New gTLDs to be Delayed until Third Quarter of 2013 as ICANN Abandons Evaluation Batching and Seeks Input on Delegation Metering – Provides Additional Time for Open and Transparent URS Implementation
On July 29th ICANN announced that it is inclined to process all of the 1,930 new gTLD applications in a single batch, and that the results of the initial evaluations of all applications will probably be released around June to July of 2013, stating:
GAC Internal Process for Briefings by New gTLD Applicants and Other Interested Stakeholders Raises Multiple Process and Timing Questions
ICANN has its own internal politics, as we’d expect for any organization having important duties and serving, and subject to input from, multiple constituencies. Those internal politics and “Capital P” politics intersect at its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). The GAC’s advisory role assumed more prominence under the Affirmation of Commitments (AOC) entered into upon U.S.
Last week we became aware of an ICANN staff document, “Briefing Paper on Defensive Registrations at the Second Level”, prepared just in advance of the Prague meeting (available at http://gnso.icann.org/en/correspondence/defensive-registrations-briefing-paper-04jun12-en.pdf).
Overview: Timely implementation of the URS, a required RPM for new gTLDs, is critical to the success of the program as well as to the adequacy of registrant rights – for now just at new gTLDs, but with its possible extension to incumbent gTLDs sure to be a subject of future debate.
The last full day of every ICANN meeting includes a Public Forum at which attendees and remote participants have an opportunity to address and question the ICANN Board on a wide variety of agenda items.
In a July 2nd press release (below), the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it has awarded a renewal of the IANA functions contract to ICANN. According to a Twitter post from outgoing ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom, he signed the agreement on ICANN’s behalf on Sunday, July 1st in Istanbul, Turkey as his last official act as CEO.
This morning in Prague ICANN senior staff provided a briefing to the GNSO Council on the state of play for the rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) required for new gTLDs. Most of those occupying the packed room appeared to find the information imparted to be incomplete, non-illuminating, and somewhat distressing.
As part of its avowed commitment to transparency – a key element in the Affirmation of Commitments signed at the conclusion of direct U.S. oversight -- ICANN maintains a document disclosure procedure similar to the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
Domain registrant fees are the source of the vast majority of ICANN operating funds, so in a sense registrants are the taxpayers of the ICANN system. To the extent that ICA members own or manage a significant percentage of existing domains we want to make sure that our “tax dollars” are spent wisely, that registrants’ viewpoints are reflected in ICANN decision-making processes, and that registrant rights are duly respected.