Hi, I'm responding to your call for consultation: *ICANN is seeking public comment on the subject of "closed generic" > applications and whether specific requirements should be adopted > corresponding to this type of application. Stakeholder views are invited to > help define and consider this issue* > I've been building web sites since 1999. My professional work currently focusses on freelance consultation and agency work building and growing sites fro small businesses and organisations across public, private and third sectors. I also have a background in community arts, environmental conservation and social research. I feel the adoption of closed generic top level domains cannot help but be damaging, to the global public interest as well as to co-operation and competition between commercial concerns. * comments would be helpful in regard to proposed objective criteria for:** > > classifying certain applications as "closed generic" TLDs, i.e., how to > determine whether a string is generic > * Let us work through an example. Suppose '.insurance' was registered by one cartel or company as a 'closed generic' TLD. Not only would this grossly unfair to competitors within the insurance field, but consider that the insurance industry is a matter of great public interest in itself. In this case, since taking out insurance is often a legal requirement for many public activities, consumers deserve impartial and independent data and advice, and the ability to network on a 'peer to peer' basis, around the generic issue 'insurance'. Suppose if, as a public service, I wished to create a site independent of any commercial insurance provider precisely to answer such a need - site or web app designed to enable members of the public to share advice on getting the best out of the insurance industry as a whole. If there were a TLD '.insurance' I would consider it natural and normal to want to register my sites' domain under that TLD - impossible if it was closed. To take another example from MicroSoft's submission to you, the pursued closed generic TLD '. book' - is it really necessary to have a consultation to find out why this is such a bad idea? To exclusively own such a TLD would surely be tantamount to controlling a large element of the public and private perception of what a book is and what the word means. And of course the same applies to any generic term. A kind of privatised censorship. I fail to understand why this would be necessary. It does seem rather obvious that the concept of closed generic TLDs would only serve protectionist industrial cartels, without any obvious side benefit for the general marketplace of ideas, the market of goods and services, or to the world in general. *determining the circumstances under which a particular operator should be > permitted to adopt "open" or "closed" registration policies.* To be honest I think the problem you've got is that 'generic closed' is of course a total contradiction in terms. I cannot see any circumstances in which it would improve the network we have. It seems to me the introduction of this concept would only add to the current, creeping sense of doom associated with the enclosure of the commons, the increasing sense that the Internet as we have known it is in grave danger. Danger of abolition by stealth, to be replaced with a network which adds nothing to our way of life, rather simply mirroring existing power dynamics in the global games those in positions of high power like to play. Danger of being 'tamed'. My feeling is that this proposal will only cause resentment amongst developers and users, and be a significant step towards a 'closed' internet, a two-tier internet in which any sense of a level playing field has been eradicated. I'm sorry but that's not the Internet I signed up to contribute to. I do not accept any argument that some closed generic TLDs may foster a sense of trust that the content hosted on such a domain is 'authoritative'. To my mind such authority is earned by the quality of the content itself, and the tests of word of mouth and experience. Authority or trust surely cannot be assumed on the basis of the ownership of an exclusive internet domain? In conclusion I would simply ask you to consider frankly and without illusion whose interests would be served by closed generic TLDs, and then ask whether it is the purpose of ICANN to serve those interests. I would urge you to reject the policy of 'closed' TLDs, and require any new TLDs to be 'open'. Thank you for listening, and here's hoping you do the right thing. regards, KJ Mobberley.