ICANN Boss: We're Not Ready To Launch These Half-Baked New gTLDs, So Let's Launch Them

from the this-is-going-to-be-a-disaster dept

We've talked about the fact that the whole "generic top level domain" (gTLD) process was hopelessly corrupt, as it was more or less driven by those who sought to profit from the system -- folks who ran (or hoped to run) domain registration offerings. And, the entire thing seemed based around getting a ridiculous amount of money to launch these new TLDs and then run around convincing companies they need to pay up for new domains before someone else snaps them up.

However, now it's looking like it isn't just the idea that's a disaster, but the execution as well. Domain Incite's Kevin Murphy reports that ICANN's own CEO (who only joined recently), Fadi Chehade, has flat out admitted that they're nowhere close to ready, but things are going to launch anyway. David Mitnick has pulled out some of the key quotes that should be fairly scary, considering they're coming from ICANN's own CEO:
1. "Honestly, if it was up to me, I would delay the whole release of new gTLDs by at least a year."

2. "... a lot of the foundations that I would be comfortable with, as someone who has built businesses before, are just not yet there."

3. "We have people who took six years to write the [new gTLD Applicant] Guidebook and we're asking engineers and software people and third-party vendors and hundreds of people to get that whole program running in six months."

4. "When the number two at IBM called me, Erich Clementi, after we signed the deal with them to do the [Trademark Clearinghouse] he said 'Are you nuts?'. Literally, quote. He said: 'Fadi you've built these systems for us before. You know it takes three times the amount of time it takes to write the specs to build reliable systems.'"

5. "We're facing a difficult situation, we're working hard as we can, our people are at the edge."

6. "I don't mean to scare you, because I know many of your businesses rely on this, but the right people are now in place, we're building it as fast as we can but I want you to understand that this is tough, and I wish it were different. I wish you would all raise your hands and say: 'You know what? Let's take a break and meet in a year'."

7. "I don't want to delay this program, but under all circumstances my mind would tell me: stop."
In other words, this is likely to be a complete and total disaster.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 11:11am

    Don't sweat the small details. The money will gracefully flow in regardless of how flawed it may be.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Andy (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 11:55am

    He's the CEO

    So how is it NOT up to him?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Lurker Keith, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 11:58am

    & they won't learn a thing, will they?

    & even after this turns out to be the unmitigated disaster it looks like it will be, they'll still rush the next thing, because money!

    Hopefully, I'm wrong, people do learn things, & a compotent, truely neutral replacement to ICANN is formed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 12:48pm

    Gone are the days of making sure things are ready before pushing them out the door.
    These days it's all about fixing things later.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:16pm

    Re: & they won't learn a thing, will they?

    Agree. The current amount of corruption in ICANN is what is making ITU and other international organs interested in taking over and some politicians wanting it handed over. Politicians see ICANN as a US favouring organisation and with the comments from Chehade it is clear that the organisation at least is open to such abusive behaviour.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

    Why aren't companies suing ICAAN for trademark infringement for attempting to sell trademarked names that ICAAN does not own the trademark on?
    Certainly I could not sell something and call it SONY, for you to use in commerce, could I?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 2:37pm

    If it doesnt work, we'll create laws to MAKE it work /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Fin, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 2:40pm


    This comment is a nonsense

    I own a printer. I could use it to print books, the same as icann can create gtlds. Should people be able to a sue me because I might be able to print their books?

    Companies frequently sell services such as printed t-shirts, should they be sued..of course not..companies pay them for branded things, as in this situation.

    ICANN aren't auctioning tld's they are creating them on request.

    The only issue I have is with who owns ICANN

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Jasper, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 5:20pm


    The name of the Trademark Clearinghouse is going to be:

    "ip clearinghouse"


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    F!, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 12:32am


    "this is likely to be a complete and total disaster."

    Let's hope it fails mightily. Nobody really wanted these new TLDs anyway. It was just a blatant cash-grab on the order of extortion from the beginning. "Get your company's name as a TLD before your competitor buys it out from under you and you lose it for ever!" Serves them right if it turns into a shitstorm.

    These quotes are the first good thing I've heard about the whole fiasco.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Aztecian (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 7:10am

    The Government Way

    This is very US Federal Government-like.

    Rule 134.5.7 JJJJ: If something is clearly not working, do it harder.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re:

    If you try to sell the books you have printed, yes people can and have sued for this...

    If you have a printer, and access to a large library of books, and I ask you to print 'Twilight' for me, and you do so and charge me $10.00 to cover your costs, you can expect to be sued by the 'owners' of the Twilight IP as they are overzealous IP Maximalists.

    I agree printing copies of books should not be a problem, as long as it's for 'non commercial' use, however what is seen as commerce is being skewed. Lets say you have a website where you provide free copies of 'printed' books to anyone who asks, and you have google ad-sense attached to your page so that you can earn a little revenue (from click thru visitors) to help cover the cost of your server and operating costs. You are no longer 'non-commercial' as the lawyers will argue that you are generating revenue (from Google) and therefor your distribution of free material is not a commercial enterprise.

    Gotta love lawyers, anything to make a buck and ruin people's lives...

    What would Aaron do?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Red Panda, Feb 3rd, 2013 @ 9:49am


    This new gTLD affair embarked on reinventing a brand legislation and jurisprudence, much less flexible than WIPO, and incredibly more costly. A real amateur job.

    Btw, who needs ICANN for new gTLDs? there are open roots available and ready to create new ones on demand.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:16pm

    Re: open-root

    Might be but uses them, and how many web users know how or even care enough to access them?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Advertisement - Amazon Prime Music
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.