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The Petition


I strongly urge ICANN to reject New Top Level Domain applications for words that represent a broad market sector or have broad use and meaning, and that for which the applicant has no trademark rights and is proposing a closed registry business model...

I do so for the following reasons:

1.Closed generic word registries defeat the mission and purpose of ICANN, The New gTLD Program and are not consistent with the Affirmation of Commitments with the U.S. Dept of Commerce.

2.Closed broad market generic registries are harmful to the public interest in that they will restrict freedom of expression, innovation, opportunity and will result in unfair competition in the market sectors represented by the TLD.

The purpose of the New gTLD Program as stated on the ICANN New gTLD site, "is to promote competition in the domain name market."... "The ICANN New gTLD Program was initiated to bring much needed competition to the end user domain name marketplace. Closed generic word registries defeat these purposes and are harmful to the public interest. By their definition, closed registries do not add supply and choice to the end user market for domain names...

There is great potential for public harm in the form of restricting freedom of expression and innovation as well as unfair competition in industries represented by a TLD.

I urge you to disqualify and reject all TLD applications that seek to close generic word registries to public use.

[Your name]

Visit to read the full text here and sign the petition.





Rising Opposition

As awareness of the internet "land grabs" by some of the world's largest and most powerful corporations grows, so too grows the opposition to the colossal unfairness of it all.

Right at a time when the internet is undergoing massive growth year over year (often at the expense of traditional bricks and mortar firms) a handful of wealthy companies are reaching out to scoop up sole rights to some of the most commercially valuable generic words in existence. Words like "shop". Words like "news". Words like "apps".

There are no signs that the web's phenomenal growth is going to slow down any time soon. It's far more likely that the coming domain name explosion of more than 1,000 new extensions will actually accelerate that growth. So it's become imperative that the distribution of this gigantic pool of strategic assets be distributed as fairly as can be to as many people as possible around the globe. Particularly in developing countries.

Instead, there is a clear and present risk of further disadvantage to the third world.

These new domain names comprise the potential blueprints for millions of future businesses and the well-being and prosperity of countless people will depend on them.

Instead, there is a genuine risk that in many of the world's most valuable market segments the opposite will happen — as expressed by the opinions of the many people whose thoughts are reported at SuperMonopolies. And on the petition.

Intro to the Petition

At the beginning of February 2013 Tom Gilles of launched an important petition at

Petitioning The Board and Government Advisory Committee of ICANN

ICANN: Stop Corporate Takeover of New Internet Names

Help us Preserve the Open Internet Namespaces

The introduction to the petition gives an excellent explanation of the risks at stake:

"Do you think Amazon should own every website that ends with .music, .shop, or .book? Should L'oreal have exclusive right to every .salon, .beauty, .skin website address?

"...some companies are trying to exploit loopholes in the process to control these namespaces entirely for themselves, shutting out individuals and other businesses from these valuable new web addresses.

"If companies like Amazon and others have their way, there will be no .MUSIC website names available for musicians and bands, No .SALON domain names for real salon owners, no .APP web addresses for app developers. There are over 100 high profile New TLDs that companies are trying to prevent anyone else from using."

A key point here lies in the intrinsic value of the proposed new domain extensions. Words like "game", "movies" and "beauty" are some of the most valuable cultural and commercial categories on the planet and are scheduled to become domain strings. These general, dictionary words belong to all people equally. It would be immoral for any one corporation to exclusively "own" any generic word. Owning a closed domain registry is similar to owning a "virtual trademark" on that particular word. So it's vital that ICANN regulates the sales and distribution of the new domains in the fairest way possible.

"These attempts to restrict access are an abuse of the system... These takeover attempts have potential to give large companies enormous power in their respective markets. If Amazon alone controls all web addresses ending with .music, .app, .book and others they will wield an enormous competitive advantage in these markets online. The result would be further consolidation of wealth at the top.

"...There are millions of new small businesses that could use a .SHOP name for their website. But Amazon wants them all.  No single company should be sole arbiter of how these new names can be used for innovation, expression and commerce.

"ICANN and its Government Advisory Committee are obligated to protect the public interest and listen to public comment. This petition can make a difference!"

Visit to read the full text and sign this important petition.

The Independent Objector (IO)

To broaden the options available to anyone wishing to object to any of the new domains, ICANN created the role of Independent Objector. The IO has the authority to object to any of the new gTLD applications provided certain grounds are met. The IO role also appears to make it financially possible for countless individuals (who would have been otherwise prohibited) to allow their voice to be heard.

"One component of the objection process is providing for an Independent Objector (IO) function. The IO is impartial and is unaffiliated with any particular Internet community. Acting solely in the best interests of the public who use the global Internet, he will object to highly objectionable gTLD applications that would be contrary to their interests..."

Read details at the IO website.

One of the main criteria the IO will look for prior to lodging an objection with ICANN about any domain applications is the level of community objection. Hence it is of utmost importance that as many people as possible sign the petition. If the petition achieves its aim of more than 100,000 signatories, then nobody will be able to deny that we are a substantial global "community".

"Community Objection — There is substantial opposition to the gTLD application from a significant portion of the community to which the gTLD string may be explicitly or implicitly targeted...

"the IO may consider public comments when making an independent assessment whether an objection is warranted. It includes, but is not limited to the comments received and posted on the ICANN Website... The IO may also take into consideration other publicly posted information that can be clearly referenced...

"...public comments are of a fundamental importance for the public who use the global Internet and who would like to invite the IO to file an objection against a specific application."

The Independent Objector is highly respected Professor Alain Pellet. He is a professor of Public International Law and has represented various governments as Counsel and Advocate in the International Court of Justice. Prof Pellet is also a former member and Chairperson of the International Law Commission of the United Nations. More info about the IO can be seen at the IO website.



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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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