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[gtld-com] Re: Position Papers on gTLD Expansion



This message from two scholars at Loyola Law 
School sent Council members the appended message below 
regarding TLD policy. I am forwarding it to the official mail list of the
gTLD committee to make it part of our official record.

>>> Karl Manheim <karl.manheim@lls.edu> 03/24/03 11:38AM >>>
    As you know, the Business Users Constituency has produced a position
paper on gTLD expansion, entitled "Differentiated Expansion."  They
propose 6 principles for adoption by ICANN to allow for limited addition
of sponsored/restricted gTLDs.

    We believe the BC proposal will lead to gross inefficiencies in the
name space and disserve the public interest.  Our response is contained
in a working paper, "The Inefficiencies of  Differentiated Expansion: An
Analysis and Critique of the Business Constituency Position Paper on
Expansion of the Top Level Name Space."

    We think you will be interested in our paper, which is posted on
gTLD-auctions.net.  Our position against taxonomized expansion, and in
favor of a market-based approach, is more fully explained in our policy
paper, The Case for gTLD Auctions: A Framework for Evaluating Domain
Name Policy.  Both papers explain why existing expansion policies
produce inefficiencies in the name space, stifle competition, drive
prices up, and otherwise undermine ICANN's contractual and statutory
mandate to serve the public interest.

    Under the current MoU with the Department of Commerce (Amendment 5,
19 Sept. 2002), ICANN committed to "implementing new top level domains"
and consider and evaluate "c. Potential consumer benefits/costs
associated with establishing a competitive environment for TLD
registries."  Par. II.C.8.  We believe the BC proposal sidesteps this
issue entirely.

    Before the GNSO Names Council, the gTLD subcommittee, or the full
ICANN Board goes much further in its evaluation of expansion policies,
it should also comply with MoU subparagraph II.C.8.d, which requires it
to seek "Recommendations from expert advisory panels, bodies, agencies,
or organizations regarding economic, competition, trademark, and
intellectual property issues."  While the various evaluation studies are
an important ingredient in this process, very little expert economic
analysis has been performed.  We believe that such expert advice is
indispensable to the formulation of sound gTLD policy.

    We would be interested in your comments on our papers, and would be
happy to answer any questions you may have.  We are available in Rio de
Janeiro at the ICANN meetings or by email.

Very truly yours,

Lawrence Solum
Karl Manheim


--
Karl Manheim
Loyola Law School
919 S. Albany St.
Los Angeles, CA  90015
Tel:   213-736-1106
Fax:   240-414-7747
Web:   http://faculty.lls.edu/manheim 

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