[GTLD-WG] Not Our Circus, Not Our Monkeys Chapter 2 (was Re: Geo Names Scenarios)

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Tue Aug 6 19:53:37 UTC 2019

While this topic might be of dire interest to applicants, domainers and
governments, I would genuinely like to be explained why the ICANN
delegation of geo names matters to end users. We appear, once again, to be
either fighting the battles of others, or asserting  a position of
righteousness that is neither demonstrated by research nor earned by

I have always personally maintained that there is no inherent right -- and
certainly no need -- for every named geographical entity to stake claim to
its own TLD.  I would then -- and still would now -- be first in line at my
city hall to oppose any assertion of rights (let alone subsidy) by the city
of Toronto to the TLD ".toronto". Given the fact that we now have
first-hand witness of the sheer cruelty of this game (for example, Thomas'
sad journey with .nyc), combined with evidence of poor performance of new
TLDs, we can derive that the impact on end users of "who gets to run
geoTLDs" varies from zero to negligible.

For politicians and advocates there may well be an emotional appeal, maybe
to them having their own TLDs imparts a pride such as would be had from new
sports stadium, indigenous cuisine or third party ranking. But that does
not mean that end users of that geography share or benefit from the pride
or that they even care. End-users outside the geography care even less. To
me, cities and states being sold on the value of gTLDs local TLDs instantly
recalls the Simpsons' monorail episode.

We should be conserving resources and resist guessing on policy on behalf
of a global end-user base we haven't really consulted. There certainly is
no shortage of issues at ICANN which *do* impact end users. Let's
concentrate on them. Better yet, let's spend more than a minimum of effort
to identify the difference.

- Evan
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