A non-amicable transfer of the .jobs registry contract would be challenging.
Last month ICANN surprised many observers by sending a breach notice to .jobs registry Employ Media.
This was a shock because ICANN’s board had approved recent changes to how .jobs operates. The breach notice seems to attack some of those very changes that were contemplated by the board.
But what exactly would happen if Employ Media lost .jobs?
In theory the contract would just be awarded to another registry. A termination of its agreement will require “the parties agree to work cooperatively to facilitate and implement the transition of the registry for the TLD in accordance with this Section 6.4,” according to the contract.
But I’m not confident in this process. I reached out last week to ICANN to find out exactly how this transition would work, but the non-profit is unavailable to comment citing preparations for next week’s ICANN meeting in San Francisco.
So, how much faith do you have in ICANN for a smooth transition? There are few direct comparisons to this situation.
Remember RegisterFly? We found out ICANN was woefully unprepared for a large registrar meltdown in that fiasco.
It’s possible ICANN’s breach notice is an elaborate bluff. I’m still scratching my head as it seems one arm of ICANN wasn’t talking to the other. But this may be an attempt to get a leg up in the power struggle with Employ Media. Perhaps they want Society of Human Resource Management to get worried and bug Employ Media about its plans. Maybe SHRM’s members who have .jobs domains — such as ATT.jobs — will start asking questions.
If ICANN does follow through with termination, you can bet Employ Media will file for arbitration. It will be a lengthy process, and the termination will probably be stayed through that process.
Bottom line: I have little faith in this process. It’s a process that will become commonplace with new TLDs.
Hopefully someone is preparing for that.