[ga] Comments on New gTLD Applicant Guidebook
- To: <carole.cornell@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [ga] Comments on New gTLD Applicant Guidebook
- From: "Debbie Garside" <debbie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 15:05:15 +0100
Please find below my comments on Draft Applicant GuideBook Version 2
my apologies for posting these to you direct but I do not find the public
comment facilities particularly user friendly.
Note to GA: I thought you might be interested in my comments. The GA
should be discussing documents such as these and reporting to ICANN as an
end user body.
Objection Filing and Costs to Applicants (3.1.4)
The cost of filing for a new gTLD has been set at $185,000 (USD). This is
to cover the various evaluation and administrative stages of processing
Refunds of the gTLD evaluation fee may be available under the following
After posting 70% refundable
After initial evaluation 35% refundable
At any later stage 20% refundable
If we look at the Objection Filing Process in relation to the Refund policy
we can see that there is a potential for an applicant to be faced with a
minimum loss of $55,500 if an objection is raised that the applicant may
have no realistic chance of successfully defending. A typical scenario
might be a Trade Mark objection. I find this level of potential loss to an
applicant within the initial stages of evaluation to be unacceptable.
In reading through the document I can find no stated estimated timelines for
the beginning and end of the objection filing process.
In order to counter this a 28 day "Stand-Off" period could be introduced
after the deadline date for the filing of applications in order that
objections may be filed and public comment received but with applicants able
to withdraw at any time during this period with a full refund of fees (or
with a loss of a minimal administration fee of say 1%). A 28 day stand-off
period for objections to be received and public comment collected would not
unduly delay the process at this stage but it would protect the applicant
from unacceptable levels of loss due to the filing of an objection.
In relation to paragraph 5. Please define "exceptional circumstances" or at
least stipulate who will make the decision as to what constitutes an
"exceptional Circumstance". Likewise, tighten up the paragraph that states
"Applicants will not ordinarily be permitted by defining what are considered
extraordinary circumstances who will make the decision on extraordinary
In the interest of customer service and business planning, estimated
timescales should be stated for all parts of the Evaluation Process; if the
levels of applications are extremely high timelines for batch processing
should be introduced (batch processing could be based on the chronological
order of receipt of the full application on a "first come, first served"
Paragraph 2 states: "If the initial start-up requirements are not satisfied
so that the gTLD can be delegated into the root zone within the time frame
specified in the registry agreement, ICANN may in its sole and absolute
discretion elect to terminate the registry agreement."
This should be reworded and an appeal procedure should be put into place
here and in any other areas where the document states "ICANN may at its sole
and absolute discretion...". This procedure could include the use of the
ICANN Ombudsman and/or an external arbitrator.
18.104.22.168 and 4.3 Auction: Mechanism of Last Resort
An auction is not a just and equitable way of resolving contention sets. If
after initial evaluations the applications within a string contention set
score equally, a public draw is perhaps more preferable.
Changes to Application Designation
If an objection filing stand-off period of 30 days is introduced (as
proposed above) it would be just and equitable to allow, as a non-cost part
of the objection resolution process, for changes to designation within the
application if it resolves an objection. A time period for resolution of
designations should be introduced.
Point Number 5. states: "documentary evidence of ability to fund ongoing
basic registry operations". Where is the measure for this?
Commenter's note on numbering for reference purposes: The numbering of this
document should be looked at as within 1.2.3 there are two instances of
numbered lists making it extremely hard to comment accurately.
1.2.3 and 22.214.171.124
Point Number 2. Page 1-16 deals with Government support or non-objection.
Paragraph 3 Page 2-13 states that where the documentation is incomplete or
missing the applicant will be notified and a "limited time frame" will be
given to obtain the required documentation as stated within 126.96.36.199.2. A
further paragraph should be added which states: If the applicant can show
that all reasonable attempts have been made to secure the documentation and
the government department remains unresponsive the application should
proceed with the GNP notifying the relevant government department of its
intention to proceed on the basis of non-response. I would refer the authors
to 188.8.131.52 where it states: "On the other hand, while groups such as
governments are well-suited to protecting morality and public order within
their countries, they may be unwilling to participate in the process." The
same can said with regard to community/country related applications.
Notice of Changes of Information
An indication of re-evaluation fees at varying levels should be determined
according to where the application is within the process and what
information has changed.
1.3 Information for Internationalized Domain Name Applicants
Point Number 7. Optional representation of label in phonetic alphabet
(IPA). Request that this be made MANDATORY for ALL new domain name
applications for assistance with conformity to the Disability Discrimination
Act (DDA) in a number of countries.
184.108.40.206 String Confusion Review
Similarity to Existing TLDs Page 2-3 paragraph 3.
Where an application fails the string confusion review please state the
level of refund to be made to the applicant.
Similarity to TLD strings requested as IDN ccTLDs
Paragraph 2 Page 2-4
More thought needs to be given to this paragraph. Recommend changing this
paragraph to state: A gTLD application that has been approved by the board
but not delegated within the root zone MAY be kept in abeyance whilst
investigation into possible conflict with a known Country Code acronym
within the language/script is undertaken. An application for an IDN ccTLD
representing a proven known acronym or country name within a language/script
used within the region in question will always take precedence over a gTLD.
The only occasion where a gTLD meeting this conflict will take precedence is
if it is already operational within the root zone. A proportional (95%
perhaps) refund policy for gTLD applicants covering these circumstances
should be designated - especially where the gTLD applicant does not have
links to the Country in question.
String Similarity Algorithm
Please indicate the scripts that are currently available and a list of
further scripts to be included as well as the timescale for the introduction
of further scripts.
Page 2-11 States: "A meaningful representation includes a representation of
the country or territory name in any language." Please add: "...and/or
3.4.2 Legal Rights Objection
Within the documentation supplied to applicants or via the Applicant CMS
system, guidance should be given on searching for trademarks. Guidance may
be in the form of helpful websites e.g.
Due to time constraints, I have not evaluated Modules 4, 5 and 6. I hope to
do so before the deadline.
I hope you find these comments useful.
Pembrokeshire SA61 1BW
Tel: 0044 1437 766441
Fax: 0044 1437 766173