ICANN Seoul meeting briefing note highlights new gTLD delays and IDN fast track approval

ICANN has published a briefing note for their latest meeting, the 36th international public meeting, held in Seoul, South Korea. There were 1,207 attendees from 111 countries that debated a wide range of issues such as generic Top Level Domains and internationalised domain names.The briefing note summarises some of the key discussions and what were the outcomes such as the approval of the fast track for IDNs by the board on the final day of the meeting (Friday), which will see a limited number of IDNs introduced into the internet’s root, possibly before the end of 2009.The introduction of new gTLDs was also another hot discussion point with the third version of the Applicant Guidebook, as well as a range of other papers and explanatory memoranda being produced for discussion at the meeting.The introduction of new gTLDs was delayed, again, with ICANN staff revising the deadline to the opening application date for new gTLDs. Instead of giving a date, or quarter, the launch date will be dependent on community efforts to find solutions to the overarching issues. This approach prompted some in the community to argue that ICANN needed to demonstrate its determination to the process.The result at the end of the week was a compromise solution, approved in a Board resolution, that asked staff to look into how to introduce a system for allowing “expressions of interest” to be shown in new gTLDs. That process may allow for likely demand to be gauged and provide useful data to move some discussions from theoretical to pragmatic.The Applicant Guidebook is out to public comment until 22 November.Issues that relate to the introduction of new gTLDs were also key discussion points. These included trademark protection, malicious conduct such as phishing, malware, the distribution of illegal content and so on and outstanding concerns that arose from demand and economic analysis studies.Other issues were security and stability, strategic planning, the Affirmation of Committments, GNSO improvements and independent reviews.To read more on the briefing note and to see in more detail what happened at the meeting in Seoul, see: