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dotgay and the public interest

One of the important facts about the dotgay LLC community application for the .gay domain name is the guarantee to give 67% of profits from the sale of domain names back to the community in the public interest. Another important fact is that they have not waited for the domain name to be allocated to give to the public interest. They have been giving to the Internet public Interest since day 1.

For the past years, dotgay LLC has been one of those helping to support efforts in Internet governance oriented around human rights and empowerment of users on the Internet.  One component of their generosity involves my work. Together with several NGOs, they have contributed toward my independent work on human rights, Internet rights and technology to support human rights concerns.

Among the activities which they helped to fund:

  • Extensive participation in ICANN activities, including work on human rights impact, and accountability.
  • Participation in World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) activities that involve Freedom of Expression and ICT for Development.
  • Participation in US delegation to World Summits on ICT issues advising the US delegation on non commercial issues including those of LGBTQIA community users.
  • Support of early work on research to discover protocol considerations that affect the use of the Internet for freedom of expression and of assembly.  This work has led to the creation of HRPC  a candidate research group in the Internet Research Task Force.

Beyond this, dotgay LLC supported grants for LGBTQI individuals from countries where the gay community is endangered, to attend international fora.

dotgay LLC is one of the funders that enabled me to do the work that brought me the first annual ICANN Multistakeholder Ethos award in 2014 while still being able pay my mortgage and put food on the table.  Without their support, I would have been hard pressed to continue at times.

All of this was done without any quid pro quo;  done without any sort of policy ‘guidance’ or special requests.  This is a rare form of generosity and commitment to the cause of the public interest.   It is time that I recognize this and thank Scott Seitz, the leader of dotgay LLC, for his approach to the public interest.

Thanks!

The struggle for Gay Community visibility online.

The coming out of the gay community over the last two (2) centuries has been instrumental in the survival of the LGBTQIA individuals who make up that community.   It is good to go back to description in the dotgay LLC application:

While gay individuals have always existed, visibility of these individuals only began in the 19th century. One of the first movements for the human rights of the Gay Community was initiated by Magnus Hirschfeld (Scientific Humanitarian Committee, 1897). In the 20th century a sense of community continued to emerge through the formation of the first incorporated gay rights organization (Chicago Society for Human Rights, 1924). In the ensuing years additional organizations continued to emerge, but it was a watershed event in the streets of New York City that would kick-started what would become known as the modern gay rights movement. At the Stonewall Bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village in June 1969 male and female homosexuals, bisexual, transgendered, intersexed and allied patrons fought back against routine police raids on gay bars in the Village and the events of that evening spiraled into several nights of riots in the streets.  The ensuing mayhem helped not only galvanize the Gay Community and moved many individuals out of the dark bars and into the comparatively brighter streets, but resulted in global media coverage that had the unintended effect of both launching the modern gay rights movement and connecting gay individuals around the world to a larger Gay Community. For those gays living in remote parts not only of the US but of the world, knowledge of an angry mob of gays in New York City gave otherwise isolated individuals a community to finally identify with.

To commemorate the anniversary of Stonewall, three American cities organized “gay pride” demonstrations one year later. At this writing hundreds of gay pride celebrations occur around the world and an international organization of Pride Organizers called InterPride has been created.

Many of the descendants of these and other historical organizations have endorsed dotgay LLC to lead the quest to establish a corner of the Internet where the online gay community can achieve a genuine global visibility that is under the communty’s control.  This will contribute to a global goal of freedom, safety and opportunity for our community.

Together with the giants of gay community visibility on whose shoulders we stand, #yes2dotgay

Further information on the dotgay LLC campaign for gay community visibility.

The new predicatabity as an enabler for innovation within the gay community.

The previous entry discussed the the importance of the new predictability for safety on line.  The new predictability online is important not only in itself but for the opportunity it allows for innovation by the gay community within its online space: innovation in the social network, innovation in travel services, innovation in business services, and innovation that can’t be foreseen before the community TLD .gay is established

In contrast to non community TLDs that auction off all of the most useful names, like center, sport, lawyer, travel, or repair, dotgay LLc will be reserving names like these in order to build a service that allows for bona-fide gay registrant services and businesses to optionally link their domain names to a set indices that identify the services they offer and, also optionally, help to geo-locate that business for customer convenience.  The no-fee optional community index is one of the features that is being planned by dotgay LLC.  If the community name is approved, every registration, such as Jills-emporium.gay would be offered the opportunity to register its service and its customer area in a dotgay LLC database. A gay customer, lets say a couple living in Providence RI, who wanted to find an electrician that could be trusted to come into their home, would be able to use a user friendly application to find the gay community electricians in the Providence area, including a reference to Jill’s Electrical Emporium.

Such an index could be created by any TLD, but could one not being regulated or monitored the gay community gTLD registry and its multistakeholder community advisory board ever be trusted?  Such a service depends on the trust the community gTLD builds with its community. A trust that will never be found within those gTLDs who sell any name to any one who has the money to pay the price.

This is but one of the service innovations that are being contemplated for a safe .gay domain space, one were we can predict gay community safety instead of anti-gay threat and exploitation. There are more ideas cooking, but they are all held in abeyance waiting for the powers-that-be to decide that we are gay enough and community enough for ICANN.

So, #yes2dotgay for a predictably safe space where the gay community can thrive, can be bold and can innovate the creation of new services and ways for us to interact and thrive.

More information on dotgay LLC and its plans.

ABCs of a community .gay

dotgay LLC, and the application for a community run .gay domain name, has been through the wringer in the last years. The ICANN process is challenging for anyone, especially a small team on a limited budget.  The process ICANN built is not easy for small enterprises and is hostile to community applicants.  ICANN built a process, contrary to the policy recommendations, to satisfy the interests of large corporations with buckets of money which put smaller players and communities at a disadvantage.  The dotgay LLC team has persevered, and despite having been cheated once in its effort to get the prized Community designation, appealed that decision, prevailed, and has been given another chance at evaluation.  This second Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) is ongoing and we have every hope that this time they will get it right.

While the second CPE is ongoing, dotgay has initiated a effort to remind ICANN and the community of the work done by the gay community and dotgay LLC together over the last years to establish the .gay gTLD.  In the midst of the struggle with ICANN, some of the promise of dotgay LLC has been pushed into the background.  While this is normal when struggling for survival, it is important to remember the reasons we are trying to survive.

In the series starting this week, which starts with a piece on The Future of .gay, dotgay will “recap the journey and explore some of the unique features a community .GAY offers, starting with the unprecedented opportunity to create a trusted and gay-friendly Internet space for the gay community.

While we continue the struggle to get recognition for the gay community as the authority for its own TLD – its own safe place on the net, let’s remember all the reasons for doing so.

 

ICANN’s processing of applications

Update

It has been a while since I updated this web site. The processing of applications went into a lull, but is now moving ahead full force. To catch up, it has been madness at ICANN. But the dotgay LLC crowd has been busy keeping up with the changing procedures.

  • The most important bit of news is that the dotgay LLC application has passed its initial evaluation.  While this does not mean all is ready to go, it does mean dotgay LLC’s .gay is qualified to go live.  Briefly, the steps that still need to be climbed  include:
    • The Objection period needs to run its course.  A list of objections and an explanation of the process is available from the International Chambers of Commerce Dispute Resolution Center.
      • dotgay LLC received one objection from  the Metroplex Republicans of Dallas.  dotgay LLC is currently engaged in the dispute resolution process and is attempting to resolve Metroplex’s issues.
      • Each of the standard applications for .gay, and the application for  .lgbt, also received an objection from ILGA, which was submitted on behalf of several global LGBTQIA, i.e. gay, community organizations.
    • The standard applications competing with dotgay’s application still need to complete their initial evaluations.  It will be several months before they have completed the process.
    • If any of the standard applications complete initial evaluation successfully, and the probability is that they will, then dotgay LLC’s application for .gay will need to undergo review by the Community Evaluation Panel (CEP) to determine whether the dotgay application trumps all the other applications and can complete its way to registration unhindered.  The CEP is a very grueling test, and as no one has ever taken this test yet, it is uncertain how any applicant will do.  dotgay LLC has every confidence that it will succeed in this evaluation.  Should dotgay fail to trump the standard applications in the CEP, however, then there would be a auction to see which of the applicants was wom the contract for .gay.  While this community, the dotgay community has shown great support for dotgay LLC’s application with over a 150 letters of support, we may come back to the dotgay-community asking it to show its support again when the CEP occurs. CEP processing is scheduled to begin in September.
    • Assuming that this is successful, then .gay, as a community TLD, will negotiate its contract with ICANN and prepare to go live.
  • A new Trademark Clearing House (TMCH) has been created by ICANN to assist Trademark holders in gaining priority for  obtaining their trademark as a second level domain name.  Members of the dotgay-community who have trademarks and who wish to take advantage of the TMCH will need to submit their trademarks to the TMCH.  Members of the dotgay-community who register trademarks with the TMCH will be able obtain domain names during the Sunrise period once the .gay has been approved.
    • For members of the dotgay-community who do not have trademarks, dotgay LLC will hold a Sunshine period where any dotgay-community member that has had a domain name obtained before May 1, 2012 on an IANA-recognized TLD will be able to register before open registration for other dotgay-community members.
    • Note any members of the gay community that wants to protect their trademarks in other of the 1900 possible new TLDs, should also consider registering in the TMCH.
  • An Interest group of Community TLD applicants has been formed within ICANN and is working to try and help ICANN to understand how community TLDs are different from standard TLDs.  This group is called Community TLD Applicants Group (CTAG).  And interview with the author of this blog on the history of community TLD was published by the CTAG on CircleId.

Detailed news on the minutia of the New gTLD process at ICANN is available.

It is my intent to update this website on the process weekly going forward.

Why create a dotgay-community.org blog

Why create a dotgay-community.org blog

The basis of the dotgay LLC .gay application is the community.

  • The community that helped dotgay write our application
  • The community that sent over 150 letters of support for the dotgay application
  • The community that will guide .gay operations through the advisory board
  • The community that will receive 67% of dotgay LLC profits on domain name sales through a foundation that the community will also guide
  • The community that dotgay will  serve

The dotgay-community.org blog’s will include the following activities:

  • Informing the community on issues in Interent governance that affect the community
  • Alerting the community to the Internet related threats the LGBTQIA peoples of the world are currently living under
  • Getting community feedback on issues

Starting dotgay-community.org

Starting dotgay-community.org

I was sent to WTSA, WCIT and the ILGA 2012 by dotgay LLC, the community choice for the new domain name .gay.

During this trip it occurred to me that it was about time to start the gay community blog on Internet governance that I had mused about for a while.

Over the 2012 holiday season, I will start populating this blog. It is a site under construction and I am sure that it will undergo various changes in look and feel until I find the one I am happy with.

So bear with me. I am working on it.

Avri Doria