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NGPC Progress on Addressing GAC Beijing Advice on New gTLDs

04-Jul-2013 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 7294
MARINA DEL REY, CA - On 2 July 2013, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) had its seventh meeting to discuss the GAC Beijing advice on New gTLDs. According to ICANN, the Committee took the following actions:

1. Initial Protections for IGO Protections

In the Beijing Communiqué, the GAC reiterated previous advice that "appropriate preventative initial protection for the IGO names and acronyms on the provided list be in place before any new gTLDs would launch." In response to a number of issues raised by the Board, the GAC noted in the Beijing Communiqué that it is "mindful of outstanding implementation issues" and that it is committed to "actively working with IGOs, the Board, and ICANN Staff to find a workable and timely way forward. In a 6 June 2013 response letter to the GAC on the IGO GAC Advice, the ICANN Board Chairman proposed that a small number of NGPC members and ICANN staff begin a dialogue with the GAC on these issues

At its 2 July 2013 meeting, the NGPC passed a resolution confirming that the New gTLD Registry Agreement will require operators to provide appropriate preventative initial protection for the IGO identifiers. These protections will remain in place while the GAC, NGPC, ICANN Staff and community continue to actively work through outstanding implementation issues. More specifically, registry operators will implement temporary protections for the IGO names and acronyms on the "IGO List dated 22/03/2013" until the first meeting of the NGPC following the ICANN 47 Meeting in Durban. The Resolution provides temporary protections for IGOs while respecting the ongoing work on implementation issues. The IGO List is attached to the Resolution as Annex 1.

If the NGPC and GAC do not reach an agreement on outstanding implementation issues for protecting IGO names and acronyms by the first meeting of the NGPC following the ICANN 47 meeting in Durban, and subject to any matters that arise during the discussions, registry operators will be required to protect only the IGO names (and not the acronyms) identified on the GAC's IGO List.

2. Category 1 Advice

In the Beijing Communiqué, the GAC proposed Category 1 safeguard advice, which includes recommended restrictions and consumer protections for sensitive strings and regulated markets. The Category 1 Safeguard Advice is divided into three main sections. The first section provides five (5) items of advice that apply to "strings that are linked to regulated or professional sectors." The Beijing Communiqué identified a list of strings to which this advice applies. The second section provides three (3) additional pieces of advice that should apply to a limited subset of the strings noted in the GAC's list that are "associated with market sectors which have clear and/or or regulated entry requirements (such as: financial, gambling, professional services, environmental, health and fitness, corporate identifiers, and charity) in multiple jurisdictions…." The third section includes an additional requirement for applicants for the following strings: .fail, .gripe, .sucks and .wtf.

On 23 April 2013, ICANN initiated a public comment forum to solicit input on how the NGPC should address GAC advice regarding safeguards applicable to broad categories of new gTLD strings http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/gac-safeguard-advice-23apr13-en.htm. The public comment forum closed on 4 June 2013. While many commenters voiced support for the Category 1 safeguard advice, many others submitting opposing comments. One overarching theme from the public comments was the need for additional clarity on the scope and intent of the Category 1 Safeguard Advice.

After considering the community comments, the NGPC decided to begin a dialogue with the GAC during the ICANN Meeting in Durban to clarify the scope of the requirements provided in the Category 1 Safeguard Advice. The dialogue with the GAC on Category 1 will also include discussion of GAC's Category 2.1 Safeguard Advice regarding "Restricted Access" since that advice applies to the strings listed under Category 1. Pending the dialogue with the GAC, staff will defer moving forward with the contracting process for applicants who have applied for TLD strings listed in the GAC's Category 1 Safeguard Advice.

3. New gTLD Registry Agreement

Finally, the NGPC considered the revised New gTLD Registry Agreement that will be entered into between ICANN and successful new gTLD applicants. The revised agreement is the result of several months of negotiations, formal community feedback (most recently during public comment forums initiated on 5 February 2013 on 29 April 2013), and meetings with various stakeholders and communities. The revisions include feedback from the ICANN community at the ICANN 46 Meeting on 7-11 April 2013 in Beijing as well as GAC advice issued in its Beijing Communiqué.

After considering the comments received from the community, the NGPC determined that the revised New gTLD Registry Agreement included significant improvements in response to the concerns raised by the community. The Committee also noted that in response to the GAC's Beijing Communiqué, revisions were made to Specification 11 to implement the non-Category 1 safeguard advice (i.e., safeguards applicable to all strings and Category 2 safeguards). The revisions to Specification 11 incorporate standardized language to address the safeguard advice. Applicant-specific PICs will be included on a case-by-case basis to the extent not superseded by or inconsistent with the standard PICs included to address the GAC's Beijing Communiqué.

The NGPC approved the form of the New gTLD Registry Agreement and authorized ICANN staff to take all necessary steps to implement it and to move forward with implementation of the New gTLD Program. The Agreement is attached to the Resolution as Annex 1; the complete Summary of Changes to the New gTLD Registry Agreement is attached to the Resolution as Annex 2; a redline of the current agreement as compared to the previous version dated 29 April 2013 is attached to the Resolution as Annex 3; and the Summary and Analysis of Public Comments is available at http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/report-comments-base-agreement-01jul13-en.pdf [PDF, 338 KB].

All of the resolutions adopted at the 2 July 2013 NGPC meeting are posted at http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/documents/resolutions-new-gtld-02jul13-en.htm. A table summarizing NGPC Consideration of the GAC's Beijing Advice appears below:

http://www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-2-03jul13-en.htm#summary
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