Comment From gTLD Applicant
IEEE Global LLC, a subsidiary of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated, appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the Revised New gTLD Registry Agreement posted on February 5, 2013. As expressed by other commenters, IEEE Global finds it disconcerting that such fundamental changes are being proposed at this late date. When IEEE Global was deciding whether to participate in the gTLD application process, it analyzed the Registry Agreement in the Applicant Guidebook and relied on the balanced approach included in the Registry Agreement found there. IEEE Global believes that last minute, extremely controversial, and unbalanced changes to such an important agreement create unnecessary cost and uncertainty and are likely to delay the new gTLD program further. Even if these changes had been proposed in a more appropriate manner, two of them would not be acceptable as described below. First, through the the proposed changes to Section 7.6(c), ICANN would give itself a unilateral right to amend the gTLD Registry Agreement. IEEE Global endorses the position of the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (“RySG”), in Section I of its February 26, 2013 comment, and opposes this proposal. Applicants should not be forced to bind themselves to an agreement that can be changed at ICANN’s sole discretion. The uncertainty that would result could only hamper the future success of the whole new gTLD program. Second, ICANN should not put into effect its proposed addition of Section 1 of Specification 11 to the Registry Agreement. IEEE Global Endorses Section II of the February 26 RySG comment, which deals with this matter. Requiring Registry Operators to agree to use only ICANN-accredited registrars that have executed a Registrar Accreditation Agreement to be finalized and approved by the ICANN Board at some point later this year raises problems similar to those afflicting the proposed changes for Section 7.6(c). Intentionally or not, ICANN would be giving itself power to make decisions unilaterally, upset settled expectations, and act without community input. This is inconsistent with ICANN’s core values. IEEE Global takes no position at this time on the substance of other proposed changes.