[GTLD-WG] [CPWG] New gTLD Applicant Support - improve it, or scrap it?

Jonathan Zuck JZuck at innovatorsnetwork.org
Wed Aug 7 07:56:57 UTC 2019

I am extremely sympathetic to this perspective and most of all to the notion that we need to be more selective.  I’ve never considered it my place to impose my will on this topic but, taking my facilitator hat off,  I’m more or less in agreement with Evan on this. Community Priority Evaluation might be a little more complicated but, for the most part, folks don’t care about top level domains.

Now to be fair, some arguments have been made here and elsewhere to support end user interest in such matters, in particular how they impact the creation of local infrastructure to support the domains. I think the most compelling argument is jurisdiction. Right now everyone has ccTLDs but they are considered be basically the property of government which carries with it some complexity in certain parts of the world. If, on the other hand, I could have a privately run gTLD that resides in my legal jurisdiction, that might give me some advantage.

My local laws apply to conflicts
Conflicts can be more easily resolved in my home jurisdiction

If the domains I use frequently are all maintained elsewhere, I have a higher risk of some political squabble bringing down the sites about which I care the most.  There haven’t been a ton of examples of this, perhaps Iran, but it’s certainly a possibility and would have downstream consequences for end users.

Just a thought.

From: GTLD-WG <gtld-wg-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org> on behalf of Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org>
Date: Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:49 PM
To: Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com>
Cc: "cpwg at icann.org" <cpwg at icann.org>
Subject: Re: [GTLD-WG] [CPWG] New gTLD Applicant Support - improve it, or scrap it?

In my many years of being involved in ICANN, I have rarely seen my point of view so mischaracterised. The very subject line of this thread indicates IMO a significant lack of grasp of my core point and indeed a substantial mis-framing of the debate I had hoped to initiate.

Let me be clear: I am neither for improvement of nor scrapping Applicant Support.

My challenge is whether a non-registrant end-user interest exists in this either way, and whether ALAC has credibility to pass judgement on the program at all as part  of its bylaw mandate. IMO, this is an issue of interest to other ICANN constituencies but the end-user constituency has no stake in how it is resolved. My response to "improve or scrap?" is "it doesn't matter".

That is the point I was making on last week's call, not that we change our opinion but that we simply withdraw and assert no opinion. The question at hand is not "is Applicant support worthwhile" but "do end users care if there is applicant support or not". Never once in the recent debate have I advocated that AS was inherently wrong. I just question our continued focus on a question that -- given the new facts and evidence at hand since the rollout of that gTLD round -- has demonstrated no positive or negative consequences for end users.
My advocacy here is for ALAC to be selective in addressing only issues in which end-users have a genuine stake in the outcomes. I assert that this issue (Applicant support) is only the first identified ALAC issue in which end users have no justification to claim interest. I have commented elsewhere on a second issue of this type, geoname TLDs, as chapter 2 of the theme of "not my circus, not my monkeys". They're not our fights, and we demean our credibility elsewhere when we assert otherwise.


- Evan

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