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ICANN Hubris Knows No Ends

Despite all signs pointing to a launch of the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) program in Singapore, it seems like ICANN could not help poking the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) in the eye one last time. In the latest installment of how a California not for profit technical coordinating body knows best, we have the ICANN Evidence of "Use" Requirement for Trademark Protection document. more»

US Laws Remain Set to Govern Upcoming Multilingual Internet via New gTLDs

U.S. laws remain set to govern the coming multilingual internet through ICANN's new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) yet the ramifications of this fact if you are Chinese, Arab, Indian, Russian or other are huge as ICANN published its 7th Applicant Guidebook in preparation for its board consideration on June 20th during the Singapore meeting. To many nations and citizens around the world, especially the non-English speaking communities, this will be seen as a strategically alarming direction for the global Internet. more»

Last Minute Surge of Opposition to VeriSign .NET Auto Renewal

The current .NET Registry Agreement between ICANN and VeriSign is due to expire on 30 June 2011. On April 11 2011 ICANN posted a proposed draft renewal agreement for public comment. Under the terms of the existing agreement, which contracted a 6 year term starting July 1 2005, renewal is automatic unless VeriSign commits some egregious breach of terms. more»

The 'Domain Rights Dozen' - ICA's RPM Revision Review Principles

As the fall of 2012 begins the implementation of rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) for new gTLDs is reaching a critical stage... Given the half year interval between the upcoming Toronto ICANN meeting and the following Beijing meeting in April 2013, it is highly desirable, and perhaps essential, that community discussion in Toronto result in a clear consensus on how RPM implementation should proceed if new gTLDs are to launch without further delay and if potential registrants are to perceive them as acceptable platforms for speech and commerce. more»

And Then There Was the Issue of Time

Anyone who has been part of the community during its soon-to-be 12-years of existence will be the first to tell you that while ICANN's intentions are good, its execution, time and again, has been lacking. Unfortunately, the global business world does not and cannot accept only good intentions. Businesses require surety, consistency and clear evidence of stability before they can establish the foundation for their enterprises. more»

Big Brands Should Embrace New TLDs & Stop Giving Away Money

Advertisers have given Verisign a free gift worth billions of dollars over the past 10 years. Sports Stadiums provide a great analogy... What do office supplies have to do with basketball? What does oil have to do with football? Yet, Staples will pay the Lakers $116 million dollars and Lucas Oil will pay the Indianapolis Colts about the same (over 20 years) to associate their company names with these stadiums. 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»

Really? A Hearing on New gTLDs at this Late Stage?

To the dismay of many (and the chagrin of some), it appears as though the US House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet will be conducting a hearing on New generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). Meanwhile, ICANN is careening towards the finish line of the new gTLD Program with a vote by the ICANN Board scheduled for June 20th. Just what this all means remains to be seen. more»

Presenting a Way Forward: Step-by-Step and ICANN's New gTLD Process

I read this to the ICANN Board Thursday morning, in Sydney, after more prep work than I care to recall. If you don't know that the DAGv3 is delayed, or what the IRT is, this is a good time to bush up on current ICANN state. "Good morning. My name is Eric Brunner-Williams, and I am speaking to you on behalf of the initial signatories of the Step-by-Step proposal. I represent one of the signatories as the principal of the native, aboriginal, and indigenous cultural and linguistic Top-Level Domain (TLD) project, one of many similar efforts to preserve living languages and cultures..." more»

Threats to Internet Oversight Mount as Key Protection Expires

Before the US Government abdicates its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) it should take a long, hard look at the mounting efforts by world governments to assume greater power over the Internet's addressing system. If those efforts meet no further resistance, the once-theoretical threat of "capture" could become a reality. At the end of September, the Joint Project Agreement (JPA) between ICANN and the US Government is set to expire. The JPA is part of a decade-long agreement where the US transitions control of Internet addressing to ICANN. more»

ICANN Hires Black Hat Founder as New CSO

ICANN has apparently hired Jeff Moss (aka Dark Tangent) as CSO. Moss is a well known figure in the internet security community and was founder of Black Hat and the Def Con conferences. However isn't Moss a bit conflicted? Isn't he on one of the review teams? more»

Fixing WHOIS (and Some Other Stuff Too)

ICANN is the only institution with responsibility for the functioning of DNS. And so it is natural that when there is a DNS problem for people to expect ICANN to come up with the solution. But having the responsibility to act is not the same as having the ability. Like the IETF, ICANN appears to have been designed with the objective of achieving institutional paralysis. And this is not surprising since the first law of the Internet is 'You are so not in charge (for all values of you). more»

US Government Waves the Caution Flag at ICANN

This month, ICANN is driving hard to get two of its horses to the finish line. The first is barely a year old - it's the first formal review of ICANN's accountability and transparency. The second horse is going on 4 years old: ICANN's plan to introduce hundreds of new top-level domains (TLDs) for the Internet. Just as these horses have entered the home stretch, one of the racecourse officials is vigorously waving the yellow caution flag. And ICANN would do well to pull back on the reins. 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»

Registrar Stakeholder Group in GNSO Works Against the ICANN Multistakeholder Social Compact

One of the essential features of the social compact that makes ICANN viable in its stewardship of the Domain Name system is that the operations of the Contracted Parties, i.e. Registrars and Registries, are governed by the cooperation of the contracted parties and the non-contracted parties, i.e. the stakeholders, in the creation of policy. In ICANN, contracts and other agreements are the method by which this policy is instantiated. more»