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[wg-c] S/K principles
Today's comments on the principles raise two issues.
1. Rod notes his concern that the requirement that each TLD string have
"meaning" could be understood to preclude open TLDs. We all, I think,
agree that the principles *shouldn't* be read to preclude open TLDs.
Philip explained back on Feb. 16 that he didn't see the principles as
precluding "a ‘true generic' [that] purports to stand for that and only
that." He noted on Feb. 22 that in his mind .zzz would be an acceptable
TLD; the corresponding meaning might be "‘.zzz just stands for a very
memorable domain name.'"
It seems to me that Rod has a point, though: a naive reader, unfamiliar
with the full history of our discussions, might not read the word "meaning"
so broadly — most of us would say that "zzz" is meaningless at the outset,
although it might acquire meaning through branding. Perhaps it would be
more clear to reword the first principle to read:
"1. Meaning: An application for a TLD should explain the significance of
the proposed TLD string, and how the applicant contemplates that the new
TLD will be perceived by the relevant population of net users. The
application may contemplate that the proposed TLD string will have its
primary semantic meaning in a language other than English."
2. Patrick raises the question whether differentiation, in the sense that
each TLD operates in a different market segment, is an effective means of
providing competition at all. This is a basic issue, but I think the
principles may side-step it. The principles' language re: differentiation
requires that "TLDs should be clearly differentiated by the string . . . ."
I've never considered this a model of unambiguous phrasing, but my guess
is that differentiation "by the string" is not necessarily the same thing
as differentiation by market segment in any event.
I've been saying that we needed to get the text of the principles final by
tonight, so that we could have one week for a formal consensus call, but I
really want to have the chance for some further feedback before setting
these in stone. So, please -- get me any further comments by mid-morning
EST tomorrow (Tues). (This gives people in Europe nearly all day tomorrow
to respond. It gives people on the US West Coast essentially no time
tomorrow, but hey — it's only suppertime on the West Coast now, so you
folks have all evening.) That knocks the consensus call down to six days,
which I hate, but we'll have to make the best of it.