[bc-gnso] Blog post

Ron Andruff randruff at rnapartners.com
Mon Oct 25 16:47:21 UTC 2010

Jarrko and all,


I don’t disagree with your rationale for brands being ‘good stewards’ and,
more importantly, I was not suggesting brands go to the end of the queue.
Having listened closely at the BC Washington meeting presentation on ‘Brands
as gTLDs’ by Fred Felman, Debbie Hughes and Kristina Rossette and
correlating that to the discussions that we have had on this topic within
the Vertical Integration Working Group (VIWG), the realization of what needs
to be done before the we will see brand names in the root became very clear
to me.  Hence my recommendation to establish a separate, parallel path for
brands to address the issues that abound in that ‘segment’ of potential


Two key aspects formed the basis for my recommendation, as follows:


1.	The VIWG has barely scratched the surface on the topic of Single
Registrar Single User (SRSU – loosely defined as brands being restricted to
using domain names solely for products and services) and still less
discussion has been had regarding Single Registrant Multiple User (SRMU –
loosely defined as brands providing domain names to customers or
subscribers).  These topics need to be discussed in greater detail and
policies need to be put in place prior to brands entering the application
phase, IMHO.  At this point in time, the VIWG appears to be stuck in the
doldrums awaiting a push from either the Board of GNSO vis-à-vis where it
goes from here so I don’t know who or when these important topics will be
taken up.


Moreover, I am not personally aware of anyone on the VIWG who supports
allowing brands to queue up in the ‘standard’ or ‘community-based’
application lines to submit their documentation like any other applicant.
My understanding is that it is not simply a question of whether brands will
accept the ICANN principle of equal access for all registrars to sell all
domain names; rather brand name gTLDs is a new addition to the heretofore
categories of ‘generic’ and ‘country code’ TLDs and therein lays the issue.


2.	Corporations the world over function on the basis of annual budgets.
Without a prescribed budget, it is problematic to initiate any new activity
within a company.  Therefore, any brand that is planning on submitting an
application when the window opens must have included all of the necessary
costs around applying for a gTLD in their fiscal 2011 budget, which means
that discussions will have to be already had within the executive suite,
legal, technical, communications, marketing and financial departments to get
the go-ahead on such an initiative.  With all of the open issues that still
remain with regard to the Applicant Guidebook, I question how many brands
have taken these steps within the 50-150 companies you mention.  My
experience working in the corporate world is that very few executives will
put their careers on the line by taking such bold action as to promote
participation in something that is yet to be defined in absolute terms, as
is our current DAGv4, or internally within their companies.


Without a budget in place and determined executive suite leadership, very
few brands will tread into ICANN waters when the application window for new
gTLDs opens, in my view.  A few, perhaps like Nokia, who have long been
involved in the ICANN community and therefore can draw on that experience,
may be prepared to go forward.  However, most brands, in my view, will wait
and watch to learn from the experience of those few companies that step
forward when the time comes. 


Having participated for the better part of a year on the VIWG, the overall
position that I have come to with regard to new gTLDs is that: 


1.	with all of the moving parts of an untested, new gTLD process we
should not introduce yet another set of critical issues (VI) on top of that
unless and until we have gained some experience vis-à-vis how the proposed
process functions in real life;


2.	the compliance department needs a highly-qualified leader and
significantly more staff to enforce the contracts (old and new alike)  This
is one area that has been sorely lacking in the first decade of ICANN’s
existence and going forward to the coming 10 years the number of TLDs
compliance will watch over is expected to increase by an order of magnitude
of ten.


3.	the compliance department needs new policies to address all of the
nefarious activities that are currently happening in the
‘user-registrar-registry domain name registration’ chain of activities,
which the VIWG unearthed during its deliberations; and finally, 


4.	every activity undertaken by ICANN must be done with the view of
building institutional confidence to ensure that the ICANN experiment is not
overtaken by a zealous ITU or other such multilateral organization.


I trust that my blog post with regard to brands falls in line with that


I hope that this rather long posting adds more clarity to the matter, but am
happy to discuss this further should you so wish.


Kind regards,




Ronald N. Andruff



RNA Partners, Inc.

220 Fifth Avenue

New York, New York 10001

+ 1 212 481 2820 ext. 11



From: owner-bc-gnso at icann.org [mailto:owner-bc-gnso at icann.org] On Behalf Of
jarkko.ruuska at nokia.com
Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 2:59 AM
To: randruff at rnapartners.com; bc-gnso at icann.org
Subject: RE: [bc-gnso] Blog post


Thanks Ron for sharing this.


The blog post was a pretty accurate and thorough description of what has
been going on lately with ICANN and the gTLD program. I agree with you for
the most part, but some things you wrote didn’t make any sense to me and
left me in state of confusion.


More specifically the topic related to the brand TLDs was the one that
caught my eye. You stated that the schedule of so called brand TLDs should
be pushed further compared to the regular TLDs. And the reason for this
would be the unfinished work with the definition of SRSU and other brand TLD
related issues. 


I really fail to see the logic in this. Let me list a couple of reasons why
brand TLDs should be delegated first rather than be put to the end of the


1)      The companies behind brand TLDs are usually in good financial
standing and can afford well-known back-end registry service provider or
skilled enough people to run the registry properly thus posing no threat to
stability or security of the root

2)      The brands by definition have a reputation to maintain. That thing
alone guarantees that the TLDs are properly operated to avoid any negative

3)      The requirement of having to use registrars (Which SRSU model is
supposed to fix) is nothing but a small inconvenience and cost item  for big
corporations. Nothing really keeps them from applying a standard TLD and
bear the added minor financial impact of contracting a registrar.

4)      ICANN can’t really say no to the money these kind of easy and safe
TLD applications would bring on the table (it is estimated that there would
be at least 50-150 of them, $185,000 each, you can do the math). 

5)      Last but not least ICANN could be facing legal implications of
delaying the brand TLDs as the big corporations might find it as a
discriminatory approach 









Head of Internet Domain Initiatives
Compatibility and Industry Collaboration

Nokia Corporation

Visiokatu 1, 33720 Tampere, Finland
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: 23. lokakuuta 2010 0:53
To: 'bc - GNSO list'
Subject: [bc-gnso] Blog post


Dear all,


As it may have relevance to members of the BC, I thought I should make you
aware of a blog post I made on CircleID regarding the long delays and long
timelines that lay ahead vis-à-vis new gTLDs [
http://www.circleid.com/posts/and_then_there_was_the_issue_of_time/ ].  


The October 12th BC meeting in Washington, particularly the session on
“brands as gTLDs” that Fred Felman chaired, was extremely valuable in
fleshing out the complexities around brands as TLDs and got me to thinking
more about how ICANN best handle this important aspect.  I recommend that
members go back and read the transcripts or listen to the MP3 to learn more
if they didn’t participate remotely.  It got me to thinking more about what
still needs to be done and how we should address that.  In my post, I
suggest putting all brands on a separate path towards gTLDs until such time
as the issues around SRSU and the like have been properly considered and
appropriate recommendations are put in place.  I believe that this would
address a number of concerns from different groups and build institutional
confidence in ICANN.


Kind regards,




Ronald N. Andruff



RNA Partners, Inc.

220 Fifth Avenue

New York, New York 10001

+ 1 212 481 2820 ext. 11



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