[UA-discuss] Domainers

Roberto Gaetano roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 5 07:37:38 UTC 2017

Thanks André, but I do not deserve any special recognition, I am only doing what many of us are also doing, just because we feel it is the right thing to do.
I would like to share some thoughts that might seem off-topic, but they are probably not.
I am on my way back from Thailand, and one thing caught my attention. I got a cab in Bangkok and realised that the driver was unable to read the address in latin script. Of course, I knew that this was a possibility and had anyway the address also written in Thai script, which solved the problem.
However, one thing is to know that some folks do not read latin script, and quite another thing is to see this in practice - and that leads to wonder how could possibly people like this cab driver fully benefit from the Internet as it is today? And we are not talking about an old farmer in a remote village, we are talking about a young man with a middle class job, having contact with tourists, in a capital city with a booming economy.
Travelling, you have direct appreciation that the problem is much wider than we can think - and that gives the motivation to push for a solution.

On 04.12.2017, at 00:12, Andre Schappo <A.Schappo at lboro.ac.uk<mailto:A.Schappo at lboro.ac.uk>> wrote:

I am most impressed by the commitment of yourself and PIR to IDNs.

I am trying to recollect how long I have been championing IDNs. I guess it must now be in the order of 15 years, maybe more.

André Schappo

On 23 Nov 2017, at 14:08, Roberto Gaetano <roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com<mailto:roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com>> wrote:

I basically agree on the fact that domaines do have a role in the ecosystem.
Where I disagree is the statement that “IDNs would have been abandoned long ago if it was not for Domainers”.
I chair the Board of Public Interest Registry, the manager of 4 IDNs, and please rest assured that we would not change our current position, that is to hold on to our IDNs, whether or not the domainers will keep or drop their IDN portfolio.
The reasons are very simple. The first one is that we were aware since the beginning that the IDNs would not have an easy rollout - we had already the experience of the Fast Track a few years ago. However, PIR thought (I was not yet on the Board at that time) that “it was the right thing to do”, even with some losses in the short and medium term. If the IDNs are a substantial investment for domainers, it should not be forgotten that they are a substantial investment for the registries as well, given the ICANN fees, the different hurdles of the ICANN process about associate code tables, and much more. The idea is that, sooner or later, preferably sooner, Universal Acceptance will be a fact, and we can expect at that time deployment of the IDNs to serve currently poorly served communities. I was on the ICANN Board when the basic decisions were made about the IDNs, including opening a “fast track” for IDNs related to a single country, and I do not regret for a single minute having been an advocate for these decisions, in spite of what for the time being looks like a poor result.
There is also another simple reason, incidentally. Even if we wanted to walk away from the IDNs (which PIR does not want to do) there will be contractual issues with ICANN. So even those registries who would like to punt the ball in case domainers would not keep their investment - and I do repeat that PIR is not one of those - might have other problems.
It is true that only registries who have other (i.e. non-IDN-related) revenues can afford to keep their TLDs, but this does not change the issue about domainers, because I do not think that their relatively modest financial contribution can be the deciding factor.
I would also like to make a final comment: to me the “significant contribution to IDNs” is not done by one or another stakeholder like domainers, but by the volunteers who day after day in this working group and elsewhere help developing the framework to support Universal Acceptance, without which there will be no future for IDNs.

On 23 Nov 2017, at 16:02, Andre Schappo <A.Schappo at lboro.ac.uk<mailto:A.Schappo at lboro.ac.uk>> wrote:

Would IDNs even exist today if it was not for Domainers? I suspect that IDNs would have been abandoned long ago if it was not for Domainers.

I believe that Domainers are the majority holders of IDNs. The dependency on Domainers is well emphasised in the thread http://www.idnforums.com/forums/35654-number-of-%E3%82%B3%E3%83%A0-registrations-takes-a-nosedive.html

I think the international community should be acknowledging and thanking Domainers for their significant contribution to IDNs.

André Schappo

🌏 🌍 🌎
André Schappo

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