What the ICANN Brussels Meeting Means for New gTLDs: Minds + Machines

The recent ICANN meeting held in Brussels was judged a success by Minds + Machines’ Antony Van Couvering, whose company is likely to be behind applications for several new generic Top Level Domains when ICANN eventually begins taking applications.

Van Couvering writes that the recent meeting “may become known as the meeting where the dust finally began to settle. Long-standing issues were settled, compromises were reached, no-one complained too much about the latest version of the Applicant Guidebook, and the Board stood by its project plan dates, even scheduling a Board retreat to solve remaining issues. Finally, there were no surprise “gotcha!” delays that gTLD applicants have been used to seeing at ICANN meeting. With one possible exception…”

He writes of the proposed September board retreat, .XXX decision, decisions on intellectual property and the Vertical Integration Policy Development Process as all good news.

The only sticking point from Van Couvering’s point of view was MOPO (aka MAPA or Morality and Public Order). This was quite a strange discussion with the Government Advisory Committee saying ICANN’s approach to declaring which new proposed gTLDs were acceptable “was not acceptable and must be changed.”

Van Couvering concludes that “the final shape of the applicant guidebook is becoming clear. With the possible exception of the MOPO issue, solutions to the remaining problems are visible in outline and in many cases in great detail. There are several efforts underway, including the Board retreat and various hurry-up working groups, to get the new gTLD program to the finish line. There’s always a chance that the timing will slip, but I would say not by much — we’re sticking to our timeline: most indications are that ICANN’s next meeting, in early December 2010 in Cartagena, Colombia, will finally produce a starting date for new gTLDs.”

To read this posting by Antony Van Couvering on the Minds + Machines blog in full, see: