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New gTLD Program Makes Available New Documents for Community Discussion

15 February 2010

ICANN is publishing today several materials related to the New gTLD Program. These materials have been grouped below in categories to facilitate understanding.

Highlight: The Board plans to decide whether to conduct an Expressions of Interest (EOI) exercise for new gTLDs at the ICANN Meeting in Nairobi. The Board and the community will have the opportunity to discuss the Expressions of Interest and Pre-Registrations model, which takes into account the community feedback during the two recent public comment periods. Besides the background information and description of the current proposed model, the Explanatory Memo also presents some discussion points about costs and other implementation aspects.

Below is a list and direct link to the new Public Forum. All open 15 February 2010 and close on 1 April 2010.

  Document Redline Topic Direct link to Public Forum
TRADEMARK & COMMUNITY PROTECTIONS Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) [PDF, 128 KB] redline [PDF, 181 KB]

The URS is one of the proposed mechanisms to address trademark protection concerns – one of the open issues being addressed by staff and community experts.

The Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) Procedure describes an expedited process to provide trademark holders with a rapid take-down in clear cut instances of trademark abuse. The URS procedure is expected to provide trademark holders with a new, cost effective remedy in addition to those available under the UDRP and applicable law.

TM Clearinghouse [PDF, 153 KB] redline [PDF, 124 KB] The trademark clearinghouse is one of the proposed mechanisms to address trademark protection concerns – one of the open issues being addressed by staff and community experts. The Trademark Clearinghouse Model describes a proposal for a central repository of authenticated trademark information for use by registries to support their sunrise or trademark claims processes. This Model is designed to introduce efficiencies into the pre-launch processes for trademark holders and new gTLD registries. View
Post Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (PPDRP) [PDF, 65 KB] redline [PDF, 105 KB] The Trademark PPDRP is one of the proposed mechanisms to address trademark protection concerns – one of the open issues being addressed by staff and community experts. This post delegation procedure should only afford trademark holders the right to proceed against registry operators who have acted in bad faith, with the intent to profit from the systemic registration of infringing domain names (or systemic cybersquatting) or who have otherwise set out to use the gTLD for an improper purpose. View
Registry Restrictions Dispute Resolution Procedure (RRDRP) [PDF, 61 KB] redline [PDF, 69 KB] The RRDRP is one of the proposed mechanisms to address post delegation concerns. The purpose of the RRDRP is to handle complaints from a harmed organization or individual alleging that a community-based restricted gTLD registry operator was not meeting its obligations to police the registration and use of domains within the restrictions stated in the terms of the gTLD registry agreement. View
IDN ISSUES IDN 3 Character [PDF, 148 KB]   This document is a follow-up to the independent Implementation Working team’s recommendation on IDN string requirements. The previous requirement for at least three characters in all gTLD strings was considered problematic for some languages, and the team released a recommendation to relax the requirement in some cases. An excerpt of guidebook text is included to help inform the discussion. View
IDN Variants [PDF, 160 KB]   An independent Implementation Working team has proposed an approach to IDN variant management at the top level. Language communities that use variant characters are affected by the management and implementation of variants in new TLDs . An excerpt of guidebook text is included to help inform the discussion. View
REGISTRY OPERATIONS & AGREEMENT Benchmarking of Registry Operations[PDF, 648 KB]   An exercise to gather industry data on registry operations was undertaken as part of the ongoing implementation of the evaluation criteria and procedures for the New gTLD Program. This took the form of a study including analysis of public industry information and data collected through a survey of existing registry operators. View
Process for gTLD Registry Agreement Amendment [PDF, 129 KB]   An update on discussions concerning the process for future amendments to the registry agreements for new gTLDs. The paper outlines and seeks comment on several possible amendment process models, including a model recently proposed by the GNSO's Registry Stakeholder Group. View


Zone File Access Concept Paper [PDF, 260 KB]   The Concept Paper is the result of the Zone File Access Advisory Group's study of, and discussions about, benefits and methods to effectively and efficiently enhance access to zone file information, in anticipation of an environment with many gTLDs. The Concept Paper proposes several solutions for community discussion.


High Security Top-Level Domain (HSTLD) – Draft Program Development Snapshot [PDF, 144 KB]   The Development Snapshot is a result of the High Security Top Level Domain Advisory Group's continued development of a concept paper, published in Seoul, that outlines a structured approach to improve internet community trust and to improve the overall security of the domains registered within Top-Level Domains that volunteer to participate in the Program. The Development Snapshot represents a point in time update on the development of key areas of the original concept. The original Concept Paper is included for reference.



Public Comment Summaries and Analyses

After each public comment forum closes, a summary and analysis in response to the general public is usually published. Below is a list of summary analysis regarding New gTLD Program related public forums recently closed.

Document Related Public Forum
Summary & Analysis of Draft Applicant Guidebook, Version 3 [PDF, 1.13 MB] http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/public-comment-200911.html#agbv3
Summary & Analysis of GNSO Public Comments on Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) and Clearinghouse [PDF, 332 KB] http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/public-comment-201001.htm#sti
Summary of Proposed Rights Protection Mechanisms [PDF, 204 KB] http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/public-comment-200911.html#prpm-new-gtlds
Summary & Analysis of Expressions of Interest and Pre-Registrations [PDF, 844 KB] This summary combines the two Public Fora: 11 Dec 2009 to Jan 11 2009 and 17 of Dec 2009 to 26 January 2010. It is important to note that there were comments received past the deadline might not be part of the summary analysis, even if they were posted on the Forum.
Summary & Analysis of Final Report on Three-Character Requirement and Variant Management [PDF, 116 KB] http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/public-comment-201001.htm#3cv-final-report


Other Open Issues

Malicious Conduct

As a component of activities that ICANN has initiated to reduce malicious conduct activities in new gTLDs, ICANN has created an initiative called the High Security Zone Top Level Domain ("HSTLD") Advisory Group. This group brings together community representatives to evaluate the viability of a voluntary program, supporting control standards and incentives that could potentially be adopted to provide an enhanced level of trust and security over the baseline registration-authority controls. A concept paper was published as a component of the new gTLD Draft Applicant Guidebook version 3 and can be referenced on the following link: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/high-security-zone-verification-04oct09-en.pdf [PDF, 214 KB]

The HSLTD Advisory Group continues to work on the concept of a voluntary HSTLD program. Relevant next steps include a review and approval working draft material and work on controls necessary to support the HSTLD purpose, goals and principles.

Also part of addressing malicious conduct concerns is the creation of another advisory group addressing Zone File Access. The group was formed to study and discuss (benefits and methods) to effectively and efficiently enhance access to zone file information (anticipating an environment with many gTLDs). Details of this groups work can be found here: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/zone-file-access-en.htm.

Updated documentation on the malicious conduct work will be available prior to the Nairobi Meeting.

Market/Economic Analysis

Additional economic analysis is being undertaken. ICANN has contracted to retain the services with Greg Rosston of Stanford University and Michael Katz of University of California Berkeley, both in the United States. The work will be done in a three-phase project plan with the initial reports expected to be released in mid March and the second early June. During the first phase, the economists will survey published studies and resources that describe the potential impacts of new gTLD introduction; examine theoretical arguments about benefits and costs of increased gTLDs; consider and propose empirical studies to identify areas where additional work can serve to assess costs and benefits. A verbal report on results will be presented during the ICANN Nairobi Meeting.

Vertical Integration (aka Registry/Registrar Separation)

Based on debates on the subject held at the ICANN meetings in Seoul, discussion during the consultation with certain community representatives held on 7 January 2010 in Washington D.C., and ongoing study, ICANN will propose for community comment a new registry-registrar separation model for inclusion in the next draft of the gTLD agreement. Additionally, the Board and community members will be discussing the issue in Nairobi.

Root Scaling

Staff anticipates a report from SSAC and RSSAC soon. Also, four demand scenarios for application volumes have been modeled: below expected, expected, above expected and significantly above expected. For each demand scenario, there's an assumption that only a fraction of the applications will lead to delegations, and that the processing time for the successful applications will be spread out. If there are more than, say, 500 applications, the processing will be batched further spreading out the delegation rates. These models will be published before the Nairobi meeting.

Upcoming Critical Program Meetings

During the ICANN Meeting in Nairobi, staff will hold several New gTLD sessions, including:

  • Program update and a panel discussion regarding the Expressions of Interest and Pre-Registrations proposed process;
  • Trademark Protection;
  • High Security Top-Level Domains (HSTLD) & Zone File Access Advisory Group Meetings;
  • New gTLD introduction session for new comers.

The Draft Applicant Guidebook, Version 4 is expected to be published prior to the ICANN Brussels Meeting (20-25 June 2010).

Related Resources: