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Interview of Paul Twomey - CEO of ICANN

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Internet Technologies Domain Names World News Magazine sponsored by Domaine and ICANN Present ICANN Paris France - June 2008 Interview of Paul Twomey CEO of ICANN A NovaMedias®Production Sponsored by interviewer>>Paul, hi, how are you doing? Paul>>Good Sam, how are you? >>Good to see you in Paris, finally. Paul>>Good to be here. Sam>>So this 32nd ICANN summit is very rich. Rich in terms of participations, and rich in terms of announcements about the new changes. The first issue I would like to talk about is this new announcement, about the opening of the new TLD's, new extensions, which is going to provide a lot of new domain names, possibilities for everybody. Can you please explain to us who can apply for new extensions? How this process is going to take place in ICANN Who's going to decide it? And finally, how such a new measure will be profitable for the end user? Sam, the last two years the ICANN community has been working through a policy of how to liberalize, how to free up the opportunity to apply for a Top Level Domain, so this is something after the dot, and its a complex issue. They've got a lot of policy work on it. And it has come up to the board for approval, but the board has said to the executive staff, before we approve this, we need you to go away and figure out, is this implementable? So we've spent the last 12 months looking at if you can implement this. The report back here in Paris basically for the staff is yes you can. You can implement this. So on Thursday during the board meeting its likely the board will be asked to approve the policy, approve that we are going to liberalize the market, and then move forward writing out the details of how the licenses will be issued, how we are actually going to run the implementation process. Its a pretty exciting time, pretty exciting time. Its pretty clear what we need to say is, what is after the dot? Its not like getting a domain name. Its not like just getting a This is about getting that thing after the dot. And its going to be open. People can apply. But its not just first come, first serve, sort of easy getting it. You have to be able to show that you've got a business, that you've got the technical capacity to write a registry, or that you've got a party that runs a registry. You've got the computing capacity. And then people are going to have to be able to put forward a strength, and pay an application fee which will be a reasonably expensive fee because we are required to recoup our costs as a sort of cost neutral approach to this. We've already spent millions of dollars in doing all of the policy development work, and then there will be an ongoing fee. So, if you want to use an analogy, its like we're going for 5 broadcasting channels, and people now have the opportunity to run a cable TV network. So we are going to move from 5 to maybe hundreds or thousands of channels, and people have a chance to bid for the channels. But you'll have to be able to run a channel, so the difference is, its not like putting up your home videos on youtube. That's more like getting a domain name. And what does it mean for business in particular? Well I think its two fold. One is that businesses may want to apply, if they've got a brand they want to have as an email address or to promote their particular brand. We've seen big companies talking about that one. One of the companies is ebay. They want to consider a dot ebay. The second one is companies considering protecting their intellectual property rights. There's a very specific objection available. So that people can actually say, hang on, I have my intellectual property rights, my trademarks, I want to protect those. So their is an objection process that they can go to have independent arbitrators say, no, this trademark is protected. So its an exciting time. More people can open. And also there will be opportunities for people to specifically object on key things. One I've already mentioned is there will be independent arbitration processes run by world renowned arbitration centers on intellectual property rights, existing rights. Secondly, if you put an application in that looks like the existing registries, that could be confusing, so you put in .kom, well thats confusingly similar with com. That's ground for objection. The third one is if there's a community that is affected, it looks like its in the name of this community but the community doesn't think its applicable, they will have a chance to object. And a lot of that origin is in parts of the developing world and elsewhere. There are communities, I know in Thailand, there are Buddhist communities, there for 1500 years, people well know the name, its an associated community, but they wouldn't have a trademark. So how do they have a right to say, well listen, thats our name and the people putting this forward represent our community. It's a new sort of opportunity but its an objection. And the final objection put forward to us was the objection for morality of public order. Its a phrase that comes out of patent law, its reflected in quite a number of international treaties, and we will have a renowned international arbitration body who can actually take those objections. ICANN itself will not be making any of these decisions. So we are very careful. We recognize there has to be grounds for protection of some of those issues, but we will not be making those decisions. We don't decide what's morality of public order, but there will be a renowned international arbitration organization that will be making those judgements. against international treaty like standards. There are a lot of types of applications and I think a lot of them will just simply proceed very easily, but some of them will potentially have objections. Sam>>Considering the person applying for a new extension must have legitimacy? Paul>>Yeah. Part of this is about producing competition of choice, and why we are doing this. We are doing this to give registrants a much greater choice and some competition to the existing players. And we are also doing very importantly in characters, not just roman characters. For the first time we will be allowing characters in languages apart from roman characters to the right of the dot. This is a huge issue. Huge issue. [Sam; inaudible question] Paul>>Right. Well it has to be confusingly similar, and people can appeal and say that's confusingly similar to mine. But people might say that that's not confusingly similar. Just because you are titling the same market doesn't mean its confusingly similar. So we want to have as much open competition here, but there will be an objection ground. And importantly, we will be supporting characters from the non Roman character set, we'll be supporting accents and graphs and things that have not been there previously. This is going to be a great opportunity. There's going to be many people in developing countries, in South Asia, East Asia, other parts of the world, the Arabic world. We are really interested in having the ability to have identity in their own language and character set. And for businesses who want to put a new niche, new markets. Domain names have become a form of identity. And this is about letting people express identity, finding new ways of expressing their identity Find ways promoting communities of interest. What its going to be like in 5 years time is going to be fascinating. Sam>>If I want to create, for example, tomorrow dot amour, how many chance I have as an individual? As an individual, you have every chance that you can apply for something like that and proceed if their are no objections, and importantly, you're the only person applying, you'll go very quickly. If other people apply, we'll ask you to work it out amongst yourselves, and if there are still other people applying, we will put it to auction to let one party get it. So amour is a good example. Early this week I was mistakenly referring to the potential to be a dot hate TLD and I don't think there is likely to be a dot hate TLD. And even if someone put forward that sort of thing, there will be an opportunity for people to appeal on that opportunity of being against public order and morality. And we will have an independent 3rd party decide whether that's true or not. [Paul inaudibly talking] Sam>>And the cost can be, for me, for example if I want to apply around? The pricing of the fees has not been finalized yet. What we have done is we've actually spent a lot of money on working this all through and the policy that's been put to us by our community is that it should be cost recovery. So we're spending something like 10 million dollars at least in this process and so we have to figure out how that amortizes across the applications. If there's just one application, its going to be very expensive. But we expect there to be multiple applications and so we're still working through what that fee will be. But my guess is we're talking five maybe six digits sort of type fees. It's not going to be six dollars fifty. Sam>>Can you please just give us some more information about the last issues on IDNs? Paul>>Well IDNs is having extensions after the dot in characters apart from Roman characters. And if you want an analogy, the internet was built with the domain name system like the brick columns in a 15 story building. And it supports the whole building. Now we built the columns in Roman characters. We built them in red brick. Now we are going through and changing them into every language in the world. So we're changing the bricks, brick by brick, into multiple colors. What ICANN has to make certain is the windows still keep opening, the doors keep opening, the lift keeps working as we are being very careful here. And the standards, we'll get lucky to get finalized in several months time and then we will be allowing two things to happen, probably, if the meeting proceeds the way it seems to be proceeding. One is, in March-April next year, people can apply for what we call generic top level domains, a domain that people all around the world. And that could be in any character set, so it could be in Sanskrit, it could be in Japanese, it could be Arabic, it could be in English. The second part is that we are very carefully starting the process whereby country codes. Things like dot fr, dot uk, dot de. dot ru if you want an example for Russia. Gradually we are fitting a process where they can make the conversion also. So that they will be in IDN and these new character sets. That's a very careful process because you can imagine all of the policy implications around that. But that will also, I think, start at the same time. Sam>>Thank you very much. I know that you are very busy today so we're going to have an occasion to see each other later. Pual>>Very good. Sam>>Thank you very much. A NovaMedias® Production Director Sam Syamak Bavafa Camera Gregory Van Den Berghe Photography/Sound Christian Lenk Journalist Sam Syamak Bavafa Post Production Bruno Bebert Editing Thierry Lopez ®Copyrights 2008 All rights reserved Your comments and reactions are welcome Vos commentaires et reactions sont les bienvenues [email protected]

Video Details

Duration: 12 minutes and 27 seconds
Country: France
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Producer: - ICANN
Director: Sam Syamak Bavafa
Views: 1,014
Posted by: icann on Jun 27, 2008

32nd Icann Meeting
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