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So you want to apply for a new gTLD in the second Round of the ICANN new gTLD program?

New domain names are now on the market and you start to realize that you may have missed the train by not submitting your own new gTLD application. So why not get your part of the cake and consider applying for your own new Top-Level Domain in the second Round of the ICANN new gTLD program? Why not become a "Registry" and sell domain names... to the world? more»

Bringing Order to Chaos

If we were to apply themes to Internet governance world, the narrative for 2014-15 is definitely 'change'. The governance ecosystem is knee deep in the IANA transition, with a few meetings and teleconferences of the IANA Transition Coordinating Group behind us, and a ramping up of activity around ICANN accountability and governance. While the IANA transition and ICANN accountability processes are being conducted in parallel and independently, it's important to note that not only are they related, they are dependent on one another. more»

ICANN Board Appoints 2015 NomCom Chair

During its September 9, 2014 meeting, the ICANN Board selected the Chair of the 2015 Nominating Committee (NomCom). The 2015 NomCom will begin its work In Los Angeles, immediately after the close of ICANN's 51st International Meeting due to be held in mid-October. ICANN's Nominating Committee is charged with identifying, recruiting and selecting nominees of the highest possible quality for key leadership positions at ICANN. more»

The Coding of Online Brand Protection

Moore's law postulates that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit will double every two years. That law has given us smartphones and other devices with astonishingly diverse capabilities at ever lower costs. However, while it does not encompass online brand infringement, many trademark managers feel that their task is likewise expanding at exponential speed and imposing escalating costs. Potential cybersquatting based in the more than one thousand new generic top level domains is only one new source of anxiety. While the jury is still out on the level of harmful cybersquatting and the efficacy of the new Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) for new gTLDs, that ICANN program is hardly the only challenge. more»

ICANN's Comment Period on Accountability Process Seeks Scope Limitations

Bowing to unprecedented community pressure in the form of a unanimous letter questioning its staff-developed Accountability Process, as well as a reconsideration request filed with the Board, on September 5th ICANN issued a notice titled "Public Comment Invited: Enhancing ICANN Accountability Process". The notice opens a 21-day public comment period on that staff proposal. However, ICANN staff apparently cannot resist asserting some form of top-down control even what that very conduct is at issue, and the notice and accompanying explanation contain attempts to restrict and unduly channel the scope of community comment. more»

ICANN Community Issues Unprecedented Letter Questioning ICANN's Proposed Accountability Process

In another unpredicted development the entire community of ICANN stakeholders has sent a joint letter to CEO Fadi Chehade and the ICANN Board that strongly questions the "Enhancing ICANN Accountability and Governance - Process and Next Steps" document published by ICANN staff on August 14th over widespread community objections. Signatories to the August 26th letter include the GNSO Council and all of the GNSO's stakeholder groups and constituencies, the Country Code Name Supporting Organization, the At-Large Advisory Committee, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee - and, most surprisingly, the Governmental Advisory Committee. more»

Accountability and Redress

In ICANN circles these days, accountability is the buzz word. Nearly everybody is talking about it. Generally everybody is in favor of it, but that's where the agreement ends. This paper urges action by ICANN to provide a means for redress of grievances as an essential element of accountability. I would like to review the ICM case (the delegation of the .xxx domain), and the role of ICANN's Independent Review Panel (the IRP). As you will recall, the ICANN Board had originally awarded .xxx to ICM, but in a subsequent reconsideration had reversed the award. 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»

Quelle Suprise! ICANN's Accountability Plan Gives ICANN Board Total Control

After a long await, ICANN's senior management finally released its plan for "Enhancing Accountability" at the private California corporation that makes global Internet domain name policy. Unfortunately, the accountability deficit crisis created by ICANN's longstanding policy of purely "self-policing" with no meaningful external accountability mechanisms will not be solved by this weak plan for more self-policing. more»

Call for ICANN to Educate and Not Mislead GAC

I read with interest the recent blog written by Theresa Swinehart a Sr. Advisor to the President on Strategy. She wrote: "The most critical element of this [ICANN Transition] process is trust and alignment. To ensure success on this accountability track, we must as a community work closely together to make sure that the final process is meaningful. There is plenty of work to be done in an ambitious period of time." more»

Is ICANN's .IR Response at Odds with the ACPA and ICE Domain Seizures?

An initial review of ICANN's response to litigation seeking it to turn over control of the ccTLDs of Iran, Syria and North Korea led to the conclusion that it had opened a "legal can of worms". A few more just wriggled out, and they threaten the basic assumption that underlies the U.S. statute governing cybersquatting and the practices engaged in by Federal officials seizing domain names engaged in intellectual property infringement. more»

ICANN's .IR Response Opens Legal Can of Worms

ICANN has filed its initial response to writs of attachment issued by U.S. Courts that seek to have ICANN transfer control of the country code top level domains (ccTLDs) of Iran, Syria and North Korea to plaintiffs in various legal actions. The lawsuits were brought under a U.S. law that permits victims of terrorism and their family survivors to seek the assets of governments that provided support or direction of the terrorist acts. more»

NTIA's FOIA Disclosures Shed Limited Light on IANA Transition Decision

On March 27, 2014, shortly after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) March 14th announcement of its intent to transfer its counterparty status on ICANN's IANA functions contract to the global multistakeholder community, the conservative advocacy organization Americans for Limited Government (ALG) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with NTIA. ALG's request was for disclosure of "All records relating to legal and policy analysis developed by or provided to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that support its decision to "transition key internet domain name functions," including any analysis showing whether the NTIA has the legal authority to perform the transition." more»

France Wants IGF Replaced by World Internet Council

Last week, the French Senate unveiled a proposal which, if enacted, would bring sweeping changes to the Internet Governance landscape. A Senate working group worked on the proposal for 6 months. Although it is not only focussed on IG, the report can be seen as a further indictment of ICANN, following French Secretary for the Digital Economy Axelle Lemaire's claim that the organisation is no longer the right place to discuss IG. more»

UDRP Failure Endangers Consumers

Yesterday I participated in a panel at the International Consumer Product Safety Conference sponsored by the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) held at the European Commission in Brussels Belgium. This conference brings together the global community of product safety engineers, manufacturers, retailers, regulators, inspectors, and counterfeiting investigators. The role of online fraud and illicit product traffic is clearly one of the conference priorities. more»

Industry Updates

Auctions Update: MMX Wins .law and .vip

DotConnectAfrica Contributes at the 9th IGF in Istanbul, Turkey

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