The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse, having spent quite a lot of time and effort opposing ICANN’s new top-level domains program, wants ICANN to name the date for a second round.
In a letter to president Rod Beckstrom today, which was inspired by discussions at the recent What’s At Stake conference, CADNA president Josh Bourne writes:
We ask that the ICANN Board request an Issues Report to formally initiate a policy development process to determine when the next round of new gTLD applications will occur, thereby affirming its commitment to opening a second round in a timely manner.
As I’ve noted previously, ICANN has not named the date for the second round so far because it’s promised the Governmental Advisory Committee that it will review the first round first.
But businesses from outside the domain name industry are feeling like they’re being pressured into making a decision whether to apply for a gTLD they don’t necessarily want, Bourne says.
By not disclosing when it will open future rounds of new gTLD applications, ICANN is creating a condition of scarcity that will inevitably result in a massive land rush, where entities will scramble to apply for new gTLDs for the sole purpose of hypothetically “future-proofing” their identities in the new domain name space, without any immediate intentions to use their new gTLDs for innovative means.
Disclosing when it will open a second application round will not only alleviate the anxiety that businesses are feeling, it will give ICANN the chance to quell the animosity that has developed toward it among the business community.
The whole letter is worth a read. No matter what you think of CADNA, it’s difficult to argue with Bourne’s points (though please do so in the comments if you disagree).
Scare sales tactics are already a key source of mainstream hatred for the domain name industry at the second level. Now would be a good time to prevent the same thing happening at the top level too.
It will look very bad for ICANN in a few years’ time if the root is cluttered with useless, unused gTLDs created just because companies felt pressured into defensive applications.