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Thoughts on ICANN Turning Down .XXX

Yesterday, ICANN took a decision to not approve the .xxx in the top-level domain zone. The application was proposed by the ICM Registry.

This is from the official press-release:

“The application has received much public comment and detailed discussion by the ICANN Board. Reflecting the diversity of views this application has generated, the Board discussion at today’s meeting focused on the criteria for the sTLD, especially for sponsorship, and the terms of the contract proposed by ICM, including compliance issues related to key terms associated with public policy concerns. ICM had proposed additional terms in response to issues raised by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee, particularly at ICANN’s meeting in Wellington in March…

ICANN’s Board voted 9 to 5 against the proposed agreement. Votes in favor of the proposed .XXX Registry Agreement were cast by the following Board Members: Veni Markovski, Susan Crawford, Peter Dengate Thrush, Joichi Ito, and Mouhamet Diop. Directors who voted against the approval were Vint Cerf (Chairman), Alejandro Pisanty (Vice-Chairman), Raimundo Beca, Demi Getschko, Hagen Hultzsch, Njeri Rionge, Vanda Scartezini, Paul Twomey (President and CEO), and Hualin Qian.”

There will be many comments on that topic. Some of them can be found at this address.

Whatever the decision, now this is the Board decision, and I stay behind it.

My explanation for my vote is as follows:

I think there should be more new TLDs. Many more.

I believe my vote was not on the controversial issue about content (and ICANN should not deal with content), but on the simple issue if the agreement is good to be accepted. I also wrote on April 22nd in my blog that ICM at least are trying to prevent harmful content reaching our children. I prefer that, than just saying, “.xxx is bad, abolish it”. OK, we did that. Now what?

I don’t believe governments, at the current moment, and with the current by-laws, have more weight on the ICANN Board than anyone else of the stake holders. I hope that our decision will not be interpreted as governments dictating ICANN what to do. If the community believes that should happen, then we need a change in the by-laws.

I think ICM tried to respond to the concerns of everyone—they listened to us, to the community, to the religious groups, to the governments, to the GAC, to whoever else wanted to say something. And they accepted all proposals, remarks, and suggestions to be included in the agreement.

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John Palmer  –  May 12, 2006 10:24 PM

What are they talking about? .XXX already exists:

%dig ns xxx @g.public-root.com

; <<>> DiG 9.3.2 <<>> ns xxx @g.public-root.com
; (1 server found)
;; global options:  printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 65
;; flags: qr rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 2, ADDITIONAL: 1

;xxx.                  IN     NS

xxx.              172800 IN     NS     eugene.kashpureff.org.
xxx.              172800 IN     NS     ga.dnspros.net.

ga.dnspros.net.      172800 IN     A

;; Query time: 2 msec
;; WHEN: Fri May 12 18:12:48 2006
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 100

Oh, sorry - you mean in the restricted USG root where ICANN actually has to approve new TLDs rather than just doing the technical coordination (the ONLY thing they were tasked to do in the first place).

Freedom/Free Market Score: Inclusive Namespace: INFINITY, ICANN: ZERO

Chris McElroy  –  May 18, 2006 4:11 AM

Veni. Again ICANN should not be deciding policy. They are supposed to only decide if the company that wants to create a new TLD is technically capable of doing so. Why is that so difficult for everyone to understand?

Social, business, personal, and political concerns are not technical issues. ICANN is a technical body and not qualified to make social and political decisions.

Chris McElroy AKA NameCritic

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