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A Seemingly Overwhelming Number of Important Documents Released by ICANN

Over the weekend, ICANN released a number of important documents including:

Amended Guidebook Sections and Explanatory Memoranda
Analysis of Public Comment to Applicant Guidebook version 2
Final Report on Trademark Protection in New gTLDs
Draft Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process
New Registrar Contract
Root Server System Root Scaling Study

Please find below brief synopses of these newly released documents.

Amended Guidebook Sections and Explanatory Memoranda

According to ICANN, many changes to the Draft Applicant Guidebook have been made as a result of the comments received to date. While revisions include amendments to the handling of geographical names, evaluation questions, comparative evaluation scoring, dispute resolution procedures and other registry agreement provisions, the requirement for Thick Whois appears to be the most notable. The public comment period for the guidebook excerpts will last from May 31, 2009 — July 20, 2009. The comments received together with the outcomes of the discussions relating to the overarching issues will constitute the basis for the third version of the guidebook that will be published at the end of the third quarter 2009.

Analysis of Public Comment to Applicant Guidebook version 2

In response to the more than 200 comments received covering the second version of the Applicant Guidebook for new generic top-level domains, ICANN has published a comprehensive report. The report provides an analysis of the comments received and is broken into the following sections: General Concerns, Trademark Protections, TLD Demand and Economic Analysis, Potential for Malicious Conduct, Root Zone Scaling, Evaluation, Financial Considerations, Objection Process, Registry Agreement, String Contention, IDN and Respondents.

Final Report on Trademark Protections in New gTLDs

The Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT) posted its final report which identified the following proposed solutions: IP Clearinghouse, Globally Protected Marks List and associated Rights Protection Mechanisms, and standardized pre-launch rights protection mechanisms; Uniform Rapid Suspension System; Post delegation dispute resolution mechanisms; Whois requirements for new TLDs; and Use of algorithm in string confusion review during initial evaluation. A public comment period covering the final report will last from May 29, 2009 to June 29, 2009.

Draft Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process

ICANN has released a revised Draft Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process in an effort to elicit further community feedback both during and after the ICANN meeting in Sydney, Australia. A public comment period will last from May 31, 2009 to July 15, 2009. Comments received will be used to revise this implementation plan in preparation of a final version prior to ICANN's meeting in Seoul, 26-30 October 2009.

New Registrar Contract

The new Registrar Contract consists of 17 amendments to the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). The amendments significantly increase the protections in place for domain registrants and the changes include: enhanced enforcement tools to assure full compliance with the ICANN contract and policies, expanded requirements for reseller agreements, additional audit and data escrow requirements, more explicit requirements for providing contact information, and new notice requirements and termination provisions. All new registrars will be required to sign the new agreement, as will any existing registrars that renew their accreditation.

Root Server System Root Scaling Study

A study to determine the potential impact on the operation of the root server system of adding IPv6 address records, IDN top level names, other new TLDs, and new records to support DNS security to the root zone has been commissioned and will be completed by the end of August 2009.

The goal of the study is to construct a model of the root server system (including all of its provisioning and query components) that shows how the different parts are related, and how changing something in one part affects each of the other parts. A public comment period covering this study will last from May 28, 2009 to July 31, 2009.

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Related topics: DNS, Domain Names, Registry Services, ICANN, Internet Governance, Law, Security, Top-Level Domains

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