Public comments on new TLD applications range from boring to misinformed.
Anyone with an email address (and I do mean anyone) can comment on any one of the nearly 2,000 top level domain applications.
As of right now there are 161 submitted comments, mostly covering just a handful of proposed top level domains.
Many of the comments are predictable. As we saw with .xxx, religious folk do a good job with email blast campaigns. So there’s plenty of “support” for Life Covenant Church’s .church application (and someone telling a detractor he will burn in hell).
Eflux.art has put together some campaigning as well, getting a number of artists to write in to support its application for .art.
.Patagonia is attracting a lot of comments because it is geographical, although the applicant is a company of the same name (Patagonia, Inc.). One commenter says they’d be “offended” if the domain were awarded to an enterprise. I hate when people use the word “offended” too loosely. It evokes emotion, so people throw it out there. But c’mon, I wouldn’t be offended if someone create a domain with Texas in it.
Unless it was some New Yorker or something. Then I’d be offended.
There’s also someone who missed the point of Verisign’s transliterations of .com domains. There are at least two complaints from someone who points out that if you heard one of the transliterations on the radio, you wouldn’t know if you should type in .com or the transliteration:
Hearing a website address (through for example a phone, radio, etc) that ends with the phonetic sound (ˈkɑːm) by an Arabic-speaking user will cause him/her to bewilder about the correct website whether it’s under the Latin TLD (.com) or the Arabic IDN TLD (.كوم). Thus, it may direct the user to the wrong website.
The commenter objects due to string similarity.
I think he missed the memo that VeriSign is going to attach these domains to the existing IDN.com (ASCII TLD) domain. So you wouldn’t land on the “wrong” web site.
That said, if you have an IDN.com and you don’t pay to “unlock” the IDN.IDN, then I suppose the person wouldn’t be able to find your web site. I hadn’t thought about that before now. (And I still think ICANN’s contract for these domains should stipulate that they are attached to the .com contract.)
Then there’s the person who says that the domains .oldnavy (applied for by The GAP) and .navy (applied for by Demand Media) violate Australian Law. Ian Campbell of the Royal Australian Navy – Department of Defence writes:
Within Australia the Defence (Prohibited Words and Letters) Regulations 1957 prohibits the use of the word ‘Navy’ by persons or organisations outside of the Royal Australian Navy unless the Minister for Defence or his delegate gives their consent for the use.
Oh yeah, well I’ll sick my country’s navy on your country’s navy and see what happens.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the GAC objects to .navy (but they wouldn’t overreach and go after the brand TLD .oldnavy). This comment just goes to show how difficult it will be dealing with GAC objections. The term “navy” doesn’t belong to Australia or any other country. But they all will feel that their individual rules should apply to the world.