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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    .eu and Europe too A Few thoughts on EURid
    posted by tbyfield on Monday March 31 2003, @09:58AM

    Rumors that the non-profit EURid registry consortium will be awarded the right to operate the .eu "rTLD" ("r" for regional?) continue to hot up, with on- and off-the-record remarks made by various eufficials on Thursday. EUrid's short self-description is surprisingly interesting -- and polemical. Of necessity, it lays out its (purported) approach to running a registry, but it does so by skipping lightly across the quagmire of all-too-familiar issues in a way that borders on being charming.

    For example, it speaks of running a registry "in a real not-for-profit spirit," and parenthetically notes at the end, "As an indication of the cost efficiency with which EURid will work, under € 25.000 have been spend on this expression of interest." Compare the revenue-maximizing logic by which ICANN settled on the $50,000 application fee for filing new gTLD applications (to say nothing of the sums that went into preparing those applications), then -- surprise! -- ended up with a desperately needed infusion of a million and a half in cash.

    It notes that "DNS Belgium vzw" -- a founding member of the consortium -- has gone through a transformation from a strict regulated system to an open platform based on a network of registrars." Compare that to ICANN's devolution toward a strict taxonomic system based on criteria that, as far as anyone knows, still involves whether "iii" is pronounceable.

    It notes that Sweden's "NIC SE" -- another founding member -- "brings ... experience as an organisation with an unmatched focus towards the needs and wants of the internet end user." Again, compare ICANN's intransigent approach to excluding end users' needs and interests.

    It notes that Italy's "IIT CNR, the parent organisation of the .it registry" and EURid's third founding member "has a large experience in security matters as a research institute." Once again, compare ICANN, which brings unmatched amateur politicization to its purported task of "technical coordination."

    And so on: the document is well worth a read. Of course, talk is cheaper than walk, and it could just be that EURid hired a sparkling writer. But its confident claim that "ccTLD managers with similar views from the candidate countries were asked to join this initiative" (the Czech Republic's NIC CZ Slovenia's Arnes) suggests that EURid may well be founded on the kinds of minimalist adherence to first principles that, even as ICANN's potentially legitimacy has faltered, has conferred tremendous legitimacy on the ccTLDs. If so, then we may well be able to expect an organization that brings an appropriately European flair to its task. That will surely have its downsides (as anything would) -- notably, a moderately neoliberal emphasis on commercial views and interests. But there can be little doubt it would be a very refreshing change from the carpetbagging combination of sophistry and belligerence through which ICANN managed to make a sow's ear out of silk purse.

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  • European Union
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  • EURid
  • continue to hot up
  • self-description
  • More on .eu and Europe too
  • Also by tbyfield
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