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Username: A. Kinney
Date/Time: Thu, October 19, 2000 at 5:09 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.08 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: .biz and .ebiz


The introduction of a ".biz" or ".ebiz" TLD would create substantial confusion among Internet users and also interfere with the ".bz" ccTLD and the existing rights of the country of Belize due to similar sound and the likely meanings under which each TLD would be marketed.

As has been seen with verbal references to domain names using ".com," ".org," and ".gov" TLDs, the TLD portions of Internet addresses are pronounced as the first syllable of "commercial," "organization," and "government" respectively, rather than stating each letter separately.  It is therefore expected that verbal references to ".bz," ".biz," or ".ebiz" domain names would pronounce the TLD portion as "BIZ" or "E-BIZ."  Due to the identical or similar pronunciations, Internet users hearing of a ".bz," ".biz," or ".ebiz" website would be confused as to which TLD must be used to locate a resource.  Thus, an Internet user would have to first ensure he or she has the correct TLD spelling before accessing a domain name with a  TLD that was orally communicated which contains a "BIZ" sound.  If each registry contains domain names that are also registered in the other registries, an Internet user may be further confused by inadvertently going to an active website in the wrong registry. 

The country of Belize has recently licensed its ccTLD for marketing domain names to businesses.  The present application for ".biz" and ".ebiz" also specifies an intent to target and license domain names to businesses.  Due to the similar pronunciations and business connotations associated with ".biz," ".ebiz," and ".bz," Internet users would be confused as to which TLD must be used to locate a business related resource.  The granting of either a ".biz" or ".ebiz" TLD would therefore not enhance the diversity and services available under the DNS but rather threaten them by allowing confusion to be created.

Since a ".biz" or ".ebiz" registrar would market domain names to business customers, its co-existence with the ".bz" registrar would also diminish the value of domain names registered with either the ".biz," ".ebiz," or ".bz" registrars.  This diminished value would make it difficult for either ".biz," ".ebiz," or ".bz" registrars to successfully compete against other TLD registrars, thereby frustrating ICANN's overall objective for expanding the list of generic TLDs in a manner which preserves the stability of the Internet.
A ".biz" or ".ebiz" TLD also would not benefit the Internet community or sensibly enhance the domain name system (DNS) as identified in the Criteria for Assessing TLD Proposals.  A ".biz" or ".ebiz" registrar would likely target the same businesses and provide similar services as a ".bz" registrar, thereby only duplicating what is already available rather than create distinctive services for the diversity of needs of Internet users and enhance the DNS.  Thus, a ".biz" or ".ebiz" TLD would not meet any needs which are not already met by the existing ".bz" registry.

Affinity Internet's application for ".biz" and ".ebiz" should therefore be rejected. 


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