Breaking: New gTLD Program Committee Puts Closed Generics On Hold

The ICANN Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC)  has put “Closed Generic” new gTLD applications on Hold by passing a  resolution tonight.

Of course by placing closed generic new gTLD applications on hold, those with competing applications for the same strings , even those wanting to operate those strings as open are going to be put on hold as well.

After the ICANN Beijing meeting, the GAC issued lengthily advice to ICANN, including telling ICANN it had an major issue with closed generics which would give an entire vertical under one company’s control such as Amazon’s Application for .Book.

By passing this resolution, NGPC didn’t kill off closed generic but is kicking the can down the road and giving ICANN additional time to make a final call on the issue.

Here are some of the string that were identified by the GAC which will be effected by tonight’s action:

.antivirus, .app, .autoinsurance, .baby, .beauty, .blog, .book, .broker, .carinsurance, .cars, .cloud, .courses, .cpa, .cruise, .data, .dvr, .financialaid, .flowers, .food, .game, .grocery, .hair, .hotel, .hotels .insurance, .jewelry, .mail, .makeup, .map, .mobile, .motorcycles, .movie, .music, .news, .phone, .salon, .search, .shop, .show, .skin, .song, .store, .tennis, .theater, .theatre, .tires, .tunes, .video, .watches, .weather, .yachts.

 

Here is the resolution that passed the NGPC tonight:

“With respect to comments specifically regarding exclusive registry access safeguards (i.e. Paragraph 2 of the Category 2 Advice), the NGPC understands that the GAC and other members of the community have expressed concerns regarding “closed generic” TLDs. ”

“In February 2013, the NGPC directed ICANN staff to initiate a public comment period on the issue of closed generic TLD applications so that the NGPC could understand and consider all views and potential ramifications related to closed generic TLDs. ”

“In light of the comments raised in this public comment forum, the closed generics public comment forum, and the GAC advice, ICANN is proposing a way for a large number of strings to move forward while the community continues to work through the issue.”

“While respecting the community’s comments, the NGPC revised the PIC Specification to address the GAC’s advice regarding exclusive registry access. ”

“The proposed PIC Specification includes a provision to preclude registry operators from imposing eligibility criteria that limit registration of a generic string exclusively to a single person or entity and their “affiliates.”

“”For applicants seeking to impose exclusive registry access for “generic strings”, the NGPC agrees to defer moving forward with the contracting process for these applicants, pending a dialogue with the GAC to seek clarification regarding aspects of the advice, including key definitions, and its implementation.”

“Revising the PIC Specification in this way permits the greatest number of strings to continue moving forward while recognizing the concerns raised in the community’s comments, including additional policy work.”

Resolved (2013.06.25.NG04), the NGPC adopts the “Proposed PIC Spec Implementation of GAC Category 2 Safeguards” (20 June 2013), attached as Annex I [PDF, 52 KB] to this Resolution, to accept and implement the GAC‘s Category 2 Safeguard Advice for applicants not seeking to impose exclusive registry access.

Resolved (2013.06.25.NG05), the NGPC directs staff to make appropriate changes to the final draft of the New gTLD Registry Agreement, as presented in Annex I [PDF, 52 KB] attached to this Resolution, to implement the GAC‘s Category 2 Safeguard Advice for applicants not seeking to impose exclusive registry access.

Resolved (2013.06.25.NG06), the NGPC directs staff to defer moving forward with the contracting process for applicants seeking to impose exclusive registry access for “generic strings” to a single person or entity and/or that person’s or entity’s Affiliates (as defined in Section 2.9(c) of the Registry Agreement), pending a dialogue with the GAC.

For applicants seeking to impose exclusive registry access for “generic strings”, the NGPC is being asked to defer moving forward with the contracting process for these applicants, pending a dialogue with the GAC.

The term “generic string” is defined in the PIC Specification to mean “a string consisting of a word or term that denominates or describes a general class of goods, services, groups, organizations or things, as opposed to distinguishing a specific brand of goods, services, groups, organizations or things from those of others .

 

Comments

  1. says

    They need to make some clarifications as well with regard to what kind of restrictions will be put in place and how open these strings will be under the management of some of these companies. The description of what some of these companies claim that they’ll do with these generic strings, it is often incredibly vague.

    For example:

    Coupons.com is asking to control .Coupon and .Coupons and claims that these will be open to ITSELF, qualified affiliates and subsidiaries. That doesn’t sound like it’s too open to me. Sounds like Coupons.com will have the best domains to themselves and select partners, which most likely means the brands they sell advertising to.

    IE: Provide Walmart with Walmart.Coupons, BestBuy with BestBuy.Coupons and so on.

    From their filing.

    “Coupons.com intends to initially limit registration and use of domain names within the .COUPONS gTLD to Coupons.com and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. This initial limited use will allow Coupons.com to establish its operations and achieve full sustainability. This limited distribution, coupled with the other requirements set forth in Specification 9 of the template Registry Agreement, is intended to exempt Coupons.com from its annual Code of Conduct Compliance requirements.”

    “Moreover, it is the current intention of Coupons.com to provide domain name registrations to itself and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates at no cost.”

    That’s actually not the worst of it, to really dig in people should go to http://news.dot-nxt.com/gtld/coupons

    Honestly without real oversight, this is going to give a lot of companies the ability to have a virtual monopoly on certain verticals.

    Is this really going to be in the best interest of the consumer?

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