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ICANN Reloaded - Will They Ever Learn?

Less than a week ago, I posted a short blog piece entitled "Can ICANN Please Stop Shooting Itself in the Foot?" in which I questioned ICANN's actions in connection with the recently announced key signing ceremony. At the end of this piece I asked the question: "While it seems that ICANN continues it propensity to shoot itself in the foot, does the community need to start worrying about when ICANN takes aim at other more vital organizational body parts?" Well it looks like I only had to wait five days to get the answer to that question. 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»

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»

A Recap of the 36th ICANN Conference in Seoul, Korea

The recently completed ICANN Conference in Seoul, Korea will be remembered for a unique accomplishment -- the first definitive step towards the addition of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) to the Internet root... As the announcement states, the applicants, at this time, are limited to nations and territories; the first IDNs will be in country code top level domains (ccTLDs). The generic TLDs, (the gTLDs, e.g., .org, .com and .info) will have to wait for their opportunity to apply for IDNs... more»

Cybersquatting Rose 33 Per Cent Over 2007

According to recent reports, cybersquatting continued to be the most prevalent form of online brand abuse after a 33 per cent jump in the past year. The latest Brandjacking Index from MarkMonitor found significant drops in domain kiting and related pay-per-click fraud. This trend is attributed to aggressive legal actions by brand holders as well as increased scrutiny by domain name oversight agency, ICANN. However, phishing techniques and targets continued to evolve in 2007, and the report highlighted a 533 per cent increase in phishing attacks against the retail and services sector. more»

Registrars That Complied With "Shakedown" Requests May Now Be in Violation of ICANN Transfers Policy

At the time we posted 'Whatever Happened To Due Process,' we were unaware that we were just one of many registrars receiving these notices from the London (UK) Police. We have since been made aware that this was part of a larger initiative against the BitTorrent space as a whole, and that most if not all of the other registrars in receipt of the same email as us folded rather quickly and acquiesced to the shakedown orders. 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»

Beyond Domains: What Did We Really Learn in 2009?

The beginning of every year is a time for introspection, an appraisal of the year that was, and planning for the year to come. It is also a time to follow tradition and to recap the biggest news of the year. But by now, I am guessing that we have all read our fair share about the people and events who have impacted the last 12 months... if we take a larger vantage point (than our own relatively small domain name industry), these lessons from 2009 -- in my view -- could teach us all and most importantly, really shape the year ahead. more»

Rewiring Internet Governance: Step One Is About ICANN (Part 1)

It is time for some straight talk about governance. The word "governance" used here means authority. It does not merely mean rules, or coercion, or any other weasel-worded definitions that deflect our attention from the art of good governance as distinct from self-serving opportunism and illusory power sharing. Politics, as Theodore Lowi reminded us, is ultimately about "who gets what". Quibbling with endless essays about who rules the root is useful, but not demonstrative. more»

I'm Impressed by Fadi

I could have ignored yesterday's ICANN New gTLD Applicant Update Webinar and just read summaries from the usual respected news and industry sources. However, with three hours slotted and likely questions regarding ICANN CEO Fadi ChehadĂ©'s somewhat eyebrow-raising comments at the regional ICANN Registry-Registrar meeting in Amsterdam last week -- led me wanting to hear it all myself. more»

Kieren McCarthy: Issue Guide to ICANN San Francisco Meetings

As the ICANN's 40th international meetings start off in San Francisco, Kieren McCarthy, General Manager (US) of the Global Internet Business Coalition (GIBC), and founder of the .NXT conference, has released a guide for the most important topics (listed below) with some added commentary, background and links to relevant resources. more»

New gTLD Clearinghouse Rule Proposed for European Trademarks

Adam Smith reporting today in the World Trademark Review blog: "Trademarks that have undergone examination based only on absolute grounds of refusal will be welcomed into the Trademark Clearinghouse proposed for the new generic top-level domain (gTLD) space. The news came from Kurt Pritz, senior vice president, services, at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), who was speaking at a roundtable hosted this morning by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO)." more»

ICANN Should be Reformed Before "Privatization", Says New Study

The Technology Policy Institute (TPI), an IT and communications policy think tank, has just released a paper proposing that "ICANN's governance structure should be dramatically reformed to make it more accountable before the current tie with the U.S. Department of Commerce is allowed to expire." The paper titled "ICANN At a Crossroads: a Proposal for Better Governance and Performance" is written by Thomas M. Lenard, President and Senior Fellow at TPI, along with Lawrence J. White, Professor of Economics at the NYU Stern School of Business. The 52-page study also asserts that ICANN must have a clear focus on encouraging competition with minimal role as a regulator with respect to the creation of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). more»

France Protesting ICANN Over Approval of .Wine TLD

France has expressed anger at the organisation responsible for assigning internet domains over the planned launch of .wine and .vin addresses... France said addresses like .wine would put trade agreements regarding the sale of region-specific products like champagne at risk. French minister Axelle Lemaire said Icann needed to be more transparent. She called for a new general assembly to be set up to govern domain names, with a "one country, one vote" system. more»

FTC Chief Concerned Over Most New gTLD Bids

Kevin Murphy reporting in DomainIncite: The US Federal Trade Commission is still "looking at" ICANN's new gTLD program amid concerns that most of the applicants applied defensively, it has emerged. ... "We have been very, very concerned about ICANN and their dramatic expansion of the domain names, which we think will cause consumer confusion and even worse lead to more areas where malefactors can hide from the law while defrauding consumers," FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said. more»