[Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] "Intended Use" Discussion

Annebeth Lange annebeth.lange at norid.no
Tue May 8 12:43:17 UTC 2018

Thanks, Alexander.

Interesting thoughts. It is good to be thinking outside the box.


From: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org> on behalf of Alexander Schubert <alexander at schubert.berlin>
Reply-To: "alexander at schubert.berlin" <alexander at schubert.berlin>
Date: Tuesday, 8 May 2018 at 14:31
To: "gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org" <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org>
Subject: Re: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] "Intended Use" Discussion

Dear group,

Greg’s point is very valid – and in fact has been raised by many others as well:

There has to be a sufficient amount of people (or other metric that establishes “relevance”) being affiliated with a place to grant them the privilege of being looped into the application process (via letter of non-objection).
We are working off the 2012 AGB. Per only strings identical to these entities require “Government Support” (letter of non-objection):

  *   Capital City (in any language) – irrelevant to its size!
  *   Sub-national place names as listed in the ISO 3166-2 standard (caused problems with .bar, .tata and others in 2012) – again: irrelevant to its size! The U.S. has listed only a few (namely their States), but others have listed insane amounts of tiny places. Population size-wise a very inconsistent list in my mind.
  *   UNESCO regions. URL: https://unstats.un.org/unsd/methodology/m49/ then click “Geographic regions”. These names shouldn’t pose any problem – no overlapping with other places or brands here.
  *   CITIES! Last not least: City names. While the first three are fairly overseeable and lists exist – this last category is slightly “murky” – and that is PRECISELY why we are primarily talking about that category: it is the ONLY one of the 2012 AGB that provides a base for discussion really.

In the U.S. alone there are over 3,000 “cities” with more than 10,000 people – and 19,500 places in total. India has over 4,000 cities with more than 10k people as well. I can’t find reliable statistics – but there must be in excess of 50,000 cities globally with more than 10,000 people. Now imagine you lower that bar to 5,000!

We will need a proposal to “limit” the number of cities (and in my mind the “Sub-national place names as listed in the ISO 3166-2 standard” as well) in respect to the requirement for a letter of non-objection. Only if a city has enough inhabitants (or is otherwise very important, e.g. because it is the capital) enough affiliated people are deprived of their chance to express themselves via their own self-managed gTLD. And quite frankly: Even if I am a very daring person when it comes to gTLD applications (.berlin WAS “daring” in 2005, so was .gay in 2009) – I simply completely fail to imagine that cities smaller than 10,000 people would ever apply for their own gTLD. There might be singular cases (Aspen!) – but policy will ALWAYS have to balance between protections and burdens. And obviously anybody can still apply for any super tiny city if they wish: but most likely that application will be funded and operated by city constituents anyway – and NOT by portfolio applicants: you can’t “make profit” of a city gTLD when there are only less than 10k people. So we are good with “warehousing” and fight off profiteers.

Hence my suggestion (again – please don’t beat me):

  *   We define a cut-off size “X”. My gut feeling says somewhere between 10,000 and 50,000 people. Maybe others here could chime in!
  *   Any gTLD applicant (regardless of intended use!) that applies for an identical string will have to acquire a letter of non-objection from EACH city with more than “X” inhabitants. That limits the burden for city applicants and generic string / brand applicants as well!
  *   I suggest that the cut-off rule applies for “Sub-national place names as listed in the ISO 3166-2 standard”, too.

If we want to avoid a “beauty contest” or “repositories” then I see no other metric than population size. And population size matters – as an underpopulated place simply can’t sustain their own gTLD (unless they are Aspen).

I think such compromise would ease the “pain” of the TM lobby – while it would sufficiently protect the interest of the people of cities.



From: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 [mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Greg Shatan
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2018 8:02 AM
To: Liz Williams <liz.williams at auda.org.au>
Cc: gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org
Subject: Re: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] "Intended Use" Discussion


I will disagree with one statement you made:

It seems like no one is arguing against the notion of trying to somehow have a consultation between the applicant(s) and the impacted governments to the extent possible.

I suppose it depends on how you define "impacted governments."  If every geographical term, no matter how obscure, results in an "impacted government," then I disagree vehemently.

On the other hand, if we are first going to define some small subset of geographic terms (e.g., names of countries) where there will be an "impacted government," then I probably agree.  But this is predicated on the idea that the vast majority of strings with geographic meanings will not create "impacted governments."  Otherwise, if Bill and Hillary Clinton want to apply for .Clinton, they will need to "somehow have a consultation" with the 30 "impacted governments" of the 30 Clintons in the United States -- and maybe elsewhere. That can't be right.  I'll note that Alexander Schubert proposed some sort of minimum population size; while I'm not endorsing that, it shows that the statement quoted above is at the very least, far too broad, and that the result will not be a consultation every time a string shows up in the index to to an atlas.


On Mon, May 7, 2018 at 10:55 PM, Liz Williams <liz.williams at auda.org.au<mailto:liz.williams at auda.org.au>> wrote:
Hello Jeff

You have raised some interesting points.  Another question to add is what happens when the intended use changes?

For example, the business which was the original intention looks difficult and the operator has to modify the original business plan?
Or the business is sold?  There have been many examples of strings which have been repurposed (tv, la, co spring immediately to mind) and others that have changed hands (where the operator changes)?

Are we satisfied that from a policy perspective that, for example, the public interest commitments system worked/s?

Is a better/stronger Specification 13 the way to solve “intended use” question or something else?

Looking forward to other ideas/questions/discussion.

Dr Liz Williams | International Affairs
.au Domain Administration Ltd
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On 8 May 2018, at 1:05 am, Jeff Neuman <jeff.neuman at comlaude.com<mailto:jeff.neuman at comlaude.com>> wrote:


Just wanted to get a new thread going just on the concept of “intended use” of a TLD since there has been some good discussion on this narrow topic and thought it may be a good jumping off place to put some ideas out there for discussion.

Some have stated that the “intended use” of a gTLD should be considered when looking at whether governments (national/local, etc.) should have to issue a letter of non-objection / consent as a condition of the gTLD application being accepted.  For example, if a TLD applicant does not intended to use the TLD for purposes associated with the geographic connotation of the string, then they argue that the geographic government should not have the final word on whether the TLD is granted.

Others have stated that “intended use” of the TLD is irrelevant or not helpful given the fact that only one organization is granted the right to operate and administer the TLD.  And that being the case, consideration should be given to the political, legal, historical, etc. connotations for the communities affected.  Some countries have laws protecting the use of those names regardless of use, according to some commenters.

It seems like no one is arguing against the notion of trying to somehow have a consultation between the applicant(s) and the impacted governments to the extent possible.  But having a presumption one way or the other (either that a letter of non-objection/consent be required or a presumption in favor of delegation) is not something there is agreement on.


  *   Is it possible, however, to come up with a solution that is outside of the box?
  *   Can we have consultations where the ultimate outcome is not pre-ordained, but still provide incentives for all of the parties to “come to the table” to express concerns, but also provide ways in which those concerns can be mitigated?
  *   Are there ways to allow the delegation of the TLD, but also address the concerns of the impacted governments?
  *   Could this include agreements to allow the use of second level strings (or the reservation of second level strings) where there is an inherent association with the government / local community?
  *   For brand TLDs, there is a requirement currently that all registrations be registered to the brands (or their affiliates / licensees) in order to maintain their Specification 13 protections?  Can there be an exception granted for ones that coincide with a geographic string where certain second level strings that are inherently geographic can be registered by others?
  *   Are there any other parameters that can be established to help guide consultations to prevent the perception as expressed by some that governments will try to extract payments in exchange for the right to be the registry of the TLD?

I am not expressing a view one way or the other on this issue, but merely recognizing that arguments are being made on both sides on the utility of “intended use.”  And I would be curious to see if we could flush this out at all?


Jeffrey J. Neuman
Senior Vice President |Valideus USA | Com Laude USA
1751 Pinnacle Drive, Suite 600
Mclean, VA 22102, United States
E: jeff.neuman at valideus.com<mailto:jeff.neuman at valideus.com> or jeff.neuman at comlaude.com<mailto:jeff.neuman at comlaude.com>
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