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.

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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