Displaying posts tagged under "icann"
.Health applications move forward after lengthy objection process.
The objection process against .health top level domain names is over.
Both DotHealth, LLC and Donuts have survived community objections filed against their applications. They previously survived limited public interest objections.
The community objections were filed by the ICANN At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC).
Panelist Jan Paulsson took a bit different approach to this determination than other panelists. He consider much of ICANN’s role in the internet and the principles upon which it created the new top level domain name program. Ultimately, he determined there is not clearly delineated “health” community.
Here’s Paulsson on the principles of the new TLD program:
…I see no reflection here of ALAC’s undisguised bias against “commercial applicants” who “cannot be trusted to self-police the .health domain space and are “more than likely” to place “commercial interests before public welfare interests”…. This type of policy was not the road taken [by ICANN], notwithstanding the lengthy and broad consultations described in The Guidebook…. It is not for me to express preferences in this regard, but to apply the relevant rules as I find them. The Objector’s animadversions against the Applicant miss the target; profit-seekers may apply; the public interest is evidently intended to be protected by protocols imposed by ICANN in a manner akin to that of regulators whose supervision constrains the conduct of for-profit providers of public services generally.
Many other panelists seem to be against for-profit-only new TLD applicants, despite the fact that the program was set up with these bids in mind (more on this later).
Paulsson also recalls recommendations made for the program in 2008, one of which states:
The evaluation and selection procedure for new gTLD registries should respect the principles of fairness, transparency and non-discrimination. All applicants for a new gTLD registry should therefore be
evaluated against transparent and predictable criteria, fully available to the applicants prior to the initiation of the process. Normally, therefore, no subsequent additional selection criteria should be used in the selection process.
Here again, he’s referring to their expressly being no requirements that applications be made for the greater good of humanity:
If there had also been an intent to adopt such a fundamental principle as the requirement that the right to apply – whether generally or with respect to certain strings – be exclusively reserved for non-profit entities, it surely would have been explicit.
Moreover, Paulsson makes some determinations at direct odds with the panelist in the .insurance decision I wrote about earlier today.
Paulsson notes that Governmental Advisory Committee advice is just advice that may be accepted. He notes that GAC advice on sensitive strings is “left to be addressed in the protocols imposed on those who administer those strings,” and not on objection panelists. The panelist in the .insurance case took GAC advice into strong consideration.
Also, Paulsson declared that “For a string to succumb to a community-based Objection, its very name must surely bring to mind the identity of the Objector (or those sought to be protected by the Objector) as its ‘target.’” The panelist in .insurance said the name certainly doesn’t have to conjure up the identity of the objector. And other panelists have ruled that community objections can be brought by groups that only make up a subset of the target, which seems to be at odds with this determination.
I think this paragraph by Paulsson is telling:
The Internet, as operated under ICANN’s system of policies, is conceived as an open vehicle for communication, intended to promote free expression, to enable innovation, to increase consumer choice, and to permit the dissemination of diverse data, analyses, and opinions rather than the orthodoxy proclaimed by public officials who assert the authority to decide what is “true” or “sound”.
One observation I’ve made while reviewing objection decisions is that the country of the panelist seems to greatly color their decision. Panelists in some European countries are opposed to for-profit exploitation of things related to healthcare. They are also biased in favor of government opinion. Panelists from other regions are not.
Paulsson is a professor at University of Miami.
It seems that objections would be better decided by three person panels with geographic diversity.
ICANN has published new rules for upcoming auctions which will resolve top level domain strings with more than one applicant.
ICANN has published updated rules for its so-called “Auctions of Last Resort” to resolve new top level domain name contention sets.
It has also published a draft schedule for the auctions. ICANN hopes to resolve 20 contention sets per month via auction. With 201 contention sets, this means the auction procedure could extend into 2015. This gives additional incentive to applicants in a contention set to resolve the contention via other methods.
The updated auction rules don’t include plans for contention sets that include indirect contention, which suggests that ICANN still doesn’t know how it will resolve these sticky scenarios (or it hopes they will resolve themselves on their own). .Car(s) is an example of one of these complicated contention sets.
New verification requirement is bound to ensnare some notable websites.
ICANN’s 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement is slowly going into effect at major domain name registrars.
The biggest change that people who register domain names will notice is whois verification.
Starting January 1, when you register a domain name, you will have to verify your contact details with the registrar. Most registrars will send a verification email to you with simple verification instructions.
The domain name registration will be suspended if you fail to respond with 15 days. Practically speaking, this means your domain name registrar is likely to change the nameservers on your domain name to point it to a warning page, similar to what happens when a domain expires.
If a newly registered domain name is suspended, it’s no big deal. It’s unlikely to receive much traffic yet, anyway.
But the new RAA also requires verification if you change the name or email address of the registrant. That’s where things get tricky.
After reading the relevant sections of the RAA and speaking to a few knowledgeable people in the industry, it sounds like how the update verification and suspension will be handled is open to some interpretation.
eNom sent a notice to its resellers today informing them of how it will handle changes to the registrant. If the first or last name or email address changes, eNom will send a verification email. If the domain owner fails to click a link in the email within 15 days, the domain will be suspended and the nameservers changed.
It’s not hard to see where this is headed.
At some point in the not-to-distant future, a fairly big website is going to go down due to lack of Whois verification. A company will make a small change to the contact information but fail to verify it. Perhaps the verification email gets flagged as spam. Or an IT admin thinks its a phishing scheme. Or an intellectual property manager at a big company makes the change, then goes on vacation before receiving the verification email.
It’s bound to happen, and a lot of people are going to scream and point fingers when it does.
Objectors were upset with single registrant application for .hotels.
An International Chamber of Commerce panelist has denied two community objections filed against .hotels applicant Booking.com.
The cases were filed by Hotel Consumer Protection Coalition and HOTREC, Hotels, Restaurants & Cafés in Europe, and the cases were consolidated.
Although there were 7 applications for the .hotel (singular) top level domain, it seems that the groups were concerned about Booking.com’s .hotels (plural) application because it proposes to make the domain a single registrant TLD. Some objections were filed against other variations of hotel strings, but not most of the typical applications. Booking.com wants to restrict third parties from registering second level domains under it, and the groups are concerned that Booking.com will register domains including hotel trademarks (e.g. hyatt.hotels) at the detriment of the hotel chains.
Panelist Jennifer Kirby determined that the “hotel community” is a clearly delineated community, and that both objectors have standing to object.
But the objectors failed to prove material detriment to their community as a result of Booking.com getting the contract to run .hotels. Kirby wrote that the objectors did not show how not being able to register a .hotels domain would hurt their businesses:
Having said this, I agree with the Objector that the Applicant’s proposal to operate .HOTELS” as a closed gTLD indicates that it intends to act in accordance with its own interests, not those of the hotel community. But the Objector’s members and other members of the hotel community already have many avenues through the DNS to have a presence on the Internet – avenues the Objector’s members and many others in the hotel community already exploit. So while the Objector’s members and others in the hotel community might want to register domain names in “.HOTELS” if it is delegated, it is not clear what the marginal benefit of doing this would be worth to them, if anything. The Objector has simply put on no evidence of the nature or extent of any concrete or economic damage to the hotel community that would result from the Applicant’s operating “.HOTELS” as a closed gTLD.
Famous Four questions panelists decision in .sport community objection.
In case you haven’t heard yet, SportAccord won a community objection against Famous Four Media’s application for the .sport top level domain name.
It was a surprising decision, as it’s pretty hard to argue that “sport” is a clearly delineated community. I personally don’t know anyone who has never participated in a sport or watched a sport. It seems like anyone who breathes is a member of this “community”.
Famous Four issued a statement this morning finding fault in panelist Dr. Guido Tawil’s decision. You can read the full comment here (pdf).
The company says that SportAccord used the community objection process to “game” the system:
The decision strikes right at the heart of the concept of freedom of expression, and significantly erodes transparency and predictability in the gTLD programme. In particular, it confirms the
concerns expressed by the NCUC at the time of the formulation of the ICANN Final Report in 2007
and the subsequent rules in the Applicant Guidebook, that the community objection process could
be hijacked by competing applicants….
…Famous Four Media is disappointed that the Panellist fails entirely to take into account that the
objector is a competing applicant merely trying to game the system, and avoid the more rigid
scrutiny of the Community Priority Evaluation process.
Famous Four concludes its statement by saying it will “pursue rigorously all available legal avenues available to it to have the decision independently reviewed by ICANN and/or others as the case may be, and reversed.”
It doesn’t appear that ICANN’s request for reconsideration process will be a successful avenue. So far ICANN has rebuffed all such requests.