[At-Large] Notice of Motion: update to ALAC advice on gTLDs

John R. Levine johnl at iecc.com
Mon Dec 19 16:32:05 UTC 2011

> Indeed Adam  =>  the words  "We agree with and support the expedient
> introduction of new gTLDs,
> especially those offering support for IDNs.... .... ... ."  from our
> Mexico 2009 At-Large Summit Declaration and similar words have integral in
> ALAC Statements

Well, you know, we were wrong, and it's not too late to correct our 

Back in the 1990s, it seemed plausible that people might use TLDs as a 
diretory.  Fifteen years later, we know that people use Google as an 
index, and that most users are only vaguely aware that there are TLDs 
other than .COM and perhaps their local ccTLD.  There was a hypothesis 
that new TLDs would provide meaningful competition to .COM.  Now we know 
that's not true either, and saying "competition" a thousand more times 
won't make it so.  (For people in the US, it's not unlike the belief in 
some areas in competition in health care insurance.)

We have a decade's worth of new TLDs.  The only ASCII TLD that has come 
anywhere close to doing what it was supposed to do is .CAT, and its 
circumstances are unlikely to be repeated.  It looks like the IDN ccTLDs 
are working more or less as they're supposed to, but asking for new ASCII 
TLDs or new generic TLDs is just stubbornness in the face of reality.

For a preview of what new TLDs will really do, look at .XXX.  I now have 
access to its zone file, and found that it has 7000 parked names, 7000 
possibly live names, and 85,000 defensive registrations.  What's the 
public interst in that?  Why would .CANON or .MUSIC be any different?

John Levine, johnl at iecc.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. http://jl.ly

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