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New gTLD program - Draft Applicants Guidebook - Version 4

  • To: "4gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx" <4gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: New gTLD program - Draft Applicants Guidebook - Version 4
  • From: Søren Ingemann Larsen <SL@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2010 11:12:44 +0200

We would like to take the opportunity offered by ICANN to send our comments to 
the latest version of the Applicants Guide book (Version 4).

Apart from the internationalized domain name (IDN) scheme - which as far as we 
understand seems to serve a need not satisfied by the domain name system in its 
current form - we completely fail to see the advantages of the introduction of 
the unlimited number of gTLDs. On the contrary we foresee big disadvantages 
both for users and brand owners.

ICANN has failed to demonstrate its basic thesis namely

1 - that the domain name system is malfunctioning and a majority of the 
internet community is asking for an increase of the number of gTLDs.
2 - that domain name system is malfunctioning is due to a limited number of 
3 - that the internet will function better with an unlimited number of gTLDs.

Since none of these points are evidenced by transparent documentation despite 
the "carefully deliberated policy development work by the ICANN community", 
they are to be considered as completely arbitrary and artificial, and other 
motives than those openly mentioned seem to have driven ICANN into this project 
involving enormous budgets and fees that are not legitimised by the actual 
costs involved.

It is completely without foundation and documentation when ICANN mentions it 
its Preamble that

"The new gTLD program will open up the top level of the Internet's namespace to 
foster diversity, encourage competition, and enhance the utility of the DNS."

It is our understanding that

1 - the domain name system is on the whole well functioning
2 - the points where the system does not work so well will only worsen through 
the introduction of an unlimited number of additional TLDs.

It is our understanding that anyone - be it persons, businesses, associations, 
organisations - can with the current system of limited TLDs in an affordable 
way acquire suitable domain names and publish information thereunder, and 
anyone can in an easy manner retrieve information on the internet. None of this 
will change to the better by introducing an additional unlimited number of TLDs.

On the contrary, at least as far as the retrieval of information is concerned, 
the envisaged new program will create more confusion, since with the current 
limited number of TLDs the internet community has a more or less clear 
expectation as to which TLDs will contain which kind of domain names, and this 
will disappear with the new program.

The problems that the current domain name system suffers from are the acts of 
misuse of domain names and trademarks and these problems are not addressed and 
far from solved with the "new gTLD Program". They are basically left unsolved 
without improved legal solution, and it is therefore easy to understand that 
the current problems of cybersquatting and trademark infringement which are 
increasingly sensible and are increasingly hampering the loyal use of the 
internet are only made even worse and even more difficult to cope with if an 
unlimited number of additional TLDs are introduced.

We therefore strongly invite ICANN to concentrate on improving the current 
domain name system by finding effective solutions to the current cybersquatting 
and trademark infringement problems before contemplating a potential addition 
of new gTLDs, which will as it is only worsen the problems without presenting 
any sensible advantages.

Søren Ingemann Larsen
Trademark and Domain Name counsel
H.Lundbeck A/S
Ottiliavej 9
DK-2500 Copenhagen Valby
Dir.: +45 3643 2123
Mob.: +45 3083 2123
Fax: +45 3643 8301


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