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Username: White-Cloud
Date/Time: Fri, October 27, 2000 at 2:11 AM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.7 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Co-op Domain Name needed Worldwide



I strongly support the proposal by the Cooperative League of the USA (dba National Cooperative Business Association) and Poptel, Great  Britain’s leading cooperative Internet services and solution provider, to create a new top-level Internet domain (TLD) of “.co-op”.  This Internet address suffix would be restricted to cooperative organizations that subscribe to the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Cooperative Principles, such as member ownership and      control.

Cooperatives are unique economic entities that embrace democratic principles of ownership, control and distribution of benefits.  They play a vital role in the economies of nations around the world with 725 million members participating in 750,000 cooperatives.  The idealism and unique operating characteristics of cooperatives create a natural alliance that spans the globe.  With the Internet rapidly transforming the world into a single marketplace in commerce, information and ideas, a TLD of “.co-op” provides an ideal means of identifying these organizations in that marketplace.

Not only would “.co-op” provide an invaluable means of identifying cooperatives on the Worldwide Web, it would also offer a solution to the confusion that now exists when cooperatives are required to adopt the same TLDs of .com or .org used by for-profit commercial enterprises.  With probably half the world’s population touched in some critical way by cooperatives, it is important that their distinctiveness as unique economic entities be preserved as we progress into the 21st century.

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