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gTLDs: Why Are Your Overarching Issues Not Relevant In IDN ccTLDs?

Adrian Kinderis

"If I would have a voting right, I would vote like this" said Janis Karklins, chair of the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) as he empathically raised two arms in the air. He was showing his, and the GAC's, overwhelming support for the ICANN Board unanimously (barring one abstention) passing the resolution that ratified the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process, propelling it toward an imminent release.

A standing ovation was given from a grateful and exuberant audience and everyone seemed pleased with this momentous decision. Even Rod Beckstrom, president and CEO of ICANN has since stated that the decision is a "historic move toward the internationalization of the internet. We just made the internet much more accessible to millions of people in regions such as Asia, the Middle East and Russia."

So, kudos to those that have pursued and supported this process, including the ccNSO, GAC and ICANN Board.

What is indeed interesting however, is the precedent that this vote has set, particularly in light of the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) process and the continued issues and perceived problems that have marred its timely release.

Currently there are five unresolved issues that the GAC, and others, have openly commented on and demonstrated their concern to the point of attempting to block progress and the release of new gTLDs at all.

They are:

  • Malicious Conduct
  • Root Scaling
  • Economic Analysis
  • Trademark Protections
  • Vertical Separation

My point is not to discuss the validity of these concerns, although it is my belief that there is merit in discussing these items further. My concern is that there now seems to be a precedent introduced with respect to their review and relevance.

The issues above are certainly not unique to gTLDs, yet, in the ICANN Board's eyes at least, they seem to be.

With the acceptance of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process we are setting up a very similar set of circumstances that are surrounding the introduction of new gTLDs.

The question is then; why haven't these rules been applied to both processes?

To look at a few specific examples:

Root Scaling

Put overly simply there have been a number of concerns over the impact of the introduction of new gTLDs into the root. Yet, the amount of ccTLD Operators that could apply for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process is limited only to the 3166 — 1 list (a significant number in itself). Also, the issue of variants has the potential to increase the number of TLD's to be entered into the root. In addition, due to the encoding scheme used by IDNs, which produces much larger ASCII TLD strings than previously seen, the issue of DNS response packet size that also plague DNSSEC and IPv6 rollout in the root seems also to have gone by the wayside.

Why wouldn't these potential impacts to the root, which given ICANNs actions seemingly only extend to the new gTLD Process, be raised with respect to the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process?

Economic Analysis

This is centred on the evidence of demonstrated demand for new gTLDs. The voices of potential applicants and entrepreneurs seem to be muted unless a credible economic study has been produced. However, where does such a study or studies exist for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process? Let's be clear, I am not arguing that there isn't demand but where has it been documented just as has been required in the new gTLD process?

Trademark Protections

To me, the issue of Trademark Protections is somewhat being fought at the second level as ICANN staff seem to have built in decent and clearly identifiable protections for Trademark holders at the top level. If this is true then where are all the trademark lobby groups with respect to IDN ccTLDs? In fact, the issue is made worse by the minimalist approach to the Contracts that are signed between IDN ccTLD Registry Operators and ICANN. Essentially each IDN ccTLD Registry Operator is free to operate their domain name space as they see fit. Where is the trademark protection for trademark holders in this process? Why is this a non-issue for the GAC and ICANN Board in the IDN ccTLD Process, yet a significant issue worthy of retarding the new gTLD Process? Staggering!

There are a number of other issues that seem to have been simply ignored while we all got caught up in the romantic plight of a non-ASCII internet using public. Let's remember each IDN ccTLD is free to allocate geographic second level names yet the GAC has now requested a veto right for second level registrations in gTLDs. I am not sure I understand the difference.

Once again, let's be clear. I totally support the IDN ccTLD Fast Track and I, too, am enthused by the opportunities it affords the 'non ASCII' internet using public. However, I am gravely concerned by the outrageous double standard that has been applied by the GAC and ICANN Board to these parallel processes with undeniably identical issues and impacts.

If they aren't important enough to be required at the loosely (if at all) ICANN regulated ccTLD level then let's clear the way and get on with the opening up of applications for new gTLDs. Let's hope a standing ovation and an exuberant GAC chair awaits an ICANN Meeting soon when the gTLD Application process is finally ratified by the ICANN Board.

By Adrian Kinderis, CEO, ARI Registry Services. More blog posts from Adrian Kinderis can also be read here.

Related topics: DNS, Domain Names, Registry Services, ICANN, Multilinguism, Policy & Regulation, Top-Level Domains

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Comments

Adrian's right! Antony Van Couvering  –  Nov 25, 2009 1:54 PM PDT

There's definitely a double-standard with regard to new TLDs. Karklins' cheerleading for IDN TLDs is in stark contradistinction to the skeptical and dour demeanor of the GAC when it comes to non-IDN new TLDs.  The trademark issues are if anything far worse with IDNs, because it's very hard to do searches for IDN domains. 

The explanation lies in a fact that trademark apologists don't like to admit — they're don't really care about all new TLDs, just some of them.  Those (like IDN TLDs) where they don't expect there to be much commerce, are not a worry to brand owners.  Other non-IDN TLDs, which might be popular — and which are as yet unknown, adding to the fear — are seen as a threat.

So if there's no demand for TLDs (as proponents of economic studies would have it) and if brand owners are only afraid of popular new TLDs (as their utter lack of opposition to IDN TLDs would indicate), then brand owners should have no fear of introducing more TLDs of any kind. 

But they are afraid, which pretty much translates to a vote of confidence that there really is demand for new TLDs, and that obstructing of them is obstruction of a public resource.

Antony

Hey Adrian,You have just expressed exactly what Constantine Roussos  –  Nov 25, 2009 6:44 PM PDT

Hey Adrian,

You have just expressed exactly what I just wrote in my EOI comments that I will be submitting.

Here is a little excerpt:

We see a double standard in the ICANN process from the entities that are against new gTLDs. On one hand they claim that there is no economic demand and on the other hand they scream that it will be the end of the world because their IP rights will be abused. If there is no economic demand, then there is no trademark abuse, right? However, the whole community knows that there is demand for new gTLDs and trademarks should be protected. Those mechanisms are put in place that will ensure IP protection. How about the rest of the domain economy though? Why does .com, which will remain the market leader, not have this scrutiny or additional safeguards that new gTLDs will have? Additionally, how can the ICANN Board vote for the IDN ccTLD fast track without addressing the same overarching issues that are hounding the gTLD process? Why haven’t the overarching issues become an issue with the IDN ccTLD Fast Track? Don’t ccTLD IDNs have the same overarching issues? All we ask is for ICANN to be transparent and consistent. I would like a formal response by ICANN that states why ccTLD IDNs were treated differently than gTLDs despite having nearly the same overarching issues. The process has been moved multiple times because the ICANN Board was unable to make a decision on issues that could have been addressed in a faster manner. I think ICANN’s credibility is at stake here. I am personally losing faith in the whole process and how the ICANN process is being conducted, given the inconsistencies and biases that I have previously described. I hope ICANN can join me and other applicants so that we can move forward and introduce the new Internet landscape.

I have been pretty adamant about what you are describing in your article. It is just a shame that we have the political influence and biases playing a role in the whole ICANN process, coupled with big corporate interests/influence.

I believed ICANN was a body that represented the Internet community, small business and big corporations. I was quite wrong. I was under the impression that ICANN functioned as a non-profit. However the unacceptable definition of what constitutes community, oops sorry quantifies as a community, via a scoring method, pushes for the big money grabber for ICANN - the auctions. No problem with auctions but let us do them now if that is the case and stop wasting time.

I am quite amazed that both CEOs of ICANN were allowed to open offices in their respective locations and spend monies (I heard $400,000 approved by the Board) so they can be more at home and have awesome offices. Last thing I heard the headquarters were in Marina Del Rey. Nothing against new offices but everything against how monies are used when auctions or our monies are concerned. I think auction winners should choose the non-profit they can donate to as opposed to give ICANN the authority to use those monies for the supposed "stabilization of the Internet," paying higher salaries and improving office space. If I am paying ICANN a non-profit, I certainly demand to know exactly where my monies go and how exactly they are used.

Anyways, I am steering away from the issue. IDNs. I love the fact that there will be a Greek IDN and congratulate ICANN for doing something right and not bowing down to the powers of discontent and corporate interests. Why can't ICANN be consistent across the board? They should have had less people working on the gTLDs like they had with the IDNs. Why? There is a thing called the Law of Diminishing Returns. The more people that get involved, the noisier the process gets. Yes, I am describing the gTLD process.

Adrian I reiterate what you say and ask for answers by ICANN as well. I guess I am getting quite frustrated to read comments from all this big corporations saying the same exact thing again and again and ICANN just bowing down. Someone needs to start making decisions as opposed to ignore timelines and basic business concepts. If you are a Board on any company, you were selected to make decisions. Let us make some sound ones please and stop wasting everyone's time and ruining your credibility.

Everyone is accountable for their decisions and I would love an answer from ICANN about the irrelevancy of the overarching issues in IDN ccTLDs and why gTLDs have been suffering from an inconsistency of treatment.

I guarantee you, ICANN will not have a response for me or you. We all know the real answer. We are all human. I doubt ICANN functions in the same manner that it did when Vint Cerf was the head. All in public interest. I strongly believe a lot of things have changed. And I am not an ICANN regular. A sophomore and counting. I sometimes wonder how people can do business in this kind of atmosphere. I guess what they say is true - that the domain world is not black or white. It is quite shady. I hope that these statements can be proven wrong.

Let us get this process moving forward. I just hate having my time wasted. I am sure many feel the same way.

Constantine Roussos
.music

GAC stance on gTLDs has lost credibility Richard J Tindal  –  Nov 29, 2009 12:28 PM PDT

I just re-read the GAC's letter of 18 Aug opposing new gTLDs and many of their objections (including their concerns about economic studies, competition analysis, root scalability, trademarks, and malicious activity) are equally applicable to the ccTLDs they seem to have warmly embraced.

I think we need more intellectual rigour and honesty from the GAC as to why they believe their concerns are relevant to gTLDs — but not ccTLDs.  Absent that sort of rationale from the GAC I think their opposition to gTLDs has lost considerable credibility.

Any group that wields the sort of power the GAC does within ICANN needs to be both consistent and logical in its positions.  Otherwise they should not exercise this power.

Richard Tindal

Brilliant Statton Hammock  –  Nov 30, 2009 6:53 AM PDT

Adrian has identified an ICANN "double standard" which has left me puzzled since Seoul. Why can't we fast track resolution of the outstanding concerns and approve new gTLD implementation in early 2010?  I don't seen any reason for delay. What's good for IDNs is also good for new gTLDs.

Statton Hammock

glt a horrible idea steve a fox  –  Dec 01, 2009 3:35 AM PDT

They are going to cause so much trouble it will be a headache. I think it is a trick to make these news laws retro for .com and then steal all the .com domains.

"National Sovereignty" is trump card Steve Goldstein  –  Dec 01, 2009 10:23 AM PDT

Adrian, and others,

Your points are well taken.  But, you overlook one point that turns out to trump all the other considerations: so-called national sovereignty.  Governments now assert sovereignty over their ccTLDs.  ICANN has no real power, other than persuasion, to impose terms on how a ccTLD is structured and managed, other than, perhaps on technical grounds should a TLD be mismanaged to the detriment of the stability and security of the DNS.  So, overarching considerations or not, the ccTLDs can impose their own rules for registrations within their domains. 

Further, the GAC is composed of official representatives of national governments.  Have you ever known of a government servant who, given the opportunity to review a policy-relevant initiative, did not feel obliged to make at least one "constructive" suggestion for improvement?  So, popping up from the micro to the macro level, you wind up with a body that, in principle, can never be thoroughly satisfied with just about anything. ("We note great progress with respect to [you name it], but there is still room for improvement...") My personal observation is that Janis Karklins has been doing a masterful job of minimizing the noise that could emanate from the contributions of close to 200 (not sure of the current number) governments and ensuring that only the most cogent ones are brought forth to ICANN for consideration. 

I was the sole abstention to the approval of the IDN Fast Track resolution in Seoul.  My objection was that the delegation process did not include strong requirements for some kind of [contractual] agreement for compliance with evolving practices (such as are imposed on gTLD registries) and for payments to cover ICANN's cost of administering the IDN ccTLDs. [To satisfy the GAC, both were made "voluntary." Advantage point: national sovereignty.] From the outset, I had referred to my criteria as "No shirt; no shoes; no service!" and I reiterated that phrase when I explained the reason for my abstention.  Later that day, a fellow Board member pointed out to me that my "NS^3" criteria could be construed as meaning that poor countries would not be served.  That was not my intent.  Rather, I was referring to a poster that my wife had acquired.  It showed several people standing at a bar wearing tops and footwear of various sorts, but no skirts, shorts or trousers, and the caption was, of course, "No shirts; no shoes, no service!" I had explained that to my fellow Board members, and they knew what I meant, but I do hope that the audience did not seize on the poor nation interpretation.

All that having been said, why did IDN ccTLD Fast Track get approved with no corresponding fast track mechanism for new gTLDs (IDN or ASCII)?  There are several partial answers, many of which are judgment calls.  I believe that one overriding reason was to break the logjam that was keeping the IDN ccTLD process from progressing (including the "NS^3" issues).  At least a few of the Fast Track prospective applicants had agreed in principle to signing agreements and to reasonable payments.  Also at least a few of those applicants were prepared to implement their own roots if action were not forthcoming, and that would of course threaten the unitary root principle of the DNS.  I believe that Russian President Medvedev had stated such an intent publicly in 2008. 

It is my personal understanding (and I stress *personal*) that ICANN's soliciting Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for gTLDs was intended, at least in part, to help break the policy logjams in the gTLD space by gaining insight into the actual relevance of the overarching considerations to likely applications.  But, the EOI activity surfaced just before I left the Board, and I am not at all familiar with how it is playing out.

Just one more point, to address Constantine's points: ICANN was extremely sensitive to the likely perception that it could be profiteering from auctions of gTLD strings that were in contention.  Several ideas for the disposition of possible proceeds from auctions, should auctions be adopted as the method of deciding among contenders, were discussed within ICANN, but no decisions were made other than a belief that ICANN should not retain (or use) such proceeds for its own benefit.  So, another anticipated result of the EOI was to gain insight into the likely prevalence of string contentions to guide policy formulation as to how to deal with them.  Suffice it to say that this whole area of consideration is presently inchoate.

Disclaimer: my term on the ICANN Board ended at the Seoul meeting.  I am no longer affiliated with ICANN, though I am proud and honored to have been of service.

Thanks Steve Constantine Roussos  –  Dec 01, 2009 10:57 AM PDT

I think your points are quite accurate and I appreciate your honesty on this situation. I hope we can all figure out a solution to the gTLD issues and move forward effectively and in a timely manner. I am glad you are still participating and providing your feedback on the issues at hand. I hope the ICANN Board can help the gTLD community with some practical, pragmatic and efficient decision making.

I think the auction issue that you mentioned is quite serious given ICANN's status. I have participated in auctions ($616,000 for music.mobi on Sedo.com) and in the end turned into a huge legal mess which was amicably resolved after some really heated arguments and solution propositions on how to resolve all the failed 100 auctions for premium .mobi domains. It involved about 40 .mobi community investors, over 30 disputed domains with multiple "winners" and a catastrophically ugly auction process by Sedo.com and mTLD (dotMobi) which failed to say the least. I hope I do not have to re-live such a situation again, including spend an enormous amount of money in attorney fees. I have no problem with auctions just as long as they are fair, transparent and of course the monies are allocated to an entity that is transparent on where exactly all the funds go (hopefully not to raise ICANN salaries and get new offices in new locations).

Again, I thank you for your response. You are spot on and I thoroughly enjoyed your "No shirt; no shoes; no service!" example. I think it was awesome. I might "borrow" that line sometime if a situation ever comes up that is similar.

Thumbs up reply,

Constantine Roussos
.music
Myspace: .music
Twitter: .music

Hi Steve,Thanks for those comments and your Richard J Tindal  –  Dec 06, 2009 6:00 PM PDT

Hi Steve,

Thanks for those comments and your insights.  You've always been an open and fair Board member — which is much appreciated by all.

To be clear though, we're not asking why ICANN approved IDN ccTLDs.  I think I can speak for the other commentators here in saying we're in favor of IDN ccTLDs.  The question is - Why does the GAC have multiple concerns about gTLDs but not IDN ccTLDs?

There seem to be two possible answers to this.  Either:

1.  They dont think IDN ccTLDs have the problems they foresee in gTLDs (e.g. trademark concerns or malicious activity);

or

2.  They think IDN ccTLDs do have these potential problems but they believe the political/ market pressure for IDN ccTLDs outweighs any concerns.

If the GAC's position is 1. I think they need to articulate their reasoning for this.  From my viewpoint IDN ccTLDs share almost all the concerns in the GAC Aug 2009 letter. 

If the GAC's position is 2. they should honestly state this.

What we have now is an apparent double-standard.  The GAC oppose gTLDs for reasons that largely apply to the ccTLDs they wholeheartedly support.  The GAC's current position is not consistent.  We deserve more from a group who wield such power in ICANN.

Best regards

Richard

Because they can Steve Goldstein  –  Dec 07, 2009 7:13 AM PDT

Richard,

You asked "The question is - Why does the GAC have multiple concerns about gTLDs but not IDN ccTLDs?"

One simplistic answer is: Because they can (with respect to gTLDs), and because they do not want to eat their own children (wrt IDN ccTLDs). 

Best regards,

--Steve

Scaling isn't an issue for this category -- ccTLD IDN FT Eric Brunner-Williams  –  Dec 05, 2009 3:18 PM PDT

I look at 40 applicants (out of some 250) for one or more (but not much more) scripts each and from that queue of ready operators (at various dates) I don't see a root scaling issue, whether the root is signed before, or after. It works out to one the order of 100 units of change in a handwaving year, well within the safe area in the envelope of concerns shared by the technical community.

An honest critique of the ccTLD IDN FT attempting to apply the "four overarching issues" to that, or any similar category, must abandon the root scaling issue.

Which technical community? Richard J Tindal  –  Dec 06, 2009 6:15 PM PDT

Hi Eric,

I don't see technical consensus on root scaling numbers.  Some reputable sources view five hundred (or so) TLDs over a 12 month period (in conjunction with IPv6) as a threshold for 'concern'.  Others seem to view thousands of TLDs as the starting point for such concern.  Still others have cited 10,000 as the threshold number. 

And isn't any threshold mainly a factor of the resources we apply to root infrastructure operations?  Am I simple-minded in thinking that if we apply more bandwidth, servers and human resources we'll move the threshold needle?

RT

which technical community's issues are you familiar with? Eric Brunner-Williams  –  Dec 07, 2009 6:30 AM PDT

howdy richard,

(a) notice that you are asserting that root scaling for the cctld idn ft is not an issue, the point of my response to adrian, and (b) you are not addressing the rate of change problem. assuming the root grows some in the next five years, it will be easier to sign it before it grows substantially, than after. the rate of change during the anticipated (perhaps indefinitely delayed) growth may be a limiting factor, and while bandwidth and cycles are elastic commodities, root responsible technical staffing is not. if the entire dns mafia were conscripted from their mission critical tasks for ongoing operations, that could, in theory, expand the available human resource. (i) no indication is observed that icann is prepared to make heroic efforts to expand the available limiting resource, (ii) if it were preparing, rapid expansion of technical labor raises technical management issues, and (iii) icann's review of the rsac was problematic, even adversarial, and that wasn't useful.

i don't think you're simple minded, just looking for some way to work around the single inelastic factor, and distracted by abstract size claims rather than concrete incremental steps required for outcomes.

there is no magic wand. speed of light is a constant. pi resists efforts to make it an integer, or just rational. rate of change of a process which cannot be automated is gated by available competent labor, and some problems are resistant to parallelism.

IDN ccTLD root scaling is a problem - according to some Richard J Tindal  –  Dec 09, 2009 4:07 PM PDT

According to this report (http://www.icann.org/en/committees/dns-root/root-scaling-study-report-31aug09-en.pdf) — "With aggressive re-planning (some of which is already underway), the system is capable of managing the risks associated with adding either (a) DNSSEC or (b) new TLDs, IDNs, and IPv6 addresses over a period of 12-24 months—but not both."

It presents a binary choice.  Either DNSSEC - or the others.  Given that DNSSEC is moving forward I read it as saying TLDs, IDNs and IPv6 cannot move forward.  In other words, no new IDN ccTLDs.

A reaction to that might be --- Well, 30 or 40 new IDN ccTLDs aren't going to upset the apple cart — so we can pile them on as well as DNSSEC.  That may well be true, but it's not what the report says. 

If we believe 30 or 40 ccTLDs (on top of DNSSEC) are not a problem we're back into guess mode as to what the root can really handle.  Some qualified parties believe this number is up to 1,000 TLDs over a 12 month period.

ok. i won't mention the rate of change to you again Eric Brunner-Williams  –  Dec 09, 2009 4:31 PM PDT

from a CORE technical standard for the registries we operate:

"Configuration changes always passes the four-eyes principle."

1k of deltas on the . zone in a year is 3 times the four-eyes principle, every day.

now do the math, staff the entire icann/doc/verisign/rootservers.net path, and indicate where the four-eyes principle, or equivalent, is waived.

i'm tired of this. i know you want to be right, but what does mere desire actually do?

From my 2 year participation in the Constantine Roussos  –  Dec 09, 2009 8:27 PM PDT

From my 2 year participation in the ICANN process I have come to my own conclusions about how the ICANN organization functions and settles issues of great significance.

From an entrepreneurial perspective in regards to the organizational or the managerial approach of ICANN I have come to my personal opinions/conclusions, which I believe can summarize the inefficiencies of ICANN. If ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom or any members of the Board reads this, please correct me if I am wrong.

I think the biggest problem with ICANN is the political game that it plays. It seems that there are not many people within ICANN that are open to conflict or even conflict resolution. It seems the biggest problem with ICANN is that they do not want to deal with conflicts or are scared of resolving conflicts. This is a dangerous game because you are left with 2 or more opposing views and no swift resolution. Many promises are made for all stakeholders of the community but there are no decisions or addressing the real issues at hand. It sure seems that the safest bet from ICANN is to neglect the issues and look the other way, without making a sound decision.

The next problem I see is the issue of conflict of interest between all ICANN groups as well as personal agendas. This is natural within most influential organizations. Significant groups, countries and entities are promised things which can not be attained and the problem exacerbates. Politics is the name of the game and so is the advancement of certain groups/individuals. Again this is natural in most of these types of organizational structures.

The third problem I see is the law of diminishing returns. The more decision makers and differing interest groups you add (as well as staff), the less effective the end result becomes. It is an impossibility for everyone to agree on everything.

I look at the current domain industry and it pretty much sums up the problems. The other day I tried to go to eBay and I typed in www.ebay.cm. It took me to a site called salehoo.com. I decided to check out all the social sites I use and add a .cm. Lets see: facebook.cm, myspace.cm, twitter.cm. You can all figure out what was going on here. I am outraged with all this talk about trademarks. The whole .cm extension was wild redirected in the past for years and pointed to agoga.com which fed Yahoo ad feeds. Yes, Yahoo profited from typosquatting. How about gTLD critics Time Warner? I recently typed music.us wrong in the URL and it took me to a Roadrunner page with Time Warner's services. I can go further but I am sure we see the trend here. Every corporation does what is best for the bottom line and it has nothing to do with consumers and their protection. Oh yea, did you hear about Snapnames which just fired an executive for bidding in over 50,000 auctions? I heard this is commonplace. I witnessed it with Sedo. As soon as they saw that I was bidding high for music.mobi, I was called by a representative offering to sell me mp3s.mobi for half a million bucks because they were watching my bidding behavior.

Enough said. I think ICANN needs to step up to the plate and not be scared of the "political consequences" and just do what is right. I understand sovereign nations controlling their extensions but there has to be some ramifications if the extension manager is abusing their power. There is a double standard here.

We can talk all we want about resolving the "overarching issues". My personal opinion is that the overarching issues are just fluff. We ALL know the issues and these are not fixed or addressed in the current environment. How on earth does ICANN expect to solve these through discussions with groups such as Yahoo, Time Warner, Comcast and other big brands that have exercised their power to profit using practices that are frowned upon.

You can talk about roots, capabilities and all that economic demand stuff. In my opinion it is all bogus. Welcome to the real world. This is business. I am wondering whether ICANN will step up to the plate and clean up their organization to facilitate real conversations that address conflicts as opposed to ignore them and deal with them when the issue is too extreme to ignore.

Decisions, decisions. ICM is an example. I believe they should have launched .xxx. They could force browsers to implement parental locks with the .xxx extension which would protect minors amongst other beneficial things. However, politics was the death of .xxx. Just because the theme is controversial it does not mean it should be outlawed and closed down. It will be interesting to see what happens with .gay or a .catholic. Under the same token, they should be shot down because ICANN is scared of conflict and they need to please certain "political" stakeholders with powerful positions.

The Internet is for the people and it is open and neutral. Let us keep it that way. I am a firm believer that the overarching issues are just an excuse. All issues exist in today's marketplace and nothing can be done to permanently eradicate them or decrease them substantially. Lawyers being paid to fight new gTLDs. They say it will cost their companies money to register across all new TLDs. Let me do the math. Let us say 100 new TLDs at $30 each. That is $3000/yr. How much have these corporations paid their lawyers to fight this? Also have all these big brands bought their domain across all existing TLDs? Why haven't they?

Let us move forward ICANN. Better communication needs to be made within ICANN as an organization to deal with problems and conflict resolution. I think we have had enough of our time wasted because problems are pushed to the side and not dealt with.

Let's just fix things that matter. It's all about doing things that really matter.

Constantine Roussos
.music
.music Myspace
.music Twitter

A little more than that... Dan Campbell  –  Dec 09, 2009 9:31 PM PDT

Not that it really changes your argument, because it is still probably a drop in the bucket compared to both their lawyer costs, revenue and other advertising expenses they shell out daily, but it's a lot more than just 1 domain per TLD that they would have to register.  There are literally dozens and sometimes hundreds to register per TLD, e.g., all common mispellings, subsidiary names, nicknames and shortcuts, and unfortunately deragatory names and slogans too like "whatevercompanysucks.TLD".  I worked at one company where we had about 100 domains registered in the original TLDs.  So it would probably be quite a bit more than just the $3000 estimate you make.

Ok Dan,Well answer me this. Do you Constantine Roussos  –  Dec 10, 2009 10:17 AM PDT

Ok Dan,

Well answer me this. Do you think the big brands registered their main names across:

.travel
.jobs
.coop
.aero
.tel
.pro
etc?

I have checked a few and they have NOT. What makes you think they will register common mispellings, subsidiary names, nicknames and shortcuts, and deragatory names and slogans too like "whatevercompanysucks.TLD"?

Look at the CURRENT situation and judge for yourself. Whatever you just said I just proved otherwise. Want me to give you a list of the top 20 brands in order for you to check for yourself? What makes you think they will register all 100 TLDs if they have not done that already in the current environment?

Their attorneys get paid big bucks. If you want to make estimations you can use the current numbers and the generic extensions out there. You can hire some students to give you the probability that the big brands will register all their names across all TLDs. They wont nor is it necessary.

Furthermore, if someone has a site and the site is: www.sitename.com/bigbrandname do you think the big brands are policing that or have been? What is the difference if it is in the top level or the brand is mentioned in a subdomain of an existing site? How about we police any mentions of brands in .html or .php addresses? You can not police the Internet and new TLDs will have zero impact on issues such as cybersquatting, phishing and everything else that exists today. There are other big issues that need to be addressed by ICANN than these. I can mention a few but the issue is that noone in ICANN has the kahunas to address these issues because they are scared of conflict and can not deal well with politics or saying "no" or even forcing certain entities or governments not to act illegally (let us take .cm as a prime example). Another example is Eurid with their .eu debacle. How on earth did the European Commission choose them to operate .eu? We all know what happened there.

Like I said, we need things that actually matter and have shown to be effective and practical.

I guarantee you some of these big brands that are against new TLDs will be the FIRST to jump on the bandwagon when they become a reality. Are you doubting that? Put some realism in your post because given today's environment I just proved you wrong.

Let me ask you again. Do you think all the major brands have already registered their domains across all existing generic TLDs including their common mispellings, subsidiary names, nicknames and shortcuts, and deragatory names and slogans too like "whatevercompanysucks.TLD"? I guarantee you the probability is zero. I can wage a bet with anyone out there that they wont even register 10% of new TLDs for defensive reasons.

Want me to prove you wrong? Do some research on extensions such as .pro, .travel, .coop, .museum, .jobs and .mobi and come back to me with some concrete evidence. I stand by my $3000 or less guess. If that. You havent really told me what these lawyers are being paid to fight this. I believe it is a waste of money by the big brands which could be used to coming up with something constructive, practical and something that would help them. Fighting innovation and technology is not the way. Ask the newspaper industry, the music industry, the adult industry and the movie industry. You adapt and create new revenue models or you are obsolete.

And lastly, why are big brands favored over small business brands? Are they more important? Are their trademarks more important? Why is American big business favored over other countries? You look at all the critics - mostly American corporations. They do not see the benefits and scream "foul play." And do you believe that these big brands are "innocent" bystanders and who play in the best benefit of consumers and the world? Or are they publically owned companies with shareholders and a bottom line. Isn't that their priority?

Not only will some of the brands register some of the new TLDs for commercial use, they will bandwagon the TLD process and will register some of their extensions or brand names. If they were smart, they would register the new TLDs that make sense and their marketing team will take advantage of the branding. Have you even spoken to any of the marketing people from these big corporations. Different perspective from the attorneys. Branding is about marketing right? You rarely go buy books that talk about how brands are enhanced via law in the eyes of consumers. You build your brand and you can destroy it by fighting it using the legal system. Ask the music industry. They will tell you all about this.

However we have digressed here. Adrian put it out there: Why aren't the overarching issues important enough for IDNs ccTLDs? We all know the answer and what is really going on here. It is ridiculous to me that the last round of TLDs was in 2003. It is unacceptable. .tel was a 2003 application and it is launched in 2009? 6 years to launch a TLD? Wow. No comment there.

Do not think for a second that i do not value intellectual property. I am a proponent of IP and operate a fight piracy organization as well as own numerous IP rights and copyrights of songs/content. However you can not bring innovation by fighting the progress of technology and the way users interact with the Internet. I can talk about this for hours and hours but it is important to deal with the issues that matter and that actually make a difference.

Constantine Roussos
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