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[comments-gtlds] Regarding similar top level domains

In response to the Call for comments on the Interim Report from the
WG-C, new gTLDs,
regarding the creation of new top level domains which may cause
confusion with other potential top level domains:

While there is an advantage to creating new top level domains which may
overlap the intended purpose of existing domains (such as ".shop" in
addition to ".com"), I believe that the new TLDs should be allocated in
such a way as to minimize the confusion between different top level
domains.  In particular, when new top level domains are being
considered, there should be some discussion concerning potential future
top level domains which might conflict with the new TLDs being
discussed.  Specifically, other potential TLDs with similar spellings
and meanings should be identified and recorded as names which would be
excluded from future considerations for new TLDs, due to potential
confusion with existing or newly added names.

For example, if ".shop" is being considered for assignment as a new top
level domain, the fact that the future assignment of the name ".store"
as a separate top level domain would present the opportunity for
confusion between second-level assignments under those TLDs (such as
"www.highlandpark.shop" vs "www.highlandpark.store").  Therefore the
assignment of ".shop" and ".store" as two separate top level domains
should be avoided.

When potentially conflicting names have been identified, the resolution
for each could take one of several forms, including:
1) The potentially conflicting name could be identified as a name to be
avoided in future TLD assignments.
2) Successful registrants of a second level name could be given the
choice between two or more top level domains, as discussed below.
3) The potentially conflicting name could be reserved until such time as

multiple assignment of top level domains becomes more feasible (maybe
after some testing to confirm that it works within the existing DNS
system), and then assigned as described in (2) at a later date.

In the case of ".shop" and  ".store", the best solution in my opinion
would be to add both names within a single registry and allow the
successful domain name registrant to select the most appropriate of the
two names, for example "smalltowndepartment.store" or
"smalltownautobody.shop", or both ("smalltowngift.store" and
"smalltowngift.shop" for the same business), if appropriate.

The existing DNS system is capable of handling this arrangement, almost
as easily as it can handle uniquely-assigned top level domains
(UAgTLDs), with the recognition that multiple DNS entries would be
needed (and probably charged to the registrant) if the registrant
requested more than one of the multiply-assigned top level domains
(MAgTLDs).  The registry would need to provide for database entries (and

whois queries) in multiple TLDs, and prevent a name which is already
registered in one domain from being allocated to a different owner under

the other top level domain (for example, a request for registration of
"smalltownautobody.store" would be declined if "smalltownautobody.shop"
was already registered by another party).

One significant advantage to allowing registrants to choose the most
appropriate top level name for their domain registration is that it
would serve to speed up the acceptance of some of the new top level
domains.  That is, the owners of both "Small Town Department Store" and
"Small Town Auto Body Shop" would be equally motivated to register
domains with their full names, while on the other hand, if they were
both forced to use the ".shop" top level domain, the former would have
to choose their domain name from less appropriate alternatives such as
"smalltown.shop", "smalltowndepartment.shop", and

Robert Simpson, President
World Wide Web Shop, Inc.