[gtld-council] GNSO PDP Dec 05: Draft Recommendations Summary [Plain text version]
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- Subject: [gtld-council] GNSO PDP Dec 05: Draft Recommendations Summary [Plain text version]
- From: "Bruce Tonkin" <Bruce.Tonkin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 15 Sep 2006 09:44:41 +1000
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WORKING DOCUMENT 14 September 2006
DRAFT GNSO Recommendation Summary
Introduction of New Generic Top-Level Domains
Table of Contents
1 WHETHER TO INTRODUCE NEW TOP LEVEL DOMAINS
2 SELECTION CRITERIA
3 ALLOCATION METHODS
4 CONTRACTUAL CONDITIONS
The following Recommendations have been derived from the work of the
GNSO Committee on the introduction of new top level domains in
accordance with the Terms of Reference set by the GNSO, with reference
to ICANN's Mission and Core Values.
a) That new generic top level domains (gTLDs) will be introduced in an
orderly and predictable way.
b) That some new generic top level domains will be internationalised
domain names (IDNs). IDNs use characters drawn from a large
repertoire (Unicode). There is a mechanism called Internationalizing
Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) that allows the non-ASCII characters
to be representing using only the ASCII characters already allowed in
so-called host names today (see RFC3490).
c) That the principal objective of the introduction of new top level
domains is to permit market mechanisms to support competition and
consumer choice in the technical management of the DNS. This
competition will lower costs, promote innovation, and enhance user
choice and satisfaction.
d) That a set of "technical criteria" for a new gTLD registry applicant
minimises the risk of harming the operational stability, reliability,
security, and global interoperability of the Internet.
f) That a set of "business capability criteria" for a new gTLD registry
applicant provides an assurance that an applicant has the capability to
meet its business ambitions.
1 Whether to introduce new top level domains
1.1 Additional new generic top-level domains should be introduced
and work should proceed to enable the introduction of new generic top
level domains, taking into account the recommendations found in the
2 Selection Criteria
2.1 The process for introducing new top level domains will follow a
pre-published application system including the levying of an application
fee to recover the costs of the application process. The application
process will also include probity rules and clear timelines.
2.2 Application fees will be set at the start of the process and
application materials will be available prior to any application round.
Some applications may cost different amounts to evaluate. Therefore,
different fees may be levied depending on what stage in the process the
application reaches. If applicants find the application fee a barrier
to entry, ICANN could have a system of grants to assist applicants.
This grant would only allow the applicant to apply, without any
presumption that the application would be successful. Grant
applications would go through an evaluation process. ICANN should
evaluate options for funding the grants.
2.3 Technical criteria will include compliance with a minimum set of
technical standards that would include IETF Requests for Comment related
to the operation of the DNS and other technical standards. Standards
may include RFC3730-3735, RFC2246, RFC1035, RFC2181, RFC2182, and the
ICANN Guidelines for the Implementation of Internationalized Domain
2.4 Applicants must comply with all ICANN consensus policies as and
when they are developed.
2.5 Applicants must choose a string of characters for the new
generic top level domain name that complies with the process for string
2.5.1 ICANN will use the following process for TLD string checks.
22.214.171.124 ICANN will make a preliminary determination on whether the
application complies with the string requirements and may seek expert
advice in order to make its preliminary determination.
126.96.36.199 ICANN will establish public comment processes (which may include
input from governments or the Governmental Advisory Committee) that are
specific to the criteria for the new string.
188.8.131.52 In the event that ICANN reasonably believes that the application
for a particular string may not be compliant with the string
requirements, ICANN will refer the issue to a panel of experts with
2.5.2 String Criteria
184.108.40.206 The gTLD string should not be confusingly similar to an existing
TLD string. Confusingly similar means there is a likelihood of
confusion on the part of the relevant public.
220.127.116.11 The string must not infringe the legal rights of any third party
(consistent with the current requirements of Registered Name Holders -
see Clause 18.104.22.168 of the gTLD Registrar Accreditation Agreement).
22.214.171.124 The string should not cause any technical issues, for example,
.localhost and .exe would be unacceptable name strings.
126.96.36.199 The string should not be in conflict with national or
international laws or cause conflicts with public policy [for example,
controversial, political, cultural religious terms]. (Develop text
related to public policy issues with GAC assistance).
188.8.131.52 The string should not be a reserved word (for example,
2.5.3 Dispute resolution with respect to ICANN accepting a new string.
184.108.40.206 ICANN must establish a dispute resolution process, using
independent arbitrators, where existing registry operators could
challenge a decision made by ICANN regarding whether a new gTLD string
is confusingly similar to an existing gTLD string. If a string
application is successfully challenged as being confusingly similar,
then no other operator may subsequently apply for it.
220.127.116.11 ICANN may establish a new dispute resolution process, using
independent arbitrators, where existing trademark holders could
challenge an ICANN decision regarding a string. This new dispute
resolution process would be modeled on use existing Uniform Domain-Name
Dispute Resolution Processes (UDRP).
2.6 An applicant for a new gTLD must use ICANN accredited registrars
to provide registration services to Registered Name Holders
(registrants). The registry shall not act as a registrar with respect
to the TLD (consistent with the current registry-registrar structural
separation requirements, for example, see clause 7.1 (b) and (c) of the
.jobs registry agreement). An organization wishing to become a
registrar for a new gTLD would need to become accredited using ICANN's
existing accreditation process.
2.7 An applicant must demonstrate that they have the capability to
operate a new gTLD that meets the minimum technical criteria to preserve
the operational stability, reliability, security, and global
interoperability of the Internet.
2.8 The applicant must provide a financial and business plan that
provides an assurance that the applicant has the capability to meets its
3 Allocation Methods
3.1 To ensure an orderly introduction of new TLDs, the applications
should be accessed in rounds to allow issues of contention between
applicants for the same string to be resolved. First come first served
(FCFS) is the preferred method of assessing applications within an
initial round. Subsequently, processes may be developed that would
enable an "apply as you go" system.
3.1.1 The start date for the round should be at least four months
after the ICANN Board has issued the Request for Applications. ICANN
must promote the opening time and details of the new round of
applications to the broader worldwide Internet community.
3.1.2 Applications will be date stamped as they are received and will
form a queue with the ability to work on multiple applications in
3.1.3 The closing date for the first round of new applications should
be at least thirty days after the start date.
3.1.4 Applications for strings are not published until after the
3.2 The following process should be used to resolve contention
between multiple applicants for the same new gTLD.
3.2.1 Ensure each application for the same gTLD (or a set of gTLDs
that may be considered to be confusingly similar) is compliant with the
selection criteria (with some flexibility to correct minor application
3.2.2 Establish a timeframe for a mediation process amongst the
applicants to identify a solution amongst competing applications. A
possible solution is for the applicants to choose different TLD strings
to avoid the conflict, or for the applicants to combine their resources.
3.2.3 If there is no agreement between the applicants, ICANN will
evaluate the additional criteria of the level of support of the
community of potential registrants within that TLD to resolve
contention. Both applicants would have a timeframe (e.g 90 days) to
supply this additional material for evaluation. ICANN will determine
what evidence is acceptable, and the evidence must be measurable and
verifiable. An applicant that is not successful will need to wait
until the next application round to submit a new application.
3.2.4 If ICANN staff are unable to distinguish between the level of
support for each applicant for the gTLD, then the Board will make a
choice based on the ICANN Mission and Core Values which include
introducing and promoting competition in the registration of domain
names where practicable and beneficial in the public interest; and
supporting the functional, geographic and cultural diversity of the
Internet. An applicant that is not successful will need to wait until
the next application round to submit a new application.
3.3 An applicant who is granted a gTLD string has an obligation to
begin using it within an appropriate time-frame.
4 Contractual Conditions
4.1 There should be a frame agreement to provide some level of
consistency (for example, as for the registrars accreditation agreement)
amongst gTLD agreements, with the ability for staff to have delegated
authority to approve. Any material alterations to the frame agreement,
will be subject to public comments before approval by the ICANN Board.
4.2 The contract should strike the right balance between ensuring
certainty for market players and preserving flexibility of ICANN to
accommodate the rapidly changing market, technological and policy
4.3 The initial term of the new gTLD agreement should be of
commercially reasonable length (for example, default 10 years, although
may be changed on a case-by-case basis).
4.4 There should be renewal expectancy. A contract would be renewed
provided that the license holder is not in material breach of the
contract, or has not been found in repeated non-performance of the
contract, and provided the license holder agrees to the any new
framework contract conditions that are reasonably acceptable. Any new
framework contract would take into account the consensus policies in
place at that time.
4.5 There should be a clear sanctions process outlined within the
frame agreement to terminate a contract if the new gTLD operator has
been found in repeated non-performance of the contract.
4.6 During the term of the agreement, the registry must comply with
new or changed consensus policies to one or more of the following areas:
- (1) issues for which uniform or coordinated resolution is
reasonably necessary to facilitate interoperability, security and/or
stability of the Internet or DNS;
- (2) functional and performance specifications for the provision
of Registry Services (as defined in Section 3.1(d)(iii) below);
- (3) security and stability of the registry database for the TLD;
- (4) registry policies reasonably necessary to implement
Consensus Policies relating to registry operations or registrars;
- or (5) resolution of disputes regarding the registration of
domain names (as opposed to the use of such domain names).
4.7 Any deviation from consensus policies should be explicitly
stated and justified in the agreement.
4.8 Where a registry provides IDNs, the contract should require that
the registry adhere to IDN standards, and ICANN guidelines for IDNs.
4.9 Initially rely on the appropriate external
competition/anti-trust Government authorities to ensure compliance with
laws relating to market power or pricing power. This can be reviewed
after an initial term.
4.10 ICANN should take a consistent approach with respect to registry
fees - taking into account differences in regional, economic and
4.11 Use of Personal Data: limit it to the purpose for which it is
collected, and the registry operator must define the extent to which it
is made available to third parties.