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Internet Governance Back in the Limelight

In my special role as adviser to the UN Broadband Commission I reported extensively in 2013 on the WCIT-12 conference in Dubai. Unfortunately the world disagreed on a way forward in relation to internet governance. However, despite all the grandstanding of the USA and its western allies, simply ignoring it and saying "there is no room for governments to be involved in internet governance" - will not make the issue go away. more»

What New gTLDs Mean for Developing Economy Applicants?

Everyone seems excited about new gTLDs being just around the corner. All of the overarching issues will soon be resolved: GAC and the ICANN Board will sit in a room and the wisdom of our leaders, ICANN and National, will produce the grand compromise. The starting flag will be flourished! A thousand flowers will bloom! Hooray! But it is only the developed world that can be excited about this, for it is hard to understand how the developing world could be very excited about an overpriced round of gTLD offerings that is unfairly beyond their means. more»

ICANN CEO: "We Will Not Change our Timeline"

Mary Iqbal writes to report: ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade, in his recent "New gTLD Applicant Webinar" dated February 5, 2013 affirmed his committment to moving forward with the rollout of new Top Level Domains. Chehade stressed that ICANN has a responsibility to move forward with new Top Level Domains for the benefit of internet users as a whole as well as for the benefit of those who have applied to operate new Top Level Domains, but not at the expense of the stability of the DNS, which is the core responsibility of ICANN. more»

Ten Years of UDRP

In 1999, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) developed a policy to resolve disputes between trademark owners and registrants of domain names. This policy, the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) was made available for disputes concerning an alleged abusive registration of a domain name. In the past 10 years alone, more than 16,000 disputes have been filed resulting in more than 10,000 domain name transfers. more»

Bringing a Responsible Closure to the gTLD Implement Process

Last Friday ICANN released an updated new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Applicant Guidebook that appears to have taken a number of positive steps toward closing the divide between the ICANN Board and the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). One of the more important changes to the Applicant Guidebook was the following text... more»

Community Support Required for Alternative Trademark Clearinghouse Solution

It's time for the community to demonstrate its resolve to see ICANN implement a successful and effective Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). Let's be clear here. The current ICANN implementation model and approach is flawed and needs attention. Following more than three months of consultation and negotiation, today I'm pleased to be able to present the domain name and trademark protection industries with an alternative solution for the operation of ICANN's Trademark Clearinghouse for the new Top-Level Domain (TLD) program. more»

.Jobs Operator First Registry to Take ICANN to Arbitration

Kevin Murphy reporting in DomainIncite: "Employ Media, manager of the .jobs top-level domain, has become the first registry operator to take ICANN to arbitration to fight off a shut-down threat. The company in the last hour said it has filed a Request for Arbitration with the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, after informal efforts to reach agreement with ICANN broke down." more»

New ICANN Requirements for New gTLDs Are Irrelevant

ICANN is barking up a number of wrong trees with the latest version of its Evaluation and Questions Criteria for generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The document asks for financial projections, the applicant's goals for its TLD, and the benefits the applicant expects to derive. All that information is meaningless. more»

The Dotcom Kingdom

What will happen to dotcom once a thousand generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) applications were approved and start to skate around on global cyber platforms? Nothing, firstly, there are over 200,000,000 dotcoms while these 1000 exotic high profile gTLD will not even make a scratch to the dotcom market. Secondly, a dotcom is about $10 plus while gTLD is $500,000 plus... After all gTLD are never supposed to be for everyone, as they can only be fitted to right and very special combinations. 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»

NTIA Asks New gTLD Applicants to Submit Public Interest Commitments

Kevin Murphy reporting in Domain Incite: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration said today that all new gTLD applicants, even those that have not already been hit by government warnings, should submit Public Interest Commitments to ICANN. In a rare comment sent to an ICANN public forum today, the NTIA suggested that applicants should use the process to help combat counterfeiting and piracy. ... NTIA said that applicants should pay special attention in their PICs to helping out the "creative sector". more»

Rwanda Gets Control Over Its Domain .RW

After a seven-year long process of transferring Rwanda's Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), ".rw" from Belgium, finally Rwandans can now manage their national identity, reports AllAfrica. 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»

Vertical Integration of gTLDs Registries and Registrars Now Permitted

While many were expecting a decision of strict Registry/Registrar separation, in an unexpected ruling, it was announced that ICANN will not restrict cross-ownership between Registries and Registrars. While the current set of agreements prohibits Registries from acquiring Registrars, they do not prohibit Registrars from applying for or operating TLDs. The Board Resolutions also made note of the fact that while individually negotiated contracts have included restrictions on Registry ownership of Registrars, cross-ownership provisions have varied over time and no formal "policy" on this topic has ever been recommended by the GNSO or adopted by ICANN. more»

The [Dot]Brand Tribes - Part 3

In part two of The [Dot] Brand Tribes we argued that introducing new branded generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) would bring value to brand owners and have positive effects on customer recognition. In this last post we'll continue that theme and talk about how brand owners can come together to provide shared spaces using the banking industry as an example. more»

Industry Updates

DotConnectAfrica Trust Responds to ICANN 50 GAC Advice, Updates on .Africa Application IRP Status

ICANN London Recap Webinar

Victorian Government & ARI Agree to Long-Term .melbourne Partnership

Afilias Chairman Appointed to Domain Name Association Board

SPECIAL: Updates from the ICANN Meetings in Singapore

DotConnectAfrica Statement Regarding NTIA's Intent to Transition Key Internet Domain Name Function

Afilias Joins Internet Technical Leaders in Welcoming IANA Globalization Progress

SPECIAL: Video Interviews from NamesCon 2014 in Las Vegas

DotConnectAfrica Trust Takes Its Case With ICANN to Independent Review Process (IRP) Panel

2013: A Year in Review, End of Year Message from DotConnectAfrica

TLDH Announces Sales Channel and gTLD Portfolio Update

Go-Live Schedule for Dot Chinese Online & Dot Chinese Website TLDs Announced

DotConnectAfrica Trust Attends ICANN 48 International Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina

TLDH Group Signs 6 New Top-Level Domain Contracts With ICANN

SPECIAL: Updates from the ICANN Meetings in Buenos Aires