ICANN: Initial Report on the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process (Overarching Issues & Work Tracks 1-4)

Brief Overview

Purpose: This public comment proceeding seeks to obtain input on the Initial Report of the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process Working Group, which is chartered to evaluate what changes or additions need to be made to existing new gTLD policy recommendations. The document includes materials from the full Working Group and four sub-teams within the Working Group, Work Tracks 1-4. Work Track 5, focused on Geographic Names and the Top-Level, will produce a separate Initial Report.

Current Status: This Initial Report is being posted for public comment as supported by the GNSO Operating Procedures.

Next Steps: Following review of public comments received, the Working Group will integrate public comments received as it works towards recommendations for inclusion in its Final Report.

Section I: Description and Explanation

The GNSO‘s New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Working Group (WG), which was chartered by the GNSO Council to conduct a Policy Development Process (PDP), is seeking to determine what, if any, changes may need to be made to the existing Introduction of New Generic Top-Level Domains policy recommendations from 8 August 2007 as well as the final Applicant Guidebook dated June 2012. As the original policy recommendations as adopted by the GNSO Council and ICANN Board have “been designed to produce systemized and ongoing mechanisms for applicants to propose new top-level domains”, those policy recommendations remain in place for subsequent rounds of the New gTLD Program unless the GNSO Council would decide to modify those policy recommendations via a policy development process. The PDP WG created 5 Work Tracks that are responsible for considering the subjects within its charter. The PDP Working Group sought community input through two community comment periods. The Working Group has produced its Initial Report, which includes material from the full Working Group and Work Tracks 1-4. Work Track 5, focused on Geographic Names at the Top-Level, was established later than the other Work Tracks and will produce a separate Initial Report.

The objective of this Initial Report is to document the Working Group’s deliberations on charter issues and preliminary recommendations, potential options for recommendations, as well as specific questions for which the Working Group is seeking input. Given the large number of issues, and the thousands of hours spent on addressing the 2012 New gTLD Program and improvements that can be made to the program moving forward, unlike other Initial Reports, this one does not contain a “Statement of level of consensus for the recommendations presented in the Initial Report.” The Co-Chairs not only believed that it was premature to measure the level of consensus of the Working Group members of dozens of recommendations contained within the Initial Report, but that doing so could have the unintended consequence of locking Working Group members into positions of support or opposition prior to soliciting public comment from the community on those recommendations. To form such definitive positions at this early of a stage could have the adverse effect of being less open to modifications to those positions as a result of community input.

In addition, though many of the preliminary recommendations were generally agreed to by members that participated in the different Work Tracks, support has not been assessed amongst the members of the overall Working Group. The Overall Working Group has not sought to form definitive positions on each of these issues at this stage. Therefore, any language in this report that suggests that the Working Group or any of its Work Tracks is making a recommendation should be read as merely a rough assessment by the Working Group co-chairs or Work Track leads.

After a comprehensive review of public comments received on this report, the Working Group will deliberate further on the preliminary recommendations contained within the Initial Report. It is possible that as a result of the deliberations, there may be supplemental reports released by the Working Group seeking additional public comments. Once all of that is completed, the Co-Chairs will conduct any formal consensus call(s) at the plenary level, on all recommendations before the Working Group issues its Final Report.

Section II: Background

In June of 2014, the GNSO Council created the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Discussion Group, which was focused on reflecting upon the experiences gained from the 2012 New gTLD round and identifying a recommended set of subjects that should be further analyzed in an Issue Report. At the ICANN53 meeting, the GNSO Council approved a motion to request that an Issue Report be drafted by ICANN staff, basing the report on the set of deliverables developed by the Discussion Group, to further analyze issues identified and help determine if changes or adjustments are needed for subsequent new gTLD procedures. The Final Issue Report [PDF, 1.38 MB] was submitted to the GNSO Council for its consideration on 4 December 2015 and a PDP on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures was initiated on 17 December 2015. The PDP WG has been meeting on a regular basis since February 2016.

Section III: Relevant Resources

Section IV: Additional Information

Open Date: 3 Jul 2018 23:59 UTC

Close Date: 5 Sep 2018 23:59 UTC

Staff Report Due: 5 Oct 2018 23:59 UTC

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