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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»

Beyond NETmundial: Initiative or Inertia?

The April NETmundial meeting was a seminal event in the history of Internet Governance. Fears that the meeting might fail to reach consensus were not realized. Instead, the participants achieved a high degree of harmony -- the "Spirit of NETmundial" -- that resulted in issuance of a consensus Statement that, while lacking in precise detail, was effused with positive energy. Since that meeting there has been considerable discussion within the Internet Governance (IG) community as to what lessons have been learned from NETmundial, and how its work might best be carried into the future. more»

The Favoured New TLD Registrar Payment Model

This week, Thomas Barrett - the President of US based registrar EnCirca - published a timely article about how the registrar cash flow model could collapse with the imminent release of hundreds of new Top-Level Domains (TLD). I would like to thank Thomas for raising this important issue and for encouraging all new TLD applicants to discuss this topic with their back-end registry provider. more»

ICANN All Set for the gTLD "Reveal Day" in London

ICANN plans to announce the long-anticipated list of applied-for domain names under its new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) program tomorrow. The announcement will be made in London at 12:00PM and streamed live on ICANN's website. ICANN has received over 1,900 applications from around the world. more»

France Wants IGF Replaced by World Internet Council

Last week, the French Senate unveiled a proposal which, if enacted, would bring sweeping changes to the Internet Governance landscape. A Senate working group worked on the proposal for 6 months. Although it is not only focussed on IG, the report can be seen as a further indictment of ICANN, following French Secretary for the Digital Economy Axelle Lemaire's claim that the organisation is no longer the right place to discuss IG. more»

Closed Generics Debate Rages On

The new gTLD program continues to throw up last-minute debates on what is acceptable as a TLDs and what is not. The latest such verbal joust centers around closed generics. These are generic terms being applied for by applicants whom, should they be successful, will not open the TLD up to everyone on an equal access basis. As an example, think .book being run by Amazon and only available to Amazon customers. more»

Mexico City Hosts an Eventful ICANN Meeting

The Mexico City ICANN Conference was more eventful than some of us had anticipated. Among the highlights was Paul Twomey's announcement that he is stepping down as President and CEO of ICANN effective on June 30... Before the Conference, ICANN had released the second draft of its Guidebook for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). It was not greeted with universal acclaim... more»

ICANN Opens GNSO Whois Study on Privacy/Proxy Abuse for Comment

ICANN has opened the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Whois study on privacy/proxy abuse for public comment. Performed by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), this study is one of many commissioned by the GNSO to examine the current, disparate, and often maligned registration directory service, and aims to measure the hypothesis that "a significant percentage of the domain names used to conduct illegal or harmful Internet activities are registered via privacy and proxy services to obscure the perpetrator's identity." more»

Brand Owners Express Concern Over Introduction of New Top-Level Domains

Monika Ermert reporting on Intellectual Property Watch says: "Some think ICANN should have moved much faster to introduce new names in the Internet to join the likes of .com and .org. Others moan about the widespread trademark infringement they expect to occur when the private internet governance body introduces several long-awaited new top-level domains. But the prospect of news about the next round in extending the global domain name space has brought them all to ICANN's Paris meeting that might emerge as the largest in the organisation's history." The ICANN Board will decide on Thursday which Top-Level Domains will move and which ones will not. more»

Working With ICANN's IRT and Not Against is in Order

ICANN realized during the Mexico City public meeting that its draft proposals for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) did not take sufficient account of the trademark problems that might arise if the new top level domains become havens for cybersquatters. ICANN sensibly asked the trademark and brand owners to propose rules and procedures that might address these problems... more»

ICANN and GAC: A New Role Needed?

Syracuse University professor Milton Mueller published a blog under the title "Will the GAC go away if the Board doesn't follow its advice?". Having been to a number of (very limited) ICANN meetings on behalf of law enforcement cooperation, I would like to share a few - probably thought provoking - observations. The GAC should not leave ICANN but it may be more efficient if its role changed and its efforts were aimed at a different form of output. more»

Building a Better WHOIS for the Individual Registrant

Today, anyone can use WHOIS to identify the organization or person who registered a gTLD domain name, along with their postal address, email address, and telephone number. Publishing this data has long been controversial, creating a system riddled with problems. On one hand, anonymous access to all WHOIS data enables misuse by spammers and criminals and raises concerns about personal privacy. On the other hand, incomplete or false WHOIS data prolongs Internet outages and leaves crime victims with little recourse. more»

The Trembling Trademark Owners

Why is so much fear being created in the name of protecting trademark owners? Say, if ICANN allowed some third party a generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) called .panasonic will the sky fall? No, not at all, as Panasonic, the true and rightful TM holder will hit the unauthorized gTLD with a 2x4 and no judge would oppose issuing a cease-and-desist order. Now the other question is... 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»

Are You Ready for the Launch of New gTLDs?

It seems as though the inevitable is now upon us, and though there are many that have wished this day never come, the launch of the first new gTLD registries is approaching. Now whether the first new gTLD registry will launch within the next few months or be delayed due to Advice from world governments remains to be seen. However, most companies with which I have spoken desperately need any extra time to prepare for the launch of new gTLDs. more»