ICANN GA Chair Calls For Discussion of TLD 'Name Collisions'
Date: Thursday April 12 2001, @10:49AM
Topic: Alternate Roots

In what may be his first official action since being 'elected' Chair of the GA and having that result ratified by the Names Council, Danny Younger has written to Name Council Chair Philip Sheppard regarding Collisions in Namespace. In this open letter Chairman Younger asks Chairman Sheppard to convene a working group to address the problem of ICANN-proposed-TLDs that collide with TLDs already in operation outside the legacy root administered by the U.S. Department of Comerce.

It seems the GA has elected an active chair although, as the letter is careful not to take sides on the merits of the question, it may be too soon to say activist chair. Hey, give the man a week.

Here's the text of the letter:

To: Philip Sheppard, Names Council Chair

There has been considerable discussion on the GA list regarding collisions in namespace. Arguments have been put forth that the ICANN Board action to accept the .biz application constitutes a policy decision which may fragment the net irrevocably. Without commenting on the merits of this claim, it is sufficient to note that domain name policy is the purview of the DNSO, and that "Constituencies or GA participants may propose that the NC consider domain name policies or recommendations."

As two principles addressed by the White Paper, stability and competition, have been raised in the course of this debate, and whereas the Department of Commerce has previously expressed concern regarding any actions which may lead to the possibility of consumer "confusion", I now ask that the NC consider the ICANN domain name policy with respect to collision with names in the alternate root community.

As the consequences of such NC consideration may have serious monetary repercussions for those directly impacted by any such consensus-based policy recommendation, and as such consideration may well come to also impact users of the Internet worldwide, I ask that a formal working group be convened to allow for the full and unfiltered expression of all views on this topic.

Best regards,
Danny Younger

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Re: ICANN GA Chair Calls For Discussion of TLD 'Na
by DNSGA (icannwatch@dnsga.org) on Thursday April 12 2001, @01:42PM (#519)
User #2791 Info | http://dnsga.org

The DNSGA this week has attempted to determine its position regarding the matter of domain names being offered to consumers that represent the alternate root community. The DNSGA has not yet decided where it stands on this matter.

The alternate root community appears to now threaten the stability of the DNS. This coupled with the average consumer not understanding the technical side of the DNS, and the confusion average consumers experience when registering a domain name through Registrars that compare alternative root TLDs to be at par with .com TLDs.

It appears clear now that alternative root TLDs are not at par with .com TLDs and Registrars suggesting otherwise through marketing strategies may be considered engaged in false and misleading advertising, or deceptive advertising, by the FTC.

By the way, the FTC appears to have begun its process of obtaining jurisdiction over the domain name industry and in defining TLDs through it consumer alert: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/domainalrt.htm

The threat the alternate root community proposes to the .com TLDs is one that ICANN may be using to persuade ccTLDs, GAC and DOC to accept ICANN proposed agreements. In other word, ICANN may want the alternate root community threat as leverage for the advancement of its processes.

The threat the alternate root community proposes appears to undermine the stability of the DNS and it probably is not realistic to believe that ICANN will reverse its approval of the .biz Registry, especially when ICANN believes it has government on its side.

Where are the public comments from alternate root community representatives that describe their cure for the predictable chaos on the horizon? Have representatives from the alternate root community addressed the collision matter or is it that there will be an alternate root on every corner, in every country? If so, how will all of this work?

[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Re: ICANN GA Chair Calls For Discussion of TLD 'Na
by hta on Sunday April 15 2001, @02:54AM (#531)
User #2773 Info
One rational outcome of discussion is to decide that the collision between the PacificRoot ".biz" and the to-be-added ICANN ".biz" is PacificRoot's problem.
Danny Younger is right to say that it is an issue that needs discussion, but the outcome is by no means certain.
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Re: ICANN GA Chair Calls For Discussion of TLD 'Na
by Jon_Weinberg on Thursday April 19 2001, @09:19AM (#549)
User #16 Info | www.threecats.net
I assume the word he meant to type was, well, "inquorate." It means "without a quorum."
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