ICANN

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Careful What You Wish For: Why ICANN "Independence" is a Bad Idea

ICANN controls the "root" of the naming hierarchy, designating the operators and managers of the top-level domains, like ".com" and ".net" and ".uk." Since its founding in 1998, ICANN has operated under a "Joint Partnership Agreement" (JPA) with the U.S. Department of Commerce. The current extension of this agreement is set to expire on September 30 of this year. Some advocates say it's now time for the U.S. government to cut its ties and let ICANN stand on its own. That's not a good idea. more»

Fighting for Smaller New gTLD Applicants

Will new gTLDs just be more of the same, or will they bring real diversity and innovation to the Internet's namespace? For Hong Kong based Stable Tone, applicant for two Chinese character IDN TLDs (世界 or "Dot WORLD" and 健康 or "Dot HEALTHY"), it's the smaller applicants that give the new gTLD program its soul. more»

ICANN - Dispenser of Internet Justice

The following is a paper presented as a keynote speech at Studienkreis 2013 in Pisa, Italy last week. ICANN is beginning to look more and more like a government. It assesses taxes, it has amassed an enormous treasury, it passes laws with international effect, and it has developed an ad hoc judiciary system to enforce its laws. This paper will take a look at that judiciary system and ICANN as dispenser of Internet justice. 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»

The Next ICANN CEO

Internet public policy -- and the technical ecosystem -- is at a crossroads and the choice of CEO that ICANN's board makes now is probably the most important such choice it has ever made. Since I work in Internet policy across the Geneva institutions where more than 50% of all international Internet-related policy meetings take place, and have worked at ICANN in senior positions in the past, I thought I would suggest some qualities the next CEO should have. more»

.vla TLD: Not So Fast, Says Flemish Government

As reported last July, there is a proposal from some Flemish politicians to create a .vla top level domain under the new gTLD process launched by ICANN. The proposal further elaborated that the Flemish government would have to cover the costs. Not so fast, says the Flemish government... more»

Rx for Dublin Progress: Board Transparency, Specificity, and Community Acknowledgement

In just a few days the ICANN 54 meeting will be up and running in Dublin, and schedule revisions are being implemented to devote even more time to discussion of accountability measures to accompany the transition of IANA stewardship. These developments come in the wake of the ICANN's Board pronouncement that it will not support either the "sole member" model (SMM) devise by the CCWG-ACCT (CCWG) after ten months of intensive labor, or even the "designator" model that it was considering as a possible fallback. more»

Prepare for the Worst, But Hope for the Best

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the importance of the timeline leading up to the September 2015 deadline for the IANA oversight transition proposal. In that post, I explored the nature of U.S. politics and how it can affect the transition if we, as a community, are not diligent in our efforts to meet that deadline. Since then, the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) has held its first meeting and a conference call, resulting in some new information that necessitates an update to that post. more»

ICANN 53: Accountability, Brand Policy & New Round of New gTLDs

In June, MarkMonitor joined our colleagues once again at the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) 53rd public meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Several high-profile and contentious issues were on the agenda, many of which have significant impact on the interests of intellectual property and brand owners. Among these are the ongoing ICANN Accountability issues and the impending departure of ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé; registrant information (Whois) transparency, accuracy and accessibility; and the timing of the next round of new gTLD applications/delegation. 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»

ICANN Shows Safe Decisions Aren't Always the Right Decisions

When ICANN selected Deloitte and IBM to provide technical database administration services for a key part of its new gTLD program, it became quickly clear that the choice was not made on whose proposals scored highest, but rather it was based on which partner presented the least perceived business risk but at a much higher than necessary cost. I know this because I wrote a response to the original RFP and as a result am pretty familiar with what the original specification required. more»

What's the ROI on a $20m TLD Auction?

ICANN have taken a solid stance in regards to contention sets, with those yet to be resolved soon to be forced into auctions of last resort in the coming months. As expected, this has increased the velocity of private settlements between applicants, either via deals or private auctions. It seems like most applicants (wisely) don't want to see their funds going into ICANN coffers unnecessarily. more»

Commerce Department: Headed Toward ICANN 3.0?

The NTIA has published a Notice of Inquiry, Assessment of the Transition of the Technical Coordination and Management of the Internet's Domain Name and Addressing System, in advance of the expiration of the Joint Project Agreement in September 2009. The document outlines the history and evolution of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Commerce (DoC) and ICANN, and the questions posed cover fairly standard territory. However, the following might be worth paying attention to... 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»

ICANN Releases gTLD Applicant Guidebook

Per their timeline, ICANN released the gTLD Applicant Guidebook on May 30th. This version contains revisions based upon both community feedback, as well as recent consultations with the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). more»