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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»

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»

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»

ICANN Chairman Sees Little Value in Delaying New TLD Launch

With a week to go before his group rolls out a program that could dramatically increase the number of Internet addresses available to the public, the chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers says he sees no reason to delay despite growing calls to slow down the process. "What value would a delay (serve)?" ICANN Chairman Stephen Crocker asked National Journal in an interview on Tuesday. He added that critics have yet to identify a "specific loose end where time was needed to work out the details." 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 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»

New Registry Agreement, All Good?

In the run-up to the launch of new gTLDs, ICANN has been negotiating both of its main supplier contracts. The registrar contract (Registrar Accreditation Agreement or RAA) negotiations are now all but complete. A new contract draft has been posted for public comment and it now seems likely that in little over a month, this will become the official new 2013 RAA. 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»

Domain Name Registry and Registrar Separation Now Probably Going to Be a Policy Debate

Again on the subject of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) ... One of the "issues" that concerned a number of people is the concept of "vertical separation". The basic idea is that domain name registries and registrars should be kept separate. While that is a wonderful Utopian ideal, the reality is that in the real world companies own other companies, people trade in stocks and shares etc., etc. So it's far from being a simple "cut and dried" situation. 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»

New gTLD Fees Threaten the Diversity of the Name Space

The great promise of the new gTLD programme is not that it will spawn dozens of .COM clones, but rather that it will lead to the creation of a global constellation of unique names embraced by specific interest groups. As an ICANN community, our challenge now is to ensure that the policy framework we've created to manage new gTLDs advances that vision by not penalising the very sorts of domains that the programme was designed to encourage. 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»

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»

US Department of Commerce Approves VeriSign '.com' Contract

The U.S. Commerce Department on Thursday approved a bid by VeriSign Inc. to run the key directories that keep track of the Internet's ".com" domain names.

The approval was the final clearance needed for VeriSign to extend its hold over the most popular suffix on the Internet. VeriSign reached an agreement earlier with ICANN but Commerce has veto power over ICANN decisions. more»

Is ICANN Opening up Public Comment Periods in Bad Faith?

I read with interest that ICANN opened up yet another comment period on new TLDs. I believe that I speak for many when I question whether ICANN is opening up these comment periods in good faith, or instead whether these are smokescreens, mere distractions to pretend that ICANN is "listening" to the public while staff and insiders proceed with predetermined outcomes. more»