ICANN

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An ITU Cut and Paste Job for New TLDs Could Cost $150k

It was with great interest that I read a recent announcement about a plan by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to publish template answers on a wiki for the 22 questions relating to registry technical operations contained within ICANN's new Top-Level Domain Applicant Guidebook. As someone who has spent the best part of six years following the development of the program (witnessing first-hand each evolution of the Applicant Guidebook) my first thought was one of bemusement... 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»

Dot Gay Alliance Announces Plans for .GAY TLD, Profits to Fund LGBT Civil Rights

The Dot Gay Alliance has announced plans to create the .GAY top-level domain (TLD) that also aims to become a source of funding for the LGBT civil rights groups in the US and abroad. The Dot Gay Alliance is led by Founder & Executive Director Joe Dolce, whose media strategy firm, DolceGoldin, provides communications services for the Alliance, according to the announcement released today. Dot Gay Alliance supporters include, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Sunil Babu Pant, the first openly gay member of the Nepal Parliament. more»

How Many TLD Applications Will ICANN Receive?

This post could be subtitled: "The Wisdom of Elites." I polled some people I know in the domain field (plus Andrew Goodman, who wondered what the hell I was going on about). I asked them a simple question: "For the record, how many new TLD applications do you think there'll be?" Most of these people know the domain name world very well, but from different perspectives. Journalists, registrars, intellectual property attorneys, domainers, registry operators, TLD aspirants, entrepreneurs, domain aftermarket auctioneers, civil society activists... more»

Big Brands Shooting Themselves In The Foot?

One of the topics that keeps coming up in ICANN policy discussions and as part of the new TLD application process is "transparency". ICANN, and the internet community in general, has had plenty of issues in the past with "bad actors" who have caused a lot of issues for everyone (think of many of the registrars who have lost accreditation in the last couple of years for example). On more than one conference call or policy discussion the issue of a company or a person's track record has come up. 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»

First Geographic NewgTLD, .RUHR, Now Delegated

Each week ICANN has been delegating more new generic top-level domains (newgTLDs) and it's been somewhat entertaining to watch the list of delegated strings to see what new TLDs will enter the domain name space starting sometime in early 2014 when they become generally available for people to register new domains under. more»

Former ICANN Executive Kurt Pritz Joins Domain Name Association as Executive Director

Former ICANN executive Kurt Pritz has assumed the role of interim Executive Director for the Domain Name Association, a newly formed non-profit business association that represents the interests of the domain name industry. Kurt will be working with and representing DNA during the ICANN-48 meetings in Buenos Aires. He played a key role in the growth of ICANN and is best known as the architect of ICANN's new gTLD program. 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»

Domains and the Freedom to Speak

For a very long time, predating the birth of ICANN, there's been a running battle about what should be required when one registers domain names. To oversimplify quite a lot, one side sees domain names as an essential component of free speech, so anyone should be able to register any domain without limit, the other notes that they're primarily used for commercial purposes and they enable quite a lot of mischief, so the more control, the better. more»

Antony Van Couvering Interviews Alexa Raad, CEO of Architelos (Video)

Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Minds + Machines, continues his series of in-depth talks with leading figures from the domain name industry with this video interview of Alexa Raad, CEO of Architelos, filmed recently at ICANN 49 in Singapore. Alexa and Antony discuss how brands are dealing with new gTLD, registry strategies for success and how to market a new gTLD. more»

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»

Tight Control Over Domain Names Will Damage The Internet

BBC is running a commentary by Bill Thompson today arguing that the Internet's core architecture should be kept open both technically and in terms of freedom of expression -- such as the introduction of new top-level domains. Giving every interest group, lobbying organisation and corrupt government a veto is what ICANN needs to avoid, says Bill Thompson. From the story: "ICANN is currently making some decisions that will have a massive impact on the net over the next few years, and we need to make sure that it takes into account the wider feelings of the whole community instead of responding solely to pressure from established interest groups..." more»

Who Are the True Multi-Stakeholders in ICANN?

During ICANN Durban, I attended the Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO) 10 year anniversary celebrations. ICANN Chairman, Dr Steve Crocker, was on hand to congratulate the ccNSO on their 10 years and revered them as the "true multi-stakeholders in ICANN". Post Durban, I was reviewing notes and I came across a similar statement made during a ccNSO session that country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) "represent the best functioning multi-stakeholder model" in the ICANN ecosystem. Is this entirely accurate? 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»