[NA-Discuss] Statement on Pre-Registration: Draft for discussion

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Mon Jun 13 16:30:45 UTC 2011

Hi Thomas

On 13 June 2011 10:54, Thomas Lowenhaupt <toml at communisphere.com> wrote:

> I tried to comment on this "Pre-Registration" post but apparently am not
> registered (and there's no registration button?).

Have you indeed applied as an At-Large Structure?
Have you applied as an individual member of NARALO?

Do you know how to click "add comment" at the bottom of a wiki page? Doing
so doesn't require registration.

In the instance of New York City, I can imagine pre-registrations becoming a
> matter of civic disruption.

I know that the .nyc application is important to you, but I don't think
you're helping your cause by engaging in hyperbole.

When I think "civic disruption" I think of garbage strikes, bomb scares,
massive public rallies or weather so bad as to cancel air and train travel.

I'm thinking "Die Hard with a Vengence".

I'm not thinking the delayed rollout of a New York TLD.

> For example, imagine small businesses predicating their business plans on
> the availability of .nyc domain names as implied in these pre-registration
> offers.

I would put to you that predicating one's business plan on a specific
Internet domain is inherently foolish for reasons that have zero to do with
the ICANN launch process, let along pre-registrations. It's like saying "I
might was well close my dress shop down if I can't get my ad on page 19 of
next month's Vogue".

Having a choice domain name -- in .nyc or anywhere else -- is a marketing
tactic, that's all. Pretending that it's more than that is a recipe for
sadness. And I would absolutely refuse to support -- indeed I might try to
undermine -- any effort that advances domains as something they are not.

Next the city starts to take a serious look at the social, economic,
> cultural, and civic impact of .nyc and realizes that such a review will
> take some time. With cities acting in glacial time rather than Internet
> time, this could lead to many thousands of disappointed "pre-registrants."

Thus the perfectly reasonable call in the NARALO statement for sufficient
warning given to anyone using the service.
IE, "If you bet your whole business on getting this name in the next 12
months, you're an idiot.."

> Now imagine a candidate for mayor, let's say Anthony Weiner - an advanced
> Internet use - sees this disgruntled group of pre-registrants as a political
> resource that can become a plank in his campaign, "Elect
> me mayor and on the first day in office I'll sign off on .nyc - NO DELAY!"

With all due respect, Mr. Wiener may be grasping at any topic that will
divert attention away from recent personal
(Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, CNN and Fox ought to be sending him him
royalty cheques...)

Of course, most components of delay are beyond the control of even the Mayor
of New York. So the Mayor-elect would be simply compounding a problem of
promising things that are as yet undeliverable.

Then again, Wierner is a politician, so an ability to promise the
undeliverable may be an asset.

> With the ICANN having offered zero, zip, nada, guidance for cities looking
> into this once-in-an-Internet opportunity,

ICANN owes city-TLDs nothing that isn't given to any other gTLD applicant,
except the right of city government to have final signoff on implementation.

And please spare the continued hyperbole ("once in an Internet" -- Really?

I can see this as the winning proposition. "There's no evidence to show that
> city TLDs are other than revenue generating." "Our small businesses need it
> NOW." "Jobs, jobs, jobs." "Other cities are going to get a jump on us." Etc.

For every small business that needs an .nyc domain, there's another one that
looks at .nyc as just another way for the Internet to bleed money from them
without adding value.

(Case in point. "nathans.com" already exists and is doing quite well where
it is. The existence of .nyc may force Nathan's to take out a defensive
registration that it doesn't really need, or to get into a needless bidding
war with speculators over "hotdog.nyc". I'm not a native New Yorker and I
can think of many, many other examples.)

> More thoughtful candidates will be left arguing the benefits
> of infrastructure. ~ Mayor Weiner.

If the .nyc actually becomes a municipal election issue, the TLD itself is
the least of the city's problems, IMO.

- Evan

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