[Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Remaining topics to be discussed on WT 5 next call on Wednesday

Alexander Schubert alexander at schubert.berlin
Mon Aug 26 10:49:51 UTC 2019

Hi WT5,


I have a number of other concerns / questions in connection with non-capital city applications:


1.      For city-targeting gTLDs the AGB requires as minimum a “letter of non-objection”. Attached to Module 2 of the 2012 AGB (PDF page 93 in my PDF reader) is a “Sample letter”. To put it short: that letter is not suitable for city applications – and we should have a version specifically for city authorities! City gTLDs will be a substantial factor in the 2nd round, expect hundreds of city based applications.

a.      It starts with the title: “Letter of Government support”! Great, but the minimum requirement is “Letter of non-objection”. Some city Governments might not even be PERMITTED to “support” a private effort; but they could express their “non-objection”. So either we have two letters or two alternative wordings within the document.

b.      “[Government/public authority/department] has worked closely with the applicant in the development of this proposal…”
Where does that come from? There is absolutely NO REQUIREMENT whatsoever in the AGB that would serve as basis for this assertion. Again: Some city authorities might be happy to provide a “letter of non-objection” - but their city charter doesn’t provide for ANY “close involvement” with private initiatives such as a community-based, private applicant. So how has this made it into the letter? Where is it reflected in the policies?

2.      I am still missing the “definition” of what actually a “city” is. There are 1,500 people nests in the U.S. (e.g. Oakland in Iowa; see their city webpage at cityofoaklandiowa.com) – does that count as “city” per our policies?

a.      I am not asking this question in respect as somebody might want to apply for .oakland  in order to market it to people in Iowa. I am asking the question because seemingly as per the 2012 AGBs applicants have to provide letters of non-objection for EVERY “matching” city; not just from the targeted city. If you apply for .oakland (targeting Oaklanders in California near San Francisco): you will obviously inadvertently get customers from Iowa as well: hence the AGB requirement to have their support as well, right?

b.      Therefore: Does it REALLY make sense that the applicant for Oakland, California has to try and find somebody in Oakland, Iowa who signs such letter? Put yourselves into the shoes of Brant Miller – the mayor of Oakland, Iowa. I can’t even find him on Facebook – he might not have a FB account. Comes in a letter from a private company in California – telling him that they make a “.oakland” domain-extension with ICANN: and need him to state, that he “closely worked together” with them, and is in “support” of the initiative? What do you think he does first? Call the FBI or throw the letter in the trash? Now imagine he loves Oakland, California and wants to “help”. He can’t simply sign letters of support. At BARE MINIMUM he will have to employ legal consultancy. I went through the roster of businesses in Oakland, Iowa: and sadly there isn’t a law firm specialized in ICANN polices. Damn. What to do? Paying US $500 per hour for some fancy representation from a New York based law firm? I do not think that the Oakland, Iowa tax payer would approve of that.
When Dirk and me started “.berlin” in 2005 we (and actually Dirk is to credit) approached Berlins in the U.S. – already in 2005/2006 – in order to get “support” (looong before any of today’s policy was ever being discussed; we did it simply because we are “fair players” and wanted that everybody is being “heard”). Guess what the reactions of these Berlins was (some 10,000 to even 20,000 people big)? NOTHING. Nada. No reaction WHATSOEVER. Letters probably went straight into the basket “Nigerian Prince Scams”.
So my question: If there is a well-known, HUGE city “X” – and a few smallish “cities” with the same name: Does an applicant REALLY have to acquire a letter from each? And especially in that respect: when is a “city” a “city” for purposes of the AGB? What’s the definition? 
Did for example the gTLD operator of “.miami” provided a letter of support from Miami, Oklahoma? (miamiokla.net)? They have a mayor: Rudy Schultz, see http://miamiokla.net/118/City-Council-Mayor
Could the leadership team discuss whether it makes sense to check the application submission docs for how many letters of support were submitted for .miami? I am not eager to show the applicant has forgotten to provide support letters – it’s just if we assigned Mega City gTLDs to well-known entities like Miami in Florida WITHOUT requiring tiny other Miamis to sign off: maybe we make that official in the next round and adapt the policies!
Note that 2012 AGB  §4 (PDF page 69) clearly states:

“In the event that there is more than one relevant government or public authority for the applied-for gTLD string, 
  the applicant must provide documentation of support or non-objection from all the relevant governments or public authorities.”

The resolution to the two issues is simple:

1.      Create a city-authority targeting “letter of non-objection”. I would be happy to draft one – if two or three of you would commit to work with me on it and help me. 

2.      Create a new rule as to what relative size another city with identical name has to have in order to require a separate letter of non-objection. Shot in the blue: “A letter of non-objection will be required from any city with a population (city limits proper – or equivalent) larger than 10% of the applicant targeted city.”! Miami, Florida; city proper: 460,000 people. Miami, Oklahoma: 13,000 (and shrinking). That’s 2.8% of the well-known Miami. And that’s why the geo-names panel likely (and I would like to know the facts) didn’t demand a letter of non-objection from Miami, Oklahoma (again: the letters of support aren’t displayed by ICANN – so I don’t know).
Rationale for the rule: We want to protect the inhabitants of cities – and make sure they are adequately involved. But it would be overly burdensome for applicants to try and convince the leadership of a small city to “support” the big city’s gTLD. Plus the general public will always have the BIG city in mind when they see respective domains. The small city will still always have the opportunity to object post-application. And applicants should at minimum INFORM the smaller cities about their project. But receiving a letter of support from a 1,500 people nest that is officially designated as “city”: that is not practical at all – and whom do we “protect” by the requirement?


Obviously the worst case would be that a trickster acquires the letter of non-objection from Oakland, Iowa: then applies for .oakland; and markets the gTLD to all Oaklanders. Hence we have currently the requirement to “provide documentation of support or non-objection from all the relevant governments or public authorities.”


I apologize for my lengthy emails. But I have the impression when I try to summarize the issues – some might not understand the ramifications: So I try to support my suggestions with examples. Thank your for having patience in reading this all.








From: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 [mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Katrin Ohlmer | DOTZON GmbH
Sent: Montag, 26. August 2019 08:50
To: Icann Gnso Newgtld Wg Wt5 <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org>
Subject: Re: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Remaining topics to be discussed on WT 5 next call on Wednesday


Dear all,


Following the discussion on contention resolution and the support and concerns expressed, I would like to offer the following as alternative text to AGB. This text reflects the concerns one work track member raised about community applicants. 


Also, we suggest to stick to the current contention resolution mechanisms in case there are at least two geoTLD applications with government approval for the identical string.



Update Applicant Guidebook, Chapter with:

If an application for a string representing a geographic name is in a contention set with applications for identical strings that have not been identified as geographical names, the string contention will be resolved using the string contention procedures described in Module 4.


Update Applicant Guidebook, Module 4. with:

In case there is contention for a string where one application designated the TLD for geographic purposes, preference should be given to the applicant who will use the TLD for geographic purposes if the applicant for the geoTLD is based in a country/or the TLD is targeted to where national law gives precedent to city and/or regional names. In case a community applicant is part of the contention set, and it did not pass the CPE, the geoTLD will be granted priority in the contention set. If the community applicant passes the CPE, it will be granted priority in the contention set.



US-based Bagel Inc. and Switzerland-based City of Lausanne apply for .lausanne -> City of Lausanne has priority.

US-based Bagel Inc. and Switzerland-based Lausanne Pharmaceuticals apply for .lausanne -> Lausanne Pharmaceuticals has priority. 

If Bagel Inc. and Lausanne Pharmaceuticals are not based in Switzerland, there is not priority granted for any. 


RATIONALE: This would reflect national law e.g. in countries like Switzerland and Germany, where e.g. city names have more rights than others. It is not about inventing new rights or laws. Also, the existing objection procedures do not really allow cities to file objections (ressources, lack of knowledge, …). If a community applicant does not pass the CPE, it is not a community with better rights per ICANNs definitions.


I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this.


Kind regards




DOTZON GmbH - digital identities for tomorrow
Akazienstrasse 28
10823 Berlin
Deutschland - Germany
Tel: +49 30 49802722
Fax: +49 30 49802727
Mobile: +49 173 2019240
ohlmer at dotzon.consulting <mailto:ohlmer at dotzon.consulting> 
www.dotzon.consulting <http://www.dotzon.consulting/> 

Besuchen Sie uns auf LinkedIn <https://de.linkedin.com/company/dotzon-gmbh> .

Registergericht: Amtsgericht Berlin-Charlottenburg, HRB 118598
Geschäftsführer: Katrin Ohlmer
Sitz der Gesellschaft: Akazienstrasse 28, 10823 Berlin


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 Olga Cavalli
Gesendet: Samstag, 24. August 2019 19:52
An: Icann Gnso Newgtld Wg Wt5 <gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org <mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org> >
Betreff: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Remaining topics to be discussed on WT 5 next call on Wednesday


Dear WT5 colleagues,


I trust this email finds you well.


As agreed in our last call, there would be a revision of 4 different issues, as a last chance to find a possible agreement in new text:


Subject 1: Final Discussion: Additional Geographic Terms

Subject 2: TOPIC CLOSURE: Changes to String Contention Resolution

Subject 3: Final Discussion: Non-Capital City Names

Subject4 : TOPIC CLOSURE: Proposals to Increase or Decrease the Scope of Protections for Geographic Names


This email puts together all of them, please take a look, share your comments edits in this email list or in the shared document when available.


We noted there are already comments in the email list on Subject 3. Please note that these and other suggestions will be summarised together with new input that these issues will receive during the next days.


Many thanks for your active involvement.


Kind regards,

Annebeth, Javier, Martin, and Olga




-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5/attachments/20190826/d06dee01/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 mailing list