[Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Pre and post delegation support requirement for city names

Alexander Schubert alexander at schubert.berlin
Wed May 16 13:37:49 UTC 2018

Thanks also from me for the PDF.

It reminded me of smth that we haven’t scrutinized enough here, and it is the kind of hen and chicken problem we run into so often while conducting the PDP:


If somebody applies for a city gTLD (or any geo TLD that requires Government support) – and is so honest to label the application as such: they are required to acquire the requisite “letter of non-objection”.

In THAT case the city Government will have an eye on the management of the city gTLD namespace and might at any point in the future withdraw their “non-objection”: for example if they feel the namespace is managed poorly or even damages the city-brand reputation!

So per now we have actually authorized the “relevant Government authority” with conducting TWO overseer mandates:

One pre-application, and one post-application!

This obviously raises a question that has been mentioned in side-arguments during the current PDP, but which I think deserves much more attention:
In the 2012 AGB we granted free access to (non-capital) city name based gTLDs IF the applicant did NOT “intended” geo name use. I am supporting those who want to delete this “nonsense” free-rider paragraph. And here is why:

Those who jumped through the hoops and acquired a “letter of non-objection” are under the constant threat to lose their gTLD operation agreement if only the city finds any “problems”. But now imagine these scenarios:

*        Not so honest applicants applying for city names – NOT indicating any geo name use – and still make big bucks as neither registrars nor registrants care for “designations” at all, and consequently entities from the target city register domains en-masse.

*        Or: A “brand” applies for their brand name (equaling a city name – e.g. Oakland) – and upon the liquidation (or sale) of the brand the gTLD is repurposed and opened up for registration to everybody (maybe through the CentralNic model as it is practiced with .us.com, .de.com, etc. – so the registry could remain “closed”).

In both cases the city Government (or rather the constituencies and citizens of the city, represented by their elected officials) would obviously be potentially negatively impacted – but has no authority to act. Why? The “post delegation” authority of the city should be irrelevant from the “intended use”! In other words: If a brand uses the name of a sizeable city – and damages the city’s reputation. That city should be able to react!


So either we grant city Governments a “GENERAL post application intervention” authorization (see example cases above) – or we simply delete the “no letter of non-objection required if no geo usage intended” provision altogether! ESPECIALLY if we adopt the population size cutoff: So if a brand needs to apply for a gTLD string that is identical to a sizeable city: simply get the approval – and be subject to their scrutiny in the future: like everybody else, too! But no free-riding anymore, please. If the city is smallish: no support letter required anyways. If the city is sizeable – the name deserves protection at all times: pre AND post delegation. BTW: If the population size cutoff were adopted it is extremely unlikely that generic term based applications would be impacted: the overlap between “sizeable city” and “generic term” is extremely small.





From: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 [mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Jorge.Cancio at bakom.admin.ch
Sent: Mittwoch, 16. Mai 2018 10:28
To: emily.barabas at icann.org; gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org
Subject: Re: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Proposed Agenda - Work Track 5 - 16 May 2018 at 14:00 UTC


Dear Emily


Thanks for the useful slides.


One question/suggestion which comes to my mind: there is a geographic names review as part of the initial evaluation, i.e. when the applicant already has made significant investments. What if, in addition to that review, the geographic names panel would also be available on an advisory basis during the application preparation phase? It could advise on hard/unclear cases and also on names with geographic significance not covered by the specific geonames categories/lists included in the AGB 2012, as well as help in identifying relevant public authorities (with help from ICANN Org and GAC Members if needed)…


Probably this would avoid a lot of headaches and unexpected issues when the application is already further down the road, and would allow for early contact with the relevant public authorities…


Hope this helps







Von: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 [mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org] Im Auftrag von Emily Barabas
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 16. Mai 2018 08:23
An: gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org> 
Betreff: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Proposed Agenda - Work Track 5 - 16 May 2018 at 14:00 UTC


Dear Work Track 5 Members,


Please find below the proposed agenda for the call on Wednesday 16 May at 14:00 UTC.


1.	Welcome/Agenda Review/SOI Updates
2.	Administration/Capturing and Managing Input
3.	Geographic Names Process Review
4.	AOB


Slides for the call are attached for reference.


Kind regards,




Emily Barabas | Senior Policy Specialist

ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

Email: emily.barabas at icann.org <mailto:emily.barabas at icann.org>  | Phone: +31 (0)6 84507976


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