WASHINGTON D.C. - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has released its second Draft Applicant Guidebook concerning the creation of more generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The following statement may be attributed to Michael Palage, Adjunct Fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation and a former ICANN Board Member:
ICANN has addressed a number of concerns of the global Internet community by revising its new gTLD Draft Applicant Guidebook. ICANN deserves credit for its detailed analysis of the numerous comments on the original draft. I'm particularly encouraged that ICANN has removed its proposed 5% global domain name tax on all registry services.
ICANN has commissioned a badly-needed economic study on the dynamics of the domain name system "in broad." Such a study must address how the fees ICANN collects from specific user communities relate to the actual costs of the services ICANN provides. The study should also consider why gTLDs should continue to provide such a disproportionate percentage of ICANN's funding—currently 90%—given increasing competition between gTLDs and ccTLDs.
But ICANN simply kicked the can down the road on the biggest concern: how to minimize abusive domain name registrations and reduce their impact on consumers. ICANN seems only to have made a vague promise to engage in additional outreach and consultation.
Palage is available for comment. Please contact Amy Smorodin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Palage is also the author of "ICANN's "Go/ No-Go" Decision Concerning New gTLDs," available on the PFF website.
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.