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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Sensible (and Tactical) Thoughts on New TLDs from the Business Constituency | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 16 comments | Search Discussion
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    Not so sensible
    by Mueller ({mueller} {at} {syr.edu}) on Friday January 10 2003, @12:56PM (#10947)
    User #2901 Info | http://istweb.syr.edu/~mueller/

    I am amazed that my colleague Michael has been taken in by the BC snake oil regarding name selection by registries. Let's try this in another industry: The US government will decide what kind of car models get built, and then we will select among a group of "qualified manufacturers" to build them. The FCC will decide what type of radio station formats will be offered and select among a group of "qualified broadcasters" to operate them. Gak! Or should I say GAC?!! See any problem related to innovation here? More to the point, who is going to enter the registry business if they don't know what names, if any, they are going to service?

    Furthermore, the rationale that this will facilitate consumer protection in the event of registry failure is so transparently a nonsequitur that I'm surprised no one has commented. If names can be transferred from one registry to another (via escrow) then they can be transferred regardless of who selected the names!

    This whole proposal is simply a ploy to make registries into toothless patsies who are completely under the thumb of the ICANN regulator. They will have no property rights or equity in the names they service, no incentive to innovate, etc.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Sensible if you are very pessimistic
    by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Friday January 10 2003, @01:32PM (#10948)
    User #4 Info | http://www.discourse.net/
    I entirely agree a free market solution would be best. I think there's about 0% chance ICANN will go for that and I'd make a lower estimate if we could use negative numbers for this sort of forecast. Given that reality, we're in the world of the third best. (Recall, I wrote, " Since ICANN has to regulate everything, why not at least get a bunch of incumbents and would-be entrants qualified under a safe harbor,") And in that world, and in that context, I think you're being too hard on this idea -- so long as the bar for being on the approved list isn't too high (which I admit is a rather optimistic scenario, but one with a percentage possibility at least in the single digit positive range).

    In that world, and if there is free movement among registries by names, registries will have an incentive to compete and to innovate in order to steal away TLDs from other registries, just as they will do whenever a new TLD is approved and then -- after approval -- solicits competitive bids from the registries on the approved bidder list. I think while far inferior to a true free market solution, this is better than the current status quo. Do you agree? If not, why not?


    Now, maybe you're not as pessimistic as I am about the chances of a reformed ICANN getting free-market religion. But if so, I'd sure like to know why.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]


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