[At-Large] BBC News: .wales and .cymru internet domain names find support

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Fri Nov 11 00:46:40 UTC 2011

On 11/10/2011 02:31 PM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:

> The argument that supports a TLD for Wales would also argue for a TLD for
>> California.

> Sorry, but that comparison is almost absurd.

I am glad you put in the word "almost" because my comparison is most
certainly not absurd.

On a comparative scale it certainly it is no more absurd than an
argument that attempts to justify a TLD based on an entry in wikipedia
about a sporting event.

Did you know that California, which like Texas had a degree of
pre-existing sovereignty, came into the US via the same war and events
that brought in Texas?  So what principle do you articulate that
supports your inclination to accept the legitimacy of Texas for a TLD
but not California?

What about Hawaii?  They have their own linguistic identity and there
are those there who would like to undo what was done to them when they
were dragged into the US sphere.

And Utah - The religious immigrants to that region have an amazing
history, much of which involved trying to escape persecution and avoid
becoming part of the United States.

In your defense you did, perhaps unknowingly, put forth some
proto-principles which seem to articulate a desire for a TLD for groups
of people who are politically isolated, with a linquistic identity, and
under a degree of asserted subjugation.  (However, I don't see why
taxing authority, or lack of, is relevant.)

Branching out from the US - How does Quebec fit?  It certainly has
linguistic differences with the rest of Canada (and having learned
French in Montreal I long ago learned that what is spoken there is a
rather unique version of that language), but it has taxing authority and
elects members to the Canadian parliament.  So on that one your
principles would deny a TLD for Quebec.  That would sadden a lot of
people who live there.

Under your proposed principles it would seem that we ought to have
either .eu or the collection of .uk, .de, .fr, .es etc, but not both.

By-the-way, it is easy to find groups that meet your definition, even
here in California.

For instance, there is the town of Boonville, California.  It has its
own unique, and dying, language.  It has no political power.  People
there have expressed a desire to have their own sovereignty.  So why not

And on the other hand, there have been several proposals over the year
to carve California (Alta and Baja), Oregon, Washington, British
Columbia, and Hawaii off into a new country.  But the chances of that,
at least since the 1860's, are somewhat remote.

The larger question is, of course, what does any of this have to do with
the technical stability of the internet, which is what ICANN was created
to do.

I know that all of us like to have bigger play pens.  But the result is
an ICANN that is a quasi-government that is growing and growing without
bounds and which has constraints on the exercise of its powers that are
have forgotten the entire notions of limits and accountability that were
envisioned in the late 18th century and which form the basis for many
modern Constitutional structures.

> By ICANN's metric, anyone with the cash and the credibility can pony up the
> cash and ask for .aquetaine ... or .quebec ... or .kashmir ... or any other
> string. There's a policy in place about getting TLD names based on
> geographic locations. And, of course, the objection process.

Notice that word "cash" - and notice that you have added "credibility".
In other words, you are saying pretty clearly that under the lex-ICANNia
that national identities are up for sale ... but only at the price that
ICANN sets and only if in ICANN's subjective judgment you are worthy

> Without an articulation of broadly accepted principles to guide the choices
>> this process will end up in chaos.

> What you have ... all that you have ... is in the applicant guidebook. If
> that's not enough....

I've read it.

By weight, it is more than enough.

By content it is essentially a set of social and economic engineering
rules that are designed to protect Verisign and the trademark industry
(of which I am a dues-paying member).


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