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Username: huguesdb
Date/Time: Sun, October 29, 2000 at 10:41 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: No new generic unrestricted TLDs PLEASE


OK, I may get a bashing from all sides... never mind - I'll survive it.

Looking at the applications in some detail and going through the comments (frankly, I prefer the applications to the comments!!!), I am becoming more and more convinced that adding new unrestricted TLDs is a TERRIBLE MISTAKE.

The main argument for adding unrestricted TLDs is to increase the name space. I think this is a fallacy. Adding new unrestricted TLDs may not add to the name space :
1) anyone with a .com, .net, .org will rush to get a .generic.
2) anyone who missed out on their .com will rush to get their .generic
3) if there is a conflict in the .com space, it will be reproduced in the .generic space.
4) poor users... they will be required to search for, x.generic, x.othergeneric, x.adnauseum

Recent examples include the .tv  - my personal view is that .tv is already a mess - but am willing to be corrected. I thought it had been 'diverted' from a ccTLD to a tv related stuff...the result? Many registrars bombard you with 'get your personal .tv domain before it is too late'... what a mess.

Look at the 'name space' for company names - is it exhausted? Is it really difficalt to find a new unique company name? It may not be as easy as it was 20 years ago but do you see pressure to create new types of companies (ltd, llc, inc, etc) simply to be able to get the name you want? Ridiculous.

This is not to say that there are no company name conflicts... there are many of them - many conflicts arise because the company name space is by country - I can get a company name in country x if no one has done so in the same country. The internet name space is international...hence all the fuss. I do not know what the internet solution is but am convinced that new generic TLD is NOT a solution.

Given that .com is supposed to be for commerce, leave it for that. As more and more 'restricted TLDs' come into being, the name space pressure will drop somewhat.

For example, if there is a TLD for individuals and families, I am confident that many people will prefer this for their private / family domains rather than the .com. This will releive the pressure. From the support received by .coop, .union, .air, .mus, it certainly looks like these are good added value TLD 'for the internet community at large'...i.e. including users. A TLD to cover profesionals seems interesting, as do some of the .kids - as long as this helps parents open the internet to their kids. Not all proposals seem to go in this direction.

It is clear that 'restricted TLD' have restrictions... which are never very palatable to anyone. In some cases, the restrictions will be unfair - and some of the more thought-provoking comments high light this (ex. some comments on the .travel objecting to a control by IATA, which represents mostly air travel). A similar comment was made concerning .fin - the sponsoring organisation is deemed not 'representative' of word-wide banks.

Yes, restrictions are a drag but if carefully thought out, they can become palatable if they are unbiased and objective. I personnally have no issue with only cooperatives being able to use the .coop. I do not see the need to have a this is not my domain. However, if I have and a .web comes along, I am 'forced' to go for it...

My personal belief (and this engages only myself) is that the generic unrestricted TLDs are a way to impose on the .com user community the need to register another few domains... but there is no real added value for them. Can someone explain what benefit there is to say, amazon, to have a .biz and a .web in addition to the .com? And what if another company takes ''... we are sure to have some litigation.

The result of the generic unrestricted TLDs will not benefit the users but will benefit the registrars and legal profession. That is already something if the 'normal internet users' were not taken hostage in the process and feel obliged to pay another few bucks to registrars!

There is a real problem to solve in the unrestricted generic TLDs - the .com is a bit of a mess and I do not profess to know the solution. Adding 'nothing new' in the form of unrestricted generic TLDs is not a solution...

Just to conclude on this 'personal view' of the TLDs, I would be happy to see the ORSC TLDs on a more level playing field with the .coms of the world. This could be a super way to test different ways of finding good solutions to the real name space problems -  and at the same time, letting users detrmine, through market competition, what seems the best for them.

So if I was in ICANN (which I am happy not to be at this point in time!!!), I would :
1) accept all the restricted TLDs with sound business plans, representative organisations and objective criteria,
2) refuse all generic unrestricted TLDs for the moment - at least untill better ways are found for increasing the domain name space that is in the interests of the internet community at large,
3) look for and implement good technical solutions to make sure the ORSC is better accessible to internet community at large.

This is clearly a minority opinion.

Hugues Du Bois

PS Other than help with an application for a restricted TLD which is not contested on this forum, I have no other interests - just an avid user.

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