[Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] WT5 Agenda, Work Plan & Consensus Call on Country & Territory Names - Please review before our call.

Alexander Schubert alexander at schubert.berlin
Tue Aug 14 13:22:34 UTC 2018

Dear group, dear Emily,


Thanks for these documents, they energized me a LOT. My message is a long read; hence  a super short summary upfront (if you hate it: skip the rest):

-        Many want to prevent that ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 codes or country name based strings to become a gTLD

-        They want to further reserve these names – until another “ICANN community body” finds a “global solution” that benefits gNSO AND ccNSO (and GAC)

-        My suggestion: instead of reserving these strings globally simply let ICANN to STRONGLY recommend to keep them reserved, announcing that a global solution is still in the works, but that  in exceptional circumstances when a Government just can’t wait any longer: allow them  to grant Government support to such application just as we have a process in place for ISO 3166-2 national subdivisions 

-        (detailed explanations and rationales below; end of summary)


After having gone through all of the ICANN 61 WT5 transcript AND the GoogleDocs document again, let me summarize:

*        In the years leading up to the 2012 AGB the ICANN community couldn’t come up with a solution regarding the application policies for 3166 Alpha-3 codes (.can, .lux) and country names (and their short forms).

*        Consequently the ICANN community excluded these strings from the 2012 round in order to be able to finally launch the application phase; but clearly stated in the 2012 AGB that a solution should be established in the future

*        After 2012 the CCWG was created and discussed the issue for YEARS – to no avail. Workable solutions were found; but no consensus established. Finally the CCWG deferred the issue to “another body”

*        In my view that was one of the motivators to initiate this WT5

*        WT5 then seemingly came to these preliminary! conclusions:

o   Both ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 code elements AND country names (& their short forms) are closely affiliated with the respective country (territory)

o   In that regard they are very similar to ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 code elements (commonly known as ccTLDs)

o   Some countries have ALREADY voiced interest in applying for their ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 code (Estonia for example – I know others that want their country name as gTLD but I can’t “out” them at this point)

o   Seemingly some of the impacted parties (such as some GAC members and some ccTLD managers) voice sympathy with the idea to treat these names (strings) identical to ccTLDs (granting sole policy authority to the country, not ICANN, avoiding the ICANN transaction fees, avoiding ICANN’s WHOIS policies, avoiding the registrar channel, avoiding all the protections ICANN put in place)

o   But other Governments have no desire to create a second ccTLD or to apply themselves – but still want to retain close control over the application policies

o   And in fact we ALREADY have a solution for that second batch of Governments in place: it is the same solution that we created for capital cities and for ISO 3166-2 national subdivisions:

*  Applicants are required to provide governmental support

*  Thus the relevant Government authority can deny applications that are posing any harm for the stakeholders and constituents of the affiliated geo-entity

*  A Government could even completely deny ANY application – and keep the string reserved for potential future use

*  The Government could WITHDRAW their support at any time in the future!


Currently our rationale here at WT5 is to globally reserve ALL of these ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 codes & country names on ICANN level. So it is the ICANN community that reserves these strings. This is very inconsistent with the way we treat similar country-related names: For example capitals and ISO 3166-2 national subdivisions. Why reserving these ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 codes & country names on GLOBAL level when we could leave such decision to each Government? What scenario do we try to prevent? Whom do we “protect”?


Let’s face reality: If we would treat “ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 codes &  country names” just the same way as we treat “capitals and ISO 3166-2 national subdivisions” – do you really think there would be a FLOOD of applications? I don’t think so. For the overwhelming majority of countries an application for the 3-letter code is completely unrealistic! “.che” for …. what? “.deu” for? Even with 16 Million .de domains and absolutely NOTHING anymore available in .de – you could BEAT German companies and private citizens to try using .deu domains: NOBODY would register one. 3-letter code based TLDs will likely only be desirable in countries with a completely depleted ccTLD – AND where the code somehow “works”. So in regard to “free market” driven applications (applicants who want to “make money”) we are probably talking about some 5 to 10 three-letter code applications at max (and even that is probably optimistic). And the full country name as gTLD? “.deutschland”? “.australia”? Give me a break. Again: I can’t see that the “free market” would jump on such names. 

In reality it would be mostly some kind of public-private partnerships like in Estonia and their desire for a .est! Or driven by the tourism authorities of countries like Spain, Greece or Israel! Likely there would be a private entity that would work CLOSELY with the relevant Government to create a safe namespace to represent the country in all things tourism, investment and eGovernment. More like a “.gov” or “.mil” type of gTLD.

May I ask a simply but nasty question? Why do we at WT5 and at the gNSO PDP decide ON BEHALF of these Governments? By definition applications for ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 codes &  country names will only come from either the country itself (Estonia being a good example) or IF from the “private market” then for VERY SIZEABLE entities with a VERY depleted ccTLDs (in other words: countries with a lot of knowledge about ICANN and the new gTLD process). These countries would need to sign off on the application! Let’s say there are 5 to 10 applications from the “free market” (private entities). What do we fear? That these few relevant Governments can’t decide correctly – and erroneously grant the application? Then let’s add a step – and require that the Government in question has a one on one with a small GAC panel – just to make sure that the respective Government doesn’t get “tricked”.

So my suggestion: instead of reserving these names on a GLOBAL level – lets grant such authority to the relevant Governments. We could add a paragraph such as:
“In the 2012 new gTLD round ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 codes & country names were globally reserved in order to find a future global application policy for how they can be applied for. Some countries and ccTLD managers would like to see these strings subjected to the ccNSO policy authority; thus recommend to keep these strings further reserved. Until a global solution is being established ICANN will accept applications for ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 codes &  country names only  in exceptional cases and in conjunction with a direct consultation with the relevant Government authority in order to establish that:

-        the Government authority is aware of the implications of granting their ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 code or country name as gTLD

-        that the Government is aware that the ICANN community recommends to currently not grant such applications until a global policy is being established

-        that the relevant Government authority is providing support for the application (letter of support)

-        ICANN also recommends to the relevant Government authority to consult with their relevant ccTLD manager AND their GAC member to be aware of their position on the issue: ICANN will make an effort to connect these entities with each other (remark: we could even go so far that both the GAC member AND the ccTLD manager have to sign off as well!)


Such policy would surely defer any malicious applicant. Nobody goes for “.spain” as a purely business oriented application with the aim to “make money” (the typical portfolio applicant) – when they know that Spain then will talk to ICANN, their GAC member, their ccTLD manager and that the Spanish Government is actually being advised by ICANN to keep the string reserved! 
My suggested solution would leave open a path to establishing a global policy for the future. But it would also enable those country entities that REALLY REALLY want their “ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 code or country name”-based gTLD in the next round to apply for it (more likely: employing the services of a third party to organize the application and the operation of such gTLD in concert with their eGovernment efforts, investment authority efforts, National Airline, national Olympic Committee, tourism board, etc). We would probably see some 10 to 20 applications at TOPS. If these work out fine – and provide benefits for the respective communities – they could serve as blueprints for future applications. Just as it happened with city names: which initially NOBODY wanted to be established (you can’t start to IMAGINE what a tough job it was to convince ALL levels at ICANN that smth like .berlin would serve ANY benefit for ANYBODY). I see these gTLDs as being similar to .gov: they would likely NOT follow classical economical patterns but rather being financed by a plethora of entities close to the Government – like the investment authority, tourism authority, national airline, sports authority, etc! This could serve as a VERY useful resource for a country to “market” itself globally. Something that won’t work AT ALL on basis of their national ccTLD – because the relevant names might be taken and there is no way to create the same “trust”-level as with a gTLD like I am proposing it! This type of gTLD would be most likely non-profit (which could be a pre-requisite by ICAN as well), public-benefit, registrant-authenticated!

I just don’t like the idea that we categorially deny ALL Governments to get their strings – just because some GAC members and some ccTLD managers can’t warm up with the thought that these kind of strings will be gTLDs (even when I completely understand THEIR rationales as well). And after ALL the policy efforts of OVER A DECADE – and the next round starting only in 2 or 3 years – it would likely take AT MINIMUM another 5 years to come up with a way how ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 codes or country names can ever be applied for (probably a very optimistic timeline). And that’s really going to harm some countries – and ultimately their citizens and constituents. So let a  Government decide to NOT honor ICANN’s recommendations of keeping these names reserved – if such Government is ready to move on under the umbrella of gTLD policies.

With this contribution I am acknowledging the status quo of the current discussion. Acknowledging that ICANN strictly recommends to all public authorities to NOT support any of such applications. I acknowledge that a future body should seek a solution (even when we still have some 2 years till the next round – and could still do so in time). I merely suggest to grant the exceptional authority to single Governments (and relevant ccTLD managers and GAC members) to IGNORE ICANN’s global recommendations. This would foster innovation and might create new solutions – which could serve as future models. 









From: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 [mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Emily Barabas
Sent: Montag, 13. August 2018 18:04
To: Jorge.Cancio at bakom.admin.ch; javrua at gmail.com
Cc: gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org
Subject: Re: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] WT5 Agenda, Work Plan & Consensus Call on Country & Territory Names - Please review before our call.


Dear all,


You can find the recording and transcript on the meeting in San Juan here: https://61.schedule.icann.org/meetings/647704.


The issue of whether WT5 should address future delegation of country and territory names is included in the Working Document beginning at the bottom of page 20. All are welcome to add comments if they feel that there were points raised that are not sufficiently captured in the document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRzHr2FxSTYHX1I8F3FHSt6Bo1cvJsKyWX8WZXRUXAo/edit.


Kind regards,



From: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org> > on behalf of "Jorge.Cancio at bakom.admin.ch <mailto:Jorge.Cancio at bakom.admin.ch> " <Jorge.Cancio at bakom.admin.ch <mailto:Jorge.Cancio at bakom.admin.ch> >
Date: Monday, 13 August 2018 at 14:44
To: "javrua at gmail.com <mailto:javrua at gmail.com> " <javrua at gmail.com <mailto:javrua at gmail.com> >
Cc: "gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org> " <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org> >
Subject: Re: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] WT5 Agenda, Work Plan & Consensus Call on Country & Territory Names - Please review before our call.


Hello all


For those not attending the San Juan Meeting or not recalling it, it could be worthwhile that Secretariat could circulate a short summary of the rationale(s) that were put forward and discussed regarding 3-letter-country codes (and other country names). 


We are now at consensus call stage, but this should not mean that everyone has to reiterate all arguments again, especially when there was a f2f meeting in San Juan and conclusions were drawn from it by the co-leads.


One thought in this discussion which is key to me (and which I mentioned in San Juan) is that 3-letter country codes are intuitively very closely linked to the country at stake, eg we use the three-letter code, inter alia, for our passports. Connected to this is the thought that such TLDs should be subject to applicable policies developed by the corresponding national communities, similarly to what happens with the 2-letter-country-codes, following in essence a principle of subsidiarity. 


In San Juan the feeling was that this requires a new kind of policy-making forum within ICANN, as the GNSO deals with generic TLDs that are subject to a quite thorough global policy framework. 


I feel these ideas are still valid and the many voices in support of them in San Juan should be recalled and recorded.


Best regards






Von: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org> > Im Auftrag von Javier Rua
Gesendet: Freitag, 10. August 2018 01:53
An: Carlos Raul Gutierrez < <mailto:carlosraul at gutierrez.se> carlosraul at gutierrez.se>
Cc:  <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org> gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org
Betreff: Re: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] WT5 Agenda, Work Plan & Consensus Call on Country & Territory Names - Please review before our call.




I see you support keeping the current status of two letter-letter country/territory codes.  I think that’s in line with general WT thinking and I feel has broad support.


On the other hand, like some other WT members you mention preference for a future policy that’s a bit more liberal or “pro delegation” in regards 3 letter codes that are geonames, limiting the possible applicants to -governmental authorities, ccTLD managers and “public interest entities”.


Could you expand on these “public interest entities”? Could you suggest language in the pertinent “Recommendation” for WT consideration?



Javier Rúa-Jovet



twitter: @javrua

skype: javier.rua1

https://www.linkedin.com/in/javrua [linkedin.com] <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.linkedin.com_in_javrua&d=DwMGaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=mBQzlSaM6eYCHFBU-v48zs-QSrjHB0aWmHuE4X4drzI&m=IboMXMLkSOAnfCguASbkSsfa7E1Mz8TJ4oymMg_PKKQ&s=7Fhf6ZGbmUORSb2dcVGz_EsbecdESrQ_ImIxTJOoFgg&e=>  


On Aug 8, 2018, at 8:50 PM, Carlos Raul Gutierrez <carlosraul at gutierrez.se <mailto:carlosraul at gutierrez.se> > wrote:

Dear Annebeth


I fully support Recommendation #1 AS IS

no changes there


I don't support the recommendation on ISO 3 letter (forgot the number). ISO 3 letter codes should be delegated to Govs, ccTLD managers or any other interested PUBLIC INTEREST entities


Don't know if this answers your question


Carlos Raúl Gutiérrez

carlosraul at gutierrez.se <mailto:carlosraul at gutierrez.se> 

+506 8837 7176

Aparatado 1571-1000



El 2018-08-08 14:48, Annebeth Lange escribió:

Hi Carlos 


Could I ask you for one clarification? If we open up for some 2-letter/letter combinations in the GNSO process, they will automatically be gTLDs. You don't think that will disturb the distinction we have had from the beginning that 2-characters are ccTLDs and 3 or more gTLDs?

Kind regards,



Annebeth B Lange

Special Adviser International Policy


Phone: +47 959 11 559

Mail: annebeth.lange at norid.no <mailto:annebeth.lange at norid.no> 



8. aug. 2018 kl. 22:43 skrev Carlos Raul Gutierrez <carlosraul at gutierrez.se <mailto:carlosraul at gutierrez.se> >:

My comments to today's call:

1. "The ICANN Community may want to consider whether a future process should be established or determine if, when, and how specific interested parties, such as relevant government authorities, may apply for country and territory names" This paragraph is the only sensible part of a forward-looking recommendation and should/could be redrafted. I wonder if it could be enhanced, or if the only way to go is deletion as CW suggested.   A shorter more concise version? A more "liberal" version? How about: "ICANN may consider applications by specific interested parties, such as relevant authorities, of strings that are not current or future countries or territories."  Ps: The text in Recommendation 1 "reserving ALL two character letter letter" combinations-  can be enhanced.  I wonder if it's truly ALL, or if the potential for future countries and potential combinations is really much less broad? Could that be qualified somehow? I can't think of a future .xx or .ññ country or territory and maybe we could tweak the language to open this a bit and garner broad community support to move forward.

2. Other than recommendation #1, I object strongly the text to "keep geo names from the delegation" in any other recommedation, unless a clear rationale is added to the recommendation


3. I hope no draft goes out before a substantial non-AGB names discussion has taken place, including to geographic related, cultural, linguistic and other social  elements, ,like Apache Nation


Best regards




Carlos Raúl Gutiérrez

carlosraul at gutierrez.se <mailto:carlosraul at gutierrez.se> 

+506 8837 7176

Aparatado 1571-1000



El 2018-08-08 05:09, Emily Barabas escribió:

Dear Work Track members,


Please find attached suggested revisions to the draft recommendations shared yesterday. Please note that this revised text includes clarifications and typo corrections only. Feedback on some of the more substantive issues will be discussed further on today's call.


Kind regards,



From: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org> > on behalf of Martin Sutton <martin at brandregistrygroup.org <mailto:martin at brandregistrygroup.org> >
Date: Monday, 6 August 2018 at 14:45
To: "gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org> " <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org> >
Subject: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] WT5 Agenda, Work Plan & Consensus Call on Country & Territory Names - Please review before our call.


Dear Work Track members,


Please find below the proposed agenda for the WT5 call on Wednesday 8 August at 13:00 UTC:


1. Welcome/Agenda Review/SOI Updates
2. Review of Consensus Call Process and Work Plan
3. Consensus Call on Country and Territory Names
4. Wrap Up - Non-AGB Terms
5. AOB


On our upcoming call, the leadership team will introduce a work plan aimed at wrapping up WT5's work and delivering an Initial Report by the end of September. In maintaining this timeline, the leadership is seeking to ensure that Work Track 5 inputs can be effectively integrated into the work of the broader New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP Working Group in time for delivery of the PDP's Final Report. A copy of the work plan is attached.


As outlined in the work plan, the leadership team will be holding a series of consensus calls on potential recommendations to include in WT5's Initial Report. These will be introduced in clusters, with the first set of recommendations focusing on country and territory names. The draft recommendations, which will be discussed on Wednesday, are attached. Work Track members are encouraged to review and provide feedback on these draft recommendations prior to the call on Wednesday. The leadership team will officially open the consensus call on this topic following Wednesday's call. For more information on the consensus call process that will be followed, please see the GNSO Working Group Guidelines, Section 3.6: <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__gnso.icann.org_sites_default_files_file_field-2Dfile-2Dattach_annex-2D1-2Dgnso-2Dwg-2Dguidelines-2D18jun18-2Den.pdf&d=DwMGaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=mBQzlSaM6eYCHFBU-v48zs-QSrjHB0aWmHuE4X4drzI&m=NVtIpaem-VqCNPYPOoZhv9ofczsIO-e3-mM3UoaoTMA&s=g15pYjxotpxtjftphXYKDMOR0bso7mS5i2CXTIVfcww&e=> https://gnso.icann.org/sites/default/files/file/field-file-attach/annex-1-gnso-wg-guidelines-18jun18-en.pdf [gnso.icann.org].


If you need a dial out for the upcoming call or would like to send an apology, please email  <mailto:gnso-secs at icann.org> gnso-secs at icann.org.


Kind regards,


WT5 Co-Leads

Annebeth Lange

Javier Rua

Olga Cavalli

Martin Sutton






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