Summary of ICANN 47 Meeting

The 47th International ICANN 47 Public Meeting was held in Durban, South Africa on July 14-18, 2013. FAITID representatives took part in the event.

During the Welcome Ceremony, ICANN signed the first Registry Agreements (RAs) for the new gTLDs: شبكة. (Arabic for “Web” or “network”), .游戏 (Chinese for “game”), .САЙТ (Russian for “site”) and .ОНЛАЙН (Russian for “online”).

ICANN intends to begin the Contracting Process for forty new TLDs and sign 20 RAs each week. On July 26, 2013, ICANN initiated the Contracting Process for the .МОСКВА top-level domain. Foundation for Assistance for Internet Technologies and Infrastructure Development (FAITID) will be the registry for it.

“We hope to complete this process within two months,” says Dmitry Burkov, FAITID Board Chairman. “We need this time to amend some provisions in ICANN’s standard agreement so that we comply with the Russian laws as the registry for the .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА domains.”

E.g., FAITID intends to amend the provisions of the agreement related to requirements for users that are entitled to participate in the Sunrise period in the .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА extensions.

ICANN initially intended to make Sunrise period available only for the owners of trademarks registered in Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). This caused a lot of criticism because a number of registries need to make Sunrise period available for a wider range of trademark owners. Finally, ICANN admitted this is reasonable.

After reviewing input from Durban Meeting, ICANN will present a revised Rights Protection Mechanism Requirements for the launch phases of the new gTLDs. ICANN intends to add provisions that allow participating in Sunrise for owners of trademarks not registered in the TMCH. 

This is one of the demands of the GeoTLDs Group that includes FAITID. Before the Durban Meeting, GeoTLDs Group summed up its vision on the matter in official letter to ICANN. In addition, GeoTLDs Group had a discussion on the topic with ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).

GeoTLDs Group also points out that is important to provide domain name reservation for the needs of the territories for which city and regional TLDs are intended. For example, or could be reserved.

Furthermore, GeoTLDs Group demands the right to activate a number of domain names for use in promoting the TLD in advance of or during the Sunrise period (this is prohibited in the current version of ICANN regulations).

ICANN is willing to accept these proposals, but it needs input from all the affected stakeholders. That’s why ICANN will first publish the revisions to Rights Protection Mechanism Requirements for public comment and only after that will approve it.

Some concerns about the potential changes to the RPM document in the new gTLDs are expressed by ICANN’s Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC). IPC took part in developing the system with the Trademark Clearinghouse as the key tool of ensuring the interests of trademark owners in the new gTLDs, and it questions any proposals on broadening the range of users entitled to participate in the Sunrise period.

In response to these concerns, GeoTLDs Group is ready to provide necessary explanations. After the Durban Meeting, members of GeoTLDs Group and IPC are planning a call to discuss controversial issues in rights protection mechanisms.

During the Meeting in South Africa, GeoTLDs Group discussed applying for its own constituency at ICANN. This process is expected to take roughly six months. The Group intends to start it in November during ICANN Meeting in Buenos Aires: the members of the Group will draft the bylaws of the new constituency and submit an application for it by that time.  

Members of the GeoTLDs Group also intend to make a joint presentation of their TLDs in Buenos Aires.

During ICANN 47 Meeting in Durban, FAITID staff also took part in a session of the New gTLD Applicant Group (NTAG). FAITID representatives were talking about the results of reviewing the Contracting Process developed by ICANN, and highlighted its key issues. 

Another noticeable event in Durban was a presentation of the Domain Name Association (DNA). Such an organization was first proposed in late January 2013. DNA’s main purpose is to promote the new top-level domains. DNA is now registered as a non-profit organization. Membership procedure and budget will be established soon. One of DNA’s first efforts in promoting the new generic top-level domains will be establishing a special educational website.