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ICANN Board Retreat Results in Specific New gTLD Directives

Elisa Cooper

Over the weekend, ICANN's Board of Directors met in Norway to discuss the fate of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). As a result of the meeting, two resolutions were passed related to new gTLDs.

First, the Board resolved to recommend further actions based on comments recently submitted by the Governmental Advisory Committee. The second resolution directed the ICANN CEO to incorporate a number of items into the fifth version of the Guidebook including:

  • Protections for geographical names should not be expanded to include translations, but should include Continents and UN Regions.
  • Governments will not receive special monetary considerations for filing objections.
  • Financial support for applicants must come from sources other than ICANN.
  • An objective method for application processing must be defined in the event that more than 1000 delegations are projected to occur in a single year.
  • Similar strings shall not be delegated in this first round and further policy work is encouraged to address this issue.
  • No changes will be made to the way in which variant gTLDs are handled.
  • Marks for inclusion in the Trademark Clearinghouse and the subject of the URS (Uniform Rapid Suspension) must have undergone "substantive evaluation" at the time of registration.
  • URS complaint response times must be reduced from 20 days to 14 days.
  • The Board reserves the right under exceptional circumstances to individually consider an application for a new gTLD to determine whether approval would be in the best interest of the Internet community.
  • No further work related to mitigating malicious conduct is required to proceed with the launch of new gTLDs with the exception of a few specific directives.
  • The Registry Agreement should continue to require: consent for price increases, a limitation of liability for ICANN, collection of variable transaction fees, searchable Whois, and indemnification of ICANN.
  • GNSO (Generic Names Supporting Organization) shall provide a consensus position on Vertical Integration by October 8, 2010 or the Board will make required determinations.

The announcement accompanying the published resolutions stated that "many important issues have been addressed, including trademark protection, morality and public order, and vertical integration."

By Elisa Cooper, SVP Marketing and Policy at Brandsight, Inc.

Related topics: Domain Names, ICANN, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation, Registry Services, Top-Level Domains


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