The Estonian Internet Foundation, the .ee registry, Estonian Internet Foundation, has launched a simple three-in-one personal identification service.
To celebrate Catalonia’s National Day, puntCAT is offering discount codes to renew .cat domains, but the last day to apply for a discount code is today, 18 November, with codes valid until 31 January.
To apply for a discount code, go to decomptes.fundacio.cat and answer the question, then share the promotion on social networks or subscribe to the newsletter and you will receive the code to your email. The code is valid until 31 January and it can be used to renew the domain name with registrars participating in the promotion.
puntCAT is also releasing one- and 2-character domain names with a 4 stage registration process. The first step is currently underway, a priority registration for member entities of the Board of Trustees of FundaciÃ³ puntCAT and entities that supported the launch of the .cat domain. This period runs until 8 December.
Following is a priority registration for Public Authorities and entities in Catalan-speaking territories that runs from 9 December to 19 January 2020. There will then be a priority registration for trademarks from 20 January to 1 March and then on 2 March 2020 it will be an open registration phase for any company and/or person. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
To apply for a domain, it is necessary to fill in the following form. Once received, a selection committee made up of 2 members of the .cat team and a member of the Foundationâs board of trustees will consider the applications. Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:
- Domain pertinence and availability
- The applicantâs background and relationship with the domain
- Intention of use of the domain
The domains that have so far been registered are the following:
Currently the FundaciÃ³ puntCAT, the registry behind the .cat top level domain, is running a contest to encourage digital creation amongst school children and their teachers amongst the Catalan community. And the period to register websites or mobile applications is being extended until 2 February.
The eighth edition of the websalpunt.cat contest boasts three notable new features. For the first time, 5th- and 6th-grade elementary school students may participate. Thus, the puntCAT Foundation wants children in their last elementary school years to start to enter the world of digital creation and not become mere users.
This editionâs second new feature includes the category “Prize to the class with the highest female participation” to promote the participation of girls from primary, secondary, high school and vocational training in the technological projects that are carried out within the classroom.
Finally, this year a series of free trainings related to the creation of websites and applications for interested teachers is being carried out. To date, two webinar training sessions have been held: Treu-li suc al WordPress (Make the most of WordPress) and App Inventor. More information is available for teachers about upcoming trainings can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline to submit projects is 15 March, whereas the participating projects shall be put to a popular vote from 26 March to 13 April. On 18 April, the names of the three finalists within each category will be published, who will present their projects during the Grand Final Gala, which will be held at Cosmo Caixa on 11 May, whereas a jury will determine the winners.
The Spanish government is getting heavy with Catalonians due to the upcoming referendum on independence, aiming to stop the referendum. Police raided numerous government offices among others Wednesday in the Spanish state of Catalan, one of those being Fundació puntCAT, the registry for .cat. As part of the raids police arrested Fundació puntCAT’s Director of Innovation and Information Systems Pep Masoliver on charges of embezzlement, trespass and disobedience. Masoliver was released Friday morning. Although the conditions of his release aren't yet known.
In a statement on the arrest Wednesday, Fundació puntCAT state they:
“are a private and non for profit foundation devoted to ensuring that Catalan – a persecuted and maltreated language – has its space in the digital world. We assist all our users with the greatest professionalism and we are a reference entity in Catalonia and in the world.
“The show that we have experienced in our offices this morning has been shameful and degrading, unworthy of a civilized country. We feel helpless in the face of these immensely disproportionate facts.
“We demand the immediate release of our colleague and friend.
“We will continue to work for our foundational objectives as well as for the defense of freedom of expression on the Internet.”
The raid and arrest has also been criticised by a fellow Spanish gTLD, .eus, aimed at the Basque language and culture. In a letter to ICANN, published by InternetNews.me, the PuntuEUS Fundazioa CEO Josu Waliño writes:
“In recent days, we are experiencing an unprecedented situation with the raid of Spanish police in the offices of the PuntCAT Foundation, and the arrest of one of its workers.
“From the PuntuEUS Foundation, entity responsible for the .EUS domain management, we observe with great concern the measures being taken by the Spanish Government, since they represent a great violation of the freedom of the Internet and the domain system.
“As members of the Internet community, we wish to convey to ICANN our deep concern, and we request that on behalf of the Internet community publicly condemn these measures by upholding the values that govern ICANN and the Internet.”
Spanish police raided the offices of the .cat registry Wednesday morning seizing all their computers, according to InternetNews.me, apparently in retaliation for some .cat domain names being used to host websites for the Catalan independence referendum scheduled for 1 October.
The raid follows another Tuesday by the Guardia Civil of the offices of Spain's biggest private delivery company, Unipost, in the Catalan city of Terrassa, reports the BBC. “Catalan police officers scuffled with pro-secession protesters trying to block the street outside.”
There were further raids Wednesday with The Independent reporting “Spanish national police have stormed ministries and buildings belonging to Catalonia's regional government to put a stop to the region's independence referendum.”
The Spanish government is attempting to stop the referendum from happening. On Saturday “Catalan separatists and supporters of the region's right to hold a referendum on independence from Spain have held a rally backing more than 700 mayors facing the threat of arrest,” according to another BBC report. “The mayors have been called in for questioning by prosecutors for agreeing to facilitate the vote locally.”
“They could be arrested if they do not attend and prosecuted for using public funds if they help stage the ballot. Madrid has promised to block the vote, saying it is unconstitutional.” And last Friday the Spanish government gave the regional government in Catalonia 48 hours to abandon “illegal” referendum plans or lose budgetary powers.
In a statement last Friday prior to the raids but apparently following the court decision, The Fundació puntCAT (puntCAT Foundation) said:
“Internet is one of the greatest expressions of universal freedom and pluralism. Due to the exigences of Spanish courts which demand actions that restrict this foundational mission, we have been forced to take actions we do not share and that we consider not worthy of the space of freedom provided by new technologies. We will inform International organizations we are part of as an important member (ICANN) of any restrictions on the free concurrence of the Network and its services.
“We will continue to support the freedom, participation and processes that favor the development of our national identity and our institutions that represent the entire Catalan population, our language and our culture.”
There are over 100,000 .cat domain names registered. Internetnews.me questions how the registry will continue to operate if their offices have been shut down and computer equipment seized.
“The seizure won’t impact live domain names or general day to day operations by registrars, as the registry backend is run by CORE and leverages global DNS infrastructure. However it is deeply worrying that the Spanish government’s actions would spill over onto an entire namespace.”
For more on the raid see the InternetNews.me report here.
On October 13th ICA filed a formal Reconsideration Request (RR) asking ICANNâs Board Governance Committee (BGC) to rethink The Boardâs approval of the renewal registry agreements (RAs) for .Travel, .Cat and .Pro. All three renewal agreements contain Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) and other rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) drawn from the new gTLD program. Those RPMs are in the contracts largely because staff of ICANNâs Global Domain Division (GDD) started the RA renewal process by proposing their inclusion âto increase the consistency of registry agreements across all gTLDsâ. ICA had previously filed comments on all three proposed RAs protesting the inclusion of the URS, as did the large majority of all those who commented.
The explanations of the Board Resolutions approving the three RAs, accomplished with no formal vote on the Consent Agenda of its September 28th meeting, contains the comforting words that âthe Boardâs approval of the Renewal Registry Agreement is not a move to make the URS mandatory for any legacy TLDs, and it would be inappropriate to do soâ. However, it also includes the highly questionable assertion that the inclusion of the URS in the Renewal RAs is based on the bilateral negotiations between ICANN and the Registry Operator, where Registry Operator expressed their interest to renew their registry agreement based on the new gTLD Registry Agreementâ¦and transitioning to the new form of the registry agreement would not violate established GNSO policyâ.
There are two major problems with that reasoning:
- First, there is no equality of bargaining position between a registry that needs its contract renewed, and that often is seeking to obtain beneficial amendments to its prior RA, and GDD staff who take RPM inclusion as their starting point and insist on that throughout the negotiation process as the price of reaching a deal. The assertion that these Registry Operators âexpressed their interestâ in adopting the URS is a convenient fiction when, by their own admission, GDD staff proposed it at the start of negotiations. The very fact that all three of these registries adopted the RPMs is circumstantial evidence that the action was coerced and hardly voluntary.
- Second, and more important for preserving ICANNâs multistakeholder bottom-up policy development process, GDD staff subverted it by making what is incontrovertibly a policy decision on a critical question that has not yet been addressed by the community. Now that the Board has condoned this GDD staff initiative they are free to pursue the same RPMs end with every legacy gTLD when their contracts come up for renewal â including .Org, .Net and .Com.
As ICA explained in its RR:
âWe believe that this attempt by ICANN contracting staff to create de facto Consensus Policy via individual registry contract, absent a relevant Policy Development Process (PDP), is a glaring example of the type of top down, unaccountable action that should be targeted by enhanced accountability measures accompanying the IANA transition proposal. Contracts with legacy gTLDs can contain and enforce Consensus Policy, but it is an impermissible violation of ICANNâs Bylaws for contracts to attempt to create Consensus Policy.
â¦ We further note that ICANN staff has just issued, on October 9th, the âPreliminary Issue Report on a GNSO Policy Development Process to Review All Rights Protection Mechanisms in All gTLDsâ. This report will be considered by the GNSO Council and the ICANN community at the upcoming ICANN 54 meeting in Dublin, Ireland and, following a public comment period scheduled to end on November 30th, will result in a Final Staff report being issued on or about December 10th.
That Final Report will probably provide the foundation for the initiation of one or more Policy Development Processes (PDP) addressing whether the new gTLD RPMs should be adjusted and, more relevant to this reconsideration request, whether they should be adopted as Consensus Policy and applied to legacy gTLDs and/or integrated with the UDRP. Indeed, the Preliminary Issue Report notes (at pp.22-23):
âThese [potential] issues would be specific topics to be addressed as part of their Charter by the PDP Working Group, in addition to the more general, overarching issues such as:
- Whether any of the new RPMs (such as the URS) should, like the UDRP, be Consensus Policies applicable to all gTLDs, and the transitional issues that would have to be dealt with as a consequence.â
This passage of the Preliminary Issue Report constitutes further and new material evidence, provided directly by ICANN policy staff, that the question of whether the URS should become a Consensus Policy applicable to all gTLDs is an overarching policy matter, and that it is wholly inappropriate for GDD staff to seek imposition of it on legacy gTLDs as the starting point for registry renewal agreement negotiations because doing so creates de facto consensus policy via contract. It also identifies the presence of âtransitional issuesâ that have in no way been considered in pressing for the inclusion of the URS in the three renewal agreements that are the focus of this reconsideration request.
Unless and until the URS is adopted as a Consensus Policy for all gTLDs, ICANN staff should not be initiating the registry agreement renewal process with any legacy gTLD by suggesting that new gTLD RPMs be the starting point for contract negotiation as, given the inequality in bargaining power, this can have the effect of making the URS a de facto Consensus Policy notwithstanding the fact that the regular order PDP outlined in and required by the Bylaws has not been followed. Such GDD staff actions make a mockery of and undermine the integrity of the GNSOâs upcoming PDP review of RPMs.ICA will continue to use all available means to assure that the policies imposed on the registrants of more than 100 million legacy gTLD domains are determined through the policymaking process mandated by ICANNâs Bylaws and not set by the whims and coercive pressure of GDD staff.”
BGC action on a RR is generally supposed to take place within 30 days of its filing. The RR process is constructed in a manner to provide multiple procedural grounds for summary dismissal without ever reaching the merits of the situation. While that unfortunate avoidance tactic could be utilized, we are hopeful that the importance of this precedent-setting situation, as well as the fact that a similar RR was jointly filed by ICANNâs Business Constituency (BC) and Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG), will convince the BCG to do the right thing and address the RRs on their substantive merits.
And we will of course comment upon the recently issued Preliminary Report on Rights Protection Mechanisms in All gTLDs and participate in any subsequent policy development process (PDP) to ensure that RPM Consensus Policies are balanced, and respectful of the procedural and substantive due process rights of domain registrants.
This article by Philip Corwin from the Internet Commerce Association was sourced with permission from:
[news release] CENTR today announced the shortlisted candidates in each of the five categories of the 2015 CENTR Awards, which aim atÂ highlighting ccTLD registry projects, teams and people that are making a difference in the industry.
Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) category:
Research and Development (R&D) category:
Contributor of the Year category:
All shortlisted nominations in the first four categories were forwarded to Jury members, who have until 18 September to submit their choices.Â âThis shortlist is very promisingâ, says Carolina Aguerre, LACTLD General Manager and Chair of the 2015 CENTR Awards Jury. âWe really look forward to diving into the details of each project.â
This year, the CENTR community will also be voting for the Contributor of the Year Award. Votes are open to full and associate CENTR members, with one ballot per member.
The winners this year’s edition will be announced at the 2015 CENTR Awards Ceremony in Brussels on 7 October.
Congratulations to all participants!
This CENTR news release was sourced from:
Once again, as it was with .Travel, the vast majority of comments on the proposed renewal Registry Agreements (RAs) for the legacy .Cat and .Pro gTLDs are united in their opposition to imposition of Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) and other new gTLD rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) by contract, arguing that this is a consensus policy decision that can only be fairly made through the policy development process (PDP).
Comments following this general line of reasoning were filed on .Cat by, among others, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, IP Justice, ICANNâs Business Constituency (BC) and Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG) â and of course the ICA along with individual comments filed by ICA Board member Nat Cohen and ICA members Jay Chapman and Greg McNair.
As we saw with the comments on .Travel, the only commenters supporting URS by contract at legacy gTLDs were ICANNâs Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) and new gTLD portfolio registry operator Donuts.
An identical list of commenters and positions appears at the comment forum for .Pro.
A Staff Report on the .Cat and .Pro comments is scheduled to be filed on July 21st. But odds are that these will be late, given that the due date for the staff report on .Travel comments was July 5th but all that appears at its website is this â âReport Overdueâ. Itâs difficult to understand why it is taking staff so long to complete and post that document, because that Staff Report is supposed to be an objective compilation and summary of the comments received â and not a defense brief to justify the staff action of proposing the inclusion of URS in these renewal RAs that has drawn such broad criticism and opposition.
We will continue to monitor the .Travel website, along with those for .Cat and .Pro, to see when those Staff Reports are filed and what they say.
Meantime, here is what ICA said in the additional comments we filed on both .Cat and .Pro:
This comment by the Internet Commerce Association incorporates by reference and supplements the comment letter we filed in regard to the proposed renewal registry agreement (RA) for .Travel on June 21st.
The issues are essentially identical, in that:
- TheÂ proposed RAs for. .Cat and .Pro are completely identical to .Travel in regard to incorporating the URS in Section 2 of Specification 7.
- .Cat and .Pro are legacy gTLDs created before and for which the URS is a non-relevant implementation detail of the current new gTLD program, and is not a Consensus Policy enforceable against all gTLDs and contracted parties.
- The notice published by ICANN regarding the proposed renewal RA clearly states that âICANN has proposedâ that the new gTLD RA be the starting point for contract renewal discussion and negotiation.
This issue of staff creation of de facto Consensus Policy arose several times at the just concluded ICANN 53 meeting held in Buenos Aires. At its opening session on Sunday morning, June 21st ICANNâs GNSO Council met with senior staff of ICANNâs Global Domains Division (GDD). Many Council members raised their own strong concerns about the staff action and its destructive impact on the GNSOâs role in making gTLD policy. GDD staff provided the weak response that âwe did not push anyone to acceptâ the URS, maintaining that .Travel, .Pro, and .Cat registry operators had all âvolunteeredâ to include it in their proposed renewal agreements. That justification strains credulity given that GDD staff proposed its inclusion as the starting point for registry agreement renewal.
As we stated in our comment letter regarding .Travelâ
There can be no doubt that this is a staff attempt to create de facto Consensus Policy, as is clearly documented by the fact that the same objectionable provision appears in the proposed renewal RAs for .Cat and .Pro, both released for comment on May 28th. This evidences a deliberate and illegitimate attempt by contracting staff to create a series of precedents that would lead inevitably to the imposition of the URS on major legacy gTLDs such as .Org, .Net and .Com when they come up for renewal, despite the fact that the URS is not an ICANN Consensus Policy.
GDD staff also said they would change their position if the GNSO told them not to seek to impose new gTLD RPMs on legacy gTLDs â which is not only an impossibility for this proposed renewal RA, given the time required for the GNSO to establish policy via the standard PDP, but completely misunderstands and reverses the proper relationship between the stakeholders and staff. It is stakeholders who create ICANN policies through a bottom up process, which are subsequently administered by staff â not staff given free rein to initiate policy in a top down and unaccountable manner via contract negotiations until the stakeholders stop them.
The same concerns were raised when the Council met with the ICANN Board on the afternoon of June 21st, where they received a far more sympathetic reception. Several Board members agreed that staff should not initiate policy changes.
In addition to the concerns raised by Council members, and at community members at the Public Forum in Buenos Aires, the comments filed on .Travel ran overwhelmingly against incorporation of the URS in the renewal RA.
Only two comments supported the action by GDD staff to propose it as a starting point:
- The Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) stated that it âencourages Registry Operators to voluntarily go above and beyond the minimum rights protections. Whether adding new restrictions against abusive registrations, implementing blocking or creating new dispute procedures, those best practices should be encouraged and do not require a PDP for TLD Operators to implementâ. We strongly disagree that there is anything voluntary about a process in which a supplicant registry in need of having its contract renewed must negotiate with ICANN staff who propose that inclusion of specific RPMs be the starting point for negotiations.
- We therefore believe that legacy gTLD registry operators are not free to create and adopt new RPMs that alter the rights of existing registrants at the time of contract renewal because there is no one in the negotiating room to speak for the due process rights of their registrants. Indeed, such negotiations take place behind closed doors and are not transparent to affected stakeholders.
- Further, the IPCâs claim that âthere is clearly no requirement that an RPM must become consensus policy before it can be adopted by a registry. We have already learned that from Donuts and Rightside Registry, both of whom adopted a form of âblockingâ as an RPM, which was also not consensus policyâ completely misunderstands the critical difference between revenue-generating blocking policies promulgated by portfolio gTLD operators and dispute resolution policies. Blocking policies prevent domains from being registered in the first place and therefore have no impact on existing registrants, while alterations in dispute resolution policies can result in an existing registrant having its domain suspended, extinguished or transferred.
- The IPC also fails to recognize the difference between a new gTLD, in which potential registrants have clear notice of any supplementary RPMs, and a legacy gTLD in which registrants should expect that additional RPMs will be adopted through a standard PDP that creates Consensus Policy.
- The new gTLD portfolio operator Donuts, which maintained that the STI-RT that created the URS ânever consideredâ whether it âshould not be included in legacy TLDsâ. All we can say is that Donutsâ recollection is quite different from ours, as we recall this question being raised multiple times and receiving assurances from STI-RT participants and others involved in the development of the new gTLD RPMs that they would not and could not be imposed on legacy gTLDs absent a subsequent review, followed by a PDP which adopted them as Consensus Policy.
In closing, we repeat the conclusion of our comment letter regarding .Travel â
Consensus Policy regarding RPMs must be vetted within the community to assure a proper balancing of the interests and rights of both trademark owners and domain registrants.
In order to assure that balance two indispensable steps are necessary:
- The attempt to impose new gTLD RPMs on legacy gTLDs by contract must be withdrawn in recognition that such action is in violation of ICANN Bylaws. If staff is unwilling to retreat on this initiative then ICANNâs Board must assume responsibility and review all the issues at play, including compliance with the Bylaws, before any legacy gTLD RA with such a provision is made final.
- Any further modification of the new gTLD RPMs must be considered within the context of a full PDP. We are far past the implementation phase of the new gTLD program. Further, it is clear that the applicability of the RPMs to legacy gTLDs is now primed for discussion. Unless both RPM modifications and legacy gTLD applicability are considered within the PDP framework there is a substantial risk of a bait-and-switch policy process, in which RPMs are made applicable to legacy gTLDs and then substantially altered via a backdoor, non-PDP process.
In addition, we repeat the request that ICA made directly to ICANNâs Board at the Buenos Aires Public Forum â
First, we need a commitment that any further alterations of the new gTLD RPMs will be made through a standard PDP. We are far past the implementation details stage and it is now crystal clear that these decisions will implicate legacy gTLDs as well.
Second, if GDD staff ignores the overwhelming weight of comments and retains the URS in the final RAs for legacy gTLDs, you need to vote up and down on those RAs. You need to âownâ that decision and in that way indicate whether you believe this GDD staff action is or is not acceptable.
We hope that GDD staff will recognize that they have overreached on these legacy gTLD contracts and that the proper action is to strike the RPMs adopted from the new gTLD program from them and leave that decision to the multistakeholder community.
If staff does not do the right thing then we will press for an up and down Board vote on this and the other affected contracts before they take effect.
Philip S. Corwin
Counsel, Internet Commerce Association
This article by Philip Corwin from the Internet Commerce Association was sourced with permission from:
Purpose (Brief): Proposed Renewal of .CAT Sponsored TLD Registry AgreementÂ ICANN is posting for public comment the proposed agreement for renewal of the 2005 Registry Agreement for .CAT, which is set to expire on 19 December 2015. This proposal is a result of discussions between ICANN and FundaciÃ³ puntCAT (the Registry Operator for the .CAT TLD).
Public Comment Box Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/cat-renewal-2015-05-28-en
Comment Period Opens on 28 May.
This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
April statistics compiled by the .es registry, Red.es, show there are 3,451,863 domain names registered in Spain by businesses and individuals with more than half (50.04%) being .es domains.
Other TLDs with a significant market share are .com with 1,727,169 registrations and a market share of 35.29%). Following is .net (4.61%), .org (3.13%), .eu (3.09%), .cat (2.17%), .info (1.28%) and .biz (0.38%).