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Username: philberent
Date/Time: Thu, October 19, 2000 at 8:06 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: The problem of confusion between Cameroon and ".com"


To To ICANN and to Mr. Kinney:

There are various reasons that we completely reject the assertions made by Mr. Kinney.

(1) Currently Belize runs less than 1,000 domains under the .bz TLD. Mr. Kinney states that Belize has recently licensed the .bz domain to a third party for marketing to businesses. To date, however, no efforts have been made in this direction. It makes no sense to hold up the development of the Internet on the basis of a vague intention by Belize to use their ccTLD for businesses when they have so far shown no solid intention or capability to do so.
(2) Mr. Kinney claims that the sound of “.bz” is similar enough to “.biz” to cause confusion. This is not correct as “.bz” is most properly pronounced “dot BEE ZEE” or “dot BEE ZED” and there is no reason that this should be confused with the pronunciation of “.biz” which will be “dot BIZ”.
There is no reason to expect a concatenation of the letters “b” and “z” in the standard pronunciation of “.bz”, as (as far as we are aware), this occurs with the pronunciation of no other ccTLDs. “.uk” is pronounced “dot YOU KAY” not “dot UK”, “.de” (Germany) is pronounced “dot DEE EE” not “dot DEE” even “.ws” which has been marketed extensively outside its role as a ccTLD is pronounced “dot DOUBLE YOU ESS” not “dot WIS”, “dot WAS” or “dot WOS”.
(3) Mr. Kinney claims that people might accidentally access a domain under the “.biz” TLD while trying to access one under their own “.bz” TLD. This is extremely unlikely as this would entail the user accidentally typing the character “i” between the “b” and the “z”. I suppose it is more possible that people would access a Belizean site instead of the appropriate .biz site. However this is a problem that is faced every day by people who accidentally omit the “o” from “.com” and end up accidentally at a site under the Cameroon “.cm” TLD. As far as I am aware this problem occurs rarely enough so as not to cause major confusion or difficulty.
(4) Belize has not shown the technical capability to run a large scale registry operation and there is no evidence that they have the resources to do this successfully.
(5) In summary there is no greater likelihood of a confusion between “.biz” and “.bz” then there is of a confusion between “.com” and “.cm” or for that matter between .mil and .ml (the country code of Mali).  If it is necessary to prevent the marketing of .biz we should also at once change the codes for .com and for .mil to avoid similar confusion.

Phil Berent
Head TLD Management Group, Affinity Internet, Inc


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