Titelthema des nur im Print zugänglichen Politik-Insider-Newsletters Washington Internet Daily sind die GeoTLDs. Damit ist auch .berlin in Washington angekommen und ich nehme mal an, dass man auch ein Auge darauf haben wird, dass die eigene .nyc erfolgreich sein wird.
ICANN Asked to Speed up Introduction of New TLDs
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) at its regular meeting in San Juan, P.R., this week was urged to speed the start of new geographical and language-community Top Level Domains (TLDs) and also to approve some non-English (IDN) address zones. Statements by ICANN Senior Vice President Kurt Pritz, that the start for a new round might take 12 more months, caused some anger and urging that ICANN stick to an earlier timeline that called for starting at the end of the first quarter next year.
“We understand the difficulty of ICANN’s work, but on our site we have a business plan,” said Maredudd ap Gwyndaf, Technology Coordinator for dot.cym, which is pushing for a Welsh-language Top Level Domain. “We have to go to find investors, and if timelines for the process keep moving it’s a problem for us.” Dirk Krischenowski of dot.berlin said “we want to urge the ICANN board to stick to timelines that have been communicated in the past.” ICANN staff in earlier comments and press releases spoke about starting the new TLD introduction early in 2007. “This timeline now seems to disappear and we do not know if it’s 2008 or 2009 or if it’s ever going to happen,” said Krischenowski.
The language community and city TLD representatives, including representatives of punto.gal, the initiative for Galicia, and Tom Lowenhaupt, who wants a .nyc address, said there is little opposition to geo- and city TLDs. Their plans shouldn’t be delayed by ongoing discussion about what would happen if someone were to apply for a dot.nazi or dot.kkk TLD, said Werner Staub, secretary of the enevabased
Council of Registrars.
Staub told us he expects around six geo- and city-TLDs in the first round, with interest in the concept growing fast. The first cities applying are expected to be .berlin, .paris and .nyc, with .london and .baires (for Buenos Aires) also talked about. Latin American Indian tribes had showed some interest in language domains and Staub expected many large Chinese cities in the next decade to start their Chinese city domains.
A fast track for the early birds got a negative answer from ICANN’s President and CEO Paul Twomey. After two rounds of faster introductions (2000 and 2004) that resulted in backtracking on already negotiated
contracts because somebody in the community was not happy with some aspects, he said he did not favor that approach. “We are going to try to avoid that cycle,” said Twomey. Twomey said ICANN staff were unable to
give a definitive date, however. Bruce Tonkin, former chairman of the Generic Name Supporting Organisation (GNSO) and newly elected board member, explained there were several steps to be taken before the Request for Proposals could be advertised.
The GNSO has to finalize recommendations as part of the so-called Policy Development Process and is expected to send the final report to the board in time for the October meeting. The board then would discuss the recommendations and take advice from the Government Advisory Committee. If there are major objections at the board level, the report could be sent back to the GNSO. After board approval, implementation guidelines have to be finalized by the staff. The board also intends, after the rules are made, to advertise the new round for four months. People would thereby get enough time to prepare their applications based on the rules presented. Parallel processing would not be possible, said Twomey. He also said that “investors will not be amused to find out that contractual terms they had put their money on will be changed at the last minute.”
Avri Doria, new chair of the GNSO, said while most of the work was finished and 16 of 19 recommendations were stable, there still were some points the GNSO council members had to agree on, namely the protection of rights of others, freedom of expression and the much contended condition that new strings should not be accepted if they violate public order and morality.
A campaign against possible censorship of controversial strings, called “Keep the Core Neutral,” was announced at a workshop of ICANN’s Non-Commercial User Constituency (NCUC) and At-large Advisory Committee (ALAC) on Wednesday. Syracuse University Professor Milton Mueller, founder of the Internet Governance Project, said while the $100,000 application fee and a .com-registry-like technical system for the newcomers could have been expected, “what we did not expect was that the new TLD process would introduce a regime of global censorship.”
“This community and governments will be able to censor particular words from ever appearing at the first level in the DNS,” Mueller said. He was, he said, “accusing governments of laziness.” If they wanted a global standard of morality introduced they “have to negotiate this in a treaty on what words can be used and have this ratified by their legislatures.” As governments knew this would take 50 years or more, they were using ICANN instead, he said.
Christine Farley of the American University in Washington warned against mixing trademarks and domain names. “Trademark and domain names are distinctly different animals,” said Farley. Her main concern was that by equating trademarks with domain names “we recognize trademarks internationally.” In international trademark law, trademarks always are limited to regional and sectoral protection, she said.
Tonkin answered these concerns by saying the GNSO recommendations would allow a TLD like .gay but would prevent one like .killallgays. Moreover, when reviewing an application, there would be fine-grained analysis about whether another right, like a trademark, was violated, Tonkin said. Instead of preventing TLDs from getting into the root if one government was not happy, the problem should be solved by national law and then filtered out for its users by the respective government, said Mueller and IP Justice Director Robin Gross. The GNSO still was in discussions on the recommendations late Thursday.
By Monika Ermert, 29. Juni 2007, Washington Internet Daily