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.Jobs foes to ICANN: Hurry up, open up, and get a spine

Coalition calls out ICANN for apparent lack of progress in dealing with Employ Media.

The .Jobs Charter Compliance Coalition, a group of job boards opposed to expansion of the .jobs namespace, has sent a letter (pdf) to ICANN’s CEO and Board of Directors asking it to hurry up, open up, and get a spine.

Hurry Up
The letter admonishes ICANN for an apparent lack of progress in its arbitration proceedings with .jobs registry Employ Media, or at least not updating the community on the status. It states that it’s been over four months since ICANN submitted its answer to arbitration, but it doesn’t appear that a mandatory third arbitrator has been assigned to the case:

Unfortunately, this consensual delay plays right into the hands of the rogue registry operator. As the arbitration idles in its dormant state, Employ Media and its alliance partner DirectEmployers Association (“DirectEmployers”) have aggressively expanded the reach of non-compliant Dot Jobs Universe, which was the very basis for the issuance of the breach notice. This continuing delay only emboldens the defiance of Employ Media and DirectEmployers in the operation of their non-compliant program, which inflicts continuing harm on members of the human resources community and other parties adversely affected by Employ Media’s unwarranted expansion of the .JOBS Top-Level Domain (“TLD”).

Open Up
The coalition also blasts ICANN for failing to disclose a number of communications regarding .jobs and its “beta test” of using non company .jobs domain names for a job board. Among other concerns, the coalition said ICANN should have disclosed certain communications before a public comment period for an amendment to the .jobs contract.

Get a Spine
The coalition also claims that ICANN needs to get a spine when it comes to enforcing its contracts, tying in with the planned launch of new top level domains:

In his address at the opening ceremony at ICANN’s March 2011 meeting in San Francisco, U.S. Commerce Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling emphasized that ICANN and its Board needed to focus on developing improvements to its accountability and transparency. However, given the launch of the new gTLD initiative in which ICANN will be responsible for the oversight of hundreds of new gTLDs, the deficient manner in which ICANN has prosecuted a clear case of non-compliance raises serious doubts as to the credibility of ICANN’s governance methods, and runs counter to Secretary Strickling’s goal that ICANN maintain a foundation of strong accountability and transparency.

If nothing else I expect ICANN will now disclose more information about the progress of the arbitration on its web site. But I also expect it to keep this swept under the rug until after the new TLD application window opens.

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