[council] "Closed Generic" gTLD Applications
- To: "council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx List" <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [council] "Closed Generic" gTLD Applications
- From: Glen de Saint Géry <Glen@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 14:02:32 -0800
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- Acceptlanguage: fr-FR, en-US
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- Thread-topic: "Closed Generic" gTLD Applications
"Closed Generic" gTLD Applications
Comment/Reply Periods (*)
Important Information Links
5 February 2013
7 March 2013
Close Time (UTC):
To Submit Your Comments
Close Time (UTC):
Report of Public Comments
To receive stakeholder views and suggestions on the topic of "closed generic"
Existing provisions of the New gTLD Program do not provide specific guidance on
this issue. Potential new provisions may be considered based on the comment
provided and analysis undertaken.
ICANN staff will review comments submitted and will provide a summary and
analysis of these comments to the New gTLD Program Committee of the Board of
Directors. The Committee will review this feedback as well as the additional
research and analysis directed to inform its consideration on this issue.
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose
ICANN is seeking public comment on the subject of "closed generic" gTLD
applications and whether specific requirements should be adopted corresponding
to this type of application. Stakeholder views are invited to help define and
consider this issue. In particular, comments would be helpful in regard to
proposed objective criteria for:
* classifying certain applications as "closed generic" TLDs, i.e., how to
determine whether a string is generic, and
* determining the circumstances under which a particular TLD operator should
be permitted to adopt "open" or "closed" registration policies.
The New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors has discussed
this issue and has also directed completion of a set of focused research and
analysis items to inform any possible action to be taken. At its 2 February
2013 meeting, the Committee passed the following resolution:
Whereas, the New gTLD Program Committee has received correspondence from the
community addressing "closed generic" TLDs and understands that members of the
community term a "closed generic" TLD as a TLD string that is a generic term
and is proposed to be operated by a participant exclusively for its own benefit.
Whereas, ICANN implemented the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)
policy recommendations on the "Introduction of New Generic Top-Level Domains",
and within those policy recommendations there is no specific policy regarding
"closed generic" top-level domains (TLDs).
Whereas, members of the community have expressed concerns regarding
applications for "closed generic" TLDs.
Whereas, the New gTLD Program Committee considers that it is important to
understand all views and potential ramifications relating to 'closed generic'
Resolved (2013.02.02.NG01), the New gTLD Program Committee directs the
President and CEO to open a 30-day public comment forum on this topic, which
should include a call for identification of proposed objective criteria to
classify applied-for TLDs as "closed generic" TLDs.
Resolved (2013.02.02.NG02), the New gTLD Program Committee directs the
President and CEO to, concurrently with the opening of the public comment
forum, request the GNSO to provide guidance on the issue of "closed generic"
TLDs if the GNSO wishes to provide such guidance. Guidance on this issue is
requested to be provided by the close of the public comment forum.
Resolved (2013.02.02.NG03), the New gTLD Program Committee directs the
President and CEO to:
1. Summarize and analyze all comments submitted in the public comment forum.
2. Review materials supporting the policy development process resulting in
the GNSO policy recommendations on the Introduction of New Generic Top-Level
Domains and provide analysis of any discussions relating to the limitations on
potential new gTLDs.
3. Analyze the feasibility of objectively classifying applied for TLDs as
"closed generic" TLDs.
4. Provide an analysis as to whether the public interest and principles of
international law are served by adopting a clear approach regarding 'closed
5. Provide a report to the New gTLD Program Committee informed by the
comments received and analysis conducted, including alternatives to addressing
Section II: Background
Following the publication of the gTLD applications in June 2012, concerns have
been brought to ICANN's attention regarding some applications for strings which
are labelled as "closed generic." These applications are considered problematic
by some due to the proposed use of the TLD by the applicant, e.g., using the
TLD in a manner that is seen as inappropriately exclusive, particularly in the
sense of creating a competitive advantage. These applications have been the
subject of public comments and Early Warnings.
Many of the communications link the issue of registration restrictions for a
TLD with the Code of Conduct (Specification 9 to the gTLD Registry Agreement).
However, it should be clarified that the Code of Conduct refers to
registry-registrar interactions, rather than eligibility for registering names
in the TLD. Rather than the Code of Conduct, the true issue of concern being
expressed appears to be that in certain applications, the proposed registration
policies are deemed inappropriate by some parties.
The New gTLD Program has been built based on policy advice developed in the
GNSO's policy development process. The policy advice did not contain guidance
on how ICANN should place restrictions on applicants' proposed registration
policies, and no such restrictions were included in the Applicant Guidebook.
Defining a "generic" category of strings is a complex undertaking as strings
may have many meanings and have implications for several languages. However,
there are mechanisms built into the program (e.g., objection processes, GAC
processes) as a means for concerns about specific applications to be considered
and resolved as they arise.
Recent correspondence has expressed concerns about the potential impact on
competition and consumer choice, as well as phrasing the issue in terms of
potential impact on the public interest. The New gTLD Program Committee
considers it important to understand all views and potential ramifications
relating to "closed generic" TLDs.
Section III: Document and Resource Links
* List of gTLD applications received
* Letter from Michele Neylon, et
[PDF, 56 KB]
* Letter from Kathryn
[PDF, 1.43 MB]
* Toronto Public Forum<http://toronto45.icann.org/node/34215>:
* GAC Early
* Letter from Michele Neylon, et
[PDF, 362 KB]
* Letter from Microsoft
[PDF, 267 KB]
Section IV: Additional Information
(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to
be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making
that takes place once this period lapses.
Glen de Saint Géry