[Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Conference call: city names

Greg Shatan gregshatanipc at gmail.com
Wed May 2 04:42:06 UTC 2018

I find myself generally in agreement with Liz Williams.  There are more
nuances to unpack than I have time for, but a "first right" based on a
geographic name is troublesome on several levels. But one fundamental
question jumps out -- what right is this first right based on?  Is there a
legal basis for this?  (Jorge tells us that his government would make a
decision "based on law", so it would be useful to know what law we're
talking about.)  Requiring a "letter of support or non-objection" is also
troublesome and not just for the reasons Liz mentions.  (I hope we do not
have to pore through each of the letters of support/non-objection from the
first round to highlight the problems they cause, but if we are going to,
this should be a job for the WG as a whole, not an assignment for Liz.)  I
recognize that, as Jorge say, it "works well for governments."  Well, of
course it does!  It completely favors governments, and was imposed by
governments (i.e., the GAC).  The problem is that it doesn't work well for
anyone else, and it is not well-grounded in the rule of law (unless we are
thinking of something akin to the *droit de seigneur*, or perhaps the
Divine Right of Kings).

I don't know if I'll be able to be on any part of the call starting
shortly, since it is running from 1-2:30 am my time, and I don't do well on
4 hours of sleep....  If am not, please accept my apologies.


On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 11:48 PM, David Cake <dave at davecake.net> wrote:

> Perth is not even unique within Australia, there is a small town in
> Tasmania. But the point about ambiguity remaining even if we restrict it to
> concepts like ‘capital’ is a very good one.
> David (resident of the Western Australian Perth)
> On 30 Apr 2018, at 1:18 pm, Liz Williams <liz.williams at auda.org.au> wrote:
> Hello everyone
> I wanted to start a new thread of conversation about city names ahead of
> our upcoming conference call.   We are being encouraged by our co-chairs to
> think about city names as TLDs. The first point is, perhaps, to recognise
> the “success” of some previous city TLDs including Berlin, Paris, NYC and
> so on.  Those applications went through very specific requirements for
> evaluation and, now, hopefully serve the requirements of local
> communities.  We should hope that, in any new round, the experiences of
> those cities will ease the way for future applications because we have
> learnt something about how and why applicants apply for place names (and I
> use the word place deliberately) as top level domain labels.
> For our next round of policy recommendations I wanted to use an example
> which I think highlights the difficulties we face if we are prescriptive
> and limited in our analysis.
> Most of us know that Perth is the capital city of Western Australia.  It
> is not the capital city of Australia as Canberra has that honour.  Relying
> on a “is the word a capital city” question is fraught with difficulty.   It
> is difficult because Perth, Scotland, has at a bare minimum had city status
> since the 12th century, far longer than Perth, Australia which also has an
> indigenous place name, its colonial name and a migrant demographic where
> the largest majority of Perth residents come from England.  Things are
> complicated by the existence of Perth in Canada which, in its own right,
> has some features of a capital and, at the very least, some important
> historic linkages.
> And then we turn to the generic words which Jon Nevett highlighted in a
> previous post (Bath, Save, New) which are also place names.
> That leads us to what can we usefully and objectively recommend as
> treatment of other names which are also linked to places and how those
> could be treated as top level domains.  As a starting point, my
> recommendation would be that we don’t have any special treatment for place
> names as TLDs and that applicants for those names would be evaluated
> against other business and technical criteria just like another
> application.  However, we might want to think about better ways of handling
> an objection.  Those objections, from whatever quarter, need to be treated
> in exactly the same way.  I don’t recommend “letters of support or
> non-objection”.  They are too subjective, fraught with movable political
> nuance and, in some cases, deeply sensitive geo-political facts (using
> Jerusalem as the example).
> I look forward to hearing the views of others.
> Liz
> ….
> Dr Liz Williams | International Affairs
> .au Domain Administration Ltd
> M: +61 436 020 595 | +44 7824 877757
> E: liz.williams at auda.org.au www.auda.org.au
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