what problem are we solving? (was Re: ICANN opens up Pandora's Box of new TLDs)

David Conrad drc at virtualized.org
Fri Jun 27 12:53:19 CDT 2008


On Jun 27, 2008, at 10:24 AM, Scott Francis wrote:
> more to the point ... what problem is ICANN trying to solve with this
> proposal?
> ...
> perhaps somebody with more insight can explain the rationale to me
> (DRC?) - is there a purpose served here aside from corporate/legal
> interests?

I suspect one's view as to whether a purpose is served is largely  
subjective.

Some folks believe that by liberalizing the rules, innovators will  
come up with new and interesting uses of the DNS namespace.  A  
commonly cited example of this innovation would be the establishment  
of a ".BANK" top-level domain that has some assurance that registrants  
in that domain were actually 'certified' banks and thus would have a  
higher level of trust regarding banking transactions than registrants  
in (say) ".SCAMMERS".

Other folks believe that anything that reduces the effective monopoly  
VeriSign has (through .COM and .NET) would be a good thing.  This view  
holds that by increasing the number of top-level domains, you increase  
the opportunities for consumer (that is, domain registrant) choice,  
thereby reducing the value of any single top-level domain.

And then there are the folks that claim "all the good names are gone",  
either registered appropriately or squatted on by IPR holders or  
scammers, thus new top-level domains are necessary in order to allow  
more "good names".

Of course, there are a myriad other views, both positive and  
negative.  However, more generally, ICANN was established in order to  
allow private (read: non-government) management of the Internet  
namespace under the assumption that public (read: governmental or  
inter-governmental, i.e. treaty organizations like the ITU) management  
would be too slow, too beholden to geo-political interests, and/or  
stifle innovation.  A key component of this management was explicitly  
stated as being the promotion of competition.  While one might argue  
that creating new top-level domains doesn't really promote competition  
given the cost of changing from one domain name to another,  
realistically, I figure there aren't many other ways in which  
additional opportunities for competition can be created.

FWIW.

Regards,
-drc
(speaking only for myself)





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