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Story
27 February 2013

If you have a better solution to the issue, let's hear it


Atallah: Surprised at the strong reaction to suggested contract changes.

ICANN COO Akram Atallah has responded to a wave of angry responses from the DNS industry over proposed changes to new registry contracts by asking it to "step up to the plate" and provide solutions to real problems.

Over 30 responses arrived on the last day of a public comment period on the revised contract, most of them highly critical. Key groups within the organization accused the organization of imposing top-down solutions, that the proposal contained "serious and fundamental flaws" and the revisions amounted to "nothing more than a power grab by ICANN staff".

Story
27 February 2013

Webinar turns tables on ICANN

The companies that run much of the domain name system are pushing a contractual dispute with overseeing organization ICANN public.

In an unusual move, the Registry Stakeholder Group of ICANN (RySG), which represents all the registries currently under contract with ICANN, and the New gTLD Applicant Group (NTAG), which represents more than half of the 1,930 applications for new Internet registries, have published an invitation for a public teleconference to discuss the proposed contract changes.

Anyone interested is invited to attend the online meeting on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 1500 UTC through the address http://icann.adobeconnect.com/rysg/. Those who wish to speak will have to call in and use the password "RY"; call-in numbers are provided on the invitation.

Story
26 February 2013

And sets the world asleep

ICANN has published "contention sets" for the 1,930 applications for new Internet extensions it has received - and left the Internet community wondering what the fuss was all about.

Of all the possible combinations and permutations of names that could be taken to be similar, only four applications that are not exact matches have been chosen: dot-hotels and dot-hoteis; and dot-unicorn and dot-unicom.

Apart from those four, ICANN says there are 230 contention sets of exact matches i.e. people applying for the same name, and 754 applications involved in total - reflecting the infographic we produced back in June 2012 when the applications were first announced (the only difference being that one of the dot-swiss bids has withdrawn).

Story
26 February 2013

Last minute flood of angry responses to new gTLD comment period

The domain name industry has responded angrily to an attempt by oversight organization ICANN to make last-minute changes to a contract covering new Internet extensions.

On the last day of a 21-day public comment period over the proposed changes, ICANN received 31 responses (40 in total). Most significant among them were joint letters from stakeholder groups within the organization all of which were highly critical of proposed changes to the registry contract for new gTLDs.

Story
23 February 2013

And why that's good news for the DNS industry

Insurance company Chartis is the latest company to withdrawal from a namesake new Internet extension (dot-chartis), claiming back $130,000 of its $185,000 application fee.

The news comes just days after the new gTLD program run by ICANN was dealt a blow with the withdrawal of five applications from General Motors (the car industry has embraced the program) and with toy-maker Hasbro dropping its dot-transformers application, despite having a savvy Net audience thanks to recent blockbuster movies featuring the camouflaging robots.

In the case of Chartis, however, the withdrawal - and recent changes announced to its application - are good news for the program since they highlight the far greater importance that new gTLDs are going to have in the global economy starting next year.

Story
19 February 2013

The proposal to introduce a "public interest commitment" to applications for new top-level domains is proving unpopular with the Internet community.

Among the complaints about the "PIC" specification – which the ICANN Board unexpectedly produced and put out for comment earlier this month – are that it would led to a "material change" in applications, that the process remains undefined, and that the organization is rushing through a significant change without adequate consultation.

None of those we spoke to wanted to go on the record – many are preparing joint statements that they intend to post to ICANN's public comment period – but they represent across-the-board frustration with a process that veers from delay and inactivity to sudden and unexpected changes and requirements.

Story
19 February 2013

The Public Interest Registry has opened pre-registration for dot-ngo domains, encouraging non-profits and non-governmental organizations to indicate early interest in the registry.

Registration is through a simple online form and does not represent a commitment to purchase a domain (PIR is calling the process an "expression of interest"), but it will mean that organizations receive useful information and updates as the application progresses through to approval.

PIR's Chief Operating Officer Nancy Gofus explained to .Nxt that PIR expects dot-ngo domains (as well as the French version, dot-ong) to go live in early 2014 but that she wanted to reach out to the non-profit community early and "inform them of the steps they can take now".

Story
19 February 2013

General Motors has pulled out of the new gTLD program at a cost of $275,000.

A recent update of ICANN's application database shows that the US motor manufacturer has withdrawn its bids for dot-Cadillac and dot-Chevrolet – representing its two most famous brands – as well as dot-GMC. Two remaining applications – for dot-Buick and dot-Chevy – are expected to be confirmed as having been withdrawn within days.

Under the rules of the program, the company is entitled to reclaim 70 percent of the $185,000 application fee, representing a cost of $55,000 per application, or $275,000 overall. In addition, the company hired brand protection company CSC to shepherd its bids through.

Story
15 February 2013

ICANN has named 23 April as the date when the organization will formally approve the first of thousands of new Internet extensions.

Speaking in a pre-recorded interview, CEO Fadi Chehade said that the organization had made “great progress in the last few weeks” and so was confident that ICANN would be able to “recommend for delegation” the first of over 1,900 applications, just a few weeks after its upcoming meeting in Beijing.

The announcement of a specific date – even if Chehade is careful to point out that it may slip depending on factors outside his control – is a positive sign for the program which has been beset with delays since it was first conceived in 2005.

The “applicant guidebook” for the program was first published in 2008 and is currently in its ninth revision, with significant changes put forward by ICANN just this month.

Story
8 February 2013

Only small number of new gTLD applicants will consider rushed process

ICANN has attempted to answer concerns that new gTLD applicants may renege on public commitments with a last-minute contractual add-on.

Following a special Board meeting last weekend, the organization's COO this week outlined plans for a "public interest commitment" that would see applicants voluntarily agree to make aspects of their application binding.

ICANN subsequently published for public comment a revised version of its contract, complete with a new Specification 11. Within that specification, applicants can either list which parts of their application they wish to be considered binding - and so tied in with third-party dispute resolution complete with the risk of losing their rights to run the registry - or add additional information regarding existing commitments.

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