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$59M and Counting: ICANN Board Downgrades Community Say on Use of Last Resort Auction Proceeds

ICANN's new gTLD program provides for last resort auctions to settle contention sets where the competing applicants are unable to reach agreement by negotiation or private auction, with the proceeds going to a segregated ICANN account. With the recent $25 million bid of Google to secure control of the .App registry the total proceeds of those ICANN auctions has swelled to $58.8 million. The final sum by the end of the first round could go higher, perhaps to more than $100 million. That's serious money. more»

Will the Fast-Approaching Deadline for .brands Catch Many by Surprise?

29 July 2015 is a big day for .brands. It's the date when all ICANN Registry Agreements (RA) must be signed. Once the RA is signed, the fees to ICANN and your Registry Services Provider kick in. As certain as you can be that ICANN will begin sending invoices, you can also expect to receive increased scrutiny internally. Questions are inevitable. People will want answers; what is the plan for this thing? How does it fit into our long term corporate goals? Do marketing have a plan to use the TLD in the upcoming launch of our new product? more»

ICANN.WTF? FTC & OCA Asked Whether .SUCKS is a Law Breaker (Part II)

The first part of this article reviewed the actions taken by ICANN in response to a March 27th letter from the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) alleging that the pricing of Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) registered terms by the .Sucks registry were "predatory, exploitative and coercive" and requesting that ICANN halt the registry's rollout. This second part explores additional ramifications of ICANN's decision to request two national regulators to review the legality of the registry's operation. more»

ICANN.WTF? FTC & OCA Asked Whether .SUCKS is a Law Breaker (Part I)

On April 9, 2015 ICANN took the unprecedented step of asking two national consumer protection agencies whether the .Sucks registry, one of the new gTLDs it has approved and which is currently in its sunrise registration period, has a business plan which violates any laws or regulations those agencies enforce. This is the equivalent of sending a message stating, "Dear Regulator: We have lit a fuse. Can you please tell us whether it is connected to a bomb?" more»

3 Steps for Managing ICANN Registry Compliance

If you are like the majority of Registry Operators we have spoken to, you may now be thinking that compliance with your new gTLD Registry Agreement is much more difficult than first envisaged -- especially if you are one of the lucky operators which have been chosen for ICANN's latest round of registry audits! You may also be surprised at the number of questions and requests that you need to respond to. more»

How Much Money Is There in Complaining?

Although I don't have a lot of sympathy for the trademark lawyers' argument that trademark holders need to register .sucks domains cheaply before anyone else can, there is one point at the end of their letter that's worth a look. The registry contract for .sucks, between Vox Populi and ICANN, has this sentence that appears (as far as I know) in no other registry contract, in the section on Registry-Level fees. more»

ICANN and a Lot of Other People Outsmart Themselves With .SUCKS

Good taste has never been a criterion in ICANN's new domains program, and domains including .fail and the remarkably vulgar .wtf have become part of the DNS with little comment. Now we have .sucks, which is intended to empower consumers, but does so in a way so clumsy that ICANN is asking regulators in the U.S. and Canada for an excuse to shut it down. more»

Revised Top Level Domain Law in Sweden?

On March 31, Swedish regulatory overview office, Post and Telecom Authority published a 54 pages report on revision of the Swedish Top-Level Domain (TLD) law for internet. The report contains proposals for revision of policy and Swedish law regulating top level domains. This is not a surprise. The issue has been simmering for ten years, at least. However, with increasing dependency of information society, public regulators are increasingly inclined to revise public regulation in the area. more»

What to Know About an ICANN Compliance Audit, and How to Handle One if You Are Selected?

Now that new gTLD registries have been operating for more than a year, a few registries have already experienced going through an audit and a few more are now receiving notifications that they are next in line. For all, the process of going through an ICANN audit is a first. Once you receive the Request for Information (RFI), you will have 15 days to respond, or seek an extension of time. Extensions may be available on a case by case basis. more»

Premium Generics, the Domain Industry's Luxury Goods

Categories. The mere mention of the word risks eliciting groans from any domain industry specialist. In the run up to the new gTLD program, this concept was oft discussed. It seemed obvious to most that TLDs were not a homogenous ensemble but instead, could exist in many different shapes and sizes. Except to ICANN staff. They systematically refused to entertain the notion of categories. Even when ICANN Board members suggested some kind of recognition for different TLD types should be hardwired into the program! more»