Panelist says German-speaking travelers qualify as a community, but objection fails on other grounds.
New top level domain name applicant Donuts has successfully defended a community objection brought against its application to run the .reisen top level domain name.
The German word reisen means “travels” or “journeys” in English.
The objection was brought by the applicant for .reise, which means “traveling” in English.
In coming to his decision, panelist David Cairns painted a very broad definition of what a community is. He determined that the collection of German-speaking travelers is a clearly delineated community.
“The panel considers that the formal boundaries of the community are defined by language and the activity of travel,” he wrote.
This will certainly be disconcerting to other applicants of seemingly generic, wide-ranging terms. My reading is that Cairns would find a word like “baseball” to define a clearly delineated community of English speaking baseball players, fans, equipment manufacturers, etc.
However, Cairns reeled it in a bit when considering the level of opposition brought by the objector. In this case, the objector represents travel businesses that cater to the “German-speaking travel community”, but not the actual traveler:
…the objector expresses its desire to protect the interests of the German travelers, but the fact remains that there is no evidence of significant opposition from German travelers, or even specific sectors amongst German travelers.
Cairns also threw another bone to applicants by pointing out that it’s OK if German travelers face some risk thanks to .reisen. Objectors in several cases have claimed that internet users may assume some sort of community sponsorship and level of protection when visiting a second level domain on a particular TLD. Here’s what Cairns had to say about that:
The Panel notes that many of the risks referred to by the Objector are inherent in the use of the Internet…The use of the Internet requires a certain amount of care by users, and the Objector has not demonstrated that German Internet users will relax their normal levels of care, and suffer detriment as a result, simply because the TLD is a German word…
I’m sure Donuts wishes this logic had been applied in the .architect dispute.