19 March 2017

News Review: New gTLDs Failing, ICANN58 Ends, ICANN in La La Land

News Review | ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly review of internet domain news:

Features •  1. New gTLDs Failing, 2. ICANN58 ends, 3. Important Skills for ICANN Board Members, 4. ICANN CEO Goran Marby re: ICANN data, 5. More ICANN Dysfunction & Incompetence,  6. New gTLDs .CORP, .HOME and .MAIL, 7. LAC DNS Marketplace Study, 8. Amazon.com in Spanish, 9. ICANN in La La Land, 10. Internet Domain News Quick Takes, 11. Three most popular posts, 12. One Last Thing.

1. New gTLDs Failing (new generic top-level domains)--nTLD extensions are already failing | reddit.com--one comment out of many: "nTLD extensions are already failing ... Everyone said the new TLDs were nothing but a money grabbing scheme by the ICANN ... It seems now, some nTLDs seem to be already failing with less than 5,000 active domains and dropping, barely to keep the costs active and they are increasing renewal prices to keep the boat afloat"--For background see last week's 4. Uniregistry plans to hike prices up to 3000% for some new gTLDs.

ICANN's "Grand" Millstone
Graphic: Uniregistry plans to hike prices up to 3000% for some new gTLDs
Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth.--Mike Tyson
Follow-up:
Excerpt from 2008 Letter from U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division
See also: News Review: ICANN Used 'Junk Science' Firm to Justify New gTLDs
One thing is now clear, all of the problems related to, or caused by new gTLDs, are increasingly consuming ICANN's time and resources--from policy-making and reviews, to disputes, IRPs, and litigation, to a myriad of other issues that ICANN failed to "think through" before rolling out its ill-conceived and misbegotten new gTLDs program--and most stakeholders who had objections or serious reservations about the new gTLDs program all along, have since left ICANN, including its "ICANN community," leaving mostly just a gaggle of special interest lawyers and lobbyists, domain name industry "professionals" and a cadre of professional "volunteers"--ICANN pays airfare, hotel, and per diem expenses for an unbelievable number of people to show up at ICANN junkets a/k/a "meetings" (example: ICANN57 (pdf) "travel support"=$918,292.60)  to fill seats, and make it look like ICANN multistakeholderism "works." From appearances at any ICANN gathering, one might think the domain name industry supports new gTLDs unreservedly, the reality is very, very different: There’s no way to sugar-coat it, today we are an industry divided | MorganLinton.com. It's just that ICANN has muffled and driven away the dissenting voices. That's the way "ICANN consensus" in reality works. For those of us "observing" ICANN, it's like watching a slow-motion train wreck. Tip to the wise: watch China's moves between now and the 2018 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference.

2. ICANN58--something is rotten in the state of Denmark--ended Thursday in Copenhagen:

ICANN58 highlights:

a. The failing new gTLD Registry Operators are now seeking financial support from ICANN in the form of reduced fees, and a marketing "awareness" program (which would likely violate ICANN's 501(c)(3) status and other legal prohibitions)--"only 63 new gTLDs have registered in excess of 50,000 names ... literally many hundreds with fewer than 10,000 registrations" (highlighting added):

b. ICANN Dysfunction is Alive and Well: ICANN CEO Goran Marby and ICANN GDD President Akram Atallah blow off ICANN stakeholder Denise Michel's comments and questions about dysfunctional processes of ICANN's Global Domains Division (GDD), ICANN staff ignoring and bypassing ICANN Community and others' objections to amendments to the new gTLD base Registry Agreement:
Source of above: ICANN Copenhagen GNSO Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG) Meeting Tuesday, 14 March 2017 at 9:00 CET transcript (pdf) pp,18-20.

c. New gTLD .WEB:
d. GAC:  CENTR Report on ICANN58 (updated pdf download at link)(excerpt below):
CENTR Report on ICANN58 p. 4
The ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) has 171 members, and 35 observers but only 59 GAC members (35% participation rate with half or more of those receiving ICANN "travel support" (airfare, hotel, per diem stipend) based on ICANN57 data) and only 9 observers (26% participation rate) attended ICANN58--source: GAC Communique (pdf). Accordingly, it appears most governments are not actively participating in the GAC, and, not surprisingly, the GAC secretariat lacks sufficient financial funding. Wither ICANN?

e. Best Quote of ICANN58: ICANN is a prison--
More ICANN58 info, including the GAC Communique, here.

3.  Important Skills for ICANN Board Members--guidance from the ICANN Board to the Nominating Committee (highlighting added)--apparently past and present ICANN Board members lack some or all of these skills. Surprised?

4. Letter from ICANN CEO Goran Marby re: ICANN data (highlighting added):

5.  More ICANN Dysfunction & Incompetence: 

6.  New gTLDs .CORP, .HOME and .MAIL--comment excerpt on circleid.comI don't see why marking those domains as "toxic, reserved forever" isn't a valid response. Dumping the contaminated material into a shipping container and tossing it down a black hole's an efficient way of cleaning up the [new gTLDs] mess (emphasis added).--Background: 6 March 2017 Letter to the New gTLD Applicants for .HOME, .CORP, and .MAIL  from Akram Atallah, President, Global Domains Division ICANN re: new gTLD applications for .HOME, .CORP, and .MAIL, in response to Letter from .HOME Registry Inc. et al. to the ICANN Board [Published 26 August 2016].

7.  Publication of the LAC (Latin America & Caribbean) DNS Marketplace Study | ICANN.org: A consortium led by Oxford Information Labs, LACTLD, EURid and InterConnect Communications conducted the final "LAC DNS Study" (pdf, 3.9 MB), study for ICANN. The report identifies seven key drivers of domain name growth for the region:
  • Defining and refining the sales channel and reversing the trend of falling numbers of ICANN accredited registrars since 2013;
  • Building user awareness of domain names;
  • Making registration policies open and simple;
  • Providing online payment facilities;
  • Ensuring fast activation of new registrations;
  • Reasonable and competitive fees; and
  • Promotions, marketing, and campaigns.
Unfortunately, this "hit and miss" list just skims the surface, and is misleading because it fails to address some core problems in the region.

8. Amazon.com adding Spanish--the first new language on Amazon.com since the website's creation over 20 years ago--"Customers will be able to shop, browse and search for millions of products, view their shopping cart, and place orders in Spanish on Amazon.com and through the Amazon Mobile Shopping app," an Amazon.com Inc. spokeswoman told CNET.com. The U.S. now has more than 40 million native Spanish speakers and over 10 million bilingual Spanish speakers, making it the second-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, after Mexico. Amazon, the world's largest e-retailer, is seeking to not only attract the growing Spanish-speaking population in the U.S., but also Mexico, where Amazon recently launched its Prime subscription service for about $46 a year.

9. If you're returning to, or visiting, ‘La La Land’ a/k/a ICANN headquarters anytime soon--
La La Land: gold marker pin shows ICANN headquarters location (click on map or link for larger map)
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, Santa Monica, offers “Escape to La La Land” package thru March 31, which includes accommodations in a bungalow, a picnic lunch and a dinner for two, a map of Los Angeles marked with locations where the movie is set and two tickets to a show at the popular jazz club Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill & Jazz. From $1,900 a night.--NYTimes.com

10.  Other Internet Domain News Quick Takes:

11.  Three most popular posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com:
  1. News Review: 1. Trademark Squatters; 2. ICANN "Highly Political, Toxic"
  2. TechReview | WikiLeaks Takes A Big Dump On The CIA (video)
  3. LIVE Video Replay: March 15 Federal Reserve FOMC Press Conference
12. One last thing:
"The changing face of the Internet is no longer a matter of public communications, but a matter of public services. And with this observation, we are back to a more basic theme. The essential topic of the conversation is how to strike a sustainable balance between a rapacious private sector that has amassed overarching control of the digital service and content space, and the needs of the larger society in which we all would like some equity of opportunity to thrive and benefit from the outcomes of this new digital age."--Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist at APNIC (emphasis added)

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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