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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
December 19, 2008
(202) 289-8928
Palage Statement on ICANN Draft Proposal to Allow More Generic Top-Level Domains

WASHINGTON D.C. - Yesterday, the Department of Commerce issued comments on the draft proposal by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to allow more generic top-level domains (gTLDs) such as .cars to supplement existing TLDs such as .com. The following statement may be attributed to Michael Palage, Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Internet Freedom at The Progress & Freedom Foundation and a former ICANN Board Member:

"The Commerce Department in its communication has rather eloquently and succinctly summarized the pent-up frustration of the global business community: ICANN is rushing ahead with its proposal to allow more gTLDs without adequately addressing the 'threshold question of whether the consumer benefits outweigh the potential costs.'

"Having been involved with ICANN for a decade and having served on its Board for three years, I've never seen such strong opposition from the global business community to one of ICANN's proposals. This stinging rebuke from Commerce merely confirms the consensus among the 200+ commenters on ICANN's proposal: ICANN needs to do more than merely rethinking its aggressive time-line for implementing its gTLD proposal or tweaking the mechanics of the proposal on the edges. Instead, ICANN needs to go back to the drawing board and propose a process that results in a responsible expansion of the name space, not merely a duplication of it.

"Among other problems, ICANN's draft proposal lacked meaningful safeguards to against abusive registrations of new domain names. This would force businesses to defensively register hundreds or even thousands of domain names just to protect their brands and prevent consumer confusion. This kind of unnecessary expense is the last thing businesses need at a time of global economic downturn."

Palage is available for comment. Please contact Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928 or

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation