[Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Cities and Brands: further exploration

Alexander Schubert alexander at schubert.berlin
Thu May 3 15:12:22 UTC 2018

Hi Liz,


I am mulling over this since Jan 2005 – and I think the answer is this:


Every city gTLD operator should decide for themselves how to make sure to NOT lose business to non-constituents of the place! Example: if you run .denver then the good people of Denver want obviously that .denver domains are SUPPORTING THE BUSINESS COMMUNTY OF DENVER! So you want to avoid that tires.denver is owned by somebody in Seoul or New York who merely redirects it to a tires.com affiliate page: that would lead to tire related business LEAVING Denver! It’s all about “local business” support. What you want is that tires.denver is in some way supporting the Denver tire business community. Makes sense?

Now if you think about Paris: Yes; people in Paris, Texas should be able to register as well in my mind. Not super difficult to handle.

Otherwise it is up to the registry operator to make a sufficient policy – and convince the city Government that the applicant is really a multi-stakeholder owned, funded and operated entity; rooted in said city and operating in the best interest of its constituents. The type of city gTLD operators will SIGNIFICANTLY change in the next round.

In a city gTLD operation you do NOT want to maximize registration volume – you want to maximize actual USE of domains by city constituents. The idea you brought forwarded is kind of thwarting that goal. Future city gTLDs will mostly NOT anymore be funded by VCs which need registration volume in order to recoup the investment. Instead many city gTLD applicants will be non-profits wholly funded by constituents within the city. The “investment” will not have to be recouped – it could be financed through sponsorships for example. The entire economics for city gTLDs will change DRAMATICALLY in the future. I am working on “Second Generation City gTLDs” since a few years already. A city gTLD should NOT be merely a “money cow” for “investors” – but a valuable infrastructure instrument that is significantly aiding a city to keep and reroute back online and offline  spending – among other things. We are talking about INFRASTRUCTURE – not registration volume.




From: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 [mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Liz Williams
Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2018 4:13 AM
To: leonard obonyo via Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org>
Subject: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Cities and Brands: further exploration


Hello everyone 


I wanted to see if we could explore a little further the notion of geographic terms as brands.  There’s ample evidence that major cities like Sydney, London, Paris and New York (amongst many others) are well recognised global brands as are important cultural or geographic artifacts like Petra (Jordan), the Taj Mahal (India) and Mt Everest (Nepal).


Does it help to think more broadly about the impact this might have on the type of applications geographic/linguistic communities might make for top level domains?  Martin Sutton will have much more to contribute on this from the Brand Registry Group’s perspective with respect to the type of contracts registry operators have signed with ICANN as will our intellectual property experts


Would it simplify things in the treatment of geographic terms to think about the positive impact of brand status?  And would it allow more users to be able to register and use a domain name?  For example, going back to the Perth example, a .perth might help anyone who has an interest in “Perths” to register a name and use it as a way of establishing a geographic presence on the Internet that wasn’t necessarily about only “one” location?  For a registry operator, it would simplify registration policy without having to demonstrate, for example, an Australian post code with a 6000+ number nexus.


Looking forward to hearing more from other colleagues.



Dr Liz Williams | International Affairs
.au Domain Administration Ltd
M: +61 436 020 595 | +44 7824 877757
E: liz.williams at auda.org.au <mailto:liz.williams at auda.org.au>  www.auda.org.au <http://www.auda.org.au> 
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