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Massive group forms to kill off new gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, November 10, 2011, 15:12:41 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN’s new nemesis is called CRIDO.
Eighty-seven companies and trade groups have formed the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight, a lobby group set up to kill ICANN’s “deeply flawed” top-level domains program.
It’s led by the Association of National Advertisers, which emerged this August as a vocal opponent of new gTLDs and has spent the last few months recruiting allies.
Its new domain,, is registered to the ANA’s PR firm and currently redirects to the ANA’s gTLD microsite.
The new group said in a press release today:

On behalf of its many constituencies and industries, CRIDO is committed to aggressively fighting ICANN’s proposed program, citing its deeply flawed justification, excessive cost and harm to brand owners, likelihood of predatory cyber harm to consumers and failure to act in the public interest, a core requirement of its commitment to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

If the ICANN program proceeds, CRIDO firmly believes, the loss of trust in Internet transactions will be substantial. In addition, the for profit and non-profit brand community will suffer from billions of dollars in unnecessary expenditures – money that could be better invested in product improvements, capital expenditures and job creation.

CRIDO’s members comprise 47 trade associations, most but not all American, and 40 companies, many of them major household names such as Coca-Cola, Burger King and Kellogg.
Together, they have signed a petition to the Department of Commerce, ICANN’s overseer in the US government, asking it put a halt to the new gTLDs program
The questions now are whether Commerce will do anything concrete to address the demands and, if not, whether CRIDO will decide to put its lawyers where its mouth is instead.
Here’s a handy table of all CRIDO’s members.
[table id=3 /]

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Comments (13)

  1. I support this group. It IS flawed. It is nothing that is needed. It is a money grab by ICANN and others and supported by registrars cuz they get to print money.
    On the other hand, I don’t care either way. But it does divert dollars temporarily and that makes companies weaker for pissing money away on something with no real value other than defensive. It then makes it harder for them to justify buying the dotcom once they get stung.
    Whatever happens, it will, happen in a much higher orbit than the domain industry and this group proves it. We are mere by-standers in this conversation.

  2. Gene says:

    There’s no doubt that this consortium has tremendous clout, as a whole, and will be successful in at least slowing down the rollout timeline. That effectively means that the entire gTLD program is in jeopardy of falling apart.
    And if major corporations and trade associations are this united against the program, you can multiple that stance by a factor of ten when it comes to SMBs – which certainly can’t afford to play in this space.

  3. I find it quite interesting that nearly all these companies are from the United States of America.
    This movement of institutions have been fed fear, uncertainty and doubt by ANA. I am still waiting for ANA’s head to reply to my comments in his AdAge article. Nothing gets accomplished when it is a one-way monologue and ANA is not recognizing any benefits of new TLDs or listen to examples on how value can be created. Even the CRIDO site has no credibility. It is a redirect to ANA main website.
    Always good to see some domainers such as the self proclaimed “Domain King” Rick Schwartz oppose new TLDs. Rick, you claim that new TLDs are not needed. What we do not need is domainer spammy, useless parked pages of good .COM domains that you and others own in the thousands asking for 6-7 figures to sell. What we need is competition to these domains that are considered to have zero value from Internet users.

  4. A fellow new gTLD advocate says:

    Great points Constantine, and how ironic that they are using a re-direct to their main web site to deliver this message to the public…
    We’ve seen this before, although this is perhaps the first large-scale organized attempt by a myriad of not-for-profit associations and their respective for-profit constituencies in “harmony” to delay the ICANN process.
    Although I haven’t seen a response from ICANN yet, I’d have to assume that one is in the works…
    CRIDO’s positions on new gTLDs and their demands for “convincing demonstrations” aren’t going to be easily answered by ICANN, if for any reason because they aren’t grounded by an objective framework of assumptions or benchmarks to begin with. And before continuing to organize and issue petitions like these, have they themselves orchestrated a cost/benefit analysis or research initiatives that help argue their negative positions about security risks or the lack of economic benefits that would be associated with gTLDs? To your point, unless they were to engage with entities like yours who would be happy to address and counter their concerns, or had an objective framework for each of their negative assertions (economics, security, trust, cost/benefit), these repetitive approaches lacking foundational arguments are difficult to process. And while brands themselves will have complete control over their business and operating models, without knowing in detail what new communities like .music will launch and bring to market in ways that are designed to improve upon what has challenged registrants historically, its just a broken record of complaints over several years that will continue if they aren’t bound to a more specific and objective criteria that can be measured.
    I noticed that one of the associations on the list is the Radio Advertising Bureau…have you sought out their perspectives? Notably, it would be interesting to see what the total percentage of each of the respective associations membership lists joined the Crido bandwagon, which ones didn’t join it, and why. I’m sure some merely “abstained” and that would be interesting to know as well, not that the ANA would share that with the public or anything anyway.
    As a fellow gTLD advocate, I appreciate your voice and continued leadership on these issues.

    • Thanks for the kind words.
      The issue at hand is that ANA is not listening and not participating in discussions with advocates such as myself that have a clear plan, a strategy and how this current situation can be improved upon for certain communities e.g music.
      Since the ANA head and Esther Dyson do not have the kahunas to answer my questions and criticisms to their false assumptions in the AdAge/internet posts I strongly believe they will fail. Why? Because transparency on the Internet is key and if you are willing to write a blog or article, you should be prepared to take the heat and engage in conversations. ANA and Esther Dyson do not abide towards the multi-stakeholder model. They do love the “my way or the highway approach.”
      In regards to NAB, I have not engaged in discussions with them since they are at most part on the opposite ends to the music community. Again, what is in their best interests of NAB is usually not in the best interests of the music community.

  5. gpmgroup says:

    @ Constantine
    “What we need is competition to these domains that are considered to have zero value from Internet users.”
    Well ICANN’s proposals for new gTLDs are certainly are not the best way to go about creating the sort of competition you are hoping for.
    Parts of the ICANN new gTLD process are so fundamentally flawed quite frankly it is incredible ICANN even had the nerve to present it as a sensible proposal for improving the incredibly successful existing system.
    ICANN’s proposals are not only inequitable to vast numbers of innocent third parties but worryingly they will also do damage to the success of the existing system.

  6. Crystal Ball says:

    This will likely mean more and more lawsuits as ICANN plows forward. The anti-new TLD group takes measures to get their way and then the pro-new TLD camp joins in and sues to get their way. Verisign sits and watches the whole thing play out, waiting for their opportune moment to again have their way and manipulate the .com and .net contracts again as well. ICANN pretty much gave away the .com contract when Verisign pushed back with lawsuits right? Or let me re-phrase that, they gave Verisign a contract that raises the price on domains in perpetuity as a way to settle. . . . I’m sure how negotiating with a settlement with a public contract/resource like that still even worked out but I can’t imagine what sort of giveaways they throw at the registries and all the others who’ll get in line to battle them now.
    Kevin, how big is ICANN’s war chest is atm?

  7. gtld says:

    I think at a time when world finances are on the brink for many, the timing is way off by Icann. Do i think it can be stopped at this point ? ……no

  8. Mukesh says:

    Me to support this group. I Dont Think there is any need of New gTLD.
    There is a lots of ccTLD are having very few registration. Applying For new gTLD will bring a Big loss of money, Time and it will increase Fishing and other cyber crimes

  9. Chip says:

    Of course most of the companies are from the United States of America. Where else does nearly 90% of the online advertising revenue come from? US based consumers make up the VAST majority of the audience that advertisers are trying to reach. If your goal as a company is to have one consistent message, you should have one consistent web address. Different Languages? OK, but their an app for that 🙂

  10. Main Desk says:

    I’m surprised registries such as Neustar, Neulevel, and Afilias don’t seem to care much.

  11. rodash says:

    Putting aside the points about ICANN’s money grab, and hording of parked domains, I’m more concerned about the chaos the unchecked release of gTLDs will create. It will put the Internet back a decade or more.
    In the past 16 years or thereabouts we have seen some structuring taking place through the acceptance of .com, other TLDs and ccTLDs. If you want to find a company, you key in the company’s name followed by .com, and in many instances you end up at the right place. Many organisations have adopted the dot org extension, and you now have half a chance to find non-profit organisations. Even dot TV has been instrumental in this structuring, with some good video-oriented sites popping up under the .TV extension. The masses have begun to understand domain names and their structuring.
    With the onrush of gTLDs, this structuring will go down the gurgler. What we’ll have is a free-form Internet with thousands, or ultimately tens of thousands (or more) of gTLDs, with God knows how many domains hanging off those. A recipe for disaster. How the hell do you find anything in that mess?
    Regardless of what people think about high prices for .com and other TLDs, we are much better working with these TLDs and creating more structure, not less. There is every reason why domain names should be structured, and developed, in parallel lines to the way in which real estate has been developed over the past hundred years or so. The unchecked release of TLDs in a short period of time is the equivalent of a a giant building development company building out the US coastal areas and interiors with millions of new homes overnight – imaging the consequences, both financially and socially, of something like that.

  12. .whatever says:

    The gtld’s are all gonna fail so .whocares?

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