Opposition to Employ Media Request to Change sTLD Charter
July 15, 2010 Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman Members of the Board of Directors International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330 Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6601 USA RE: Opposition to Employ Media Request to Change sTLD Charter Dear Chairman Dengate Thrush and Members of the Board: The Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA) has represented members of industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia since 1922. In 2009, the VMA in partnership with the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VaBIO) launched the Advanced Technology Career Center, an online job board which was developed by industry to specifically connect a skilled set of employment seekers to employers with specialized advanced technology jobs found at www.advancedtechnologyjobs.com. I am writing on behalf of the VMA and www.advancedtechnologyjobs.com to urge you to reject Employ Media's request for authority to permit second level registration of strings that do not correspond to an employer's name in the .jobs sponsored top level domain. The VMA, which would be directly and adversely affected, opposes the unilateral expansion of the .jobs charter to encompass regional and industry-specific second-level registrations as an extremely anti-competitive practice. We urge you to reject such a negative precedent-setting proposal. Under the terms of ICANN's request for proposals for new sTLDs dated 15 December 2003 (the "sTLD RFP"), applicants - including Employ Media - were required to demonstrate that the proposed sTLD addresses the needs and interests of a clearly defined community (the Sponsored TLD Community). In addition, applicants were required to demonstrate that the policy-formulation procedures for the sTLD operate primarily in the interests of the Sponsored TLD Community, and that the proposed sTLD enjoys broad based support of the Sponsored TLD Community. In its application, Employ Media proposed to serve the needs of human resources professionals responsible for human resources management in the corporate setting, and pledged to maintain .jobs as "a name space for employers." The limited nature of the .jobs Sponsored Community is reflected by the applicant's commitment to limit registrations to the legal name of an employer and/or a name or abbreviation by which the employer is commonly known. According to the sTLD Application, "due to restrictions set forth in this proposal, a registration in the .jobs sTLD will be associated with an employer," and Employ Media committed to prohibit registration of occupational and industry, and geographic identifiers." The bottom line is that as proposed by Employ Media and approved by ICANN, the .jobs sTLD is intended to serve HR professionals and recruiting firms representing direct employers only, in each case by using the legal name of such employers as a registration at the second level. That community does not include online employment services providers, like the VMA and www.advancedtechnologyjobs.com, nor did Employ Media demonstrate the support of online employment services providers in connection with the .jobs sTLD Application. Employ Media's current request for authority to permit the "registration, use, and promotions of domains that are not the company names of the registrant" would fundamentally alter the Sponsored Community for the .jobs sTLD and eliminate its pledge not to create second level registrations of regional and industry-specific job boards. Employ Media did not attempt to demonstrate the support of online employment services providers and their vendors, and in fact went out of its way to avoid contacting job board operators about the proposed expansion. This is not surprising, given that Employ Media intends to add second level registrations that will be confusingly similar to established job boards. As a material change to the .jobs Registry Agreement, this request must be reviewed by the ICANN Board based on applicable criteria from the sTLD RFP. Under those criteria, the request should be rejected as an attempt to "route around" the sponsorship eligibility requirements in the sTLD RFP and the protections built into the .jobs Registry Agreement to prevent "abusive registration activities and other activities that affect the legal rights of others." Approval of the .jobs Phased Allocation Program would threaten the integrity of the RSEP process and undermine the credibility of ICANN's commitments in connection with the introduction of new top level domains in general. Sincerely, Alice B. Scott Director of Marketing & Member Services Virginia Manufacturers Association ____________________  http://www.icann.org/en/tlds/new-stld-rfp/new-stld-application-parta-15d ec03.htm <http://www.mmsend2.com/ls.cfm?r=201556755&sid=10099808&m=1059179&u=Boxw ood&s=http://www.icann.org/en/tlds/new-stld-rfp/new-stld-application-par ta-15dec03.htm> 2 sTLD Applicant responses to request for further information, at page 48 of 177 http://www.icann.org/en/tlds/stld-apps-19mar04/PostAppC.pdf <http://www.mmsend2.com/ls.cfm?r=201556755&sid=10099809&m=1059179&u=Boxw ood&s=http://www.icann.org/en/tlds/stld-apps-19mar04/PostAppC.pdf> 3 Id. 4 Id. 5 http://www.icann.org/en/registries/rsep/jobs-proposal-09jun10-en.pdf <http://www.mmsend2.com/ls.cfm?r=201556755&sid=10099810&m=1059179&u=Boxw ood&s=http://www.icann.org/en/registries/rsep/jobs-proposal-09jun10-en.p df> (hereinafter, Employ Media RSEP Request") 6 Id. 7 .jobs Registry Agreement, Appendix S Part VII: Other Provisions (2. 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