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Public Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution Procedure Improvements

17 December 2019

Russ WeinsteinRuss Weinstein, VP, GDD Accounts and Services

Over the last several months, the ICANN organization and the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) have been working together to make improvements to the Public Interest Commitments Dispute Resolution Procedure (PICDRP) that will improve transparency without materially changing the procedure.

The scope of the changes was deliberate, as the Registry Agreements (RAs) utilizing the PICDRP allow ICANN org to make immaterial revisions to the procedure. Through collaboration with the RySG, we have ensured we are within the boundaries of this parameter.

Public Interest Commitments (PICs) are binding obligations generic top-level domain (gTLD) registry operators made to the Internet community and agreed to comply with in their contracts with the ICANN org. They are subject to compliance oversight and enforcement by ICANN org, including through a dispute resolution mechanism called the PICDRP which, in certain cases, utilizes an evaluation panel. For those gTLDs with RAs that incorporate the PICDRP, the procedure is available to any party harmed by a registry operator's failure to comply with its PICs. The PICs and the PICDRP are one of the safeguards for the community created as part of the 2012 New gTLD Program.

The improvements provide clear guidelines about when and what type of information should be shared with the involved parties (panel, registry operator, and reporter) and are based on current practices of information sharing with parties to an alternative dispute resolution process. They include:

  • Aligning the procedure with the standard practice of including all of a PICDRP complaint's supporting documents when sharing the complaint with the registry operator.

  • Sharing documents sent to the panel with the registry operator and reporter at the commencement of the panel's evaluation period.

  • Providing communications specific to the panel's evaluation between ICANN org and the panel during the evaluation period to the registry operator and reporter.

  • Aligning the procedure with the standard practice of notifying the reporter of a finding of noncompliance and the resulting enforcement notice issued against the registry operator, if applicable.

You can view the redlined and clean versions of the PICDRP with ICANN org's operational improvements at https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/picdrp-2014-01-09-en. The revised procedure will be effective on 1 February 2020.

If you have further questions about the PICDRP, you can contact ICANN Global Support at globalsupport@icann.org

Russ Weinstein
Russ Weinstein
VP, GDD Accounts and Services

Russ Weinstein

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