Tag Archives: Generic Names Supporting Organization

ICANN: Webinar: Briefing About the Upcoming Review of the GNSO

ICANN logoYou are invited to a webinar regarding the upcoming Review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO). This briefing will provide the GNSO community with information about the GNSO review process, collect feedback from the community and answer questions concerning this process.The webinar will be recorded and available for those who may not be able to join the session live.

Date: Wednesday, 7 May 2014 Time: 13:00-14:00 UTC (time converter: goo.gl/4hjOpb)

Review of Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)

The objective of the Review is to examine organizational effectiveness of the GNSO, including its structure components (GNSO Council, GNSO Working Groups, GNSO Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies). The review will be tightly scoped based on objective and quantifiable criteria provided to the independent examiner.

The work methods are expected to include the examination of documentation, records and reports; outcomes from the 360 Assessment; and limited interviews. The 360 Assessment is an online mechanism to collect and summarize feedback from members of the GNSO community — a “self-review” relative to objective and quantifiable criteria. Interested members of other ICANN organizations, Board and staff also may offer feedback. Relevant assessments of the Second Accountability and Transparency Review Team 1 regarding the GNSO policy development process will be factored into the review.

GNSO and community participation

Involvement of the GNSO community as well as input and participation from the broader community are important components of this review process.

As discussed in GNSO Council meetings, the Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) is requesting that a GNSO Review Working Party be assembled to function as a liaison between the GNSO, the independent examiner and the SIC, to provide input on review criteria and the 360 Assessment, coordinate interviews and objectively supply clarification and responses to the draft findings and recommendations. Once a final report is issued and the Board takes action on it, as appropriate, the GNSO Review Working Party is expected to coordinate with the GNSO community to prepare an Implementation Plan and champion implementation of improvement activities. More information about this will be provided shortly.

Review Criteria

Objective and quantifiable criteria will cover the following areas:

  • Achievement of mission, compliance with agreed upon rules and processes
  • Accountability and transparency to the public
  • Membership processes and participation
  • Structural support toward achievement of mission
  • Governance and management: effectiveness of execution
  • Quality and evaluation/measurement of outcomes
  • Communication
  • Effectiveness of implementation of prior review recommendations

Webinar Details

Please join the webinar on Wednesday, 7 May 2014 at 13:00-14:00 UTC (time converter: http://goo.gl/4hjOpb). The webinar will be recorded and available for those who may not be able to join the session live.

The webinar will be run in an Adobe Connect room with a brief slide presentation to frame interactive discussion, along with a dial-in conference bridge for audio. The session will be conducted in English.

Please register via email to matt.ashtiani@icann.org by Tuesday, 6 May 2014 – 23:59 UTC to receive the dial-in details. A reminder with log-in and dial-in details will be sent to you prior to the call.

Webinar Materials

Wednesday, 7 May 2014:

  • Recording: TBP
  • Transcript: TBP
  • Chat Transcript: TBP

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-2-23apr14-en.htm

ICANN: Request for Proposal for Review of GNSO

ICANN logoICANN is seeking a provider to conduct an independent review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), as mandated by ICANN‘s Bylaws.

As part of ICANN‘s ongoing commitment to its evolution and improvement, Article IV – Section 4 of ICANN‘s Bylaws contains provisions for “periodic review of the performance and operation of each Supporting Organization, each Supporting Organization Council, each Advisory Committee (other than the Governmental Advisory Committee), and the Nominating Committee.”

These periodic reviews present ICANN structures with opportunities for continuous improvement through consistent application of compliance review principles to objectively measure performance relative to specific and quantifiable criteria developed by ICANN based on the unique nature of its structures. The resulting implementation of improvements and the systematic means of measuring performance and validating effectiveness of implementation are of utmost importance to the ongoing legitimacy of ICANN.

The GNSO is the policy-making body responsible for generic top-level domains, such as .COM, .NET, and .ORG. Its members include representatives from generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) registries, gTLD registrars, intellectual property interest, Internet service providers, businesses and non-commercial interests. The GNSO strives to keep gTLDs operating in a fair, orderly fashion across one global Internet, while promoting innovation and competition.

Given the significant increases in the number and nature of the generic Top Level Domains resulting from the recent launch of the New gTLD Program, the upcoming review of the GNSO is of critical importance to the ICANN community. ICANN is planning to start the review on 1 July 2014, with an anticipated duration of 6 months, and is seeking qualified providers to conduct the review in a timely and efficient manner.

For additional information and instructions for submitting responses please see www.icann.org/en/news/rfps/rfp-gnso-review-22apr14-en.zip [ZIP, 672 KB].

Activity Dates
RFP published 22 April 2014
Participants to indicate interest in submitting RFP 30 April
Participant proposals due by 13 May
Target for participant presentations (finalists) Week of 19 May (May 19-23)
Target for Final evaluations and selection of vendor (includes contracting and award to participant) 10 June
Board appointment of independent reviewer 26 June
Estimated start of implementation 1 July
Final Report 15 January 2015

 

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-22apr14-en.htm

 

ICANN: Proposed Modifications to GNSO Operating Procedures to Address Resubmission of Motions and Working Group Self Assessment

ICANN logoPurpose (Brief): The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Standing Committee on Improvements Implementation (SCI) is recommending a modification of: (1) the GNSO Operating Procedures to Resubmission of Motions; and (2) the GNSO Working Group (WG) Guidelines to Add a WG Self Assessment Mechanism.
Current Status: As required by the ICANN Bylaws, a public comment forum is hereby initiated on the proposed changes prior to GNSO Council consideration.
Next Steps: Following the closing of the public comment forum, the SCI will review the comments received; revise its recommendations, if deemed appropriate, and; submit these to the GNSO Council for approval.
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose:

The Standing Committee on Improvements Implementation (SCI) was established by the GNSO Council on 7 April 2011 as a standing committee of the GNSO, responsible for reviewing and assessing the effective functioning of the GNSO Operating Procedures and Working Group Guidelines. As part of its charter, the SCI is tasked to consider requests concerning issues related to the GNSO Council processes and procedures and to Working Group Guidelines that have been identified either by the GNSO Council or a group chartered by the GNSO Council as needing discussion. This public comment forum is being opened in relation to two proposed changes to the GNSO Operating Procedures being recommended by the SCI.

The current GNSO Operating Procedures do not contain a specific provision on the possibility of resubmitting a motion for voting by the GNSO Council. In addition, the current GNSO Working Group Guidelines, which form Annex I of the GNSO Operating Procedures, do not contain a mechanism for WGs to self-assess their work. As a result, the GNSO Council requested that the SCI consider whether there should be a modification to the GNSO Council Operating Procedures to address the issue of the resubmission of a motion. In addition, the GNSO Council asked the SCI to develop a survey that WGs could use to perform a self-assessment once their work is complete.

Accordingly, the SCI developed procedures to be inserted in Section 4.3 (Motions and Votes) of the GNSO Operating Procedures that provide for the resubmission of a motion to the GNSO Council for consideration at a subsequent meeting of the Council, if three criteria are followed: 1) providing of an explanation for the resubmission; 2) timely publication of the resubmitted motion, and 3) seconding of the resubmitted motion by a Councilor from each of the two GNSO Houses. The proposed new procedures also include limitations and exceptions for the resubmission of a motion concerning the timing of its submission, disallowing any material changes to the original motion, and clarifying that a previously-submitted motion not voted upon by the GNSO Council is considered a new motion (and not resubmitted) if it is brought before the GNSO Council again.  Please see the redlined version of Section 4.3 of the GNSO Operating Procedures [PDF, 148 KB].

In addition, the SCI developed and tested a WG self-assessment questionnaire, as a result of which the SCI is recommending that procedures for administering the self-assessment be added as a new Section 7.0 to the GNSO Working Group Guidelines, which form Annex I of the GNSO Operating Procedures. In the self-assessment questionnaire WG members are asked a series of questions about the WG processes and outputs. ICANN staff is required to monitor responses to the questionnaire, close the questionnaire when all WG members have completed it, and provide a summary of responses to the WG Chair. Please see the redlined version of Annex I to the GNSO Operating Procedures [PDF, 242 KB].

As required by the ICANN Bylaws, the SCI is requesting community input on these proposed modifications to the GNSO Operating Procedures.

Section II: Background:

The Standing Committee on Improvements Implementation (SCI) was established by the GNSO Council on 7 April 2011 as a standing committee of the GNSO, responsible for reviewing and assessing the effective functioning of the GNSO Operating Procedures and Working Group Guidelines. As part of its charter, the SCI is tasked to consider requests concerning issues related to the GNSO Council processes and procedures and to Working Group Guidelines that have been identified either by the GNSO Council or a group chartered by the GNSO Council as needing discussion. The SCI operates on the basis of the GNSO WG Guidelines, and its recommendations are made based on Full Consensus of the SCI on the proposals under consideration. Each GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency appoints a representative to the SCI. Other members of the SCI include a Nominating Committee appointee and an observer from any GNSO constituency-in-formation (if any). The SCI may also appoint observers from other ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committee. For further information about the SCI and its activities, please see https://community.icann.org/display/gnsosci/Home.

Section III: Document and Resource Links:
Current version of the GNSO Council Operating Procedures – see GNSO Operating Procedures v2.7 (13 June 2013) [PDF, 556 KB].
Comment / Reply Periods (*)

  • Comment Open Date: 10 February 2014
  • Comment Close Date: 3 March 2014 – 23:59 UTC
  • Reply Open Date: 4 March 2014
  • Reply Close Date: 1 April 2014 – 23:59 UTC

ICANN: Invitation to Join the GNSO-SSR | A GNSO Sponsored Security, Stability, Resiliency (SSR) Mailing List

ICANN logoCharter

GNSO-SSR – A GNSO Sponsored Security, Stability, Resiliency (SSR) Mailing List
To join RSVP gnso.secretariat@gnso.icann.org

Premise

This charter briefly describes an open group sponsored by the GNSO. This group will informally review SSAC reports to determine whether they contain recommendations that might deserve broader consideration in the GNSO.

Problem Statement

Recommendations made by the SSAC sometimes are relevant to GNSO policy making, yet the mechanism for the GNSO to find out or act on them is not well developed.

The current process is for the SSAC to give advice to the Board, with the presumption that the Board will pass relevant issues along to the GNSO for consideration. This doesn’t appear to be happening in all cases, with sometimes-unsatisfactory results. Here are two examples:

  • The SSAC produced an extensive report (SAC007 [PDF, 400 KB]) in 2005 that addressed the issue of domain-name hijacking. In 2011, six years later, members of the GNSO IRTP-B working group stumbled across the following observation in that report and realized that it was a good idea:
    • “Collect emergency contact information from registrants, registrars and resellers for parties who are suited to assist in responding to an urgent restoration of domain name incident. Define escalation processes (emergency procedures) that all parties agree can be instituted in events where emergency contacts are not available.”

    It took six years for that very common-sense idea to find its way into Consensus Policy and probably another year or two to implement.

  • The SSAC wrote a report (SAC045 [PDF, 507 KB]) in 2010 titled “Invalid Top Level Domain Queries at the Root Level of the DNS” which provided an early warning about the “name collisions” problem. Again, an opportunity to proactively research this issue was missed and ICANN finds itself scrambling to deal with an issue that is much complicated by the fact that a number of the highest-volume invalid strings are now applied-for strings and soon to be delegated into the root.

A related problem is that the stakeholder-group structure of the GNSO does not have an SSR-focused forum for this kind of cross-GNSO conversation.

How does not solving this problem get in the way of achieving ICANN‘s objectives?

The implication is that the GNSO may sometimes fail to consider SSAC recommendations in a timely way, or at all.

Specifically, not solving the problem raises the possibility of:

  • Negative impacts on SSR of the DNS – as a result of not considering or implementing SSAC recommendations, or building trust relationships in an SSR community of interest
  • Increased implementation costs – as a result of delay in considering SSAC proposals that may bear on GNSO consensus policy
  • Lower quality of implementation – as a result of not taking fullest advantage of the rigor of the multi-stakeholder analysis and PDP processes

Value to be gained

In addition to addressing the problems listed above, the GNSO will benefit from having this group by:

  • Broadening the pool of participants — by identifying and engaging community members who have interest and skills in SSR of the DNS
  • Building trust relationships – by providing community members an opportunity to work together in a low-key setting

Approach

The primary work product of this group will be periodic informal suggestions of SSR-related topics to be considered by the GNSO. The form of that consideration may vary. Possibilities include:

  • An Issue Report
  • An alert to a currently-running working group or implementation review team
  • Notifications to constituencies and stakeholder groups

The group:

  • Will do its work via an email list – no teleconferences are planned
  • Is open to all members of the ICANN community – all AC‘s and SO‘s, staff, Board, etc.
  • Will require that all participants submit or update their GNSO Statement of Interest before they are subscribed to the list
  • Will maintain open public email archives – and thus will not discuss private or confidential information
  • Will be convened by Mikey O’Connor until somebody gets tired of him and offers to take over
  • To join the mailing list please RSVPgnso.secretariat@gnso.icann.org

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-04feb14-en.htm

ICANN: Apply Now for ICANN’s Leadership Positions

ICANN logoICANN‘s Nominating Committee (NomCom) invites interested individuals to submit applications and candidate recommendations from the Internet community for key leadership positions to fulfill ICANN‘s technical and policy coordination role. Interested individuals are invited to submit an application to the NomCom for the following positions:

  • Two members of the Board of Directors of ICANN
  • Two At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) representatives (one each from the Europe, and North America regions)
  • One member of the Council of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)
  • One member of the Council of the Country-Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO)

The NomCom is an independent committee tasked with selecting eight members of the Board of Directors and other key positions within ICANN‘s structure. ICANN is a not-for-profit, public benefit corporation dedicated to: preserving the operational security and stability of the Internet; promoting competition; achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and supporting the development of policies appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes.

Individuals selected by the NomCom will have a unique opportunity to work with accomplished colleagues from around the globe, address the Internet’s intriguing technical coordination problems and policy development challenges with diverse functional, cultural, and geographic dimensions, and gain valuable insights and experience from working across boundaries of knowledge, responsibility and perspective.

Those selected will gain the satisfaction of making a valuable public service contribution towards the continued function and evolution of an essential global resource. Considering the broad public interest, those selected will work to achieve the goals towards which ICANN is dedicated in order to facilitate the Internet’s critically important societal functions.

Current Board members who have been selected by the NomCom include: Cherine Chalaby, Steve Crocker, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Bruno Lanvin, Olga Madruga-Forti, Erika Mann, Gonzalo Navarro and George Sadowsky.

Applications for the positions described above can be submitted through an on-line application form at (http://nomcom.icann.org/apply) or by contacting nomcom2014@icann.org.

More information regarding the NomCom can be found at http://nomcom.icann.org. Applications will be considered in confidence and should be received by 1 April 2014 for full consideration. Selections are scheduled to be announced in August 2014. Successful candidates will take up their positions following ICANN‘s Annual Meeting in October 2014.

Candidate recommendations are encouraged and can be submitted through an online form at http://nomcom.icann.org/suggest, and questions or comments may also be submitted to nomcom2014@icann.org.

Fluency in English is a requirement for all positions. These positions may involve significant international travel, including personal presence at periodic ICANN Public Meetings, as well as regular telephone and Internet communications. Reasonable direct expenses incurred in the course of service will be reimbursed. Each Board Member may also choose to receive compensation in accordance with the resolution passed by the Board on 8 December 2011, but is not required to do so. (See http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-08dec11-en.htm#3.)

Background

The NomCom is designed to function independently from the ICANN Board, Supporting Organizations, and Advisory Committees. NomCom members act only on behalf of the interests of the global Internet community and within the scope of the ICANN mission and responsibilities assigned to it by the ICANN Bylaws.

NomCom members contribute understanding of the broad interests of the Internet community as a whole, and knowledge and experience of specific Internet constituencies who have appointed them.

The challenge for the NomCom is to integrate these perspectives and derive consensus in its selections. Although appointed by Supporting Organizations and other ICANN bodies, individual NomCom members are not accountable to their appointing bodies.

NomCom members are accountable for adherence to the ICANN Bylaws and for compliance with the rules and procedures established by the NomCom.

Recent ICANN Public Meetings have been held in Beijing, China, Durban, South Africa and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Meetings during 2014 are scheduled for Singapore, Singapore, London, England and Los Angeles, California, USA.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-31jan14-en.htm

ICA Supports GNSO Resolution on IGO/INGO Protections – But the UN, NATO, WIPO and Interpol Oppose It by Philip Corwin, Internet Commerce Association

Internet Commerce Association logoYesterday ICA filed a letter that generally supported the GNSO Council’s recent and unanimously adopted Resolution on Protections for International Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations (IGOs & INGOs). In particular, while supporting strong protections for exact matches of their full names at the top and second level of the DNS, we were pleased that the Resolution did not grant undue protections to acronyms of their names, and did not put existing acronyms at incumbent gTLDs at unreasonable risk.

But it turns out that ICA was the only organization to file a supportive comment in the initial comment round (the reply period is now open until January 8th) – and that the UN has coordinated a flood of letters (found at forum.icann.org/lists/comments-igo-ingo-recommendations-27nov13/), all protesting that the Resolution does not go far enough to protect those acronyms. Besides the UN, such organizations as NATO, WIPO (which is a UN agency), and Interpol say it doesn’t do enough to prevent potential misuse of those acronyms, especially at new gTLDs.

ICA last weighed in on this issue in mid-October (see internetcommerce.org/IGO%2526INGO) when we noted that some proposals would go so far as barring the registration of common acronyms such as idea, eco, imo, iso, and au, as well as adversely affecting their existing counterparts at incumbent gTLDs. We proposed a more reasonable approach that is in many ways reflected in the GNSO-adopted resolution.

But that doesn’t begin to go far enough for the UN and the IGOs and INGOs it has rallied to its cause. Indeed, their position takes a harder line than ICANN’s own Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). The GAC’s Buenos Aires Communique (https://gacweb.icann.org/download/attachments/27132037/FINAL_Buenos_Aires_GAC_Communique_20131120.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1385055905332&api=v2) addressed this issue by requesting a dialogue with the New gTLD program Committee (NGPC) on a final modality for permanent protection of IGO acronyms at the second level, through a notification system that would allow for timely intervention to prevent misuse and confusion through a no or nominal cost system that provided for a final binding determination by a third party. That’s fairly consistent with ICA’s position, as we have no objection to allowing IGOs and INGOs to make use of the UDRP and URS, although we have reservations about placing their exact names in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) database until changes are made in the Trademark Claims Notice generated by attempts to register matches – and we don’t support placing their acronyms in the TMCH.

Regardless of the legal or technical merits, the mass of comment filings against the GNSO Resolution has just converted this into yet another politically charged hot potato that needs to be resolved by the ICANN Board. Will the GAC now take on a tougher stance under pressure from these IGOs and INGOs? And, in an approaching year when the debate between the choice of a multistakeholder versus a multilateral model of Internet governance will take center stage at the spring Sao Paulo meeting and the fall ITU session, how will the ICANN Board balance considerations of defending the unanimous multistakeholder position of the GNSO Council versus the need to garner multilateral support for ICANN itself?

As this issue develops further, ICA will remain on guard against proposals that would grant undue protections to second level acronyms or undermine the rights of registrants at incumbent gTLDs. As to how this story plays out, that’s TBC (to be continued).

 

Here’s the letter we filed yesterday–

 

 

VIRTUALAW LLC

Philip S. Corwin, Founding Principal
1155 F Street, NW  Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20004
202-559-8597/Direct
202-559-8750/Fax
202-255-6172/Cell
psc@vlaw-dc.com

 

                                                                                                December 18, 2013

 

By E-Mail

 

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300

Los Angeles, CA 90094-2536

 

Re: Protection of IGO and INGO Identifiers in All gTLDs (PDP) Recommendations for Board Consideration

Dear ICANN:

I am writing on behalf of the members of the Internet Commerce Association (ICA). ICA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the domain name industry, including domain registrants, domain marketplaces, and direct search providers. Its membership is composed of domain name registrants who invest in domain names (DNs) and develop the associated websites, as well as the companies that serve them. Professional domain name registrants are a major source of the fees that support registrars, registries, and ICANN itself. ICA members own and operate approximately ten percent of all existing Internet domains on behalf of their own domain portfolios as well as those of thousands of customers.

This letter addresses the “Protection of IGO and INGO Identifiers in All gTLDs (PDP) Recommendations for Board Consideration”   posted for public comment on November 27th[1]. We are specifically commenting upon the Resolution[2] unanimously adopted by the GNSO Council on November 20th when it approved the consensus recommendations of the IGO-INGO PDP Working Group. Following this comment period those recommendations will be considered by the ICANN Board.

Executive Summary

The ICA is generally supportive of the Resolution adopted by the GNSO Council – with the exception of certain recommendations relating to the inclusion of exact matches and acronyms in the Trademark Clearinghouse database.

We are also gratified that the recommendations do not adopt a hostile position toward acronyms of the encompassed organizations that are registered at the second level of existing gTLDs.

Discussion

The ICA filed comments[3] on October 11, 2013 in regard to the Draft Final Report on Protection of IGO and INGO Identifiers in All gTLDs.

The positions we took in that prior comment letter can be summarized follows:

  • In regard to the top level of new gTLDs, we generally favor full protection for exact matches of the full name of all the IGOs and INGOs addressed by the Report by barring their registration by third parties — but we oppose such blanket, registration-blocking  protection of exact matches of their acronyms.
  • In regard to the second level of new gTLDs, we generally favor full protection through registration blocking for exact matches of the full name of all IGOs and INGOs addressed by the Report  — but we oppose blanket protection of exact matches of their acronyms as any misuse could be addressed by existing second level dispute resolution arbitration procedures.
  • In regard to the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), which is only relevant to new gTLDs — we would support inclusion in the TMCH of exact matches of the full name of all the IGOs and INGOs addressed by the Report – but only if the Trademark Notice generated by an attempt to register such a name differentiates between trademark rights and the “rights” held in such name by an IGO or INGO that has not trademarked its name.
  • We oppose inclusion in the TMCH of the exact matches of acronyms of all the IGOs and INGOs addressed by the Report. We do not oppose allowing affected organizations to utilize the curative rights of the UDRP (at new or incumbent gTLDs) or URS (only available at new gTLDs at this time) dispute resolution arbitration mechanisms if they believe that a particular domain using such exact match has been registered and used in bad faith; that is, in such a manner as to deceive and mislead the public that the particular website is being operated by or has been endorsed by the relevant IGO or INGO.Finally, in regard to any incumbent gTLD, while we appreciate and support the Recommendation that any currently  registered domain matching a protected IGO or INGO identifier “shall be handled like any existing registered name within the incumbent gTLD regarding renewals, transfers, sale, change of registrant, etc.”, we strongly oppose the adoption of any policy that would:
  • Define or create a mechanism against the specious and completely speculative possibility of “front-running” of domain registrations of IGO or INGO identifiers.
  • Exclude such a domain from any add/drop activities by the registrar in the event it becomes eligible for deletion, or make such deleted domains ineligible for future re-registration.
  • In any way sanction the involuntary seizure or deletion of any identifier exact match acronym domain that is registered now or may be in the future at any incumbent gTLD.When we compare our previously stated positions with the recommendations that were unanimously adopted by the GNSO Council, we:
  • Support the recommendation for protection of the Red Cross/Red Crescent (RCRC) at the top and second level – with the exception of including full names and acronyms in the TMCH database.
  • Support the recommendations for protection of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at the top and second level.
  • Support the recommendations for protection of International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) at the top and second level – with the exception of including their acronyms in the TMCH database.
  • Support the recommendations for protection of International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) at the top and second level – with the exception of including exact matches of their full names in the TMCH database.
  • We support the recommendation that, at the top level, acronyms of the RCRC, IOC, IGOs and INGOs shall not be considered as “Strings Ineligible for Delegation”; and at the second level, acronyms of the RCRC, IOC, IGOs and INGO under consideration in this PDP shall not be withheld from registration.
  • We do not oppose the recommendations applicable to existing gTLD registries that they shall accommodate similar protections at the second level for the exact match, full name of the RCRC, IOC, IGOs, and INGOs – and are gratified that these protections do not apply to acronyms.
  • We support the initiation of an Issue Report to consider the amendment of existing policies “so that curative rights of the UDRP and URS can be used by those organizations that are granted protections based on their identified designations” as a preceding step to a Policy Development Procedure (PDP) on this issue – so long as the Issue Report fully considers the perspective of the domain investment community.
  • We have no objection to the establishment of “an IGO-INGO Implementation Review Team (IRT) to assist ICANN staff in developing the implementation details relating to the recommendations adopted herein should they be approved by the ICANN Board” — but strongly urge that any such IRT should include qualified members or representatives of the domain investment community so that their expertise can contribute to fully informed consideration of reasonable and effective implementation steps.Further explaining our position in regard to the inclusion of full names and acronyms in the TMCH database, we can only support inclusion of full names of the encompassed organizations in its database if the currently flawed Trademark Claims Notice is amended to differentiate between trademark rights and the “rights” held in such name by an IGO or INGO that has not trademarked its name. We oppose the inclusion of non-trademarked acronyms as the TMCH is supposed to be a reliable database of high quality trademarks. The issue of making the UDRP and URS available for non-trademarked acronyms can be addressed in the Issue Report referenced above.

    Conclusion

    We hope that ICANN finds our views on this matter to be useful and informative. We look forward to contributing to the Issue Report, PDP, and IRT referenced above.

     

    Sincerely,

    Philip S. Corwin

Counsel, Internet Commerce Association

URS is MIA in ICANN Board Renewals of .Biz, .Info, and .Org Contracts by Philip Corwin

Internet Commerce Association logoDuring its August 22nd meeting the ICANN Board approved renewal of the registry agreements for the incumbent .Biz, .Info, and .Org gTLD registries. All three contracts were adopted in the identical form to the drafts published for public comment earlier this year[1].

In taking that action the Board did not adopt the suggestion of ICANN’s Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) that all three agreements be amended to include “a commitment to adopt the URS if, after a review of its functioning in the new gTLDs, the URS appears to be reasonably effective in achieving its objectives.” That weak and vague standard would give no consideration to whether the substantive and procedural due process rights of domain registrants had received adequate protection in the administration of the as yet untested Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) rights protection mechanism.

 

Even worse, adoption of the IPC’s proposed standard would have ignored a December 2011 Resolution adopted by ICANN’s gTLD policy-making GNSO Council, supported at that time by the IPC, which explicitly tied consideration of adopting the URS at incumbent gTLD registries to overall UDRP review and reform. That Resolution evidenced a Council decision that “a [UDRP] PDP be delayed until after the New gTLD Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) has been in operation for at least eighteen months. . . to allow the policy process to be informed by data regarding the effectiveness of the URS, which was modeled on the UDRP, to address the problem of cybersquatting.”

In response to the IPC proposal, ICA transmitted a letter to ICANN’s Board Chairman and  CEO on August 20th stating “we urge the Board to reject the IPC request for contract amendments that would permit imposition of the URS on the registries for which renewal contracts are being considered absent the relevant policy process called for by the GNSO Council in December 2011. Requiring the URS to be implemented at incumbent gTLDs should only occur after full community-wide consideration of the matter, informed by an Issue Report and a subsequent PDP that considers expansion of the URS within the broader context of UDRP reform.”[2]

All three registry renewal Resolutions adopted by the Board contain identical language that references the IPC suggestion and the ICA response:

There was a specific community concern raised, and subsequent letters provided to the Board, regarding the inclusion of a requirement for the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) to be included in the renewed agreement, as well as requiring the Registry Operator to use only Registrars contracted under the 2013 RAA. In taking this decision, the Board considered the concern that extending the requirement to use the URS to existing gTLDs (which currently is only a requirement for Registry Operators approved through the New gTLD Program) would possibly be a matter for policy development. In addition, requiring the imposition of the URS today to millions of domain names may be premature given the implementation schedule for the URS processes. (Emphasis added)

While ICA appreciates the Board’s rejection of the IPC proposal, we are concerned that its statement that requiring the URS at these registries “would possibly be a matter for policy development” either misstates our position – which is that it absolutely requires a PDP under the relevant and still binding GNSO Council resolution – or is an attempt to hedge ICANN’s own position on this matter. Unlike new gTLDs, there is no existing policy that requires adoption of the URS at existing registries and hence there is nothing to implement in that regard unless and until such a policy exists.

However, now that these registry contracts have been approved, they—along with the recently renewed .Com and .Net agreements — all run for six-year terms that extend well past the date when the GNSO Council called for delivery of “a new Issue Report on the current state of all rights protection mechanisms implemented for both existing and new gTLDs” and initiation of a PDP to consider revisions of the UDRP. Those dates were, respectively, “no later than eighteen (18) months following the delegation of the first new gTLD” and “after the New gTLD Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) has been in operation for at least eighteen months”. Based upon current projections for the progress of the new gTLD program, both of those dates should arrive in 2015 – helping to ensure that consideration of the URS at incumbent gTLDs is properly addressed through the regular order of ICANN’s policy development process rather than via contract amendments that bypass it.


[2] internetcommerce.org/IPC_URS

This article by Philip Corwin from the Internet Commerce Association was sourced with permission from:
internetcommerce.org/URS_MIA_BIZINFOORG

ICANN: Potential Postponement of the GNSO Review

ICANN logoPurpose (Brief):The Board Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) is considering recommending to the ICANN Board of Directors that the review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), which is mandated by ICANN Bylaws Article IV, Section 4, be postponed and that a new schedule for the review be established within the next 6 months. The SIC seeks comments from the ICANN Community to better form its recommendation or to reconsider its recommendation.
Current Status:Questions to the ICANN Community
Next Steps: Public comments are requested to inform Board Structural Improvements Committee action.
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose:

The Board Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) is considering recommending to the ICANN Board of Directors that the review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) be postponed and that a new schedule for the review be established within the next 6 months. The GNSO review is mandated by ICANN Bylaws Article IV, Section 4. The SIC is considering this recommendation because there are two substantial, relevant activities that have commenced. They are the second Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) Accountability and Transparency Review (ATRT2) and ICANN‘s Strategic Planning Process. The ATRT2 will include an assessment of the policy development process to facilitate enhanced cross-community deliberations, and effective and timely policy development. The Strategic Planning Process includes consideration of attributes and characteristics of ICANN‘s community structures and processes, engagement of end-users, and other issues. Both of these activities will require dedicated participation by the GNSO, and may have implications for the GNSO review.

The SIC seeks comments from the ICANN Community to better form its recommendation or to reconsider its recommendation. The SIC is most appreciative of any comments from the ICANN Community but is particularly interested in comments that are in response to the following question: Are there other factors that the SIC should consider with regard to this recommendation?

Section II: Background:

ICANN Bylaws Article IV, Section 4 call for the Board to cause a periodic review of the performance and operation of each Supporting Organization, each Supporting Organization Council, each Advisory Committee (other than the Governmental Advisory Committee), and the Nominating Committee by an entity or entities independent of the organization under review. The first GNSO review was launched in 2006.

Section III: Document and Resource Links:
Comment / Reply Periods (*)
Comment Open Date:
15 July 2013
Comment Close Date:
8 August 2013 – 23:59 UTC
Reply Open Date:
9 August 2013
Reply Close Date:
29 August 2013 – 23:59 UTC
Important Information Links

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/gnso-review-15jul13-en.htm

 

ICANN: Draft Final Report on Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs

ICANN logoPurpose (Brief): The joint ccNSO-GNSO IDN working Group (JIG) seeks input from the community on its draft Final Report on Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs. The draft includes recommendations to the ccNSO and GNSO Councils for further action to resolve policy and other relating to the universal acceptance of IDN TLDs The Working expects to finalize and publish its Final Report, and submit their report, after taking into account the comments received.

Current Status: Seeking public comment on its draft Final Report is part of the process for developing recommendations to the ccNSO and GNSO Councils as defined in the charter of the JIG.

Next Steps: The JIG will closely review all submitted comments to determine, at its reasonable discretion, to modify its report.

The Working expects to formally publish its Final Report by the end of August and submit it to both the ccNSO and GNSO Council for adoption and further action.

Detailed Information

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose:

The issue of the Universal Acceptance of TLDs (Top-Level Domains) is not new.  The introduction of new gTLDs, especially those that are longer than 3 characters exposed this Universal Acceptance issue in the 2000 experimental expansion round, and was continued to be felt through the 2004 sTLD extension round.  The introduction of IDN ccTLDs through the IDN ccTLD fast track in 2010 further exposed the issue and also made this into an issue of common interest between ccTLDs and gTLDs.

Based on extensive discussion, both in the WG and with the community, the JIG intends to recommend to the ccNSO and GNSO Council that they will recommend:

  1. IDN TLD operators (including IDN ccTLD, IDN gTLD and IDN gTLD Accredited Registrars) are recommended to support Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs in their own systems. Part of this recommendation is that ICANN‘s IDN Guidelines be updated to include provisions for IDN TLD registries and registrars to support the Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs within their own systems (i.e. for registration systems and services to accept name server records, child hosts, contact information with IDN TLDs)
  2. ICANN should allocate specific resources for the advocacy of Universal Acceptance beyond the development of informational materials and toolkits.
  3. ICANN should develop of informative reference materials for new IDN TLDs (including gTLD and ccTLD) to handle issues of Universal Acceptance
  4. ICANN initiates efforts, lead by staff, with participation from the community, for further studies to investigate the scope of the issue and what other services or actions could be taken by ICANN to support the Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs beyond outreach and awareness campaigns

The WG seeks feed-back and input on the specific recommendations.

Section II: Background:

This is a Final Report from the Joint ccNSO-GNSO IDN Group (JIG) on the recommendations for actions to be taken by ICANN and the ICANN community to address the issue of Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs in support of the implementation of IDN gTLDs and IDN ccTLDs. The document incorporates the findings from the Initial Report along with the public comments received respectively:

The JIG (Joint ccNSO-GNSO IDN Working Group) was created to discuss issues of common interest between the ccNSO and the GNSO on IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names), especially IDN TLDs. The JIG has identified 3 issues of common interest to date:

  1. Single Character IDN TLDs
  2. IDN TLD Variants
  3. Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs

This report is specific to issue 3. Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs. This Final Report is submitted to the ccNSO council and the GNSO council respectively for their consideration and adoption according to their own rules and procedures.

Section III: Document and Resource Links:

The Draft Final Report can be found at: ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/idn-tld-acceptance-final-25jun13-en.pdf [PDF, 135 KB]

Section IV: Additional Information:

Additional Information on the JIG can be found at: ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/jiwg.htm

Comment / Reply Periods

  • Comment Open Date: 25 June 2013
  • Comment Close Date:25 July 2013 – 23:59 UTC
  • Reply Open Date: 26 July 2013
  • Reply Close Date:16 August 2013 – 23:59 UTC
Important Information Links

ICANN: GNSO Structures Charter Amendment Process

ICANN logoPurpose (Brief): To solicit community feedback concerning a formalized process, proposed by the Board’s Structural Improvements Committee (SIC), for amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters.
Current Status: After multiple iterations and thorough discussion by its members over several months, the SIC has approved a recommendation that a proposed GNSO Charter Amendment Procedure (described below) be posted for public comment.
Next Steps: Upon receipt and review of community feedback pursuant to this solicitation, the SIC will determine if any substantive changes to the proposed procedure are advisable and will subsequently consider requesting ICANN Board approval of the process.
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose:

The ICANN Bylaws (Article X, Section 5.3) state, “Each [GNSO] Stakeholder Group … and each of its associated Constituencies shall maintain recognition with the ICANN Board.”  During this time of significant organizational changes within ICANN and its GNSO community, it is important that Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies have the flexibility to update, modify and evolve their charters so that those governing documents remain accurate and viable. There is currently no formalized procedure for a GNSO Stakeholder Group or Constituency to request recognition by the ICANN Board of Directors for a charter amendment. To address this procedural gap, the Board’s Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) has formulated a process (below) that is intended to accommodate the periodic need to amend charter documents with the ICANN Bylaws requirement for formal validation by the Board.

GNSO Structures Charter Amendment Process – As Proposed

Phase I: Amendment Preparation

GNSO Stakeholder Groups (SGs) and Constituencies should formulate charter amendments through their own internal processes and notify policy-staff@icann.org upon initiation of such efforts. [Note: If the SG Charter requires it, proposed amendment(s) to Constituency Charters must first be submitted to the applicable SG for review and evaluation before being forwarded to Staff and Board.]

Phase II: Staff Review

Upon receipt of the proposed amendment(s), ICANN Staff will analyze the proposal and, within 10 business days, submit the community proposal with a report to the Board identifying any fiscal or liability concerns.

Phase III: Public Comments

After Board review of the Staff report and the proposed charter amendments, the Board will direct the opening of a Public Comment Forum. Upon its completion, within 30 calendar days, Staff will provide a report summarizing the community feedback.

Phase IV: Board Review

At the next available opportunity after the publication of the Staff report the Board shall either:

  1. Recognize the proposed charter amendment by a simple majority vote; or
  2. Reject the proposed amendment by a supermajority (2/3) vote and provide a specific rationale for its concerns.

In its review of the proposed amendments, the ICANN Board may ask questions and otherwise consult with the affected SG or Constituency. If it is not feasible for the Board to take action on the proposed amendments after two meetings, the Board shall report to the affected SG or Constituency the circumstance(s) that prevented it from making a final action and its best estimate of the time required to reach an action.

Section II: Background:

In July 2009, as part of the comprehensive GNSO Improvements program, the ICANN Board approved the formal Charters of four new GNSO Stakeholder Groups (SGs) (see ICANN Board Resolution 2009.30.07.09). A Constituency Charter reconfirmation effort was initiated by a Board resolution at its 1 October 2008 meeting and discontinued in 2009 in favor of a new regular review cycle.

During the intervening three years or so, there had been no additional formal charter activity until May 2012 at which time the Registry Stakeholder Group (RySG) submitted a set of changes to its charter. After discussing the substance of the RySG‘s amendments, the Structural Improvements Committee (SIC) determined that a process should exist that would cause charter amendments to be formally reviewed not only by the Board, but the ICANN community as well before being finalized.

The SIC has now asked the staff to seek community review and comment on the proposed process outlined above.

Section IV: Additional Information:

Comment / Reply Periods

  • Comment Open Date: 22 June 2013
  • Comment Close Date: 28 August 2013 – 23:59 UTC
  • Reply Open Date: 29 August 2013
  • Reply Close Date: 18 September 2013