|Comment/Reply Periods (*)||Important Information Links|
|Comment Open:||5 February 2013|
|Comment Close:||7 March 2013|
|Close Time (UTC):||23:59||Public Comment Announcement|
|Reply Open:||To Submit Your Comments (Forum)|
|Reply Close:||View Comments Submitted|
|Close Time (UTC):||Report of Public Comments|
|Purpose (Brief):||To receive stakeholder views and suggestions on the topic of "closed generic" gTLD applications.|
|Current Status:||Existing provisions of the New gTLD Program do not provide specific guidance on this issue. Potential new provisions may be considered based on the comment provided and analysis undertaken.|
|Next Steps:||ICANN staff will review comments submitted and will provide a summary and analysis of these comments to the New gTLD Program Committee of the Board of Directors. The Committee will review this feedback as well as the additional research and analysis directed to inform its consideration on this issue.|
|Staff Contact:||Karen Lentz||Email:||email@example.com|
|Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose|
ICANN is seeking public comment on the subject of "closed generic" gTLD applications and whether specific requirements should be adopted corresponding to this type of application. Stakeholder views are invited to help define and consider this issue. In particular, comments would be helpful in regard to proposed objective criteria for:
The New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors has discussed this issue and has also directed completion of a set of focused research and analysis items to inform any possible action to be taken. At its 2 February 2013 meeting, the Committee passed the following resolution:
|Section II: Background|
Following the publication of the gTLD applications in June 2012, concerns have been brought to ICANN's attention regarding some applications for strings which are labelled as "closed generic." These applications are considered problematic by some due to the proposed use of the TLD by the applicant, e.g., using the TLD in a manner that is seen as inappropriately exclusive, particularly in the sense of creating a competitive advantage. These applications have been the subject of public comments and Early Warnings.
Many of the communications link the issue of registration restrictions for a TLD with the Code of Conduct (Specification 9 to the gTLD Registry Agreement). However, it should be clarified that the Code of Conduct refers to registry-registrar interactions, rather than eligibility for registering names in the TLD. Rather than the Code of Conduct, the true issue of concern being expressed appears to be that in certain applications, the proposed registration policies are deemed inappropriate by some parties.
The New gTLD Program has been built based on policy advice developed in the GNSO's policy development process. The policy advice did not contain guidance on how ICANN should place restrictions on applicants' proposed registration policies, and no such restrictions were included in the Applicant Guidebook.
Defining a "generic" category of strings is a complex undertaking as strings may have many meanings and have implications for several languages. However, there are mechanisms built into the program (e.g., objection processes, GAC processes) as a means for concerns about specific applications to be considered and resolved as they arise.
Recent correspondence has expressed concerns about the potential impact on competition and consumer choice, as well as phrasing the issue in terms of potential impact on the public interest. The New gTLD Program Committee considers it important to understand all views and potential ramifications relating to "closed generic" TLDs.
|Section III: Document and Resource Links|
|Section IV: Additional Information|
(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.