[NA-Discuss] The TLD-less NYC

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Fri Apr 1 22:41:59 UTC 2011

On 1 April 2011 16:00, Thomas Lowenhaupt <toml at communisphere.com> wrote:

> >  Is there ANY instance that one could name in which the public has been
> >  deprived of original Internet content because of limitations of the
> existing
> >  namespace?
> If you see a city such as New York as a complex entity that might
> benefit from a potentially coherent resource such as a TLD, you can see,
> minimally, some "lost opportunity costs."

Guess I don't see it.

IMO the city -- any city -- isn't defined by a TLD any more than it's
defined by its Yellow Pages.

We are, after all, just talking about directories and aliases -- not the
establishments (ie, hosted sites) themselves.

Does a restaurant get more hits by people typing its URL? or have they, more
likely, depended upon:
1) A review site such as Fodor or nyt.com
2) A social-referral system such as Chowhound (or even Facebook)
3) Their favourite search engine (if you type the restaurant name freehand
in the browser window, Google will find it regardless of domain it uses)
4) An app on their phone such as Urbanspoon or Yelp

The last two require no end-user interaction with domain names.

A rapid growth of TLDs is not going to diminish the appeal of search engines
and dedicated apps. Users have worked around the flaws in the existing DNS
-- the domainers, the phishers, the park pages -- in very clever ways, and
they aren't likely to come back just because there's a new domain in town
(let alone hundreds of them) offering more of the same flaws.

The Internet is advancing, and domain names are but one method -- and in my
opinion, one that is decreasing in popularity -- to bring people together
with the web-based content they want. One will rarely get to a typosquatter
site using Google or Bing, they try to autocorrect bad spelling and even
warn you of bad sites, The DNS alone doesn't do this and won't do it, since
the ICANN food chain has become so dependent on speculators and squatters.

And we now have our first well-known instance in which desirable content
cannot trust the domain name system and bypasses it completely. Look up
Wikileaks in Google and it will take you to

The Internet has always had a wonderful way of routing around obstacles, and
the DNS is one of those obstacles. Vested interests would say that the
problem can be solved by simply throwing more available domains in the pool
.... but the poor performance of so many *existing* TLDs should indicate to
anyone with an open mind that the problem is much deeper than that.

As for the assertion that a TLD is necessary at a psychic level, sorry, I'm
skeptical in the absence of any harder evidence than exists. I see a
collectivist value to cultural and linguistic TLDs, especially ones with a
globally scattered diaspora and/or needing non-Latin scripts. But anything
beyond that hasn't yet proven to be more than wishful thinking.

A long time ago ICANN had a choice of whether domain names were to be
identities or commodities. It chose the more-financially-rewarding latter,
with some exception for trademarks. But, having seen the glut of useless
park pages, "this domain for sale" notices, typosquatters and often the best
names being used for garbage, the public understands fully that domain names
are not identities -- they're just occasionally-reliable places to find
stuff. In my time in ICANN I want to raise that level of public trust, but I
don't think it can be done just by adding new TLDs.

- Evan

> If you look at the impact on the city's social fabric - its essence -
> that the city experiences without the unifying force TLD offers, forcing
> us to live within a digital diaspora of .com, .org, .net, .edu, .us,
> etc., one sees another possible loss.
> It's my opinion that the impact on IBM (.ibm) or the sports industry
> (.sports) are less severe. And that each day city residents and
> organizations invest more in the extant obsolescent structure, the less
> optimum its development.
> My daily life in New York City tells me that this Internet thing that
> promised to make finding fellow residents and local organizations
> easier, has not delivered as promised. Granted the Net has changed the
> city in innumerable ways - many for the better. But if one looks at a
> coherent digital development policy, composed of a thoughtful naming
> structure, access, and the training that should accompany the
> introduction of a city-TLD, one begins to see  why we need a TLD now.
> Tom Lowenhaupt
> On 4/1/2011 2:10 PM, Avri Doria wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I do not understand in what way their application is so special from all
> other applications that they should jump the queue.
> > As I recall .Berlin was ready a long time ago and they too asked to be
> given special license to go before everyone.
> > In fact I can think of few applicants who do not think their application
> is special and should be able to go before all the others.
> > So at least in the presumption that they should go first, they aren't
> very different.
> >
> > What they all seem to ignore is that any effort to push ahead,
> necessarily pushes everyone else behind.
> > Or maybe they don't ignroe it, they might just not care.
> >
> > a.
> >
> >
> > On 31 Mar 2011, at 15:07, Eric Brunner-Williams wrote:
> >
> >> On 3/31/11 1:52 PM, Richard Tindal wrote:
> >>> Thanks for those kind words
> >>>
> >>> Where we differ is the effect on an applicant of being deferred to the
> second round due to any  'limitation' mechanism (this would probably be a
> one or two year delay - i.e. a 2013 application).
> >>>
> >>> You don't see this as a major problem for deferred applicants, whereas
> I think it would be very harmful to some applicants (and their prospective
> users).
> >> The City of Paris entered into a process to select a registry operator
> >> in 2007. The City of New York did so in 2009.
> >>
> >> These two applicants have been waiting for ICANN to accept
> >> applications, for for its own reasons ICANN has refused to accept
> >> applications from each, arguing that it, ICANN, had some policy
> >> development, unrelated to either application, to resolve as a
> >> precondition to accepting either application.
> >>
> >> At some point, perhaps in 2011, in this one-of-two hypothetical to
> >> explore the claim of harm, one of these two application is accepted by
> >> ICANN, and in 2013 the other of these two application is accepted by
> >> ICANN.
> >>
> >> Assume Paris before New York (unless you find a good reason to
> >> entertain New York before Paris), and describe the harm to New York
> >> (or Paris), resulting from this delay.
> >>
> >> I hope this isn't necessary, but under the GAC model, the status of
> >> Paris as the capital of a territory with a code point in ISO 3166, and
> >> the lack of that status for New York, is not relevant, as the GAC
> >> model proposes, inter alia, to do more than just establish and resolve
> >> contention sets. So both .paris and .nyc are to be allocated
> >> unconditionally to the applications brought by the municipal
> >> authorities of Paris and New York City, respectively. I just wanted to
> >> eliminate this as a possible rational for harm, as I believe you're
> >> making a much broader delay-equals-harm claim.
> >>
> >> Eric
> >>
> >>> R
> >>>
> >>> On Mar 30, 2011, at 4:54 PM, Eric Brunner-Williams wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Richard,
> >>>>
> >>>> First, my condolences. Of the many persons I've worked with while
> responsible for XRP/EPP standards development at NeuStar and the technical
> aspects of NeuStar/NeuLevel's .biz and .us applications, and competed with
> prior to separating from CORE, I consider you to be one of the most level
> headed and pragmatic, as well as ingenious, of the for-profit advocates, and
> your lack of employment indicative of how clueless and unenlightened the
> self-interested actors in the .com following portion of the domain name
> industry really are.
> >>>>
> >>>> There are two models to work with.
> >>>>
> >>>> The Staff model, which for all of our respective advocacy, and that of
> our peers, we've only decorated slightly since San Juan. That one has one or
> more tranches of 500 from a single application window, with no policy tools
> to differentiate applications other than those for the purposes of
> determining string contention outcomes.
> >>>>
> >>>> The GAC model, which so far has not much specific form (not that the
> Staff model has a lot of essential form, though it has a great deal of
> simulation of form), and which I and some others may manage to decorate
> slightly. That one has a sub-tranche, and after a period sufficient to
> resolve some outstanding policy issues, another sub-tranche, possibly both
> from a single application window.
> >>>>
> >>>> The Staff model has the feature that it is nominally cyclic, and a
> second application window, with attractive features like the possibility of
> lower cost to the applicant, in a year or two after the first round.
> >>>>
> >>>> The GAC model has the feature that it proposes that the set of policy
> issues in which applications not policy-qualified (and the term in Heather's
> letter of Oct. 23rd was "non-controversial" which I hope we can agree means
> policy-qualified for some statement of policy, regardless of what one's
> views on the utility or necessity of that policy may be) can be resolved in
> a period comparable to or less than what Staff proposes as the period
> between rounds.
> >>>>
> >>>> Abstractly then, the two models into which to fit our competing
> assumptions are an application window in which anything is accepted (Staff)
> and an application window in which less than anything is accepted (GAC), and
> regardless of the absence or existence of condition on that first
> application window, recurring windows without restriction.
> >>>>
> >>>> So if you accept the above, then I suggest that the problem you've
> posed, Paris before New York (or the reverse), results in no harm to the
> application which is deferred for lack of capacity in the tranche beyond a
> delay. Paris, or New York, waits a year or two and then its application is
> processed. Given the modest level of harm to the municipal governments of
> Paris and New York of any year of delay, it is not a given that the harm of
> deciding which to delay is sufficiently great to abandon the putative
> advantages of the GAC model for the putative advantages of the Staff model.
> >>>>
> >>>> I commend to you the recent paper prepared for Rod Beckstrom by ICANN
> Staff on the NTIA NOI for the IANA Functions. You'll find that ICANN Staff
> are quite committed to the preference of private agency, of necessity
> for-profit (and of course dominated by the highly profitable), over public
> agency, to a truely astonishing degree.
> >>>>
> >>>> As to the mechanism for limiting to N some set of M applications,
> where all M applications meet some policy criteria (GAC model, generally),
> where M is greater than N, a spelling bee using words from the first
> language of the applicant would suffice, as there is, as I pointed out
> above, little actual loss to qualified applicants in deferring the
> processing of their application by the interval currently proposed in either
> model.
> >>>>
> >>>> Eric
> >>>
> >>>
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Evan Leibovitch, Toronto Canada
Em: evan at telly dot org
Sk: evanleibovitch
Tw: el56

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