[ALAC] Request for a snapshot view on next round new gTLD program outlook from the ALAC for the ICANN Board

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Mon Jun 13 20:44:18 UTC 2016

I agree with Olivier, but I will nevertheless play the game (but am 
ignoring the "one slide" constraint to start.

Here are my personal views. Please voice your agreement or some other 
position. These are "ALAC" views that Rinalia is being asked to 
present, but others on this list are free to state how they think, to 
help inform the ALAC Members.


At 13/06/2016 11:12 AM, Rinalia Abdul Rahim wrote:

>Dear ALAC,
>In Helsinki, the Board will meet to discuss the outlook for the next 
>round of the new gTLD Program.  To support our discussions, we would 
>like to be informed by stakeholder views.
>I have been requested to obtain the view of the ALAC.  Would it be 
>possible for the ALAC to provide a snapshot of its views on this 
>topic in one slide?  Please note that this information and 
>presentation format would be applied to each stakeholder group's views.
>Some questions to guide you:
>1. Initiation of next round - do you think a date should be 
>identified so that ICANN has a target to work towards?

No. During the last round, the details of the Application Guidebook 
(ie the implementation) took far longer than predicted, and then nce 
the round was opened, even more issues were discovered. To set a date 
right now, at the start of the GNSO PDP on future processes, and 
prior to the completion of the CCT review seems to be an exercise in 
predicting the future, without even the benefit of a semi-reliable 
crystal ball.

Note that it is not a foregone conclusion (in the PDP) that there 
should be a next "round" as opposed to some other release of TLDs. 
Personally I think rounds are reasonable, but it is not that we need 
to have a single "round" for all classes of TLDs. Those serving 
disadvantaged areas (if applicable!), IDNs, .brand TLDs could all be 
released in different processes.

If that illusion to occult practices is not sufficiently clear, there 
is no way to predict a date.

Setting a date as a "target" is fine. But I believe that once a date 
is mentioned, it will become "the date" with incumbent slippages and 
very strong pressure to meet "the date", even if we are not ready.

>2. Requirements for round initiation - what do you think should be 
>in place before the next round is initiated?

A completed policy with FAR more detail that the last time, and a 
process for addressing the inevitable issue that arise once the list 
of applied-for strings is known. The policy must address the issues 
that arose the last time.

>3. Improvements - what elements of the new gTLD program should be 
>improved for next round?

- Community evaluations that are not Draconian and nearly impossible to meet.

- If we decide that we need some level of applicant support for 
disadvantaged economies, those rules to should not be nearly 
impossible to meet.

- Confusingly similar must be far more open to what is confusing to 
real Internet users and not just linguists and trade-mark lawyers. 
This will also remove some of the tendency for new TLDs to require 
businesses to multiply register their names "just in case" some user 
finds them repetitive. We cannot stop the overlap between a business 
have a generic (such as com, net or org) PLUS relevant ccTLDs PLUS 
other Geographic TLDs. We should not unnecessarily increase the set 
of TLDs any given business can use.

- Formal rules on private use of generic words

- I'm sure there are more that have slipped my mind at the moment.

>4. Other aspects that are of concern to the ALAC?

There are those in At-Large who would ask whether re really need any 
more TLDs. But I see that as (perhaps sadly) inevitable...

>For the Board to have a chance to review the slide before its 
>discussion, it would be good to receive the slide by 23 June 2016 latest.
>I do understand that this is short notice.  If you do not have 
>sufficient time to develop a formal position, informal input would 
>be sufficient at this time and it would be appreciated.
>The Board is likely to revisit the topic again during its workshop 
>in September.  There is thus another chance to provide a more 
>extensive view, but for now the Board would just like to have a 
>sense from the community on the topic to guide its early deliberations.
>Thank you in advance and apologies for the short notice.
>Best regards,
>on behalf of the ICANN Board
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