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Re: Oppose NSI's redefinition of TLD constituencies

Bill and all,

  Bill, if I may, it is our belief [INEGroup] that the ccTLD's have been
on the whole put in a very disproportionate and disadvantageous
position with respect to the ICANN Interim Boards decision to
allow constituencies be and intragal part of any SO, and most
especially the DNSO.  In doing so, it points up a potential situation
which from your post here, pit's one set of ccTLD's against another.
This we feel is not in good standing or reflects the direction of
the Global market place, and in fact will tend to destabilize the
ecommerce market place a la free trade.

(see the rest of my comments below yours)

J. William Semich (NIC JWS7) wrote:

> I agree with Patrick's concerns, with additional observations.
> The only "constituency" that would gain from throwing out RFC1591 and
> redefining TLDs as being "closed" vs. "open" is Network Solutions Inc.
> (NSI). This same wrong-headed change in the current ccTLD structure was
> proposed in the WIPO RFC last month, and it must be strongly opposed,

  Completely agreed to a  point.  I do not believe that NSI has an interest
necessarily to seek to see division in the redefining ccTLDs and would not
benefit them in the long haul.  As such I feel and have been to some degree
assured that this is not their stance or position.

> Most of what would currently be defined as "open" ccTLDs (.ch, .uk, .nz,
> .dk, .nu) will probably be forced, for reasons of cost and other
> trademark protection considerations, to become closed. Yet NSI will
> still be able to come into these "closed" ccTLD's national markets and
> sell .com registrations (whether directly, as NSI, or through its new
> registrars), and dominate the local market with the strong .com brand.

  This is indeed a potential direction for which NSI may and for good
business reasons should do.  But I would again stress that this is
more likely motivated by the likelihood of new gTLD's being added later
to the current DNS structure controlled or unduly influenced by
large commercial interest currently financially supporting ICANN
at this time.

> Yet the closed ccTLDs will *not* be able to compete with .com outside
> the "closed" areas on an international basis. That leaves the
> international market free for .com to develop (until new gTLDs are
> added, which could be a while), as well as opening every local ccTLD
> market to NSI to compete with all their International resources and
> millions of marketing dollars on a one-on-one basis.
> It's kind of like telling a local soft drink company in, say, Thailand,
> not to sell its beverage in Cambodia or Indonesia, while Coke is allowed
> to market in Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and anywhere else. In small
> ccTLD areas, in fact, the local ccTLD may never even have a chance to
> get developed... but that's another discussion.

  Good point here.  It is and has been our [INEGroup] that through free
trade guidelines that all ccTLD's should be available to global
of Domains irrespective of the country in which they represent.  This would
of course in many cases require some additional financial and marketing
support in order to be competitive.  Due to ICANN's unfortunate decision
taken in Singapore regarding to degrading the DNS and Domain registration
situation to a constituency model, we have begun to see how divisive
already, as how damaging and destabilizing this ICANN Interim Board
decision can and likely will become.

> Even more problematic is the contradictory effect of the "open" vs.
> "closed" redefinition of the current ccTLD structure (RFC1591) on the
> concept of "sovereignty."
> In effect, a closed vs. open policy says, "You can have 'sovereignty'
> over your ccTLD if you agree to obey ICANN's rules. These rules say you
> do not have the sovereign right to use your ccTLD outside your own
> national or territorial boundaries." That's not the way I define
> "sovereignty," regardless of whether you interpret it to mean national
> government sovereignty (as some governments believe) or to mean local
> internet community sovereignty (as IATLD believes).

  With respect to "sovereignty" issues of ccTLD's it seems reasonable to
us [INEGroup] as we have expressed before to the ICANN Interim Board
and the NTIA, that those countries that have consulate offices should be
able to set up operations centers in those area where those consulate
offices reside, and that property is sovereign ground.

> Again, this is a complete reversal of the basis on which the Internet
> has grown, as a borderless, global and private networking system. In
> addition, it is a complete reversal of the International Trade movement,
> exemplified by the EU, toward open borders and free trade.

  Totally agreed.  And something that the ICANN yet again seems to have
neglected in it's policy direction and inclusive of a constituency model
for the DNSO.  Truly and amazingly short sighted policy judgment
on the part of the ICANN Interim Board...

> It would
> mean, for example, that a company in Europe which wished to register its
> company or brand names using the locally-recognized ccTLDs in
> Switzerland, the UK, Denmark and Sweden would not be able to anymore
> unless it had a corporate presence on the ground in each of those
> countries (assuming those ccTLDs decided to become closed due to the
> regulatory and cost pressures created by the "open" designation, which I
> believe will be the case). This is only one of many results "hidden" in
> this NSI-proposed redefinition of the current ccTLD system.
> I've got many other concerns about this approach (not least of which is
> my believe that ICANN has no authority, with its "interim" board and no
> DNSO or names council, to redefine the structure of the ccTLD space as
> it exists right now) and will post a more lengthy comment soon.

  I for one look forward to reading it...

> Bottom line, though, I'd say this is not an issue for consideration by
> ICANN or any other entity at this time in the process of developing DNSO
> and we should continue to move to build a strong and effective ccTLD
> constituency of the DNSO,

  I should not call this a non-issue as it shows the distinct direction in
the ICANN Interim Board and it's financial supporters seem to wish to
take the internet community and thus seems to be favoring certain
groups see (www.gip.org).

> Regards,
> Bill Semich (NIC JWS7)
> bsemich@mail.nu
> .NU Domain
> "The un.com-mon Domain"
> (competing with NSI's .com)
> In reply to 15 Apr message from "Patrick O'Brien"
> <p.o.brien@domainz.net.nz>:
> >Fay,
> >I certainly have an issue with the definition, or lack of, these
> >and other terms commonly used by ICANN.
> >New Zealand's economic envirnoment is based around little
> >intervention or regulation.  We call it a "light handed" approach
> >-- low entry barriers are meant to be pro-competitive (I thought
> >that was one of the tenets of the original Green/White Paper
> >process).
> >Why should we raise artificial barriers in order to make .nz
> >"Closed"?  What are the benefits to name holders?  Why should they
> >be forced to support the additional cost/service delivery
> >penalties that may possibly accrue?
> >There is a danger that customer's of ccTLD's will end up with only
> >one of two choices for their country domains:
> >1.     Closed -- regulated by the Government
> >2.     Open -- regulated by ICANN
> >What happenned to choice?
> >My regards,
> >Patrick
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From:  Fay Howard [SMTP:fay@ripe.net]
> >Sent:  Thursday, April 15, 1999 8:52 PM
> >To:    wwtld@ripe.net
> >Subject:       Suggested redefinition of TLD constituencies
> >All,
> >For those who may not have seen it on the Web site, ICANN have
> >posed a question about the proposed constituency split between
> >gTLDs and ccTLDs which I paste below.
> >ICANN are keen to receive comment on this suggestion that registry
> >constituencies be redefined as "open" and "closed".
> >Apologies to CENTR members who have already been made aware of
> >this.
> >Fay Howard
> >CENTR Manager
> >**************** from http://www.icann.org/dnso/dnsoupdate.html
> >************
> >In order to more fully explore an issue raised by one comment
> >submitted in reaction to the draft ICANN Bylaw changes the ICANN
> >Board seeks further comment on the following question:
> >Should the initial DNSO Constituencies currently identified as
> >"ccTLD registries" and "gTLD registries" be re-categorized as
> >"open registries" and "closed registries," identified according to
> >whether the registry is open to any registrant, worldwide
> >("open"), or is instead limited to certain registrants based on
> >geography, intended use, or other criteria ("closed")?
> >Please submit comments to comment-so@icann.org.
> >              *************************************


Jeffrey A. Williams
CEO/DIR. Internet Network Eng/SR. Java/CORBA Development Eng.
Information Network Eng. Group. INEG. INC.
E-Mail jwkckid1@ix.netcom.com
Contact Number:  972-447-1894
Address: 5 East Kirkwood Blvd. Grapevine Texas 75208