Tag Archives: gTLDs

Registrations Open For Third .NXT Conference In London

The third .NXT conference will be held in London from 20 to 22 June with registrations now open with early bird rates now available for £399 until 12 April.

The conference will be held immediately preceding the ICANN meeting in Prague, which will be held from 24 to 29 June.

Some of the topics to be covered include batching, current reviews, legal opportunities and risks, the Registrar Accreditation Agreement, lessons from a CEO on running a TLD, privacy laws, laws and threats, the Internet Governance Forum, the importance of registrars in setting up a new TLD, SOPA and more.

More information including a preliminary agenda is available from the .NXT website at dot-nxt.com/london.

ICANN: Preliminary Issue Report on ”Thick” Whois

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

ICANN Staff is seeking comments on its Preliminary Issue Report on ”Thick” Whois [PDF, 635 KB]. Specifically, this Report addresses not only a possible requirement of ”thick” WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs in the context of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP), but also considers any other positive and/or negative effects that are likely to occur outside of IRTP that would need to be taken into account when deciding whether a requirement of ”thick” WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs would be desirable or not.

The Preliminary Issue Report informs the GNSO Council concerning the possible requirement of ”thick” Whois for all incumbent gTLDs in advance of the Council”s vote on whether to commence a Policy Development Process (PDP) on this issue.

This Public Comment solicitation represents an opportunity for the ICANN community to provide its views on this topic and on whether a Policy Development Process should be initiated to consider the requirement of ”thick” Whois for all incumbent gTLDs. This Preliminary Issue Report will be updated to reflect community feedback submitted through this forum. A Final Issue Report will then be presented to the GNSO Council for its consideration.

Section II: Background

In the context of the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy (IRTP) Part A as well as the Part B Working Group, the issue of ”thick” Whois was discussed and it was noted that: “The benefit would be that in a thick registry one could develop a secure method for a gaining registrar to gain access to the registrant contact information. Currently there is no standard means for the secure exchange of registrant details in a thin registry. In this scenario, disputes between the registrant and admin contact could be reduced, as the registrant would become the ultimate approver of a transfer”. At the same time it was noted that even though requiring ”thick” Whois for all incumbent gTLDs would have benefits in the context of transfers, it would be important to explore ”any other potential positive or negative effects that are likely to occur outside of IRTP that would need to be taken into account”. As a result, the IRTP Part B Working Group recommended requesting: “an Issue Report on the requirement of ”thick” WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs. Such an Issue Report and possible subsequent Policy Development Process should not only consider a possible requirement of ”thick” WHOIS or all incumbent gTLDs in the context of IRTP, but should also consider any other positive and/or negative effects that are likely to occur outside of IRTP that would need to be taken into account when deciding whether a requirement of ”thick” WHOIS for all incumbent gTLDs would be desirable or not”. This recommendation that was adopted by the GNSO Council at its meeting on 22 September 2011 (see gnso.icann.org/resolutions/).

Section III: Document and Resource Links

Preliminary Issue Report on ”Thick” Whois [PDF, 635 KB]

Comment Period Deadlines:

  • Open Date: 21 November 2011
  • Close Date: 30 December 2011


Important Information Links:

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN Announces NORC At University of Chicago Chosen For gTLD Whois Registrant Identification Study

ICANN have announced they have engaged NORC at the University of Chicago to conduct a gTLD Whois Registrant Identification study, seeking a foundational understanding of the types of entities and kinds of potentially commercial activities observed among gTLD domain names.

According to a post on the ICANN Blog, NORC intends to use Whois Registrant contact data to classify the kinds of entities that register a representative sample of gTLD domain names, including natural persons, legal persons and Privacy or Proxy service providers. NORC will then analyze Internet content associated with each sampled domain to classify the entities that appear to be using those domains, along with any observable potentially commercial activities. Draft study results are expected to be published in mid-2012.

For more information, see the ICANN Blog posting here.

IANA gonna do it! by David Taylor

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), whose mission purpose describes it as “an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce…principally responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information policies” has recently published a Further Notice of Inquiry that includes a Draft Statement of Work intended to “detail the work requirements” for the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), and, effectively, to form the basis for IANA’s future contract.IANA is the entity that oversees global IP address allocation, root zone management in the Domain Name System (DNS) and other related functions. IANA is currently operated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), but was originally run by the Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California under a contract it had with the United States Department of Defense. As such it has always been under US control. IANA’s contract is next up for renewal on 30 September 2011.In a section entitled “Responsibility and Respect for Stakeholders”, the Draft Statement of Work stipulates that, in processing requests relating to new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), “the Contractor shall include documentation to demonstrate how the proposed string has received consensus support from relevant stakeholders and is supported by the global public interest.” This has been interpreted by some as an attempt by the NTIA to establish veto powers for ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC), which is a policy advisory body composed of the representatives of various governments from around the world.ICANN’s Applicant Guidebook (AGB) is a document that sets out the rules and mechanisms for all aspects of the new gTLD application process. In its seventh iteration and still a work in progress in spite of the fact that the new gTLD programme was approved by the ICANN Board on 20 June 2011 (see the article Launch of New gTLDs: ICANN says Yes, We Can, above), it does not require “consensus support from relevant stakeholders” in order for a new TLD to be approved. It provides the GAC with various mechanisms to highlight problematic new gTLDs, such as the GAC Early Warning notice and the GAC Advice process, but the ICANN Board can simply choose to brush off the GAC’s concerns, as it did recently in relation to the approval of both .XXX and the new gTLD programme.In the run up to the approval of .XXX, US government reservations concerning the approval of this controversial TLD were expressed by the administrator of the NTIA, Laurence Strickling. However, these objections emphasised perceived risks to the stability of the Internet rather than on any moral objections to the TLD and they stopped short of any kind of strong-arm tactics that might invite the ire of those who would like to wrest control of Internet governance out of US hands and place it under the auspices of a UN controlled body. NTIA’s latest action would thus seem to be a cunning ploy to discretely re-empower the GAC and its constituents, including the US.The US found one of its most fervent allies in its resistance to both the new gTLD approval process and the approval of .XXX in European Commission Vice President and Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes. Kroes and Strickling met on 12 May 2011 after Kroes had gone so far as to write to US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke subsequent to approval of .XXX requesting that he block its addition to the DNS root in order to allow for more time for the concerns of the GAC and other parties to be heard. Strickling responded in a letter dated 20 April 2011 to Kroes stating that, while the Obama administration did not support ICANN’s decision on .XXX, he did “not think it is in the long-term best interest of the United States or the global Internet community for us unilaterally to reverse the decision.”In any event, all of this may be only a taster for the ructions to come when ICANN is faced with approving controversial new gTLDs, such as .gay and .porn.This article was written by David Taylor head of the Hogan Lovells domain name practice Anchovy.For more information on David Taylor, see www.hoganlovells.com/david-taylor or email him at drd@hoganlovells.com.

ICANN Releases Latest, Maybe Final, Version of New gTLD Applicant Guidebook

ICANN logoICANN released the latest version of its Applicant Guidebook for applicants of new generic Top-Level Domains following consultation with the Governmental Advisory Committee and other interested parties. The ICANN Board is scheduled to consider the New gTLD Program for approval on 20 June at ICANN’s international meeting in Singapore.

The 350 page Applicant Guidebook has been developed and improved through extensive public review by specialized working groups and ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees. Each draft has been accompanied by extensive public comment analyses, explanatory memoranda and independent reports.

This version contains updates based on community feedback and the recent consultations between ICANN’s Board of Directors and the GAC. Building on a three-day meeting in Brussels and many agreed-upon changes in the 15 April Draft of the Guidebook, the collaborative GAC-Board work has continued.

Most recently, designated representatives of the Board and the GAC held teleconferences to discuss trademark protections and objection procedures for governments. The full Board and GAC met in teleconference on 20 May, and the GAC provided written comments on 26 May. Several additional changes have been made based on this latest round of meetings and there were several additional areas of compromise. The Board and GAC agreed to hold another meeting in Singapore on 19 June.

The Applicant Guidebook is intended to be a comprehensive guide and will be regularly updated as aspects of the process are implemented. The Board will listen to community dialogue at the ICANN public meeting in Singapore, and will continue to solicit comments on specific areas.

To download the Applicant Guidebook in full, or in parts, go to icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/comments-7-en.htm.

Top Level Domain Holdings to Capitalise on ICANN's New gTLD Introduction

Top Level Domain Holdings plans to raise about £3m via a placing at 6.5p a share to take advantage of the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains, the board of the company has announced. Continue reading Top Level Domain Holdings to Capitalise on ICANN's New gTLD Introduction

Top Level Domain Holdings to Capitalise on ICANN’s New gTLD Introduction

Top Level Domain Holdings plans to raise about £3m via a placing at 6.5p a share to take advantage of the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains, the board of the company has announced.

The company said it was excited about prospects now that ICANN had approved the timeline for the introduction of new gTLDs in 2011.

The company said it intends to raise approximately £3 million by way of a market placing of new ordinary shares of no par value (“Ordinary Shares”) with existing and new shareholders at an indicative placing price of 6.5p per new Ordinary Share (the “Placing Shares”).

The net proceeds of the proposed placing will be used, in conjunction with the Company’s existing cash balances of approximately US$5.5 million (equivalent to approximately £3.4 million at current exchange rates), to develop further the Company’s portfolio of prospective top-level domain projects ahead of the gTLD application process in Spring 2011 and provide additional working capital for the Company. The Placing Shares will rank pari passu with the existing Ordinary Shares.

The net placing proceeds will be used together with the company’s cash balances of around $5.5m to develop its portfolio of prospective top-level domain projects ahead of the gTLD application process in spring 2011.

CEO Antony Van Couverin said, “Having reviewed ICANN’s Final Proposed Applicant Guidebook, and in view of the ICANN Board’s historic decision to do away with cross-ownership restrictions between registries and registrars, we believe that the timing is right for additional investment by TLDH.

“ICANN’s registry-registrar decision means that additional gTLD business models are now viable, and we have already seen a marked increase in interest from prospective new clients. We intend to make sure we have the resources to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Global Brands Warming to New gTLDs

Four in five (81%) global brands who intend to apply for a new generic Top Level Domain intend to use the gTLD as their default domain name according to a World Trademark Review study reported in The Domains.The survey also asked whether the respondent’s client or company would apply for a gTLD when ICANN begins taking applications in 2011, with over half (54%) responding that with the “Yes”, “It’s likely” or “Maybe” options.The full report in The Domains is available at:

Moscow Joins Growing List of gTLD Applicants

The Russian capital of Moscow has joined the growing list of likely applicants for a new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) when ICANN begins taking applications, most likely sometime in 2011.The idea, initiated by the successful Russian registrar RU-CENTER, has gained popular support among Russians with the popular Russian newspaper Moskovskiy Komsomolets conducting an online survey to which more than 7,900 people or 53.3 per cent of respondents saying they supported the idea of a .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА gTLD, the remainder ( about 6,900) being opposed.”In the autumn 2010 there will be some public consultations regarding the idea of .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА implementation. Such discussions will be organised during the main IT Russian events. We hope the community will actively participate in this project and help to develop it,” said Andrey Vorobiev, the head of external relations and communications at RU-CENTER.According to the comments of those supporting the gTLD’s introduction, Moscow is one of the biggest cities in the world and it is quite reasonable to create a TLD for the Russian capital. Also users who voted for .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА are sure that the TLDs will help to identify Moscow on the internet.Most of those who voted against the idea of the TLD’s implementation consider that Moscow has a unique exclusive status among other Russian cities and it is wrong to give other privileges to the capital by the creation of its own part in DNS. There is also a fear that .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА are able to damage the global principals of the internet. Finally, there is an opinion that there are enough TLDs and introduction of more will confuse users.However Vorobiev believes the introduction of the two gTLDs could kick start other Russian cities into applying for their own city gTLDs.”.MOSCOW and .МОСКВА introduction might be a good start for the implementation of TLDs intended for other Russian cities,” said Vorobiev. “And in this case Moscow has no exclusive status. It’s just the first Russian city among others that will apply for its own TLDs. And Moscow is the first because it is well-known abroad, it is one of the biggest cities in the world and is popular with travellers. Finally Moscow is Russian leader in internet-technologies’ development.””Designation for the TLDs intended for Russian capital is quite deliberate. During the poll some people wondered why not to use the string .MSK as a top-level domain for Moscow. Though abbreviation MSK is quite widespread in Russia, it is not well-known abroad. That’s why .MOSCOW is the best choice. Of course this designation is longer than .MSK, but in the long run it’s quite simple in spelling and pronouncement, so there will be no problems with usage of it”.More information on the .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА initiative is available from domainmoscow.org.

ICANN Seeks Input on New High Security Programme Aimed at Selected TLDs

ICANN have requested information from prospective contractors and other interested parties who can assist them and its High Security Top-Level Domain (HSTLD) Advisory Group in assessing and shaping a new programme aimed at increasing security and trust for top-level domain (TLD) registry operators who choose to participate.”This is an opportunity for interested stakeholders to have a voice in the formation of a program that will provide an additional layer of trust in the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS),” said Craig Schwartz, Chief gTLD Registry Liaison. “Eventually this programme could allow interested top-level domain registries to obtain an HSTLD designation, which will mean that a third party evaluator has verified that its business and technical operations have met certain security criteria.”The HSTLD programme will be available to any top-level domain registry operator who wishes to participate.The Advisory Group meets regularly to build upon the concept of a security verification program for TLDs. The HSTLD Advisory Group currently consists of members of ICANN staff and members of the community that have expressed an interest in assisting with the program as well as individuals who are subject matter experts in disciplines related to the program (e.g., security, auditing, certification programmes).ICANN and the Advisory Group are interested in hearing about the efficacy of various models that might be employed as the programme takes shape. Members of the group are particularly interested in learning about the potential pros and cons of using various means to convey the HSTLD designation, such as a certificate, trust mark or scorecard.Interested parties have until October 21 to respond to the Request for Information by writing to hstldrfi@icann.org.More information on the HSTLD Verification Program Advisory Group is available from: