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Those with the Big Dollars will be the Big Winners

"I have no problem with any company using this domain (.security) and especially to identify them as a security dealer but to lock out other security companies seems to be moving the internet into a more restrictive environment where those who have the big dollars to play will be the big winners. The internet should be about the ease of searching for access to information, this is clearly a monetary move and will ultimately hurt the ability to search the internet instead of help."

Bob McVeigh. Security Solutions Inc.

Mar 06: Closed domain

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Companies Must Prove Their Rights To Closed Domains

"Closed generic domain names for TLDs must only be allowed if the company seeking to close the domain name can prove that no other company or person should have access to it. And it must be up to them to prove their case, not up to ICANN or other third parties to disprove it.

"The basic premise is that all TLDs are open until a company can prove that they can close it for their own control.

"So companies like BMW can register the TLD ‘.BMW’, and no one else can. However it must not be possible to register a closed generic domain name such as ‘.bank’ or ‘.search’, because multiple companies operate in those industries."

Brien Lampen-Smith

Mar 05: Domain names

Unfair Advantage to Vendors With Deepest Pockets

"We strongly disagree with the proposal to allow specific organisations exclusive control over generic industry domains. The action bestows unfair competitive advantage onto those vendors with the deepest pockets, and will disadvantage suppliers offering similar services in the same arena, therefore potentially denying the end customer greater competitive choice. The advent of Cloud has created an open market for software, and as such should remain free from dominance or influence by mega-vendors looking to control customer buying decisions by monopolizing industry domains."

Martin Prendergast. Concorde Solutions

Mar 04: "Closed Generic" gTLD Applications

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Open-ness Drives Competition and Innovation

"The principles of open access and the internet as a resource for all have allowed the most rapid period of change and innovation ever seen, bringing huge benefits to commerce and to individuals...

"Within the virtual world, organisations and individuals establish themselves as trusted through what they do and what they say, and it is the open-ness of that world that drives genuine competition and innovation for everyone's benefit. To allow individual organisations to control sections of the internet — and in particular to control the generic TLD 'cloud' — is anti-competitive and contrary to the very principles on which the internet was created."

Phil Keown. Grant Thornton

Mar 06: Stifling innovation and competition

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A Threat to the Openness and Values of Internet Users

"Closing .cloud will give the impression that the domain and, therefore by proxy, the form of internet based computing, known as 'cloud' is owned and controlled by a single individual or corporation. This threatens the openness and values held dear by users of the internet, not to mention the thousands of businesses operating in this space, whose livelihoods may be impacted as a result of closing this important and open domain.

"Common sense in this scenario must prevail."

Gavin Jackson. VMware

Mar 05: Closed gTLD - .cloud

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Against the Fundamental Principle of Freedom

"I have read with great concern that there is a possibility that some TLD may become closed and potentially 'owned' by corporations. This is in effect anti-competitive and against the fundamental principle of freedom and openness on the web and will create an unfair advantage creating the opportunities for monopolistic strategies to be put in place by large corporations."

Tim C. Ashcroft MIED. Innovas

Mar 06: Closed TLD

Unfair Advantage in Owning a Closed Registry for .watches

"We think that allowing a single Registrant to have an exclusive control over a 'closed generic' TLD would award an unfair competitive advantage on this organization to the detriment of the industry as a whole. 'Closed generic' TLDs, as they are by definition open and unrestricted in their use, should be available for open Registries only.

"In the case of a 'closed generic' TLD .WATCHES, the exclusivity granted to Richemont DNS Inc. to have sole use of the TLD in the Watch industry would create an unfair advantage, and be detrimental to the industry as a whole."

DOMAINOO, French Registrar

Mar 07: Against Closed Generic TLDs in general, and against .WATCHES in particular

Closed Generics Threaten Internet Openness

"...Closed generic TLDs provide no benefit and progress, which cannot be obtained with the current system.

"They threaten the openness of the internet at a time when governments are already contributing to fragment it.

"Please (ICANN) stay within your mandate and role."

Mathieu Baudier. Argeo

Mar 07: AGAINST closed generic TLDs

Allow Smaller Companies to Compete Fairly

"Keep our internet open, allow us somewhat smaller companies with not quite as much commercial power to utilise the full potential of the web.

"I work for a financial software company with big ambitions for cloud, with dreams of using the new gTLDs to make us stand out from the crowd. If these become closed or locked down then us and others like us will be driven back to the norm, slowing down creative drive, growth and competition that the web has to offer.

"Here at Symmetry we are against privatising the generic TLDs in particular .cloud.

"Our future, the web's future, relies on keeping it open and not selling to the highest bidder."

Jonathan Batty. Symmetry Limited

Mar 07: bluQube against privatising generic TLDs

Closing Generic TLDs Defeats the Purpose of Introducing Them

"No single entity should be able to control generic TLDs...allowing this would seem to defeat the purpose of introducing them in the first place, ie to provide more options in naming."

Guy "Incognito"

Mar 11: against closed generic TLDs

Potential to Harm Competition and Create Barriers to Commerce

"...We are concerned about the potential for private and exclusive control of TLDs that represent generic industry categories. Allowing one organisation to exclude competitors from a TLD that defines its industry or product category has the potential to harm competition, confuse consumers, create unnecessary online barriers to commerce, and undermine the openness of the internet. It also contravenes ICANN's (cited) affirmation of commitments and its stated purpose justifying the new gTLD program.

"We encourage ICANN to ensure that the new registry models are in the public interest. Closed generics are not, and therefore should not be allowed."

Kylie Pellett.
NZICT — Technology Association of New Zealand

Mar 07: Concern about closed Internet addresses

Don't Allow Innovation to be Stifled

"It should not be up to a single entity to control top level domain names such as .book or .store. Allowing Amazon or any corporate interest control over such generic domain names will stifle innovation and should not be allowed."

Aaron Merriam

Mar 11: Generic TLD - Firmly against

Unfair Marketing Disadvantage

"I'm writing to you today to state my opinion that you should be very careful in letting big companies taking over generic words like 'security' and obtaining exclusivity on it. It would be an unfair marketing disadvantage to all other forms of security to see that keyword become the exclusivity of a large company."

Normand Fiset. Panavideo

Feb 28: Process of opening up the internet extention

If Amazon Owns Every .shop Domain, Then What's the Point?

"I think the idea of corporations being able to purchase top level domain names is a very bad idea. If this is allowed it would make them useless. If Amazon goes (and) owns every .shop domain then what's the point of even having them available for use. It'd be like producing millions of cars and then putting them all in a vault that no one can use. Why go through the trouble of having those cars at all? There's really no practical reason that I can see that they would need to purchase top level domains in the first place.

"Perhaps if the top level domain was the name of their company it might make sense but other than that it seems pretty pointless to waste perfectly useful domains when they could be extremely helpful in the future with narrowing down what sort of site you are looking for. You could simply say I'm looking for buying things and only sites with .shop domains would be returned. They seem very useful once they catch on and if we ruin them so quickly it would be a shame."

Mitchell Snyder

Mar 11: Thoughts on Closed Generic gTLD





ICANN Closed Registries Forum (5)



NOTE — ICANN changed the comment links in March. They're fixed now, but if you find an incorrect link, go to the forum link above and search by the date & title following each one.

Yahoo Asks ICANN to Remember its Commitment to Competition & Consumer Choice

"Specifically, we agree that top-level domains (TLDs) that consist solely of an industry generic term like .app, .cloud, .mobile, .insurance or .news should not be run as a closed registry. We believe that such TLDs must be open to all parties in order to achieve true competition and consumer choice.

"The very origins of ICANN are based on its commitment to the principle that ' mechanisms that support competition and consumer choice should drive the management of the Internet because they will lower costs, promote innovation, encourage diversity, and enhance user choice and satisfaction.' (cited) In fact, ICANN specifically lists enhanced competition and consumer choice as two of the goals behind its plan to expand the domain names system. (cited) A 'closed generic' TLD supports neither of these tenets.

'Closed Generic' TLDs Will Harm Consumers

"The Internet thrives today because entrepreneurs have a very low barrier to entry and consumers have access to innovative products and services... In today's domain name system, Internet stakeholders... have the freedom to register in TLDs of their choice in order to reach consumers. Accordingly, consumers are accustomed to receiving a wide variety of choices from various sources when they are confronted with domain names all sharing the same TLD. Should ICANN allow 'closed generic' TLDs, that will no longer be the case.

'Closed Generic' TLDs are Anticompetitive

"We also share the concerns expressed by the government of Australia and Germany in their early warning notices that 'closed generic' TLDs will have a 'negative impact on competition.' (cited) ...By granting a single entity sole dominion over a TLD consisting wholly of a generic term, ICANN will place these entities in a position to gain an unprecedented and unfair advantage in direct navigation and online search... Such advantages harm competitors in the marketplace and hurt consumers by further limiting consumer choice.


"In closing, we ask ICANN to remember its fundamental commitment to manage the domain name system with 'market mechanisms that support competition and consumer choice' by requiring that all TLDs that consist solely of an industry generic be run as open TLDs."

J. Scott Evans. Yahoo! Inc.

Mar 07: Yahoo! Inc. Comments to Closed Generics

Accor Warns That Travelers Will be Captive to One Single Online Travel Agency

(Accor is objecting to .hotel, .hotels, .hoteis (Portuguese) and .hoteles (Spanish) applications - Ed.)

"1. There is no question that the Internet has taken center stage as a hotel reservation method across the world. The use of travel agents and dial-in phone reservations continues to rapidly decline.

"Online booking is a critical tool for marketing hotels in a global market. According to several market studies:

— 83% of leisure travelers and 76% of business travelers plan online (cited)

— over 50% of travel bookings are made online (cited)

"2. Some of the applicants for these generic terms have expressed the intent to reserve the name spaces for themselves... and to capture the exclusive use of these generic terms for their own business.

"Furthermore, certain applicants have chosen to apply for closed control of a generic term designating a particular industry while they are in fact already engaged in the conduct of business activities in that particular industry...

"3. Among the applicants seeking to obtain a monopoly on a generic term representing or closely linked to their own economic sector, the online travel agencies B.V. and Despegar Online SRL applied for the generic terms HOTELS, HOTEL, HOTEIS... and HOTELES...

"They do not plan to allow the public or members of the hotel community to register domains using the extension.

"This would surely have serious anticompetitive consequences and limit consumer choice across the Internet:

— competitors will be prevented from using those generic TLDs to compete with the string owner;

— consumers will have access to offers coming from one single player only, which means that they will be captive of one single online travel agency.;

(This will allow) " B.V. and/or Despegar Online SRL to choose which hotels will be offered a domain name under their TLDs and to dictate their commercial conditions to partners and hotel stakeholders.

"4. Under applicable trademark law... if B.V. and/or Despegar Online SRL were to file a trademark for hotel they would have no chance to obtain registration in the end since it would be refused for lack of distinctiveness.

"The same rules should apply to the new TLDs: closed generic TLDs should not be delegated to an entity operating in the market described or related by these terms.

"5. In connection with the operation of the registry for the TLD, the Registry Operator must not register domain names in its own name. As an exception, closed applications for generic TLDs can be filed pursuant to the Registry Operator Code of Conduct... which provides that Registry Operator may request an exemption ... if... all domain name registrations in the TLD are registered to, and maintained by, Registry Operator for its own exclusive use... and... application... is not necessary to protect the public interest.

"Therefore, unfortunately, any applicant who wishes to operate a closed generic TLD can file an exception request to operate the TLD for its own purpose. Such exemptions may be granted by ICANN at ICANN's reasonable discretion. In particular, the Registry Operator must prove that there is no infringement or at lease no risk with regard to the public interest.

"...Could an application seeking exclusive access to a common generic string that relates to a market sector be deemed consistent with the protection of public interest?"

Nathalie Dreyfus. For Accor

(Accor has more than 3,500 hotels and 160,000 employees. Accor brands include Sofitel, Pullman, Mercure, Novotel and Ibis - Ed.)

Mar 07: Accor Comment on Closed Generic TLDs

Allianz: Barrier to Entry for Entrepreneurs with Innovative Concepts

"We are writing you to express our concern about the closed generic Top-Level Domains application for all industries and even more for the insurance & financial industry which is a highly regulated business sector in order to protect the consumers.

"Such a rule would indeed enable particular entities to pre-empt a common interest category with a clear risk of confusion in the customer's mind, a negative impact on competition and customers' protection. Concrete applications such as .autoinsurance, .carinsurance, .insurance, .insure... would be very confusing with the risk — amongst others — that people consider the proposed guarantees as being recommended by the industry... Therefore our association GdV and other insurance associations intend to file community objections.

"Openness and freedom of the internet would also be really endangered and we believe that internet users could be hurt worldwide...

"The diversity of proposed offers could dramatically shrink making more difficult for the different segments of customers to find what fits to their specific needs in terms of products, coverage, service, pricing, mix of distribution networks, advice... On top it would also raise the barrier to entry to entrepreneurs with innovative concepts."

Laurent Leclercq/Michel Krauch. Allianz Group

Mar 07: applications of generic internet domain names

Global Publishers Group Established in 1896 Requests Fair and Equal Access to .book

"I am writing to you on behalf of IPA to express the opposition of the global publishing industry to closed generic gTLD applications. We have a particular concern, should the closed generic gTLD application for the TLD '.book', that was submitted to ICANN by Amazon EU S.a r.l., be successful.

"We do not believe that an individual for-profit company should be able to obtain the right to control all uses of the '.book' ending without any clear guidance that ensures fair and equal access.

"The ending .book is not just a generic descriptor. It has a connotation of quality, authority, scholarship, authenticity. Potential registrants include authors, agents, book shops, fan sites or other publishers or book platforms. For many users it may also indicate an original ownership of, or interest in, relevant publishing rights. This means that there is a particular significance in the ownership of a .book domain name.

"It is in the public interest that the domain name .book therefore remains outside of the control of an organization that has an interest in competing with or exerting economic pressure in a contractual commercial relationship on persons who would like to register such a domain name. Such registrants have a recognised ulterior interest in obtaining and managing such domain names without the constraints of a particular commercial partner.

"A company that clearly puts its own commercial goals ahead of the interests of the authors and publishers of relevant books, should not be given the right to administer a 'closed generic' gTLD application."

Jens Bammel. International Publishers Association (IPA)

(The IPA is an international industry federation of national publishers associations established in 1896. IPA's mission is to promote, protect and raise awareness of publishing as a force for economic, cultural & political development. With a human rights mandate, IPA actively fights against censorship and promotes copyright, literacy and freedom to publish - Ed.)

Mar 08: IPA Comments on closed Generic TLDs

As With Trademarks .cloud Should Be Unrestricted

"We believe that the term 'cloud' in the context of cloud computing is:

"1. A highly generic phrase that is referred to by the industry as a whole and is not under restriction or ownership by any organisations, but has become in essence an industry classification...

"5. Free from a Trademark in its pure form meaning that it is not deemed appropriate as a phrase to trademark. The reasons why cloud could not be trademarked are sensible to compare to why .cloud should not be restricted to a single entity...

"As such, with the market still nascent and evolving and with a level of confusion as to what cloud means it would be counter-productive to restrict the use of .cloud to one organisation... We are supportive of the implementation of an open registry for .cloud and any related action that would enable the use of .cloud domains by any credible cloud service provider."

Andy Burton. Cloud Industry Forum

Mar 04: Objection to applications for a closed registry in the identity of .CLOUD

Detrimental To The Industry

"The Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland strongly opposes any applications for a "closed generic" gTLD, especially if submitted by commercial entities operating in a sector of activity related to the closed generic gTLD.

"In the case of a closed generic gTLD .book, the exclusivity granted to the winning applicant would de facto strengthen the position of the biggest bidder to have sole use of the gTLD in the book industry and would therefore be anti-competitive, discourage innovation and new entrants and be detrimental to the industry as a whole.

"We are therefore asking ICANN not to offer for sale a generic gTLD for .book and other similar words in general usage."

Sydney Davies, The Booksellers Association of The UK & Ireland

(The Association represents 3,580 retail book outlets - Ed.)

Feb 27: Closed Generic gTLDs

Proposal Not Adequately Presented To Business & Consumers

"UKITA (UK IT Association) strongly opposes applications for Closed Generic gTLDs and most specifically for the .cloud gTLD.

• It is monopolistic and anti-competitive

• It favours large organisations over SMEs — it is therefore not in the interests of our members — most of whom are classified as SMEs

• It is against the 'spirit' of the internet

• The proposal has not been adequately presented to all sections of business and consumers who will be affected

• The word 'generic' suggests a generality of availability which a closed gTLD would not be

• It will inhibit innovation and new business formation and thereby employment

• .cloud is FAR too generic and important a term for any one commercial organisation to be allowed to control."

Andrew Corbett. UK IT Association

(The UKITA represents tens of thousands of small, micro and medium-sized IT and digital businesses - Ed.)

Mar 06: Objection to generic closed registry applications for .cloud

Support the Interests of All Who Might Benefit from a Generic Domain

"...We note the application by Symantec to control the .security TLD as a closed domain. We are opposed to anyone operating this domain as closed, because it is not in the best interests of the security industry. Symantec, a vendor of information systems security, simply does not represent security in a broad sense. They do not provide security services such as intrusion alarms, CCTV, access control, security guards, or many other aspects which could reasonably be considered part of a .security TLD.

"...This should be the case whether the proposed domain is '.security', '.computer', '.sale', '.home' or any other generic name. All of these, if allowed to be registered, must be registered as open domains.

"We firmly believe that any company that wishes to operate a generic TLD should support the interests of all who might benefit from that domain. Closed TLDs support only the interests of the company that registers them, and should be rejected when not also in the public interest."

Jason Bere. Fitch Surveillance Systems Inc.

Mar 13: gTLD registration comments and objections

Go to Forum 6



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au time logo — A hypothetical analysis of the new top level domain names — coming in 2013-14.



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