[registration-issues-wg] [CPWG] [GTLD-WG] Auctions // At-Large/ALAC positions to New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Supplemental Initial Report

Alexander Schubert alexander at schubert.berlin
Sat Dec 15 13:15:43 UTC 2018



I am afraid it will be all “gamed”:

*         “New Applicant”? How do we know an applicant is “new”? Every SINGLE application in the next round will be submitted via unique applicant entity (freshly minted legal entity): people have learned THAT much from the last round. So the entity is “new” anyways. How do we determine “new”? New “officers”? 

*         Region? Like: “ICANN Region”? You can get a shell company in ANY ICANN region. So what exactly do we yield here?

*         Language? How does that help to solve contention sets? It’s several applicant entities and ONE string.  Doesn’t matter in what language that string is. The contention set is existing anyways. Or do you mean that if an African company applies for “.weed” and specifies it would mean an African word: they would be preferred? GAMING: These ideas invite gaming.

And please do not think that only “bad actors” will be gaming. Entities with “shareholder value” MUST try to use all “legal ways” to “maximize the profits”: and if a simply offshore registration can win an application; they do not see it as “gaming”, but as “clever management decision”. 

Regarding private contention sets: I think we shouldn’t deny them auctions; if all contention set members agree to it. However: if a non-profit, public-benefit doesn’t want to enter into a private auction (or ANY auction for that matter): they can simply deny to do so – and ICANN will have to find a way to determine who is the winner!

And yes I agree: In the relatively few cases where it isn’t “for profit portfolio applicants” that are squaring each other off in private auctions; why not having the ICANN community involved.









From: GTLD-WG [mailto:gtld-wg-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] On Behalf Of Sebastien Bachollet
Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2018 12:21 AM
To: CPWG <cpwg at icann.org>
Subject: Re: [GTLD-WG] [CPWG] Auctions // At-Large/ALAC positions to New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Supplemental Initial Report



Thanks for this exchange, useful and interesting.

When we talk about big pocket, it may be not the biggest but if it is not it jeopardizes the project of the winer.

It is why we need to avoid any type of auction at any level (private or run by ICANN).

Priority for specific type of applicants is important.

Insuring or enhancing diversity must be taken into account (new applicant, region with less applicants, language…).

Beauty contest was to be avoided but it has work not to badly in 2000 and 2004 round.

If needed I support Tijani idea around draw.


All the best


Le 14 déc. 2018 à 20:35, Alexander Schubert <alexander at schubert.berlin <mailto:alexander at schubert.berlin> > a écrit :




While I share your resentment against ICANN auctions – I do not see that “the richest will win”. There have been auctions where multi-billion corporations lost.


Look at it from other perspectives:

*         Those who do NOT have access to financial resources will lose! 

*         Those whose business model allows only a certain investment will lose (even IF they could bring up the cash – at some point the business model doesn’t carry it anymore).

*         In  the end it is those who are planning to RUTHLESSLY exploit the new namespace (the new gTLD) AND have access to money will win! Those who do not care about the registrants and the Internet users, those who sell “premium domain names” to the “highest bidder”: not to the entity that will use it best!

*         What the ICANN community wants is a balanced, longtail solution based, sustainable namespace management! That implies: lower profits! It’s like with a wood: you can either care about the nature, and the wellbeing of animals and the wood; or you radically deforest and “make money”. Someone who auctions of a forest and then deforests it can still make money – but the forest doesn’t like it! The animals in the forest will suffer. Nature suffers. 


But the worst about the ICANN auction is: The future registrants are being forced to pay off a “tax” that was artificially assigned by ICANN: The “auction tax” so to speak. And what do they get in return? NOTHING! These amounts could be used to market the TLD – to create outreach, to foster some gTLD “brand”-recognition. 

In the case of “non-profit” gTLDs (I have launched a non-profit gTLD applicant entity for the 2020 round over a year ago already) it gets even WORSE: As a non-profit EVERY SINGLE CENT that is going into auction will be “taken” from the target community; one way or other. It’s not that your “profits” are diminished: there are no profits anyways.

Non-profit, public-benefit, community applicants should be exempt from the auction. And note that most community applicants did NOT win the CPE!



Alexander Schubert (.berlin and .gay)




From: GTLD-WG [mailto:gtld-wg-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] On Behalf Of Tijani BEN JEMAA
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2018 1:11 PM
To: Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com <mailto:ocl at gih.com> >
Cc: cpwg at icann.org <mailto:cpwg at icann.org> ; cw at christopherwilkinson.eu <mailto:cw at christopherwilkinson.eu> 
Subject: Re: [GTLD-WG] [CPWG] Auctions // At-Large/ALAC positions to New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Supplemental Initial Report


Yes Olivier, we need to discuss it.


I have always been against the auction as a mean for contention resolution. The reason is that the winner would be the richest. I remember in Mexico (2009) I said any other mean will be better even if it is a random draw because in this case rich and poor people will be on the same footing. The only advantage of the auction option is that money will enter ICANN account.


As Seun rightly noticed, even an RFP would need evaluation, and if there is a tie (both applicants have equal evaluation score), we find ourselves in the same situation. 

I would prefer that Community application have priority, and more evidently, applications that passed the Applicant Support program evaluation, and thus, they don’t compete with the other applicants in case of contention. 


Now, when we have sting contention between 2 Community applications  (or 2 Supported applications), or between a community application and a supported one, we will be in a tied situation too.


To solve all these tied situations, we may find a criterion such as the application coming from the most underserved region wins or any other criterion. In case there is none, we may proceed to a random draw.


This is what I prefer, but I know it’s not easy to implement. 


I find Justine proposal a way to mitigate the harm a little bit, but it is far from eliminating it.




Executive Director

Mediterranean Federation of Internet Associations (FMAI)

Phone: +216 98 330 114

            +216 52 385 114



Le 14 déc. 2018 à 09:45, Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com <mailto:ocl at gih.com> > a écrit :


2.1.c.1    In general I do not support auctions They favour the parties with the 'deepest pockets'. They also burden the successful applicant with financial liabilities, particularly if the auction has been financed by debt or third party investment. Those additional costs will be passed on to the eventual registrants through fees and charges.

It would be better if TLD registries were operated on a not-for-profit basis in the public interest. This would also reduce the financial incentive not to cooperate and to go to a forced auction.


2.1.d.2.1    Agreed. The RFP options should be thoroughly explored and codified. In the case of geographical TLDs the RFP should be undertaken by the public authority or other responsible entity in the geography concerned. The successful applicant's registry should be incorporated in that jurisdiction.


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