Marc Naimark's writing and interviews _____________________________________________________ / How the ICANN top-level domain scheme puts LGBTQ organizations at risk

Posted in internet,, web by marcnaimark on 2013/11/20


This week, the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers isholding its 48th public meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Among those present are representatives of the many companies that have applied to own the hundreds of new generic top-level domains (similar to .com or .org) that ICANN is authorizing. For many years, ICANN was cautious about creating new ones. There are currently a total of 22, including .biz, .name, and .info, as well as the various country top-level domains like .us, .fr, and .uk.

But creating new top level domains is a lucrative operation, and ICANN seems to have gotten greedy. While there are compelling arguments for creating some new gTLDs—as generic top-level domains are often abbreviated—particularly in non-Latin alphabets, it is clear that ICANN and related bodies can generate plenty of revenue from a massive expansion.

The current first wave of creations will take the number of gTLDs from 22 to more than 1,400. Anyone with the money to file—it costs $185,000 just to apply—and follow through on an application could propose a gTLD. The cost of the process was behind the significant opposition to the scheme, particularly from brand owners who are now pressured to apply not only for their own brand as a gTLD (.chase, .omega, .qvc, for example), but may now be compelled to purchase new gTLDs in their area of business to protect their existing trademarks. (For example, Nike may feel the need to purchase the domain name, if only to prevent another firm from doing so.) (more…)

Advertisements / Sochi update: Are Russian organizers co-opting the rainbow?

Posted in Olympics, Pride House,, sport, Uncategorized, web by marcnaimark on 2013/11/07


Earlier this week, Thomas Bach, the newly elected president of the International Olympic Committee, was in New York for the approval by the U.N. General Assembly of the resolution declaring an Olympic truce.

The Olympic truce, a call for peace and understanding during the Olympics, hearkens back to the custom of ekecheiria during the ancient Olympics. It is now the practice of the U.N. General Assembly to approve a resolution calling for an Olympic truce prior to each Olympiad, appealing to all nations to refrain from warfare during the games. Back in September, the New York Times announced a diplomatic victory for opponents of Russian anti-gay laws who had obtained a change in the text of the resolution proposed by Russia. At the time, the progress already seemed paltry, and when the final version of the resolution was published yesterday, the victory seemed even more pathetic. The eight words in the 1,700-word resolution can be found at the end of this sentence: “Welcoming the significant impetus that the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games give to the volunteer movement around the world, acknowledging the contributions of volunteers to the success of the Games, and in this regard calling upon host countries to promote social inclusion without discrimination of any kind.”

It’s a very fuzzy paragraph, but apparently discrimination is fine for athletes, but not for volunteers.