Thursday, 12 November 2009

Pre applications on new TLD's

As mentioned in a previous post there's a group of people trying to speed up the new gTLD process. They suggest that applicants should express an interest in applying so that ICANN will get a better understanding of the so called overarching issues.

ICANN is now seeking input and advice in this matter. In my opinion it seems like a political multi stakeholder move from ICANN rather than a sincere wish to start a process and a procedure for such a "pre application round". A procedure and process that should be coordinated with the ongoing work on DAG4.

In my opinion it will also be quite difficult to create such a pre application round and thereby exclude applicants that will not apply before having seen final guidebook - and if new applicants that didn't sign up and deposit money in the pre application round are not excluded, it will be hard to see the relevance of any pre application.


  1. Do you believe the final guidebook will change significantly enough to impact applicants to warrant such risk? What ICANN is dealing now is the overarching issues. Most of these are beyond applicant's control.

    Look at the overarching issues. Those are the main pending issues for final guidebook. We are talking trademarks (beyond applicant control), stability/security (beyond applicant control), Registry/Registrar integration and malicious behavior (beyond applicant control), economic/market demand (beyond applicant control). Do these issues warrant any risk? All applicants know these issues and want them resolved. However the solutions posed right now for those issues would not affect applicants' decision to not go forth with applications.

    The guidebook is pretty much set minus those overarching issues. The advantages to preapplications are many. ICANN no longer has a range in mind and will know the exact number of applications/strings which is for better planning and for addressing the stability issue. That is one advantage. It also gives a lot of advantages to applicants as well as brings all the "stealth" applicants out in the clear.

    The ones not wanting to be included in the first window and dont want to do a preapplication can wait for the next window of opportunity to come up. If they are worried about a deposit of money they should just drop out the process altogether. It just shows their application not well funded or not serious enough. And by the way, it was not ICANN that came up with the Expressions of Interest. It was presented by a group of serious applicants that represent the applicant community. I have not seen any prospective applicant say no to this proposal.

    If there is, I would like to know the reasoning. Unless the reasoning is the "stealth" excuse.

    Constantine Roussos

  2. Hi Constantine.

    Thanks for your input. First of all I do know where the suggestion came from - this post was based on the fact that ICANN is now seeking input and advice.

    And now to the real issue. I agree that final guidebook will probably not change that much and I agree that open issues are the so called overarching issues. And I agree that everybody would benefit from knowing how many and which applications to expect. I also agree that your application - as an applicant for .music - would most likely not be affected by potentiel minor changes in final guidebook.
    There is however one premiss that you seem to forget. My clients are brand owners and some of them don't see the program as an opportunity like you. They are going to apply if they have to - primarily for defensive reasons and for these brandowners policy is of out most relevance and it will affect weather or not they are applying.

    I'm not saying that you are incorrect but there is a fundamental difference in these approaches which influence the debate in a pre application round and I still have a very hard time seeing a design in a pre application round that will give ICANN a exact (as you say) picture of applications unless you ask people and companies to sign up for something whitout knowing the program. And if a pre application round is only suppose to give an estimate I have a hard time seeing the value in such a round.

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