[Gnso-newgtld-wg] Use Requirement for 2nd round new gTLDs

Alexander Schubert alexander at schubert.berlin
Wed Nov 20 17:57:47 UTC 2019

I also have a new idea how to prevent gTLD-warehousing and attempts by big corporations to shut down entire verticals: E.g. a (imaginary) big Chinese Online Bookstore “BabiAla” applying for “.book” in Chinse script – only to never start a Sunrise phase; effectively “shutting down” the vertical.


Proposed solution:

*        Have a “Early Startup” Commitment checkbox in the application form. 

*        If an applicant checks the box (which he isn’t required to do) they would be prioritized over those who haven’t (similar to the Community Priority).

*        Real world example:

o   BabiAla wants to shut down the vertical “.book” (in Chinese) – has no plans to start up quickly (enter into sunrise within 9 month after testing) – doesn’t tick the “Early Startup” check box

o   The “Chinese Writers Association” would also apply for .book in Chinse script; plans to startup right away and DOES commit to Early Startup (checks the Early Startup Check Box)

o   In that case priority would be provided to Chinese Writers Association’s application, and BabiAla’s application would be withdrawn by ICANN. The Chinese Writers Association  would prevail the contention based on their Early Startup Commitment.


This would allow those who do NOT have any startup plans to still be able to apply – but prioritize those who can commit to startup ASAP. It would put a pressure on big corporations who want to “shut down” verticals – as they have to fear that potential contention would be get prioritized. It would also slow down warehousing for exactly the same reason.


This was an issue in 2012 already – but now we face a situation where the application fees might go as low as US $50 (hopefully not) AND “One Stop Solution Providers” are already offering to execute application processing (incl. contracting and testing) for US $50k for the 2nd round (a friend of mine is offering that). At US $100k plus 25k per year big corporations will JUMP on “shutting down” their killer industry keyword. Even if you look at a 10 year period: it’s MUCH cheaper than the identical .com domain! So if I can shut down a gTLD for a decade at a price lower than the .com domain: it’s a NO-BRAINER! An Early Startup Priority would create an obstacle – and should prevent a number of “actors” from engaging in questionable actions.









From: Alexander Schubert [mailto:alexander at schubert.berlin] 
Sent: Mittwoch, 20. November 2019 11:49
To: 'gnso-newgtld-wg at icann.org' <gnso-newgtld-wg at icann.org>
Subject: Use Requirement for 2nd round new gTLDs


Dear Jeff,


As discussed on the call yesterday here a brief suggestion regarding a “use requirement”. First a summary of my suggestion:


The new RA (Registry Agreement) should contain a clause that denies contract renewal if registries have not had a Sunrise registration phase (Spec-13 Brand Registries would be exempted from this clause).


Here my rationale for this:


Obviously the 2007 PDP demanded a use requirement. Hence currently registries face steep penalties for not contracting (application will be withdrawn) and not testing/entering the root (cancelation of the contract). 


Let’s be cognizant of the 3 gTLD categories that emerged in 2012:

1.      Spec 13 gTLDs (Brands)

2.      Geo gTLDs (mainly cities)

3.      All others 


We can’t always find “one size fits all” solutions – and claim that  in absence of a global solution we will not create ANY solution at all. That said: I can’t speak for the category 1. And as Martin Sutton said on the Monday GNSO call: if “use” was defined by “number of domains”: nothing more easy than registering a number of domains. So yes: for brand gTLDs it’s nifty to “define” a “use requirement” – maybe someone else can come up with a solution for Spec-13 registries.


BUT: For categories 2 and 3 I think the solution is simple! We already steeply penalize if the prospective registry doesn’t contract or engage in testing. There are grace periods to do so (I think 9 month). We could use the same grace period for “startup” – which is opening the string up for registrations in Sunrise!


At BARE minimum we should put into the new RA (Registry Agreement) that failure for categories 2 and 3 (non-Spec-13 registries) to startup (start sunrise) WILL be a reason to deny contract renewal! A DECADE of not starting up should be a clear sign of failure. 


This solution is NOT impacting Spec 13 applicants. We can discuss separately whether or not we wish to add a “use requirement” for them as well. This solution would also NOT impact 2012 round new gTLDs.







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