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Minds + Machines comments on community scoring

  • To: 3gtld-string@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Minds + Machines comments on community scoring
  • From: Antony Van Couvering <avc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 22 Nov 2009 18:29:45 -0500

ICANN's current rules for determining what is or isn't a community safeguards 
the interests of speculators at the expense of legitimate communities.   For 
instance, the gay community is unlikely to qualify under the current rules.  
Exile communities, for instance the large number of Iranians who live outside 
Iran for political reasons, are unlikely to qualify.   Ad hoc communities, for 
instance alchohol-recovery support groups, are unlikely to qualify.

ICANN rules say in order to qualify as a community, the community has to be 
very precisely defined, that it has to be pre-existing, that registrations must 
be restricted, the TLD name must match the name of the group, and that no-one 
objects.  With the current scoring, very few real communities will qualify.   
None of those listed in the previous paragraph would. 

At the same time, ICANN will be happy to hand these TLDs out to speculators who 
will gladly exploit the fact that they will get registrations for these TLDs 
precisely because these communities *do* exist. 

The fact that ICANN has a hard time coming up with definitions for a community 
doesn't mean that it's OK to exclude these communities from a TLD in favor of  

These communities are real, and it is wrong that ICANN's rules favor 
speculators over them.  

ICANN needs to lower the threshold to achieve community status.  


Antony Van Couvering
CEO, Minds + Machines

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