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Re: [wg-c] Eureka?
Some of the confusion here may stem from the loose use (by me and others)
of the phrases "short term," "medium term," and "long term." I've
indicated that I think ICANN should aim for lots of TLDs "in the short to
medium term." I think one example of such a rollout would be the one
contemplated in draft-postel-iana-itld-admin-00.txt: ten new registries and
30 new gTLDs per year, for a period of five years. If, Kent, by the phrase
"100 immediately" you mean a plan like this one, then I think your language
is confusing at best. If, on the other hand, you mean dropping 100 new
gTLDs into the root on Day One, then you're attacking a straw man.
As for structured name space: I've indicated in this list that I think
lots of new gTLDs would be a good idea. I've indicated that competitive
registries choosing their own TLD strings may be a good idea. I've
indicated that a centrally planned name space may be a bad idea. That
doesn't make the issues inextricable. I fully expect that in the end
analysis, the WG will agree with me on some things and not others.
(Indeed, I expect that I'll have changed my own mind on some things -- I'm
open to reasonable arguments.) The WG may conclude that ICANN should not
pursue a structured name space. If so, it won't have to worry about how
the nature of the rollout will affect attempts to impose such a structure.
Alternatively, the WG may conclude that ICANN *should* pursue a structured
name space. If so, then it will do better to plan out a phased rollout
from the beginning, than to add new gTLDs in a series of disconnected,
episodic fits and starts.
Right now, there's a huge amount of pent-up demand for new TLDs. That's
why just about everyone agrees that the addition of *some* new TLDs is
inevitable: A situation in which huge segments of the general public view
.com as the only "real" TLD, but every word in a typical English-language
dictionary is already registered as an SLD there, can't be allowed to
persist. The trademark community, in general, don't like the addition of
new TLDs, but they understand that fighting against the introduction of
*any* would be a losing battle. Once a few new gTLDs are introduced,
though, much of that pent-up demand will be gone. Trademark folks will
still oppose additional TLDs, even if the record shows that adding the
first set did little to injure their interests, because many of them really
do seem to believe that all other issues pale in importance next to "On the
margin, does this change make it easier or harder to engage in trademark
policing?" They will argue that additional new TLDs are simply
unnecessary. And because much of the pent-up demand will be gone, their
position will be far easier to maintain.
For that reason, to the extent one believes that having lots of new gTLDs
would be a good thing, I think it makes sense to have a system that creates
a presumption that new TLDs will continue to be rolled out, and leaves the
burden of persuasion on folks who want to halt that rollout to convince
ICANN that the evidence coming in shows the planned rollout to be too
aggressive. I think that's more likely to leads to good results — and
indeed, to results more consistent with the data generated by our
experience with the initial new TLDs — than a system that places the burden
of inertia, after the first three or five or seven, on new TLD proponents.
At 10:25 PM 8/4/99 -0700, Kent Crispin wrote:
>On Wed, Aug 04, 1999 at 02:34:31PM -0400, Jonathan Weinberg wrote:
>> I think Kevin's post is extremely helpful. There's been a lot of ink
>> spilled attacking the idea that, on Day One of the new regime, we should
>> immediately add 100 new gTLDs to the root. It seems to me, though, that
>> that's a strawman: I'm not aware of anybody in the WG who's advocating
>Quoted from a message to the list from you, on July 27:
> I think it's safe to assume that in the short to medium term, ICANN
> will authorize some number of TLDs falling in between these extreme
> cases: fewer than 100, and more than three. My own thoughts are that
> we'll be much better off if ICANN aims for the high side -- that is,
> if it embraces a "lots of TLDs" approach.
>That sounds to me like advocacy of a "lots of TLDs in a short to medium
>term" approach. That is the position that is being argued against;
>the phrase "100 immediately" is just a tag phrase labeling the
>position you advocate. It is not a strawman.
>> The debate within the WG, near as I can tell, is between three positions:
>>  We should agree now on a phased rollout under which a lot of new TLDs
>> end up being authorized over the next few years.
>>  Having a lot of new TLDs sounds good in theory, but our action should
>> be to add a few new gTLDs now, and later on we can revisit the possibility
>> of adding additional ones (or not).
>>  We should add a few (or no) new gTLDs and stop, because having lots of
>> new gTLDs isn't a good idea.
>> I think  won't work -- if we try it, odds are we'll end up adding a few
>> new gTLDs and no more.
>There is no evidence whatsoever for such a claim. In fact, it is far
>more likely that more gTLDs will be added.
>More disturbing, however, is your implicit assumption that nothing can
>go wrong, and that we really should press on regardless of what we may
>find from our first experience. The subtext of your position is "add
>TLDs and damn the consequences".
>> If we add three or five or seven new TLDs, and then
>> replay the entire argument from scratch, the weight of inertia will be
>> heavily on the side of those who argue against expanding the name space.
>Odd how you could label the addition of a group of TLDs as "inertia"
>against adding any more.
>> Current TM interests will still oppose future TLDs; the new TLD operators
>> added by ICANN won't be thrilled about further expansion either.
>This assumes proprietary TLDs, and one TLD per registry. If TLDs are
>not proprietary, and registries are non-profit, then addition of new
>TLDs is not a heavy competitive threat. Furthermore, even in the case
>of for-profit non-proprietary registries the addition of new TLDs is
>not a threat, because a registry can bid on operating yet more TLDs.
>As for the TM interests, if operation of half a dozen new gTLDs for six
>months doesn't cause any measurable harm, then they will have a hard
>time arguing against the addition of more. Even more, if it can be
>demonstrated that the addition of new gTLDs has good effects such as
>you and Milton claim, then they may very well be in favor of the
>addition of more.
>> Kent has argued that it's important to structure the name space; I think
>> that's a separate issue.
>Unfortunately, a structured name space is fundamentally incompatible
>with the free-for-all name space that you advocate. So it can't
>really be considered as a separate issue.
>Kent Crispin "Do good, and you'll be
>firstname.lastname@example.org lonesome." -- Mark Twain