Tag Archives: generic top level domains

.XXX Closer, Chinese IDNs Approved Amid Cybersecurity Concerns and gTLD Delays at Brussels ICANN Meeting

In a week where domain name security, the possibility of blocking certain domain name character strings due to their use in cybercrime and no set date for the taking of applications for new Generic Top Level Domains, there was some good news at the 38th ICANN meeting held in Brussels this week that concluded Friday. ICANN’s board voted to enter negotiations with a view to approving the controversial .XXX Top Level Domain while Chinese internationalised domain names approved for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong in the usual board meeting that concludes each meeting.The .XXX resolution has been previously been rejected by the ICANN board, but after an independent review that was critical of ICANN’s processes, the ICANN board has been reconsidering its stance. And on Friday the board passed a resolution that called for the expedited reconsideration for ICM Registry to run .XXX as a sponsored Top Level Domain. The vote was unanimous with the exception of two abstentions.However it appears the decision did not make the board happy, with Kieren McCarthy noting the board approved .XXX “almost unanimously (two abstentions) but rather grumpily, however, with several members saying they were ‘uncomfortable’ with the decision and appearing the blame the ‘process’ for forcing them to make a decision. The approving resolutions also stuck in several approval steps, which more members grumpily pointed to.”The resolution also called for the ICANN board to check ICM Registry is suitably qualified to operate such a registry and for “ICANN staff to proceed into draft contract negotiations with ICM, taking into account the GAC advice received to date”. The Board has approved a detailed set of next steps for the application, including expedited due diligence, negotiations on a draft registry agreement, and consultation with ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee.”The board reached a carefully considered decision, paying close attention to the findings of the Independent Review Panel, and to the extensive public comment on our proposed action,” said ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush.”Today’s decision is a validation of ICANN’s transparency and accountability,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer.The .XXX TLD is viewed as a potential community site for the adult entertainment industry. The application has been controversial for several reasons with governments, adult and Christian groups all voicing criticism.Chairman Stuart Lawley said of the decision: “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m excited about the fact that .xxx will soon become a reality. This is great news.”ICM Registry said in a statement that their expectations are “that this step will proceed smoothly and will not impede the roll-out of .XXX and we expect to go live with .XXX domains at the start of 2011, if not sooner. We have 110,000 pre-reservations and expect that number to increase now that ICANN has formally approved our application.”The approval of Chinese internationalised domain names (IDNs) for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong was a welcome addition to those already approved and is likely to see more Chinese-language internet users online, and easier access for those already online.”This approval is a significant change for Chinese language users worldwide,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN. “One fifth of the world speaks Chinese and that means we just increased the potential online accessibility for roughly a billion people.”The new IDN country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) and the associated organizations approved by the Board are:

  • CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center)
  • HKIRC (Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited)
  • TWNIC (Taiwan Network Information Center).

Meanwhile the new generic Top Level Domain process continues to move forward at a glacial rate, continually thwarted by trademark holder groups who seem never to be happy. While ICANN have not given dates as to when they expect to take applications for new gTLDs such as .BERLIN and .CANON, it is expected there will be a board retreat around September to finalise the application process.And there were also controversial and disappointing concerns expressed by the Governmental Advisory Committee about censoring domain names that could or are used in cybercrime.The next ICANN meeting will take place in Cartagena, Colombia, 5-10 December 2010.For Kieren McCarthy’s excellent coverage of the ICANN meeting, see:
kierenmccarthy.com.

Issues and Benefits for New gTLDs in The Financial Times

New generic Top Level Domains have gained the attention of The Financial Times that looks at .ECO and how those who originally had the idea saw their business disappear from under their eyes. And also looks at Canon who are one of the very few multinational companies to announce they will apply for their own gTLD.

The .ECO brainchild of Trevor Bowden and Jacob Malthouse, two young Canadian entrepreneurs, were at the ICANN meeting in Mexico when they first heard of another .ECO initiative. But their competition had the backing of Al Gore, former US vice-president and environmental campaigner.

However after initially seeing their dream pass before their eyes, they “looked at their model and saw there was some space for our approach. A lot of people had said to us they liked our process and openness.”

The article also looks at brands applying for gTLDs and focuses on Canon’s announcement to apply for .CANON and the benefits to companies in doing so.

“The top-level .canon domain would serve as a constant indication that the information being presented is from the genuine Canon brand,” says the company. It says that not only would this simplify its web approach but would also enable it to maximise the multimedia marketing potential of the brand.

The report also quotes Nick Wood who recently launched Valideus, a London-based consultancy, to help brand owners through the Icann application process. Wood told the FT that a company owning their own domain could, for example, help brand owners prevent cybersquatters using their name for bogus websites and could be used as a marketing tool.

The FT also notes it could also give companies the freedom to choose the jurisdiction under which their web activities fall. Citing the case of in 2008 where a Kentucky court ordered the forfeiture of 141 gambling websites that it said were in violation of state laws, a case brought by the state of Kentucky and that is still unresolved.

“If your business is based on .com, which is run by a US company, it can’t hold off forever against US court orders. For gambling, drinks or tobacco companies, running your own registry from the jurisdiction of your choosing might be a pretty good idea,” Wood also told the FT.

To read this report in The Financial Times in full, see:
www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a4da0d2e-798b-11df-85be-00144feabdc0.html

Bahrain Looks For Ideas for IDN Application

[news release] The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain (TRA) this week published the Arab League’s Request for Information on the Management of the Internet Generic Top-Level Domain “.arab” and “عرب.”.

TRA’s ICT Director Mr. Ahmed Aldoseri said “Under the leadership of TRA Bahrain, the Arab League is currently gathering information for the purpose of finalizing its plan to apply for the “.arab” and ” .” top-level domains and establish the registries pertaining to Generic Top-Level Domain.”

Mr. Aldoseri went on to say that “.arab” and “عرب.” will encourage Internet use for those who cannot deal with Latin script and will encourage and increase the Arabic content on the Internet.”

The purpose of this Request for Information is to gather ideas and validate proposed concepts to establish and run the domains in the most efficient manner possible. The League of Arab States has decided to involve individuals, companies, organizations or government bodies and other interested parties to participate in enriching existing ideas and approaches that help in establishing the high-level organizational, structural, management, marketing, technical and financial functions of the intended registry for the “.arab” and “عرب.”.

The New “.arab” and “عرب.” domain name program will create opportunities for consumers, businesses, organizations and governments within the Member States of the Arab League and beyond to underline their identity using their own language and script.

Work conducted for the Arabic domain names is spearheaded by the Arab League Steering Committee for Arabic top-Level Domain Names, which is currently presided by Mr. Aldoseri. Other member countries of the Steering Committee are Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, and
Morocco.

The Request for Information document can be found on TRA’s website at www.tra.org.bh.

Interested parties can submit their responses to this document directly to the General Secretariat of the Arab League by 4 pm on Thursday 17 June 2010.

About TRA
Since its establishment in 2002 the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the Kingdom of Bahrain (TRA) has been working with government, consumers, operators and investors to develop the Kingdom of Bahrain into the region’s most modern communications hub and to facilitate the growth of the market. As an exemplary Regulator for the region, TRA independently carries out its duties in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner. More information about TRA can be viewed at www.tra.org.bh

This news release, along with more information and future updates, is available from www.tra.org.bh/en/newsroom.asp.

.SPORT Requests ICANN Banish Individual Sport gTLDs

In a curious letter to ICANN dated 13 May 2010, the .SPORT Policy Advisory Council has requested that ICANN block any applications for any sport-related generic Top Level Domains once they begin taking applications.In an earlier letter to ICANN dated 20 August 2009 on the same issue, .SPORT say they are “emphatically oppose any diminution of .SPORT and will take all steps necessary to ensure that the top-level domain for our sector is properly protected. We are concerned that ICANN may be prematurely entertaining a process that will allow proliferation of names in sub-categories or individual sports, which will lead to confusion in the marketplace of users. We cannot accept ICANN approving any applications for top-level domains that could diminish the solidarity implied with .SPORT.”.SPORT appears to want to monopolise any sports-related gTLD, in an attempt to maximise their income and minimising their competition.To see the letters from .SPORT to ICANN, go to:
icann.org/correspondence/baumann-to-dengate-thrush-13may10-en.pdf
icann.org/correspondence/baumann-to-dengate-thrush-20aug09-en.pdf

ICANN GNSO: Webinar Surveys Whois Requirements, Past and Future

ICANN logoWhat has the GNSO previously recommended that Whois should be able to do, and what other standards or capabilities will Whois need in the coming world of IDNs and new gTLDs?

In May last year, the GNSO Council tasked Policy Staff (with the assistance of technical staff and Council members as required) to collect and organize a comprehensive set of requirements for the Whois service. GNSO Council asked that these requirements reflect known deficiencies in the current Whois service and also possible requirements that may be needed to support various policy initiatives that have been suggested.

The Staff has complied with the Council’s task, compiled an initial report, and now seeks consultative input from the ALAC, ccNSO, GAC and SSAC. One of the report’s lead authors, Steve Sheng, ICANN Senior Technical Analyst, is offering a webinar to brief the community on the report and to respond to questions. The paper, entitled “Inventory of Whois Requirements – Initial Report,” is available now from the ICANN site [PDF, 668 KB].

Who should attend? Any community member interested in Whois policy work is welcome. Members of the ALAC, ccNSO, GAC, GNSO and SSAC are especially encouraged to participate.

Date and Time: To accommodate the community’s diverse schedules, the hour-long webinar is offered twice:

  • Tuesday, 20 April 2010. 17:00 UTC
    (10:00 Marina del Rey, 13:00 Washington D.C, 19:00 Brussels)
  • Tuesday, 4 May 2010, 06:00 UTC
    (09:00 Riyadh, 11:00 Islamabad, 15:00 Seoul, 16:00 Sydney)

Prepared content will be identical at both sessions. (Live audience questions may vary.) The webinar is offered in English.

How to Register. To participate in the live event, specify which session you’d like to attend in an email to the GNSO Secretariat. Participation details will be emailed back to you.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
gnso.icann.org/announcements/announcement-09apr10-en.htm

ICANN Consultation on New gTLD Agreement Amendment Process and Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Process

ICANN logoICANN invites community participation in an open consultation on the Process for New gTLD Registry Agreement Amendments and the Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Process. This consultation was organized in response to a request from the Registry Stakeholder Group to discuss concerns they have raised in their stakeholder meetings and public comments fora on new gTLDs. This meeting is open to all interested participants and observers.

The consultation will be held on Tuesday, 13 April from 16:00 to 19:30 UTC (timeanddate.com/s/1pcg). A conference call bridge and Adobe Connect access will be available for this discussion and an MP3 will be posted on the new gTLD program web page after the consultation. ICANN will facilitate this discussion from Marina del Rey, CA (limited space will be available to accommodate in-person participation).

Agenda

16:00 – 17:45 Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Process
17:45 – 19:30 New gTLD Agreement Amendment Process

The reference materials for the consultation include the Process for New gTLD Registry Agreement Amendments viewable at icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/registry-agreement-amendment-process-15feb10-en.pdf [PDF, 127 KB] and the Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure viewable at icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/draft-trademark-pddrp-clean-15feb10-en.pdf [PDF, 94 KB].

If you are interested in participating, please confirm at registry-liaison@icann.org by 9 April 2010. Dial-in details will be made available upon confirmation and requests for in-person participation will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-07apr10-en.htm

CADNA Launches Another Spurious Survey On Costs to Brand Owners of New gTLDs

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) has released a report claiming that the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) as proposed by ICANN will cost brand owners worldwide over $746 million.However the study is part of the propaganda CADNA regularly releases based on the premise, as they claim, that the cost to individual brand owners will be “about $500,000 each if one conservatively estimates that the average brand owner will defensively register 3 domain names per gTLD, that the average price of domain name registrations in sunrise periods of new gTLD launches will be $500, and that brands will not necessarily participate in each gTLD launch equally.”However one needs to consider whether brand owners will really bother with defensively registering their brand names in small gTLDs. Currently very few brand owners bother with small country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), so why will it be any different small gTLDs? For a large number of ccTLDs brand owners ignore registering domain names, either defensively and/or to promote their products in the local community, until there is a critical mass of domain names registered.Backing up this view is a survey by Minds + Machines, who have a vested in this process admittedly as they are proposing to apply for several gTLDs when ICANN begins taking applications.In their survey of the domain registration behaviour of Fortune 100 companies, they found that they have not registered many of their trademarks in recently created gTLDs. In a sample of 1,043 brands, they found that they were registered in less than 30 per cent of the eight new open gTLDs created after 2001.The survey theorised that if historical registration data is a guide, brands are unlikely to undertake many defensive domain name registrations in the proposed new gTLDs, and furthermore are unlikely to be the victims of cybersquatting.In an earlier study by Minds + Machines, they found that the cost of enforcement of trademark rights in new gTLDs is likely to be small – on the order of $0.10 per registered trademark, per year.Additionally, ICANN is proposing to create a Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension procedure to protect trademarks in the new gTLD programme.So yes, brand owners will often find they have additional costs in the new gTLDs. But the costs will be miniscule compared to the claims made by CADNA, but still significant.

Minds + Machines Says Well Positioned Ahead of GTLD Process

Top Level Domain Holdings, the parent company for Minds + Machines has expressed its satisfaction with the outcomes of the ICANN meeting held in Nairobi last week.

In a news release, the company says that restrictions on cross-ownership between registrars and registries will hinder the number of prospective applicants but benefit Minds + Machines.

This, Top Level Domain Holdings (TLDH) says, continues a trend of increasing the barriers to application for non-experts as ICANN adds additional requirements and restrictions to the framework for the introduction of gTLDs. TLDH is unaffected by this policy and the Board of TLDH therefore expects that TLDH will benefit from this continuing separation between registrars and registries.

And while the company supported the Expressions of Interest programme for prospective new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) applicants, the programme becomes irrelevant as ICANN nears the point when it says it will be ready to begin accepting applications.

ICANN staff reported during the Nairobi meeting that the fourth draft of Draft Applicant Guidebook is expected to be issued in June and be near its final incarnation, subject only to a final comment period.

Minds + Machines says they welcome ICANN’s focus that the main objective should be to speed up the gTLD process, and the intermediate step of EoIs is unnecessary if ICANN is close to resolving the final details prior to the launch of new gTLDs.

ICANN: Public Comment: STI Report on Trademark Protection in New gTLDs

ICANN logoThe Special Trademarks Issues Working Team (STI) has published its Report on its recommendations to create a Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension procedure to protect trademarks in the New GTLD Program. The public comment period ends on 26 January 2010.

Special Trademark Issues Review Team Recommendations [PDF, 404K]

You can also find this report at gnso.icann.org/issues/.

Background

On 12 October 2009, the ICANN Board sent a letter [PDF, 736K] to the GNSO requesting its review of the policy implications of certain trademark protection mechanisms proposed for the New gTLD Program, as described in the Draft Applicant Guidebook (icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/draft-rfp-clean-04oct09-en.pdf [PDF, 198K]) and accompanying memoranda. Specifically, the Board Letter requested that the GNSO provide input on whether it approves the proposed staff model , or, in the alternative, the GNSO could propose an alternative that is equivalent or more effective and implementable.

In response, t he GNSO adopted a resolution creating the Special Trademarks Issues review team (STI) on 28 October 2009, which included representatives from each Stakeholder Group ; At-Large; Nominating Committee Appointees; and the Government Advisory Committee, to analyze the specific rights protection mechanisms that have been proposed for inclusion in the Draft Applicant Guidebook. The STI delivered to the GNSO Council its Report [PDF, 272K], which describes an alternative model that the STI believes is more effective and implementable than the model proposed in the Draft Applicant Guidebook version 3. The GNSO Council unanimously approved the recommendations contained in the STI Report for public comment and consideration by ICANN when it finalizes the proposed model for trademark protection in the New gTLD Program.

For additional information on the new gTLD Program: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/related-en.htm.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-2-17dec09-en.htm

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:
blog.icann.org/2009/11/seoul-meeting-briefing-note/