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
"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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.