD process
  • From: "Werner Staub (CORE)" <werner.staub@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 18:57:54 +0200
  • User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.4) Gecko/20030612

Dear ICANN Board Members,

Before all other things, we wish to commend and encourage
ICANN for having proposed the new sTLD process.

The process to launch new sTLDs is an important step for the
development of the Internet. It goes far beyond the current
vision of the role and functioning of the DNS because,
precisely, the specialised communities and industries
will naturally bring the Internet and the their activities
together. Making things work together is the very purpose
of the DNS and the Internet. Everything should be done to
favour the best possible results in the new sTLD process.

This is why unjustified restrictions and privileges can
severly damage the beneficial potential in sTLDs for the
DNS and the Internet as a whole.

Unjustified restrictions reduce the quality of the selection
and the quality of the applicants' preparation. The first
result is bad experience with new TLDs. The indirect result,
much worse, is a wrong perception of disappointment in new
sTLDs. Feeding the new TLD evaluation process with a degraded
sample can only give erroneous feedback - as the old saying
in IT goes: "garbage in, garbage out".

The most potent unjustified restriction is inherent in
the concept of a "round" limited limited in time and focussed
on a given application deadline. Any community worth considering
for a new sTLD needs time for its own due process to create
consensus within util it can submit a proposal. However, this
can only be done if the project leaders know that they will
be able to submit the proposal to ICANN when the project is
ripe. ICANN must provide the Internet commmunity with an
on-going process to evaluate new sTLDs. This is also the best
way for ICANN to be able to send a project back to the proponents
for additional homework without destroying the project.

The reference to the applications submitted in 2000 may given
ICANN staff members the false impression that somehow this would
make the process would be "easier" or "less litigation-prone"
for ICANN to handle. In reality, it increases the procedural
problems and unjustifiably limits the choice to an outdated
vision. This the restriction with respect to applicants
causes a questionable "secondary market" in applications with
its own litigation potential; the restriction with respect to
the form (sponsored or unsponsored) of their application excludes
some applicants and may cause other to sue fellow potential
applicants or ICANN instead of applying; the restriction with
respect to TLD strings favours a suboptimal choice and
therefore a higher likelihood of failure or litigation.

Finally, the privilege of a select number of incuments to be
automatically considered fit to operate as a registry operator
for TLDs not only virtually annhilates the chances of others.
It is also the wrong criteria because a given registry may
be fit to operate gTLDs, but be totally unprepared to handle
the specificities of a given sTLD. By their very nature, the
unsponsored gTLD  operators privileged in the current draft are
also the ones who can be expected to have the highest propensity
to pressure sTLDs into becoming unrestricted gTLDs.

Werner Staub

CORE Internet Council of Registrars   http://corenic.org
WTC II, 29 route de Pre-Bois, CH-1215 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel +4122 929-5744 Fax +4122 929-5745 secretariat@corenic.org

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