ICANN Moves Forward with gTLDs at Durban Meetings

ICANN Considering Scrapping “Who Is” System

An ICANN report has concluded that the current WHOIS system of giving every user the same anonymous public access to (too often inaccurate) gTLD registration data—should be abandoned. Instead, the EWG recommends a paradigm shift whereby gTLD registration data is collected, validated and disclosed for permissible purposes only, with some data elements being accessible only to authenticated requestors that are then held accountable for appropriate use.  According to the report, the rules are designed to make the “often-inaccurate WHOIS data on domain registrations should be a bit more reliable, while deterring those looking to set up websites for illicit purposes.”

The move comes as ICAN rolls out a new registrar agreement, with GoDaddy being its first signatory.  Under the Agreement, registrars will be required to verify either the phone number or email address of the user within fifteen days of applying for a new domain.  Failure to provide verification will result in domain suspension.

gTLD Update

The process of rolling out new generic top level domains (gTLDs) is as follows:

  • ICANN has published results for 1,200 of the applications
  • Over 1,000 applications have passed the initial evaluation.
  • 49 applications have been withdrawn and two rejected.
  • There are 883 active applications currently under review

On a related note, the domain Trademark Clearinghouse has received over 5,000 submissions.  As outlined by DomainWire:

Brand owners can submit their trademarks to the clearinghouse to get two types of protection.  First, approved submissions help qualify companies to claim domains during the sunrise period of new TLD launches.  Second, there’s a Trademark Claims Service. This alerts consumers if they’re about to register a domain that includes a brand that’s in the TMCH.

For example, let’s say Pepsi is one the marks submitted. If someone tries to register the domain pepsi.blog, the would-be registrant will be alerted that there’s a trademark on the term “pepsi”. This wouldn’t prevent them from registering the domain, but if they do register it then Pepsi will be alerted.

The trademark claims service lasts for the first 90 days of the general availability of a TLD.

ICANN Launches ICANN Labs

ICANN is launching a new tool for engagement with its individual stakeholders with its new website ICANN Labs.  ICANN’s president explains:

The success of ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model hinges on bottom-up, community-driven policy and for that success to continue we need to increase our reach and relevance to new digital audiences hitting the web. So we have asked ourselves how we could innovate in a way that stays true to those organizational values, but can help us engage and communicate in new ways – and that led us to ICANNLabs, our open innovation platform. [W]e are inviting participants to sign up and indicate the early areas of interest, so that they can be the first to know, and first to comment on, richer features for collaboration.  Later this summer, we will be kicking off four different projects designed to prototype new ideas for generating engagement


More Info:  The new TLD Trademark Clearinghouse is about to get a lot of attention, DomainName Wire; Trademark Clearinghouse Tops 5,000 submissions, DomainName Wire;  ICANN’s Update Of New gTLD Program Status By The Numbers + 1st 50 Start Contracting Proceess, The Domains; ICANN to change how Web domains are retrieved, validated, Fierce Enterprise Communications; ICANN to Require Verification to Register New Web Domains, Silicon Angle