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Dot SUCKS: The Ultimate Vanity Domain

When last we wrote, trademark lawyers had written an outraged letter to ICANN about the $2500 price to preregister trademark.sucks names, and ICANN, reliably panicking in the face of legal threats, wrote to the US Federal Trade Commission and Canadian Office of Consumer Affairs saying please tell us that's illegal so we can shut down this registry with whom we just signed a long-term contract. (The mysterious $1 surcharge turned out to be a weak attempt by ICANN to collect debts that affiliates of registry owner Momentous defaulted on long ago.) more»

Out of .Africa - Process Failures Don't Change the Facts

I've heard a lot of discussion of the .africa controversy of late -- from conspiracy theories to questions about staff competence to concerns about the role of the GAC. And it's hard not to find faults galore in the way this process and the IRP reporting has played out. But before we get too lost in the weeds of procedure or the future of ICANN, lets not lose track of what this debate was first and still is fundamentally about: a string. more»

ICANN 53: Accountability, Brand Policy & New Round of New gTLDs

In June, MarkMonitor joined our colleagues once again at the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) 53rd public meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Several high-profile and contentious issues were on the agenda, many of which have significant impact on the interests of intellectual property and brand owners. Among these are the ongoing ICANN Accountability issues and the impending departure of ICANN CEO Fadi ChehadĂ©; registrant information (Whois) transparency, accuracy and accessibility; and the timing of the next round of new gTLD applications/delegation. more»

What Does the July 29 Deadline Mean for .brand TLDs?

This is the first post in a series from Corey Grant, Senior Industry Consultant at ARI Registry Services, on what .brand TLDs need to do to get started and make the most of their TLDs... If you are a .brand Top Level Domain (TLD) and have a Registry Agreement from ICANN which you have not yet signed, you need to sign it by July 29, 2015. You're not alone; there are many others in the same boat -- all staring at their Registry Agreement trying to figure out what to do next. more»

ICANN Accountability Deficits Revealed in Panel Ruling on .AFRICA

In an important test of ICANN's primary accountability mechanism, its Independent Review Process (IRP), the organization has been handed a stinging blow over its mishandling of the bid for the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) .AFRICA. At the crux of the issue are two competing applications for the .AFRICA new gTLD and the decision by ICANN's Board to abdicate its responsibility to ensure that ICANN's evaluation and subsequent rewarding of the domain was carried out fairly, transparently, and in accordance with the organization's Bylaws, Articles of Organization, and established policies. more»

Rage Against the ICANN Machine

I'm going to do what no professional journalist should ever do: take a story at face value. So full disclosure: I have not checked the facts behind the story that sparked this little rant I'm about to embark on. But I've known the author for a number of years as being a consummate professional when it comes to reporting facts. And I've known ICANN, the organisation, for even longer. I have therefore seen first hand the organisation's ability to be at times borderline duplicitous in its attempts to reach a desired result.
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Will 2016 Politics Trump Bipartisan Support for the MSM and DOTCOM Act?

The bitter partisan divide that characterizes so many of official Washington's current policy discussions was conspicuous in its absence at the July 8th hearing held on "Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53" by the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. In opening remarks that asked "What is the multi-stakeholder community, anyway?", Subcommittee Chairman Greg Waldren went on to declare that he and his colleagues "sought to strike the right balance between supporting the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance, while still protecting the invaluable tool of communications and commerce the Internet has become". more»

ICANN 53 - Guaranteeing Accountability in Internet Governance

I recently attended the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) 53rd meeting in Buenos Aires to further discuss the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) transition process. During the meeting, public and private Internet stakeholders made important strides on a transition timeline, accountability planning and future management of the Internet that supports global creativity and innovation. more»

DCA's Submission to Congressional Hearing on "Stakeholder Perspectives on the IANA Transition"

This is the advance submission that DotConnectAfrica Trust sent to the Chairman of the House Sub-Committee hearing on Communications and Technology, Energy and Commerce Committee, United States House of Representatives, 114th United States Congress in advance of the Congressional Hearing on "Stakeholder Perspectives on the IANA Transition", on May 13, 2015. more»

Toward a Balanced ICANN Accreditation Program for Privacy and Proxy Service Providers

For the past two years a diverse group of stakeholders from the ICANN community, including myself, has been working hard to come to a consensus on a set of recommendations related to development and implementation of an ICANN accreditation program for privacy & proxy service providers. The result of this effort will replace the interim specification defined in the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) that is due to expire at the end of 2016. more»