Is the GAC right? It depends on who you ask.
The ICANN New gTLD Board Committee request for comment on the GAC’s safeguard advice has closed, and the reply period will open soon. Here are some select comments, along with links to the full comments.
“Instead of Guidebook advice, the GAC has offered public policy advice and expects the whole New gTLD program to be halted until such advice is considered and adopted.”
“The GAC is proposing restrictions upon the new gTLDs which have not been imposed on their own ccTLDs.”
“Governments play an important role in the multi-stakeholder model of Internet Governance, but the implications of the GAC Beijing Communiqué represents a fundamental re-write of the New gTLD Program by a single stakeholder at the very end of a multi-year process.”
“…the Insurance Council considers that the risk of harm being done to the public interest means that some strings should not be permitted as new gTLDs no matter the level of safeguards applied.”
“…use of the GAC Objection procedure to create new, one-size-fits-all, across-the-board mandatory requirements at this late date is in fundamental tension with the ICANN multi-stakeholder model in general, and its bottom-up policy development principle in particular.”
“The GAC did not advise or comment on the actual ICANN policy, but seems to have attempted to take over the process of defining and implementing new gTLD policy at an impossibly late stage of the process.”
“It is vital to take special care when assigning strings representing generic terms like .APP because those terms have the opportunity to artificially define an entire industry. Generic terms logically lead consumers to assume that the gTLD represents the industry as a whole.”
“The GAC Advice has created a competitive disadvantage for applicants who have, from the start, committed to responsible policies that others in their contention set now have a third chance to get right.”
By incorporating the GAC Advice into the new gTLD program, ICANN will strengthen and lend credibility to the multi-stakeholder process.
“…there are good reasons for the Board to follow the GAC’s advice regarding the GAC Safeguards, which represent a thoughtful response to the GAC’s legitimate scalability concern, which Turn shares. There is no good reason not to.”
“While the recommendations offered in the GAC Communiqué are extensive, and come at a late stage of the new gTLD process, many of the issues they address go to the very heart of the success and stability of the new gTLD program.”
“If GAC advice were followed, the new gTLD program would be changed from an objective process in which qualified applicants are granted new gTLDs into a ongoing subjective regime in which new policies and rules can be issued by the GAC on ad-hoc basis without reference to principles, rationales, or access to any appeal by affected parties– it would turn the multi-stakeholder model on its head.”
“The Internet is too valuable and important to consumers, brandholders and the economy for ICANN not to address the issues raised in the Advice.”
“We ask the ICANN Board to reject the GAC advice on “Consumer Protection, Sensitive Strings, and Regulated Markets” because it is untimely, ill-conceived, overbroad, and too vague to implement.
“The GAC’s recommendations raise complex issues of ICANN’s mission and governance and how they relate to the laws of the jurisdictions in which the registries operate.”
“The role of GAC advice at this stage, as outlined in the Applicant Guidebook, is to address individual strings, not provide advice on the program as a whole.”
“GE remains concerned that ICANN will be under such pressure to move forward with the new gTLD program that it may not sufficiently implement or consider the GAC’s advice, or enter into the serious negotiations necessary to come to a mutually agreeable solution.”