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    Auerbach Weighs in for gTLD Lotteries | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 49 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re:A question re less market, more community
    by lsolum on Wednesday April 09 2003, @06:57AM (#11471)
    User #3416 Info | http://lsolum.blogspot.com/
    Vittoria, This is a possibility. I have several quick reactions:
      --First, this would be much better than the status quo. Any system of allocating the root resource is better than simply wasting it.

      --Second, in the commercial sector, experience with spectrum suggests that a secondary market would develop. That is, the market will operate but the proceeds will go to the firms that are lucky enough or skillful enough to get their applications in first and/or win the lottery. Auctions have an advantage, because they get the commercial slot or string to the highest and best use initially, without the transaction costs associated with secondary markets.

      --Third, I doubt that supply will exceed demand, especially in the early years of root expansion. This is true for several reasons:

        1. In both the commercial and nocommercial area, there will be demand for closed or sponsored TLDs. On the commercial, side large multinationals will want proprietary TLDs. We have already seen a similar phenomenon with .health, .museum, etc.

        2. The cost of a new TLD will drop dramatically over time. Karl Auerbach's posts above explain why a closed TLD can be operated very economically. Once the root is opened, the application fee will drop dramatically. As cost goes down to a nominal level, demand will go up dramatically.

        3. A big bang is not a good way to allocate the resource. (By "big bang," I mean opening the root all at once.) This is because there seems to be a consensus that once a TLD is up, it should not be shut down if it is unsuccessful. If ICANN commits to keeping TLDs operating as a consumer protection measure, then once a TLD is allocated, the resource is committed. It would be shame if the root became crowded with unsuccessful TLDs. The remedy is gradual introduction of new slots, perhaps 50 per year. This will give the market information about what are successful uses and unsucessful uses of the root resource.

      Thank you for the very thoughtful comments and questions
    Lawrence Solum
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:A question re less market, more community by lsolum
    Re:A question re less market, more community
    by KarlAuerbach on Wednesday April 09 2003, @09:43AM (#11473)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    I have always disagreed with the ICANN's usually implicit policy that it will not allow any TLD that could ever possibly have a chance of ever failing. (Of course, it does seem that some of the super-seven that it picked two+ years ago may go under, perhaps as the result of boredom if not from financial failure.)

    Why shouldn't a TLD be allowed to fail? Who is harmed? Stale URL's and stale e-mail addresses happen all the time even with ICANN's propped up system. (By the way, take a peek at my presentation on the real meaning of "stability" at http://www.cavebear.com/rw/nrc_presentation_july_1 1_2001.ppt [cavebear.com])

    The customers of TLDs ought to be able to know beforehand enough information to decide whether they want to build their brand on the foundation provided by a particular TLD. (I am excepting from this those people who were compelled to use the legacy .com, .net, .org TLDs because those were the only ones available.)

    If there is reason for a rock-solid TLD, that stability ought to come at a cost to its customers. If there is a need for a TLD that offers fewer guarantees - perhaps for transient events like movie web sites - then who cares if it is financially and lasts only for a while?

    Why not treat TLDs like securities? Why not make the information about factors relevant to long term stability of a TLD available to potential customers - a kind of TLD prospectus - and let the customers decide whether they want to build on that TLD?

    Another aspect of this is that ICANN or, better yet, an independent body, could periodically audit TLD operations and issue an opinion letter indicating whether that TLD engages in adequate business asset protection procedures (such procedures would enable the hulk of a failed TLD to be picked up by a successor.) Having that kind of mechanism gives the customers the protection of knowing that at least their registration data won't be lost and that if all else fails they can pick up the relic and resume service.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]


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