45th International ICANN Public Meeting Started in Toronto

October 15, 2012 ICANN 45 Meeting was officially opened in Toronto (Canada). During the opening of the event, the new president of ICANN Fadi Chehadé, who assumed office less than one month ago, told the attendees about his plans to restructure the corporation. A lot of staff and organisational decisions have already been adopted. Most of existing ICANN staff kept their positions, however a number of new managers were taken for the key positions. From now on ICANN has a Senior Advisor for Government Affairs, as well as a new Director of Stakeholder Engagement.

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These staff decisions illustrate the policy of the ICANN management aimed at internationalization, localizations of ICANN’s activity, creation of the DNA (Digital Network Architecture) model that takes into account the relations between all stakeholders.

The new ICANN management has demonstrated it’s continuity in the issue of expansion of multilingualism on the Internet. Before the conference it was announced that the delegation order of the New gTLDs will be determined in December 2012 by a draw (applicants have to buy a ticket for $100 with the number in the queue for the New gTLD delegation). However the IDNs in which the characters of the national alphabet are used (e.g. .МОСКВА, .ДЕТИ), will have the priority in the processing of applications.

The draw will allocate 1923 applications in a way that up to 1000 top-level domains are introduced in a year (ICANN plans to hold no more than 20 contract negotiations and pre-delegation testings per week). The negotiations will start only after the ICANN meeting in Beijing in April 2013. Thus, the delegation of the first New gTLDs is expected in the second or third quarter of 2013.

The official period for public comments on the submitted applications has finished. However, the discussion on the New gTLD Program that still requires some improvements is continuing in Toronto. The President and the Chairman of the Board oft he Foundation for Assistance for Internet Technologies and Infrastructure Development, as well as the FAITID experts, responsible for filing the .MOSCOW/.МОСКВА domain applications will participate in a number of consultations.

"We can only welcome the decision of ICANN to give the priority to the applications for the internationalized domains, including Cyrillic. It means we will know about the future of .МОСКВА domain by the summer of next year. However, we don’t want to wait for a decision on the application for .MOSCOW domain for a long time. In my opinion, a certain priority should be given to all applicants for geographic domains," Dmitry Burkov, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Assistance for Internet Technologies and Infrastructure Development, commented on the last decision of ICANN.

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Traditionally, many issues cause the problems of personal data and intellectual property protection. The rights protection mechanisms for new gTLDs are not completed to the moment. URS (The Uniform Rapid Suspension System) providing the trademark owners with the opportunity of rapid defense reaction against the infringement of their rights, is still being actively discussed. The Trademark Clearinghouse, the most important mechanism for protecting the intellectual property rights, has been a subject of harsh criticism from both the stakeholders of the domain registration market and trademark owners, who fear they will have to register thousands of domains that match their trademarks. All the stakeholders are trying to reach consensus in Toronto.

The ICANN meeting will last till October 19. It is expected that a number of important decisions for the world Internet infrastructure will be adopted these days. Full agenda of the meeting in Toronto and the information about the remote participation can be found on the official website of the event.