ICANN May Shut Down .Jobs Registry
Monday, February 28th, 2011
ICANN threatens to shut down .jobs, even after approving its “registry service”.
ICANN has notified .jobs registry Employ Media LLC that it is in breach of its contract at ICANN, and the contract is subject to cancellation if the breach isn’t corrected within 30 days.
That this breach letter (pdf) is going out now shows a massive failure on the part of ICANN. (More on that in a bit.)
In a letter dated February 27, ICANN informs Employ Media that it has failed to establish policies that conform with the “intent and purpose” of the .Jobs Charter.
ICANN notes that the rules for registered a .jobs domain name make it so that basically anyone can register domains, not just human resources professionals. For example, any member of Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) can register domains. But the letter states that all it takes to become a member of is a $40 payment.
ICANN also addresses Universe.jobs, a scheme by which thousands of niche job boards are being created:
It is our understanding that one registrant, who is a member of SHRM, registered forty thousand second-level domain names in the .JOBS TLD for use on this job board. It appears that Employ Media and SHRM, through the Direct Employers Association, intend to use the .JOBS TLD primarily to compete with other internet job boards. Such use is inconsistent with the purpose stated in the .JOBS Charter and represented to the ICANN community. As opposed to numerous, international, human resource management professionals registering second-level .JOBS domain names, it appears one US-based registrant is registering thousands of second-level .JOBS domain names. These registrations appear to serve the interests of the registrant or company causing the registrations, as well as Employ Media and SHRM rather than the interests of the human resource management professionals.
So why is this a massive failure on the part of ICANN?
Because this issue has been in ICANN’s face for a long, long time. ICANN’s board approved a “registry service” that enabled the universe.jobs project. The organization even reviewed its Board’s decision.
Now, at the end of February, after all of this has gone into effect, ICANN’s compliance department brings it up with Employ Media?
It would seem that this should have been addressed a long time ago if it was an issue. ICANN was clearly aware of what was going on.
Although I don’t approve of the backdoor approach .jobs has taken to basically turn itself into a gTLD, I can also sympathize with Employ Media throwing their hands up in the air at this point and saying “WTF?”