Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.

Domain Tasting Initial Report

Open: 08 January 08
Closed: 28 January 08

Explanation:The body that represents individual Internet users within ICANN, the At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), asked ICANN’s main policy body, the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) to review the issue of “domain tasting” in spring 2007.

Domain tasting is where someone uses existing legitimate processes to register a domain name and then tests to see if the address has sufficient traffic to provide more income than the annual registration fee (usually through the addition of pay-per-click advertising). If the address is deemed sufficiently profitable, it is kept. If not, the current “add grace period” - where domains can be returned within five days without cost - is used to return the domain at no net cost to the registrant. This process has seen an enormous increase in the number of domains registered and returned and some feel represents a loophole that needs to be closed.

In response to the ALAC’s request in spring 2007, the GNSO Council requested that ICANN staff prepare an issues paper for review and discussion. That Issues Report [pdf] was produced and discussed at ICANN’s San Juan meeting in June 2007, during which the GNSO Council decided to set up a working group to gather more information. The working group came back with an Outcomes Report [pdf] in October 2007.

As a result of both reports, the GNSO Council decided at the end of October 2007 to launch a formal policy development process (PDP) into domain tasting, beginning with a request that other parties in the ICANN structure provide their input on the issue. As a result of all this, an Initial Report [pdf] has been produced outlining the process, possible actions to be taken, and the arguments put forward for and against such actions.

It is this Initial Report that has been put out for public comment. Feedback will be incorporated into a Final Report supplied to the GNSO Council for it to review and take action where necessary.

Staff member responsible: Olof Nordling

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