NewgTLDSite.com Starts Petition Asking ICANN To Stop Closed Generic New gTLD’s From Being Awarded

Tom Gilles of NewgTLDSite.com just started an online petition to be sent to ICANN to stop closed generic strings from being awarded and is hoping to get 100,000 signatures.

The petition is on change.org.

Here is how the letter that Mr. Gilles wants to send to ICANN reads:

“”To:  The Board and Government Advisory Committee of ICANN
I strongly urge ICANN to reject New Top Level Domain applications for words that represent a broad market sector or have broad use and meaning, and that for which the applicant has no trademark rights and is proposing a closed registry business model.
I do so for the following reasons:1.  Closed generic word registries defeat the mission and purpose of ICANN, The New gTLD Program and are not consistent with the Affirmation of Committments with the U.S. Dept of Commerce.
2.  Closed broad market generic registries are harmful to the public interest in that they will restrict freedom of expression, innovation, opportunity and will result in unfair competition in the market sectors represented by the TLD.The purpose of the New gTLD Program as stated on the ICANN New gTLD site, “is to promote competition in the domain name market.”.

Two of ICANN’s Core Values:

Introduce and promote competition in the registration of domain names where practicable and beneficial.

Where feasible, depend on market mechanisms to promote and sustain a competitive environment.”

From the Affirmation of Committments

“This document affirms key commitments by DOC and ICANN, including commitments to: (a) ensure that decisions made related to the global technical coordination of the DNS are made in the public interest and are accountable and transparent; (b) preserve the security, stability and resiliency of the DNS; (c) promote competition, consumer trust, and consumer choice in the DNS marketplace; . .”

The ICANN New gTLD Program was initiated to bring much needed competition to the end user domain name marketplace. Closed generic word registries defeat these purposes and are harmful to the public interest. By their definition, closed registries do not add supply and choice to the end user market for domain names. They will exert no pressure on pricing in the domain name marketplace.

There is great potential for public harm in the form of restricting freedom of expression and innovation as well as unfair competition in industries represented by a TLD.

In a world where the right of the dot helps users to identify relevant content on the web; where short descriptive domain names using a generic address ending could be available, there will be no equal substitute to .APP for an app developer or promoter. There will be no equal substitute to .SALON for a brick and mortar salon business. The same will be true for each industry or topic related to every generic word top level domain. .MUSIC domain names should be available for anyone involved in the music industry, or simply lovers of music to use as an address on the world wide web.

No single company or organization should be sole arbiter of all possible uses of domain names under the .music TLD. The same is true for all topical category generic word top level domains.

For non-latin character sets in languages such as Chinese and Japanese, closed registries for .クラウド (.CLOUD), .ストア (.STORE) .セール (.SALE), .ファッション (.FASHION), .家電 (.ELECTRONICS), .書籍 (.BOOK), .通販 (.MailOrder), .食品 (.FOOD) will place entire cultural identities at risk. There will be loss of opportunity for people and business in that native language to express, pursue and flourish in top level namespaces designed for them. This should not be allowed.

New Top Level Domains for generic words that define broad markets or topics, and have many possible uses and applications such as .app, .blog, .music, .shop, .ファッション, .食品 and others should be open for registration and use by the broad public, not controlled and exploited by one organization exclusively.
I urge you to disqualify and reject all TLD applications that seek to close generic word registries to public use.

Sincerely,
[Your name]“””

This is how the site put up around the petition reads in part

“”Do you think Amazon should own every website that ends with .music, .shop, or .book? Should L’oreal have exclusive right to every .salon, .beauty, .skin website address?

“”The purpose of this program was to create a fresh supply of website name options for people and businesses so they could choose a good website name at an affordable price. The domain name market today is overcrowded and new online businesses have difficulty finding a good name address for their website”.

“But some companies are trying to exploit loopholes in the process to control these namespaces entirely for themselves, shutting out individuals and other businesses from these valuable new web addresses.

“If companies like Amazon and L’oreal have their way, there will be no .MUSIC website names available for musicians and bands, No .SALON domain names for real salon owners, no .APP web addresses for app developers. There are over 100 high profile New TLDs that companies are trying to prevent anyone else from using. See them all”.

Risks of Harms – Competition, Expression

“We believe this is an abuse of the system and poses great risk of harm to business, consumers and internet users globally. We feel that that these new generic word top level domain names should be open to the general public to use. Individuals and small businesses should be able to use .music, movie .shop and .whatever to create, innovate, and promote their business or interests online. We believe these takeover attempts have potential to give large companies enormous power in their respective markets.”

“If Amazon alone controls all web addresses ending with .music, .app, .book and others they will wield an enormous competitive advantage in these markets online. The result would be further consolidation of wealth at the top”.

“:Corporate takeover here will also stifle creativity and expression online”.

“How could one company alone possibly determine all possible creative applications of website names that end with .video, .store, .song and more? Artists should be able to use .art names to showcase their craft. App developers should be able to get a .app domain name for their new app website. There are millions of new small businesses that could use a .SHOP name for their website. But Amazon wants them all.  No single company should be sole arbiter of how these new names can be used for innovation, expression and commerce”.

“ICANN and its Government Advisory Committee are obligated to protect the public interest and listen to public comment. This petition can make a difference!”

“If you believe that generic word namespaces should not be controlled by one company exclusively – that authors or booksellers should be able to use a website name ending with .book – musicians, bands and promoters should have the right to choose a .music domain ending for their site – that a fashion designer in Japan should be able to get a .ファッション (.fashion ) website name . . .

Please, let your voice be heard. Sign the petition, Tell your friends, family and associates.

We hope to deliver a strong message – with over 100,000 signatures by April 2013 to ICANN to protect this global public resource.

Help Us Preserve Open Generic Internet Namespaces for individuals and small business.

Most Appreciatively,

Tom G

If you would like to sign the petition you can do it by clicking here

 

 

Comments

  1. says

    MHB

    Thanks for posting!

    100k is a lofty goal, but it’s a global concern. We are preparing press releases in Chinese and Japanese also – they have a big stake in this.

    Perhaps Amazon has unintentionally aided in the Global Awareness of New gTLDs.

    Hopefully it can make a difference.

  2. accent says

    An uphill battle. Will Amazon et al sue if the rules are changed (or they believe the rules changed)? That could tie up most of the best TLDs for years.

    Will Google and others who claim they will open their TLDs actually do so – given that a TLD may be much more valuable if kept private?

    ICANN showed near complete helplessness and incompetence in enforcing anything against Registerfly. .Mobi and .Pro abandoned their commitments to ICANN after a few years, without penalty. Will ICANN enforce any rules whatever after the checks are cashed?

    Good luck. You are in the right, of course. So were Registerfly’s customers.

  3. Dave Tyrer says

    @Tom, great document, especially the Chinese and Japanese translations, awesome. I’ve signed the petition. I’ll add a link to my resource about the closed registries: SuperMonopolies.com

    @accent, I’ve taken a look at Google’s .search application, and I’m not making this up:

    “.search will operate as a closed gTLD. It will provide Google with the opportunity to differentiate and innovate upon its Google Search products and services through its use of the gTLD. This will promote competition in the gTLD space by inciting competitors to respond with improved gTLD operations, greater range and higher quality products and services, and/or the creation of their own respective gTLDs, to the benefit of all Internet users. Launching the proposed gTLD will also generate increased competition in the online marketplace by adding incremental availability to the second level domain pool.”

    Charleston Road Registry (Google)

    This is not a mis-print. By giving Google the .search string as an exclusive closed registry, it will somehow generate “increased competition” by inciting Google’s competitors to try harder, to respond with higher quality products and services and/or their own respective gTLDs. This will somehow benefit all Internet users. Wonderful. Nothing to worry about then.

    I’m not making this up.

  4. says

    @accent

    It’s not a rules change if the GAC gives strong advice and the Board follows it. Ultimately, the Board has authority and can approve or reject any application on whatever grounds it likes, it’s in the application agreement. I don’t think there’s any recourse for a rejected applicant.

    Strangest thing, the Chinese version is getting rejected by the PR companies. Apparently, they frown on any kind of call to action, or activism. . who knew?

  5. says

    @Dave

    Nice website! I did not know about it before. I’ll try to find a way to get links for it in some of our content.

    It’s going to be tough getting a lot of traction. People just don’t know about, or understand New gTLDs yet.

    It looks like ICANN is getting serious about it now at least.

  6. Louise says

    The result would be further consolidation of wealth at the top”.

    Well, we’ve lost postal service on Saturdays. The regular people are losing more and more legal options as wealth consolidates and gets sent overseas to avoid taxes. That is, more services Americans have come to rely on, as top companies withhold their support, increase the effort and expense needed to function in the confines of the legal world. Which is the business world. Thanx, @ Steve Jobs, for nothing. Spend every last penney of your horde of tax-averted cash in court against Samsung, against the consumer interest, to settle your puny issues with Samsung design.

    Postal Service says will end Saturday mail delivery
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/06/us-usa-postal-idUSBRE9150KX20130206

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