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Congress Still Raising Concerns About ICANN's New gTLD Program

Juliana Gruenwald reporting in the NationalJournal: "Nearly six months after the program was launched, key members of Congress are still raising concerns about a plan to introduce hundreds of new Internet addresses into the domain name systems, saying they want fresh assurances that the new strings will not harm trademark holders and that the public has adequate opportunity to comment. The latest salvo came on Tuesday from the top leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary committees..." more»

The Facts about Vertical Integration?

In a far less dramatic event, the ICANN Board will soon decide the question of vertical integration between domain name registries and registrars in the new Top-Level Domain (newTLD) round. But Adams' statement continues to ring true today and the question the ICANN Board must ask itself is: "what facts do we have before us to justify a change in policy." After 2+ years of intense community discussion on this topic, the answer is clearly -- very few. more»

Scrutinize ICANN's Thousand New-TLDs Limit

I am skeptical about how ICANN has arrived at a technical limit of a thousand new TLDs per year. The ICANN study driving this number must be made public so that our industry's risk management experts can size up the finding. Why am I skeptical? more»

'Rethinking ICANN' is Not a One-Man Job

In the midst of the overseeing the biggest change in the history of the Internet's global addressing system, ICANN President Fadi Chehade has inexplicably embarked on a high-stakes battle over the very future of his organization and its relationship to world governments -- at the expense of the private sector's historical role in Internet governance. Worse, Fadi's global government gambit could have serious repercussions for the future of the Internet. more»

Thinking Carefully About New gTLD Objections: Limited Public Interest (Part 2 of 4)

The second installment in my four-part series on New gTLD objections will focus on the limited public interest ("LPI") variety. The overarching theme however is essentially the same: new gTLD objections are generally more complicated (and costly) than UDRP actions and need to be approached with care. In fact, LPI represents one of the best examples of the tough climb that would-be objectors are likely to face. Understanding exactly what is required beforehand - and whether or not you can deliver - is absolutely critical. more»

ICANN Mission Creep is Becoming Mission Leap

Under the leadership of Fadi Chehade and Steve Crocker, ICANN finally runs like an organization that has grown up. When it comes to process, accountability, and transparency, this is excellent news for the Internet. But it also raises a new question: how far will we let ICANN grow "out" of the limited technical mission for which it was created? In his opening remarks here in Durban, Chehade announced the expansion of local engagement centers and significant expansion of ICANN staff - for the second straight year. more»

New Registry Agreement, All Good?

In the run-up to the launch of new gTLDs, ICANN has been negotiating both of its main supplier contracts. The registrar contract (Registrar Accreditation Agreement or RAA) negotiations are now all but complete. A new contract draft has been posted for public comment and it now seems likely that in little over a month, this will become the official new 2013 RAA. more»

Trademark Protection Dust-Up Obscures the Potential Value in New gTLDs

As a member of ICANN's Business Constituency I have heard first-hand the perfectly appropriate criticisms from trademark holders of ICANN's roll-out of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). But while it may be OK for branded companies to wish they didn't have to deal with the matter, the dust that has been kicked up has obscured real value in the program. more»

18 TLD Applications Withdrawn to Date

A total of eighteen applications for new Top Level Domains (TLDs) have been withdrawn by the applicants. Of the 18 applications that have been withdrawn so far, just five were applications for generic terms, and the remaining thirteen withdrawn applications were for branded Top Level Domains. In the case of the branded TLDs, it may be that the applicant originally only filed what has been called a "defensive application", meaning that the company applied for the Top Level Domain to prevent its falling in the hands of a competitor. more»

Introduction: New gTLD Security and Stability Considerations (Part 1 of 5 )

Verisign recently published a technical report on new generic top-level domain (gTLD) security and stability considerations. The initial objective of the report was to assess for Verisign's senior management our own operational preparedness for new gTLDs, as both a Registry Service Provider for approximately 200 strings, as well as a direct applicant for 14 new gTLDs... However, in cataloging internal and external risks related to the new gTLD program, we found several far-reaching and long-standing issues that need to be further explored and/or resolved with varying levels of urgency. more»

A Visualized gTLd Sequencing Proposal

As a follow-up to our previous CircleID article "Strong Support for IDNs, GEOs and/or Communities to Go First" we have developed a flow chart which visualizes how the applications may be processed in a fair and transparent manner. The chart also shows that at the end of the day only about 1,200 new gTLDs may go online, that means that we will likely see about 730 drop outs. more»

Good is Better than Perfect in ICANN Accountability

In the next few months, ICANN will have a concrete opportunity to improve its accountability and transparency by enacting the recommendations of the Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT). Those recommendations may not be perfect, but if the history of the ICANN process is any indication, we can't afford to let the perfect be the enemy of the very good. more»

Change of Leadership at ICANN as Cerf Makes Way for Intellectual Property Expert

Intellectual property and computer law barrister Peter Dengate-Thrush has been elected as new Chairman of the Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The former chairman of InternetNZ, the country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) registry for New Zealand (.nz), and cofounder of the Association of Asian Pacific ccTLDs, succeeds the legendary Vinton Cerf... more»

Modest Proposals for gTLD Profits

When does a non-profit organization become a profit-making one? This and similarly fundamental questions about ICANN's institutional character are raised by the high probability that the gTLD project will produce profits for ICANN. How much money those profits will amount to remains in question, but it is increasingly difficult for ICANN to say that there will be no profit at all. more»

Pre-Registrations of .NYC Domain Names and the Shattered Dream

In response to United Domains pre-registration of .nyc domain names, we posted the below on our blog and the NARLO sites yesterday. While United Domains pre-registration service is free and non-binding, the North American Regional At Large Organization, part of the ICANN governance ecology, is concerned that "the offer of such a service could create artificial demand..." more»