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MarkMonitor Preliminary Comments

  • To: <5gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: MarkMonitor Preliminary Comments
  • From: frederick felman <ffelman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 02 Dec 2010 06:19:24 -0800

To: Rod Beckstrom, CEO/President; Peter Dengate Thrush, Chair, ICANN Board;
ICANN Board members and Staff of ICANN

MarkMonitor respectfully submits these preliminary comments prior to
submission of its overall and specific comments to the Proposed Final
Applicant Guidebook (PF-AG).

We are very concerned that the current comment period allotted by ICANN for
responding to the PF-AG is significantly shorter than the typical public
comment periods provided by ICANN on such significant topics.  In our view,
given the significance of the implications of the proposals in this PF-AG,
it is much too short and must be extended.

The PF-AG was posted on ICANN¹s website on November, 12th, 2010 and comments
are required to be submitted by December 10th, 2010. This is less than a
30-day comment period, but also significantly shorter than ICANN¹s earlier
comment periods. Yet there are significant revisions proposed in this
document.  ICANN has only allotted a 28-day window to the Stakeholder
Community to review the considerable revisions to the PF-AG and analyze all
of the supporting and ancillary documents posted by ICANN.  We acknowledge
that in earlier comment periods, ICANN demonstrated more concern and respect
for the Community stakeholders who are affected by the proposed introduction
of new gTLDs and allocated the following time frames for comments:
DAG 1: October 23 ­ December 15 (53 days)
DAG 2: May 31 ­ July 20 (50 days)
DAG 3: October 4 ­ November 22 (49 days)
DAG 4: May 31 ­ July 21 (51 days)
The revisions to the PF-AG are largely driven by the recent ICANN Board
decision to allow Vertical Integration (VI). This decision departed
dramatically from the previous versions of the DAG, and the Board¹s stated
position of adopting a more conservative, vertically separated distribution
model.  If this is the ³Final² DAG and it integrates significant change,
logic would dictate that ICANN should provide adequate time to the
Stakeholders and Community to enable review and development of substantive
comments to this critical document.  A longer comment period, equaling or
exceeding previous periods would be much more prudent, especially
considering that the Board and Staff have stated that they will evaluate the
quantity of comments in relation to previous periods as a measure of support
or lack thereof for the PF-AG .
The time allowed for comments is also constrained by the Cartagena ICANN
Meeting (³Meeting²) which is being held concurrent with the comment period. 
Many attendees are arriving on December 4nd and leaving on December 10th and
would be unable to provide substantive input during this period.
Furthermore, many within the Community expect to receive additional
information from ICANN at the Meeting that may impact the substance of their
comments to the PF-AG.  Based on this deadline, it is impractical for
attending participants to take the information gathered at the Meeting to
their respective constituencies, discuss issues and then incorporate their
learning into their comments while meeting ICANN¹s comment deadline. 

Finally, the Board is currently scheduled (1) to discuss the PF-AG on
December 10th, the day on which the comments are due.  It is not possible
for Staff to gather and analyze the comments, prepare briefing documents and
submit them to the Board in the required time frame.  The Board itself
requires submission of documents several days before a Board vote on any
specific topic. Considering that the public comment period does not end
before the Board meeting the Board will not have enough time to review and
analyze the comments nor will staff have the time to react to them. Given
the significance of its decision, we believe that the ICANN Board must take
sufficient time to consider the comments made by the Community to the PF-AG
before making decisions about the schedule for implementation of the

In summary, given the significance of the changes to the PF-AG and their
impact on the Community and the Internet, combined with the shortened
schedule for comment, the holiday season and the ICANN meeting it coincides
with, MarkMonitor respectfully requests that additional time be granted for


Frederick Felman
Chief Marketing Officer
(1) http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/agenda-10dec10-en.htm

(2) ³During the 10 December Board Meeting in Cartagena the ICANN Board will
take into account this work and comments received to make a decision
regarding the timing of the launch of the New gTLD Program. The Board can
approve the Guidebook or direct that changes be made.²

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