Door opened to favor long time new TLD supporters.
A lot of companies have been involved with shaping the new top level domain name process. They’ve spent significant funds over the past several years working through the many drafts of the applicant guidebook and some have been involved since before the first draft was published.
Technically, these early supporters don’t get a leg up in the application process, other than shaping policy to their liking.
Or do they?
During yesterday’s ICANN meeting, Constantine Roussos of the .Music initiative asked if he would get any priority given how long he’s been promoting .music. After all, anyone else can apply for the TLD when applicantions open up as well.
…I would like to discuss the outreach campaign, the communication campaign. I know I have been running with my initiative for years now. And in the DAG, there is no protection for someone like me. To Michael Palage’s point, I do have a trademark in dot music. And we’ve been working on this for years now and trying to communicate what we’re doing to the whole world, and that’s what we’ve been doing.
However, the DAG does not ensure myself and any other applicant that has been around and working on it any fairness, I might say.
I will give you an example. Let’s say the applications start. Some other dot music applicant comes in and says, “Hey, pay me $400,000 to work. We’ll do auction or we’ll do that.” These are real-life scenarios. So there’s a few things that need to be considered.
So if outreach and communication is important, maybe in the DAG you guys can add a point somewhere that says, Hey, if in your community application you’ve done sufficient outreach,” let’s say a year, “then
you get an extra point,” or something that gives a good job for doing something and reaching out.
One of the complaints about new TLDs is that many people don’t know about them, and so there needs to be a level playing field so that “insiders” don’t have an advantage.
That’s why I’m surprised by ICANN Senior Vice President Kurt Pritz’ response:
And I also — I also understand, you know, the almost frustration of you — of you all that have been here for a long time working on this process and honing it, invested your time, not only in building up your brand but also in giving your efforts as a volunteer to making sure the process is as robust as it can be and as fair as it can be.
I understand it will be for us to think about how those who have participated in the process might be rewarded….