ICANN AT-LARGE MONTHLY ANNOUNCEMENT
In this issue:
- Action: More domain names! Fewer domain names! Debate on how ICANN should allow the worldwide Internet community to create and operate new top-level domains continues. Where do you stand?
- Action: ICANN vs. VeriSign -- round two. A revised proposed settlement for the ICANN/VeriSign lawsuits has been posted. ALAC considers what it could mean for users and individual .COM name holders. Share your thoughts.
- Action: Sponsored top-level domain names .AERO, .COOP, and .MUSEUM. are under the microscope. It's been five years... Have they met the needs of their sponsored communities? Are changes needed? Are there lessons here for introducing more generic top-level domains? Send in your views.
- Meeting: Hold the date! Join ICANN At-Large in New Zealand, March 27-31.
- Information: At-Large delegates for ICANN's 2006 Nominating Committee announced.
Dates to Watch:
- 8 February 2006 - Public comments due on the purpose of WHOIS
- 20 February - Public comments due on the proposed ICANN/VeriSign agreement
- March 2006 - Final draft of ICANN Strategic Plan due
- March 27-31, 2006 - ICANN & At-Large meetings in Wellington, New Zealand
- ?? - ICANN action on .XXX sponsored top-level domain
- ?? - ICANN action on the proposed .COM settlement
- Action: More domain names! Fewer domain names! Debate on how ICANN should
allow the worldwide Internet community to create and operate new top-level domains
continues. Where do you stand?
ICANN is creating a process for introducing new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) and is seeking community input. A "Wiki page" was created to enable At-Large community members to share their views and help shape the ALAC's recommendations on-line. Comments collected on the "Wiki" page were submitted to the GNSO Council and will be used as a basis for another At-Large statement on introducing new gTLDs. The ALAC continues to encourage comments. Send your emails for public posting to <email@example.com>.
The GNSO Council, a primary policy-making body within ICANN, launched a new policy development process to guide ICANN on the introduction of new gTLDs. ICANN wants to take the lessons learned from past TLD introductions, along with community input, and develop a new process for introducing TLDs. Some ICANN constituencies, including intellectual property and business interests, submitted comments that oppose the addition of a substantial number of new gTLDs and urge a "slow and controlled" approach to new gTLD introduction.
In the past, the ALAC has pushed ICANN to regularize the process of examining and approving new TLD proposals, and has urged ICANN to move beyond testbeds and evaluations and permit those proposing new TLDs to put their plans into effect. Last year ICANN launched a limited process for selecting new sponsored TLDs (sTLDs) from a pool of ten applications. The ALAC recommended that, rather than restrict the applicant pool to a few sTLDs, ICANN create a quick, effective and uncontroversial process for the creation of any kind and number of new TLDs.
More information is available at <http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-06dec05.htm> and <http://www.alac.icann.org/gtld/>.
Action: ICANN vs. VeriSign -- round two. A revised proposed settlement
for the ICANN/VeriSign lawsuits has been posted. ALAC considers what it could
mean for users and individual .COM name holders. Share your thoughts.
ICANN recently posted a revised proposal which, if approved, will settle all pending litigation with VeriSign <http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-29jan06.htm>. Public comments are requested by 20 February 2006. The proposed settlement agreement is subject to final approval or disapproval of the ICANN Board.
The ALAC is, once again, considering how the proposal will affect individual Internet users. After the first proposed settlement agreement was posted on 24 October 2005 <http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-24oct05.htm>, the ALAC solicited At-Large community input, co-sponsored an open forum to discuss the proposal with other ICANN stakeholders, discussed the proposal with ICANN's Board and, ultimately, recommended that the Board not approve the proposed settlement. Instead, the ALAC recommended that the Board seek a settlement that addressed key issues raised by the ALAC <http://www.alac.icann.org/announcements/announcement-02dec05.htm>, including unbundling the settlement of the litigation from the renewal of .COM, adding oversight mechanisms in the new agreements, decreasing dependency on VeriSign funding for a significant percentage of ICANN's revenue, limiting VeriSign's ability to raise prices 7% a year, and restricting VeriSign's ability to use and misuse personal TLD server data. The revised proposal appears to decrease ICANN's dependency on VeriSign funding and includes restrictions on TLD server data, but the ALAC remains concerned about the additional issues cited in its previous recommendation to the Board.
The ALAC is continuing to discuss the proposed, revised agreement and urges all Internet users, especially .COM registrants, to share their views on how this agreement might affect them. Send your emails for public posting to <firstname.lastname@example.org> *and* <email@example.com>.
ICANN notes that the revised settlement proposal includes the following changes from the October 2005 proposed agreements in response to Internet community feedback: "the elimination of the proposed registry-level transaction fee (which would have been passed through directly to registrars); a direct contribution from VeriSign in the form of significantly increased fixed registry-level fees (which VeriSign will not be permitted to pass through directly to registrars); a new limitation on the frequency of permitted price increases for domain name registrations; a revision to the ICANN consensus policy limitation relating to the introduction of new registry services; a clarification of the permissible uses of traffic data; and the incorporation of new service-level specifications for the .COM registry."
Action: Sponsored top-level domain names .AERO, .COOP, and .MUSEUM. are
under the microscope. It's been five years... Have they met the needs of their
sponsored communities? Are changes needed? Are there lessons here for introducing
more generic top-level domains? Send in your views.
Three of the first round sponsored top-level domain names (sTLDs), .AERO, .COOP, and .MUSEUM, will have their contracts up for renewal this year and ICANN asked for comments on them <http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement1-21dec05.htm>. All three have submitted applications for renewals under about the same terms as they currently have but with more flexibility in the registration process. The renewal proposals are supposed to address the effectiveness of the Sponsor in meeting the needs of the Sponsored TLD Community, proposed changes to the Charter and the delegation of policy-development responsibility from ICANN to Sponsor, and whether the Sponsor has complied with all material terms of the current Agreement.
None of the three domains has gotten more than 5% of the registrations they projected in 2001. Is this a problem? Should these domains continue under the same management? Under different management?
The ALAC prepared initial draft comments on all three renewals and solicited At-Large community input to help ensure that the sTLD review process meets individual Internet users' needs. A "Wiki page" was created to enable At-Large community members to share their views and help shape the ALAC's recommendations on-line (note: this site is not affiliated with ICANN). Views posted on the Wiki page formed the basis for the ALAC's input and will be used to draft ALAC recommendations on these sTLDs.
Additional views are always welcome. Email them to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Meeting: Hold the date! Join ICANN At-Large in New Zealand, 27-31 March
You are invited to join the ICANN community in Wellington, New Zealand 27-31 March 2006 and participate in several meetings and fora on issues that affect the Internet's end-users. If you are interested in seeing more new top-level domain names, using domain names in your own (non-English) language, protecting your personal information listed in WHOIS databases, and advancing individual users' Internet interests in other areas, you won't want to miss this meeting. You can attend in person or follow some proceedings via the Internet. Participation is free and Internet users are encouraged to come!! Check <http://www.icann.org.nz/> for general information.
Information: At-Large delegates for ICANN's 2006 Nominating Committee
The ALAC selected five volunteers from five different regions of the world to serve as members of ICANN's 2006 Nominating Committee (NomCom). The NomCom will appoint members of ICANN's Board of Directors, the GNSO Council, the ccNSO Council, and the ALAC.
The 2006 At-Large delegates to the Nominating Committee are:
- Mohamed El Fatih El Tigani Ali, Africa region delegate
- Madanmohan Rao, Asia/Australia/Pacific region delegate
- Wolfgang Kleinwächter, Europe region delegate
- José Ovidio Salgueiro A., Latin America/Caribbean region delegate
- Michael Froomkin, North America region delegate
The ALAC widely solicited volunteers and relied on the user groups designated as "At-Large Structures" in each region for recommendations. The ALAC selected these five delegates from several diverse, accomplished volunteers. The NomCom's members, including 12 voting delegates in addition to the 5 appointed by the ALAC, will serve one-year terms.
The Interim At-Large Advisory Committee