The announcement this week from ICANN that Employ Media, operators of the .JOBS gTLD, are in breach of their Registry Agreement has been quickly rebuked by the registry.
In an announcement, Employ Media say they âview the substance of this notice to be a surprising reversal of position and contradictory to prior decisions issued by its Board of Directors. Further, we find the claims contained in the Notice to be utterly without merit. We will continue to vigorously defend our position while we work with ICANN staff to resolve the matter at hand relying upon the language of our registry agreement. We plan to publish our formal response to ICANN at our web site located at www.goto.jobs in the near future.â
Support for ICANNâs decision has come from the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition who said in a news release âone of the most significant Charter violations identified by ICANN is the operation of the so-called âDot Jobs Universe,â a series of âintegrated employment domainsâ that has been the subject of many âtoo-good-to-be-trueâ promises over the past several months by Employ Media and DirectEmployers Association. The Dot Jobs Universe was created when Employ Media and DirectEmployers Association teamed up to seize approximately forty thousand domain names ending in the .jobs suffix. This surreptitious transaction between the alliance partners temporarily gave DirectEmployers Association the ability to erroneously claim to âown and operateâ the .JOBS TLD.â
There was also strong industry support for the ICANN decision.
“While Employ Media and DirectEmployers Association have created many false expectations about the Dot Jobs Universe, ICANN’s strong stance is a victory for the Internet community, as well as for employers and job seekers,â said Peter Weddle, Executive Director of the International Association of Employment Web Sites.
âFirst, the Dot Jobs Universe was not an innovation but rather an unprecedented attempt by a registry operator to misappropriate an entire TLD for itself and its alliance partner in blatant disregard of ICANN’s rules. Fair and honest competition is welcome in the online recruitment industry, but a TLD operator must be held to the commitments it makes to the Internet community, and upon which ICANN’s approval rests. This principle is particularly important as ICANN prepares to expand the domain name space by hundreds of new TLDs. Second, Employ Media and DirectEmployers Association can no longer infringe the trademark rights of third parties by thoughtlessly launching numerous .JOBS sites with names that are confusingly similar to those of long established enterprises, many of them small businesses. Finally, the lofty promises of completely free and fully vetted job postings were simply not economically viable and could never have been fulfilled, ultimately resulting in frustration for both employers and job seekers.”
“The Coalition welcomes ICANN’s enforcement action and commends ICANN’s Legal Department and Contractual Compliance Department for conducting its review of the non-compliant actions by Employ Media, DirectEmployers Association and SHRM,â said John Bell, Chairman of the .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition.
âThe Coalition has stated for months that the facts in the matter would lead to this inevitable result. ICANN obviously reviewed all of the relevant facts and arrived at the correct conclusion. We are confident that ICANN will follow through on this demonstration of its commitment to enforce its rules and take all necessary and appropriate actions to terminate the non-compliant Dot Jobs Universe as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) also gave their support to the ICANN decision, something that has been rare in these days of new gTLD discussions.
âCADNA is encouraged to see that ICANN has taken seriously its responsibility to enforce existing Registry Agreements. This is a small step in the right direction for ICANNâs governance model,â said CADNA President Josh Bourne. âThe exploitation of the .JOBS registry by Employ Media and SHRM is a foretaste of the problems that could arise with the advent of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). It is ICANNâs responsibility to adjudicate these registry breaches, but also to prevent them from happening by reconsidering the new gTLD policy.â
ICANN has given Employ Media 30 days to rectify the situation. But if they do not, ICANN say they may commence procedures to terminate the .JOBS Registry Agreement.
To avoid this happening, ICANN state in the letter dated 27 February that Employ Media must establish meaningful registration policies, in conformity with the .JOBS Charter, for the naming conventions within the sponsored TLD and for requirements of registration.”