ICANN Toronto issue index (12 October 12)

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Whaddaya take for this old dot-nag?

Seven of the 1,930 applications for new Internet extensions have been withdrawn so far, leaving each applicant with a bill of $55,000.

Six of the withdrawals have been made public, including three brands and three seemingly generic names that are reserved for country-only use. Details of the seventh withdrawal will be made public when ICANN has refunded $130,000 of the $185,000 application fee.

The three brands are: Rogers Communications' Chatr budget mobile service; Eli Lily's Cialis impotence drug; and pump manufacturer KSB, applying for its own name. So far, none of the company have offered an explanation for why they withdrew.

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ICANN COO explains the new new gTLD batching system


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A break-through, a fudge, or the best of a bad job? We spoke to ICANN's Chief Operating Officer Akram Atallah about the new proposal to hold a special draw sometime in December to decide which new gTLD applications will go first.

The proposal, revealed just a few days before ICANN's meeting in Toronto, will see applicants buy a $100 ticket in order to be entered into a draw. Each applicant will then get its own number and be ranked accordingly. The lower the number, the faster your application will be processed.

The draw is likely to be held in Los Angeles - but Atallah told us that ICANN has applied for licenses in a number of different jurisdictions just in case - and you don't have to turn up in person (you can pay a law firm to represent you).

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IPRota CEO Jonathan Robinson walks us through the new gTLD rights protection mechanisms, in particular the Trademark Clearinghouse.


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With an explosion in Internet extensions starting in just six months, the protection of trademarks has become a "cornerstone" of the program and vital to the success of the program, argues Jonathan Robinson, the CEO of a company that specializes in making it work.

We talked to Jonathan about the various rights protection mechanisms in place, why they were crucial, and what still need to be completed before they could go live.

The biggest focus of recent attention has been the "trademark clearinghouse" that will let trademark holders register their details once and have them picked up across all new Internet registries. There are "some real issues in implementing this" explains Robinson. The "devil is in the detail" and in some cases actual efforts to put systems in place is raising questions about the original policy decisions.

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CIRA CEO Byron Holland with a passionate defense of the multistakeholder model and why ICANN's new CEO is on the right track


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"When you have 1,800 of your closest friends from around the world come and visit, there are a million small details to worry about."

Byron Holland is in charge of the local host effort for the ICANN Toronto meeting next week. He took time out from his busy schedule to talk to .Nxt about the meeting, ICANN's recent past and the multistakeholder model of Internet governance that both ICANN and his own company, CIRA, pursue in deciding the future of the domain name system.

Why offer to host ICANN? To support that model in "a meaningful way". But as he explains, the requirements of an ICANN meeting make it extremely difficult to find venues. Byron shares his thoughts on ICANN's newly published plan to fundamentally change how meetings are located and run - elements of which he remains a little uncertain about.

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Blacknight CEO Michele Neylon talks RAA, the Trademark Clearinghouse and the problem of registrar on-boarding that hasn't been addressed.


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"Hell yes. Without a doubt. Absolutely. Totally." As Ireland's largest registrar, Blacknight will be going to the ICANN Toronto meeting focused not on new gTLDs but the revised contract that all registrars sign with ICANN.

We spoke to Blacknight's CEO Michele Neylon who walked us through why the RAA revision process has been so contentious and what the current sticking points are. "If law enforcement and the GAC are willing to accept that they have got a lot of what asked for, but are not going to get the rest now" then the issue may finally be resolved, Michele notes.

The issue is all about checks and validation - something that the facts show cause businesses to avoid registering domains. But validation doesn’t necessarily bring greater security, he argues. On top of that are concerns that data retention rules mean that Blacknight would literally have to break the law.

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GAC chair Heather Dryden discusses how government objections to new gTLD applications are going to work, and possible advice about further protections in the domain name system.


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The governments of the world won the right to object to any of the 1,927 applications for new Internet extensions - and they are going to use that right.

We spoke to GAC chair Heather Dryden who explained how the "early warning" process is going to work and when the governmental "No" will be delivered.

The whole process of precise comments on particular applications is "a real change for the Committee", Heather notes. It is also "a test for GAC to deliver advice and early warning in the near term".

There will be a two-tier system with "early warnings" able to come from any single government, and then the much stronger "GAC advice" representing the consensus view of governments as a whole. The later is "much harder to accomplish - and that's by design".

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Rob Hall decries lobbying, inexperience and damaging insider nature of crucial ICANN body

The ex-chair of ICANN's Nominating Committee has called for an "open and frank" discussion to reform what he says is a fatally flawed, even corrupt, process that selects half of the organization's Board members.

"I am deeply concerned about how the NomCom functions," Rob Hall told .Nxt, "and I could not change it from within."

Among the extraordinary accusations Hall levels at the committee are: determined lobbying reflecting politics in other parts of the organization; use of the Committee to provide free travel support to ICANN meetings; an insider culture that promotes friends and colleagues ahead of more qualified candidates; and a refusal to listen to formal advice from ICANN's own Board of Directors.

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One day after ICANN's crucial nominating committee was faced with serious accusations of misconduct, its leadership has responded… by refusing to discuss any of the allegations made against them.

Councillors of ICANN's main policy body, the GNSO, were surprised yesterday when chair Vanda Scartezini and chair-elect Yrjo Lansipuro refused to respond to allegations made by former chair-elect Rob Hall.

Hall resigned after he said he was "sickened" by the committee's behavior as it chose three members of the ICANN Board earlier this year. He claims that committee members had engaged in serious lobbying; ignored formal advice from the ICANN Board; promoted colleagues ahead of better qualified candidates; and used the committee as a source of free travel and accommodation to ICANN meetings.

"These are some very serious allegations," a GNSO councilor told Scartezini and Lansipuro, "what measures will you take to ensure they are precluded next year?" Lansipuro responded that he "did not recognize" the committee as described by Hall, nor the "person who was quoted".