Tag Archives: GNSO Council

ICANN: Call for Volunteers: GNSO Review Working Group

ICANN logoIn Brief

The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council adopted the Charter [PDF, 565 KB] of the GNSO Review Working Group during its meeting on 21 July 2016. This Working Group is tasked to develop an implementation plan for the GNSO Review recommendations [PDF, 407 KB] which were recently adopted by the ICANN Board. This is the Call for Volunteers to join this Working Group. Anyone interested in the GNSO Review and contributing to the development of the implementation plan and subsequent implementation is encouraged to volunteer.

What This Working Group Will Do

Per the GNSO Review Working Group Charter [PDF, 565 KB] the GNSO Review Working Group will be responsible for developing an implementation plan, containing a realistic timeline for the implementation, definition of desired outcomes and a way to measure current state as well as progress toward the desired outcome for the GNSO Review recommendations adopted by the ICANN Board (thirty-four (34) recommendations of the Final Report [PDF, 727 KB] of the Independent Examiner (i.e. all recommendations excluding recommendations 23 and 32). This implementation plan is to be submitted for approval to the GNSO Council, followed by consideration by the ICANN Board. Following the approval of the implementation plan, the Working Group is also expected to execute and oversee the implementation of the GNSO Review recommendations unless specified differently in the implementation plan.

The GNSO Review Working Group will also be responsible for considering any new requests1 by the GNSO Council 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. However, the first priority of the Working Group will be the development of an implementation plan and the subsequent implementation of the GNSO Review recommendations.

Timeline and Deliverables

The GNSO Review Working Group is expected to deliver the implementation plan to the GNSO Council for consideration at the GNSO Council meeting at ICANN57 at the latest in order to meet the Board set objective of ‘an implementation plan, containing a realistic timeline for the implementation, definition of desired outcomes and a way to measure current state as well as progress toward the desired outcome, shall be submitted to the Board as soon as possible, but no later than six (6) months after the adoption of this resolution’2 i.e., December 2016.

How to Join

Each GNSO Stakeholder Group and/or Constituency will identify one primary and one alternate member to serve on the GNSO Review Working Group. In addition to these appointed members, anyone interested will be able to join this working group as a participant or observer. Please note that participants are expected to attend conference calls and to actively participate in online discussions. They also must submit a Statement of Interest per Section 5.0 of the GNSO Operating Procedures [PDF, 1.31 MB]. Observers can follow the group’s work on the mailing list but can neither send to the mailing list nor participate actively in the calls.

Interested participants and observers are requested to complete the sign-up sheet by Friday, 19 August 2016.

Next steps

It is anticipated that the GNSO Review Working Group will convene online for the first time in the last week of August 2016. Following that, regular online meetings will be scheduled in accordance with the Working Group’s work plan, which it is expected to develop as one of its first tasks.

Further information and preparation

For those interested in volunteering for this effort, you are encouraged to review the following materials:

  1. GNSO Review Recommendations [PDF, 407 KB]
  2. Independent Examiner Final Report [PDF, 727 KB]
  3. Frequently Asked Questions

Background

The second independent review of the GNSO commenced in 2014. The Final Report of the independent examiner was published on 15 September 2015 (see https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/gnso-review-final-15sep15-en.pdf [PDF, 1.99 MB]) and contained 36 recommendations in the areas of: participation & representation, continuous development, transparency and alignment with ICANN‘s future. The GNSO Council adopted the GNSO Review Recommendations Feasibility and Prioritization analysis (see: http://gnso.icann.org/en/drafts/review-feasibility-prioritization-25feb16-en.pdf [PDF, 407 KB]) on 14 April 2016 with the modification of Recommendation 21, that the council recommends staff working with the GNSO to institute methods of information sharing of highly relevant research related to gTLDs to help the GNSO community members increase their knowledge base (low priority).

On 25 June, the ICANN Board accepted the Final Report from the independent examiner, taking into account the GNSO Working Party’s Feasibility and Prioritization Analysis of the GNSO Review Recommendations, adopted with modifications by the GNSO Council. The Board adopted thirty-four (34) recommendations of the Final Report (i.e. all recommendations excluding recommendations 23 and 32). Furthermore, the Board requested that the GNSO Council convene a group that oversees the implementation of Board-accepted recommendations.

Per the motion adopted on 21 July 2016, the GNSO Council adopted the Charter [PDF, 565 KB] of the GNSO Review Working Group and directed staff to send a Call for Volunteers for the Working Group.


1 For items that are submitted for review ‘on request’, the GNSO Review WG expects to receive detailed input from the group affected by the process/operational change concerned. See request template at: https://community.icann.org/download/attachments/14713135/GNSO-SCI-ReviewRequest-yyymmdd_template.docx?version=1&modificationDate=1469143165000&api=v2 [DOCX, 102 KB].

2 The Board resolution was adopted on 25 June 2016

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2016-07-27-en

ICANN: Charter Amendments of the GNSO gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group

ICANN logoBrief Overview

Purpose: This public comment proceeding seeks to obtain community input on proposed amendments to the charter of the GNSO’s gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group.

Current Status: Amendments have been approved by the membership of the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group.

Next Steps: The ICANN Board of Directors is expected to review the proposed amendments and take action.

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The GNSO gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) has completed Phase I of the formal ICANN Board Process for approval of community charter amendments and voted to amend its governing Charter documentation. In addition, as part of its Phase II Board Process responsibilities, ICANN staff has assessed the amendments and determined that the proposals do not present any direct fiscal or liability concerns to the ICANN organization.

Accompanying this public comment announcement (see link below) is a document titled Charter of the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group – Adopted by RySG Vote on 4 November 2015, which reflects the gTLD Registries’ proposed changes in a yellow highlight for all new and replacement text and which identifies deleted language in a “strikeout” font.

In sum, the RySG has amended its existing Charter to address a number of items – including those flagged by the ICANN Board in its Dublin Public Meeting resolution approving the last recent set of RySG Charter amendments (see – Board Resolution 2015.10.22.14). Among them, the most substantial charter amendments proposed by the RySG at this time are in the following areas:

  • Creation of a new class of “Association” members;
  • Changes to the weighted voting categories and measures of the group; and
  • Adjustments to the community fee structure to accommodate the addition of association members.

Section II: Background

The ICANN Bylaws (Article X, Section 5.3) state, “Each Stakeholder Group shall maintain recognition with the ICANN Board.” The ICANN Board has interpreted this language to require that it must formally approve any GNSO Stakeholder Group and/or Constituency Charter amendments.

In September 2013, the Board approved a Process For Amending GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency Charters (hereinafter “Process”) establishing four process phases that must be executed to secure formal Board approval of any community governance changes.  Those phases are:

  • Phase I: Amendment Preparation
  • Phase II: Staff Review
  • Phase III: Public Comments
  • Phase IV: Board Review

After receiving a recommendation from the Structural Improvements Committee (SIC), 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.
  3. If neither above condition is met, the Board will ask for further explanation of the proposed amendments by the community.

Section III: Relevant Resources

Section IV: Additional Information

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/public-comments/rysg-charter-draft-2016-02-22-en

Preliminary Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures

ICANN logoBrief Overview

Purpose: This public comment proceeding is being opened to obtain community input on the Preliminary Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures.

Current Status: This new Preliminary Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures is posted for public comment and submitted to the GNSO Council in response to the Council’s request, pursuant to a Resolution passed during its meeting on 24 June, 2015.

Next Steps: Following review of public comments received on this report, the Staff Manager will update the Issue Report as appropriate to reflect public comment. The Staff Manager will submit a summary of the public comments received together with the Final Issue Report to the GNSO Council for consideration.

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

This Preliminary Issue Report [PDF, 1.28 MB] was created in response to the GNSO Council request to analyze subjects that may lead to changes or adjustments for subsequent New gTLD Procedures, utilizing a set of deliverables from the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Discussion Group (DG) as the basis for analysis. This Preliminary Issue Report is intended to help establish a baseline scope of subjects and to provide analysis that will hopefully further the work of the potential PDP Working Group, but it is not intended to discuss and provide solutions, as that is work expected to be accomplished by the PDPWG.

This Preliminary Issue Report seeks to review the subjects identified by the DG in depth, to help the community in determining what, if any changes may be needed in regards to the existing GNSO Final Report on Introduction of New Generic Top-Level Domains, which has “been designed to produce a systemized and ongoing mechanisms for applicants to propose new top-level domains,” meaning those policy recommendations remain in place for subsequent rounds of the New gTLD Program unless the GNSO Council would decide to modify those policy recommendations via a policy development process. The DG saw the subjects it identified as possibly being addressed in the following ways:

  • Clarifying, amending or overriding existing policy principles, recommendations, and implementation guidelines;
  • Developing new policy recommendations, and/or;
  • Supplementing or developing new implementation guidance.

There are a number of New gTLD-related review efforts underway or planned within the community, which to the extent that they are known, are discussed in this report. A potential Policy Development Process (PDP) should not be expected to be limited to the subjects identified in this Issue Report, and should take into account the findings from these related efforts. In some cases, it may be determined that certain subjects can be fully addressed in these related efforts. The subjects identified by the DG have been organized in suggested groupings that could facilitate establishing teams to undertake the work. The list of subjects is a starting point, and a suggested method of organization, but it is not intended to be exhaustive or impose constraints on how a potential PDPWG operates or the issues it discusses, provided that the issues are directly related to new gTLD subsequent procedures. The list of subjects may need to be supplemented, shrunk, or reorganized, to meet the needs of the substantive policy discussions of the PDPWG.

The provisional groupings suggested by the DG and discussed in this Issue Report are enumerated directly below, which each contain a set of discrete subjects that have been researched and analyzed for the purposes of this Issue Report, and are likely to warrant additional discussion and possibly the development of recommendations by a potential PDP Working Group:

  1. Overall Process / Support / Outreach
  2. Legal / Regulatory
  3. String Contention / Objections & Disputes
  4. Internationalized Domain Names
  5. Technical and Operations

This document is being published for public comment to seek community input particularly with regards to information that may be missing from this Preliminary Issue Report, or necessary corrections or updates to information, as well as any feedback on the proposed PDP Working Group Charter. Furthermore, comments are sought on whether there are any issues that should be explored in the PDP in addition to those described above and in the Preliminary Issue Report.

Section II: Background

In 2005, the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) began a policy development process (PDP) to consider the introduction of new gTLDs. The two-year PDP process resulted in a set of 19 GNSO policy recommendations for implementing new gTLDs. In order to implement the policy recommendations of the GNSO, and to take into consideration subsequent additional policies and recommendations from the community (including the GNSO, GAC, ccNSO, ALAC, SSAC and the ICANN Board through the New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC)), a number of draft Applicant Guidebooks (AGBs) were developed by ICANN staff.

In June 2011, ICANN‘s Board of Directors approved the final AGB and authorized the launch of the New gTLD Program, although subsequent revised versions of the Final Applicant Guidebook were released by ICANN staff, including the ultimate final New gTLD Applicant Guidebook dated June 4, 2012, a few months after the application window closed.

The New gTLD Program application window opened on 12 January 2012 and a total of 1930 complete applications were received. The first set of Initial Evaluation results were released on 22 March 2013, followed by the first set of new gTLD delegations on 21 October 2013.

All applications have completed the evaluation process and as of the writing of this Preliminary Issue Report, there are over 700 gTLDs delegated and approximately 600 applications still proceeding through the remaining steps of the program. Though the 2012 round is ongoing, efforts to examine the round have already begun, which includes the creation of the GNSO New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Discussion Group (DG), was created to discuss the experiences gained by the first round of new gTLD applications and identify subjects for future issue reports, if any, that might lead to changes or adjustments for subsequent application procedures.

The DG prepared a set of final deliverables, which included a set of subjects that it anticipated should be analyzed in detail in the context of an issue report. On 24 June, 2015 the GNSO Council passed a resolution requesting the drafting of this Preliminary Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures.

Section III: Relevant Resources

Section IV: Additional Information

Open Date: 31 Aug 2015 23:59 UTC

Close Date: 10 Oct 2015 23:59 UTC

Staff Report Due: 24 Oct 2015 23:59 UTC

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
https://www.icann.org/public-comments/new-gtld-subsequent-prelim-2015-08-31-en

US Govt Wants New Trademark Protections at .Com and a Default Judgment URS by Philip Corwin, Internet Commerce Association

Internet Commerce Association logoOn the eve of ICANN’s 45th public meeting in Toronto — the last such meeting for the next half year until the April 2013 Beijing event — the United States government has urged ICANN to consider adding new trademark protections at .com and other incumbent gTLDs, and to adopt a Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) model that includes a default judgment procedure. These proposals could dramatically alter the balance between complainants and registrants in both UDRP and URS cases involving domains at new and existing gTLDs, and ICA intends to fully engage in the ensuing debate.

These suggestions are contained in an October 4th letter sent by Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Lawrence Strickling to ICANN Board Chairman Steve Crocker (letter available at www.icann.org/en/news/correspondence/strickling-to-crocker-04oct12-en).

In regard to considering new trademark protections beyond those being implemented for the new gTLD program, the letter urges ICANN to “explore additional trademark protections across all TLDs, existing and new, through community dialogues and appropriate policy development processes in the coming year”. (Emphasis added) This call for initiation of a policy development process (PDP) for altering trademark protections at incumbent gTLDs is at direct odds with a mid-December 2011 resolution passed by ICANN’s GNSO Council, made under substantial pressure from the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and major brand interests, to defer initiation of any PDP until 18 months after the first new gTLD is delegated to the root. GNSO Resolution 20111215-1 (available at gnso.icann.org/en/resolutions) states:

RESOLVED further, the GNSO Council requests a new Issue Report on the current state of all rights protection mechanisms implemented for both existing and new gTLDs, including but not limited to, the UDRP and URS, should be delivered to the GNSO Council by no later than eighteen (18) months following the delegation of the first new gTLD.

At the time, ICA and many other groups were urging the GNSO Council to initiate a PDP on procedural UDRP reform based on a decade of UDRP experience, and rejected the notion that ICANN and the community lacked the capacity to simultaneously implement the new gTLD program and consider procedural improvements. When the GNSO passed on that option, it was expected that the first new gTLD would be delegated in early 2013 and that the PDP would therefore kick off in mid-2014 – but intervening events have now pushed the schedule back by at least a year.

We see several major issues raised by Secretary’s Strickling’s suggestion:

  • As it seems impossible to envisage changing trademark protections at .com et al without opening up the substance of the UDRP, acquiescing to the suggestion less than a year after its decision to defer UDRP reform would make the GNSO Council appear to be akin to a yo-yo directed by Washington, and would also kick off the discussion without it being informed by the requested Issue Report.
  • Implementing new rights protection measures (RPMs) at new gTLDs, which don’t yet exist and where registrants will obtain domains with clear notice of the new rules, is quite a different exercise than changing the substantive rules for existing gTLDs that are comprised of more than 100 million domains, many of which are highly valued in the secondary market. This debate is likely to feature far more controversy than even the heated discussion that accompanied development of the new gTLD RPMs, and initiating it while those RPMs are still being implemented could result in yet further delay in the launch of new gTLDs.
  • While ICA continues to favor the initiation of a PDP on procedural UDRP reform, we believe that any discussion of substantive UDRP reform should await experience with the performance of the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMC) and URS at new gTLDs. It would be irresponsible to consider imposing these untested RPMs on 100 million-plus incumbent gTLD domains before we have analyzed their real-world performance, especially in regard to their effect on the legitimate rights of domain registrants.

Again, there is plenty to evaluate and decide in any procedural UDRP PDP without debating substantive changes to rights protections. ICA has advocated that the heart of such reform be the development of a standard contract for all UDRP providers that delineates and limits their powers and provides ICANN with effective and flexible enforcement tools, with clear goals such as assuring uniformity and integrity in decision-making and the prevention of forum shopping. The need for such a contractual framework was illustrated again by the recent updating of attorney Zak Muscovitch’s survey of National Arbitration Forum (NAF) panelist selection procedures. The updated August 2012 study (available at dnattorney.com/NAFdomainnamedisputestudy2012.shtml) found that, while NAF claims to have 136 panelists on its trademark experts roster, 70 of whom (about half) were from the United States, in actual practice only seven of these panelists, all from the U.S.,  decided almost half (45.9 percent) of UDRP complaints filed with NAF.

So, clearly, one provision of a standard UDRP provider contract could be that when a provider is accredited by ICANN on the basis of claiming a large number of panelists from a variety of jurisdictions it should be required to actually use those panelists on a random basis — and not direct nearly half of all cases to a favored five percent of those panelists. The Muscovitch study certainly raises further questions about the quality of decisions provided by the number two UDRP provider. Earlier this year ICA requested that ICANN investigate NAF’s UDRP practices (see internetcommerce.org/NAF_UDRP_FAIL) and the response we received to our letter was unsatisfactory and indicated that ICANN takes UDRP provider oversight less seriously than it should. Frankly, we have always found it outrageous that ICANN accredits UDRP arbitration providers to extinguish or transfer valuable domain assets without any written or enforceable standards – trademark owners would never stand for a private entity being given such powers over their assets absent written and credible controls.

We do note that in Secretary Strickling’s letter the NTIA does not take a position for or against any potential trademark protection proposal, and does advocate that “ICANN should continue an open and transparent dialogue between all actors in order to find solutions to these issues”. (Emphasis added) ICA definitely intends to be a clear and consistent voice in that dialogue for the proposition that registrant rights must receive balanced treatment vis-à-vis trademark rights.

As for the letter’s advocacy for a clear linkage between the TMC and URS and to “provide efficient default judgment procedures” in the URS, we have two big concerns —

  • First, while we are open to a linkage between the two new RPMs, a final decision must await a determination of what data will actually be contained in the TMC – exact matches of trademarks, or all sorts of additions and variations as some brand owners are urging?
  • Second, we remain strongly opposed to a default judgment procedure that would automatically suspend a domain when the registrant fails to file a response in the now-truncated time period of 14 days. During this past week’s URS webinar there was substantial pushback from many quarters against adopting this proposal.

URS default judgments would be too much like the IP-based, due process-lacking “domain censorship” that would have been authorized by the SOPA legislation that incited a netizens revolt earlier this year. It is also just too prone to potential abuse, as no human expert would be checking to see if the rights holder complainant actually possessed the rights it claimed, or reviewing the domain name to see if it actually constituted a black-and-white, slam dunk instance of cybersquatting. We have nothing against a URS that is as cost-efficient as possible – but not at the cost of cheapening domain registrants’ rights.

We already expected the upcoming Toronto meeting to feature quite a bit of heated discussion of the final shape of RPMs for new gTLDs. By throwing .com and other incumbent gTLDs into the mix, and pushing the default judgment proposal, the Strickling letter should raise the temperature to an even higher level.

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

ICANN: Preliminary Issue Report on Uniformity of Contracts to Address Registration Abuse

ICANN logoPurpose (Brief): At its October meeting last year the GNSO Council requested an Issue Report to evaluate whether a minimum baseline of registration abuse provisions should be created for all in scope ICANN agreements, and if created, how such language would be structured to address the most common forms of registration abuse. The Preliminary Issue Report has now been published for public comment.

Public Comment Box Link: www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/uoc-prelim-issue-report-25jul12-en.htm

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-25jul12-en.htm