[bc-gnso] BC Position Statement on Vertical Integration (VI)--single registrant TLDs

jarkko.ruuska at nokia.com jarkko.ruuska at nokia.com
Mon May 17 18:01:18 UTC 2010

Hi Folks,

I haven't been overly active in the BC list but I've surely been an active follower. I am also a member of the Vertical Integration Working Group.

To me, as a representative of a large corporation in BC, it seems rather odd that BC would not support Single Registrant TLDs.
As a matter of fact the Single Registrant TLDs or brand TLDs are pretty much the only thing the VIWG actually is in agreement. It is generally seen that Single Registrant TLDs can work if the boundaries are correctly defined.

It would be pretty strange if the one constituency that is supposed to drive the interests of businesses would oppose Single Registrant TLDs.

The need is there and the case is pretty simple. Here's a message I posted earlier to the VIWG mailing list:

<I think most of us recognize that brand TLDs should not have to use registrars. It just doesn't make any sense for brand TLDs to buy their own internal names from some 3rd party.
As Milton stated the problem is how to define this kind of TLD in way that prohibits gaming and unfair competition.

The way I see it, the solution is simple. I think brand TLDs should not be allowed to sell any names outside their internal usage. Names could probably be allowed to be given to business partners though. The brand TLD should also be non-transferrable or at least that would require special permission from ICANN. If the brand owner goes bankrupt TLD would be taken down in a controlled way and not transferred to anyone else.

In my opinion this approach would satisfy the needs of brand TLDs without promoting gaming or unfair competitive advantage.>

Just bringing a potential TLD applicant's view on the table,


Head of Internet Domain Initiatives
Compatibility and Industry Collaboration,  Tampere, Finland
Nokia Corporation
Tel: +358 50 324 7507
E-Mail: jarkko.ruuska at nokia.com

From: owner-bc-gnso at icann.org [mailto:owner-bc-gnso at icann.org] On Behalf Of ext Ron Andruff
Sent: 17. toukokuuta 2010 18:17
To: bc-gnso at icann.org
Subject: RE: [bc-gnso] BC Position Statement on Vertical Integration (VI)--single registrant TLDs

Dear members,

Steve wrote:

<I am not aware of any BC member (or NetChoice member) who's planning to apply for their own TLD, but I doubt any would want to operate their own TLD if arbitrary caps were placed on self-managed registrations.

I believe the BC is in the best position to argue for potential needs of single registrant TLDs like those described in these examples.

Let's acknowledge that single-registrant TLDs would need to conform with ICANN's contract and consensus policies.  It's also acceptable to require the use of a single accredited registrar, as long as this registrar can be wholly-owned and controlled by the single registrant company.    But let's argue against arbitrary registration caps that would force single-registrant TLDs to use all ICANN registrars once those caps were reached.>

While Steve's arguments may have merit, as we saw in Jon's and Berry's responses, there are so many different ways to look at every permutation of single-registrant TLDs it is clear the entire subject needs considerably more time to study than the VI WG has vis-à-vis trying to complete its mandate prior to the start of the application process.  For this reason, I noted what follows below in one of my posts to the VI WG list last week.  I share it here with the members of the BC, because I believe that many members may feel the same way about this exercise.

Ron wrote:

<What I see shaping up is a divergence of thinking that goes in two distinct directions, i.e., those that are more supportive of VI and those that are more supportive of adhering to the status quo (maintaining the tried and tested structure that has been in place for the past decade).

In my view, we need to be realistic about what we will/will not achieve as a result of this WG and consider promoting the concept of finalizing an Applicant Guidebook as soon as possible, recognizing that no matter how hard the community continues to try to refine it, it will most certainly need some kind of re-tooling after the 'first round' or batch of applicants test the systems, as it were.  This WG should take the necessary time to do our work thoroughly without predetermined timelines forcing the VI WG to compromise on a solution that will not be able to stand the test of time going forward.

I don't believe that a delay in integrating our work product into the AG v2 (or not, should the outcome of our efforts be a recommendation to maintain the status quo) will harm those applicants that we are working hard to find solutions for, neither their intended users.  'Difficult' new TLD applicants (e.g., brands, small communities, etc.) could, and in my view, should, be put in a separate queue until such time as any and all issues that cloud those applications (such as VI) have been clarified.  All others that are straightforward should be allowed to get into the queue for immediate processing to allow ICANN to initiate the application process in 2010.

Holding everything up until the ICANN community believes we have addressed every issue is a fool's errand.  Be sure, no matter how hard we try to address every aspect of this, there will be issues and implications that arise only after the first batch of new gTLD applications have been processed.  What is at stake is not only the loss of credibility of applicants in the eyes of their 'communities', investors and the like, as has been often cited at open mikes and other for a, but also of ICANN's credibility as an institution.  For 3+ years ICANN (that is, all of us as part of the community of ICANN) has been trying to bring new TLDs to market.   Delaying this into 4 and then 5 years while we try to 'get everything just right' serves no one.

Therefore, let's be sure that the VI WG does its work in an appropriate way in an appropriate time frame and NOT link anything we are doing to the initiation of new TLD applications.>

Your comments on this direction are most welcome.  I would be happy to take them back to the VI WG list, as appropriate.

Kind regards,


Ronald N. Andruff


RNA Partners, Inc.

220 Fifth Avenue

New York, New York 10001

+ 1 212 481 2820 ext. 11

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-bc-gnso at icann.org [mailto:owner-bc-gnso at icann.org] On Behalf Of berrycobb at infinityportals.com
Sent: Monday, May 17, 2010 8:57 AM
To: bc-gnso at icann.org
Subject: RE: [bc-gnso] BC Position Statement on Vertical Integration (VI)--single registrant TLDs


Thank you for your response.  I support your statement that we as BC

members must advocate for commercial users.  Just to be clear, the

intent of my example is not in support of a Registry, but more about

the market in general.  I want to see each approved TLD succeed in the

market, because that is ultimately the best for consumers.  The last

thing I want to support are policies that create unfair market

conditions whereby a TLD fails and closes shop. Failing TLDs will

create uncertainty and disruptions for other consumers and business

users of that TLD.

Further, I will state that I have not finalized my opinions WRT to the

concept of Single Registrant TLDs, as there are many other

characteristics to consider in the whole.  Single Registrant Single

User(SRSU) vs. Single Registrant Multiple User(SRMU) has been

discussed a fair amount by not exhaustively.

I appreciate the dialog.....lets keep the momentum going!  Thank you.

Berry Cobb

Infinity Portals LLC

berrycobb at infinityportals.com



-----Original Message-----

From: owner-bc-gnso at icann.org [mailto:owner-bc-gnso at icann.org] On

Behalf Of Philip Sheppard

Sent: Monday, May 17, 2010 12:35 AM

To: bc-gnso at icann.org

Subject: RE: [bc-gnso] BC Position Statement on Vertical Integration

(VI)-- single registrant TLDs

I too agree on case 1 and understand the complexity with the other cases.

My default in such cases is that unless one can be watertight in the


then erring on the side of caution is probably better.

However, as BC members we need to think what is the best model for commercial

users, not what is best for one registry or other.

So I'm not very sympathetic to the fate of the dot.social registry !!

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