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A New Low for the ICANN Multistakeholder Process

ICANN's dismissal of public comments submitted on the .COM Registry Amendment wasn't surprising given that it recently dismissed the public comments on the .Org Renewal Agreement, but the speed and disdain which it demonstrated was. Despite public pronouncements by ICANN President and CEO, Gören Marby and assurances from ICANN Board Chair, Maarten Botterman, that public comments were welcomed and that ICANN would take them seriously... more

Food for Thought on the "New TLD" Business Models

There is always some degree of confusion in discussions about the "new TLDs". Some points of view try to be optimistic, others on the contrary only highlight the bad news, and most refer indistinctly to the "new TLDs" as if they did not break down into different segments, each of which obeys dynamics and constraints of its own. The purpose of this post is to provide some food for thought and to shed some light on those dynamics and constraints... more

ICANN Releases New .Com Contract

Internet overseeing body ICANN has released a revised contract for all dotcoms which it hopes will finally end a huge legal fight at the heart of the Internet.

Significant changes have been made to the deal - which will hand control of all dotcom domains to current owner VeriSign until 2012 - following widespread criticism from the Internet industry. more

.ORG and Change

The .ORG domain is at a crossroads: What will it be? A simple registry offering domain names for organizations, individuals and others? Or something bigger, as Ethos Capital and the Public Internet Registry propose? Will proposed changes make .ORG better? Or worse? There are valid points on both sides, but as an Internet safety advocate who for two decades has worked to teach children how to be safe online, stop the next young girl from being sex trafficked, and... more

The Sale of .ORG Registry: Continuing the Conversation We Should Be Having

On 11 February, I participated in a discussion about the pending sale of PIR at American University Washington College of Law, appropriately titled, The Controversial Sale of the .ORG Registry: The Conversation We Should Be Having. It was great to have a balanced discussion, free of some of the emotions that have often made it hard to discern the realities of the transaction. Certain misapprehensions arose in the discussion that we lacked the time to explore fully, so I want to take those up here. more

ISOC and the PIR Sale: Lessons Being Learned

The PIR/.ORG transaction is a watershed moment for ISOC. What had once seemed (at least to ISOC and its Board) to be ISOC's chance to transform its finances now seems to many to be a threat to ISOC's essence, and even its very existence. From the ISOC-NY perspective, this entire affair points out the paucity of community-involved multistakeholder participation in ISOC's critical decision-making processes (and other processes, too). more

VeriSign's Chief Hits Back at .com Critics

VeriSign's chief executive Stratton Sclavos has urged ICANN to quickly approve a deal that would allow the company to raise the price of .com domains, saying those who oppose it are acting out of "narrow economic interests".

The demand, in a letter published yesterday [PDF], came as opposition mounted to the proposal. Those criticizing the deal now include a former ICANN chief executive, and ICANN's At Large Advisory Committee, which represents end users. more

What Should the ICANN Board Do About the .org Registry Sale?

Two and a half months ago, shortly after the ICANN66 meetings in Montreal, the ICANN stakeholder community was jolted by the announcement that the Internet Society (ISOC) had entered into an agreement to sell the wholly owned PIR non-profit that holds the .org registry contract. The sale was to be for $1.13B USD to the hastily assembled venture capital company Ethos Capital. The sale was presented as a done deal awaiting approval by the ICANN Board. more

How Radix's New gTLDs Fare with Consumers - An Infographic

ICANN conducted Phase 2 of its Global Consumer Research Survey to determine consumer response to domain names, both legacy and new gTLDs. The ICANN commissioned survey conducted by Nielsen included 5,452 consumers ages 18+ in 24 countries and was conducted in 18 languages. This research was aimed at measuring several variables like TLD awareness, consumers' interaction with sites on classic and new TLDs and their trust in them. more

Dissecting the ISOC/PIR/Ethos Transaction (With Ways to Help Ensure PIR’s 2002 Commitments)

On February 11th, Professor Ben Leff of American University Washington College of Law (WCL) spoke on the panel: The Controversial Sale of the .ORG Registry: The Conversation We Should be Having as a scholar of charitable and nonprofit law. On February 21st, he posted a blog piece on WCL's PIJIP blog outlining and expanding his presentation. With Professor Leff's permission, I repost his piece on CircleID to join the timely discussion taking place here on the .ORG sale. more

U.S. Congress Pushing for Adult Top-Level Domain

It's rare that Christian conservatives and the pornography industry agree on anything. But a congressional proposal to create a new Internet domain has made odd bedfellows of the two groups.

Some moderate Democrats in Congress are pushing for an Internet red-light district where pornography would be isolated on an ''.xxx'' domain. Conservatives and the adult entertainment industry are fighting the idea -- but for dramatically different reasons. more

Domain Name Registries Scrambling to Patch Newly Discovered DNS Bug

Domain name registries are scrambling to patch a newly discovered bug in popular open source DNS software that could be exploited for denial-of-service attacks. The bug and a corresponding fix were announced Monday by NLnet Labs, a research group that provides authoritative domain name server software called NSD to domain name registrars. more

Accountability Initiatives to Secure a Strong Future for .ORG

Last fall, when we put forth our bid to acquire the Public Interest Registry (PIR), our announcement - made jointly with PIR and its parent, the Internet Society - was met with questions. We took them seriously and made a conscious effort to engage with representative members of the .ORG community to deepen our understanding. We found that a consistent message was that the commitments made by Ethos since this fall addressed most of the community's issues, but there was a question as to whether they were enforceable and if so, how? more

The .ORG Acquisition Delayed Following California's Attorney General Letter to ICANN

ICANN has delayed the decision for the sale of the .ORG registry, pushing the issue off for another month following a last minute letter from California's attorney. more

Troubling Efforts to Distort and Undermine the Multistakeholder Process

ICANN's request for comment on amending the .com registry agreement to restore Verisign's pre-2012 pricing flexibility ended last Friday and, with 8,998 responses submitted by stakeholders, may have been a multistakeholder version of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Public interest in .com pricing is understandably high but the sheer volume of responses – nearly three times the number of comments submitted this summer on deregulating .org pricing – also suggests a show of force... more