ICANN has delivered some bad news for dot-brands, applicants from poorer countries, and others, at the weekend rejecting several items of new gTLD policy advice that the community spent years cooking up.
The board of directors on Sunday approved a scorecard of determinations, including the rejection (or non-adoption) of seven GNSO recommendations that it deems “would not be in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN”.
In reality, it’s the latter that seems to have been foremost in the board’s mind; most of the rejections appear to be geared toward reducing ICANN Org’s legal or financial exposure.
Notably, dot-brands are denied some of the relief from cumbersome or expensive requirements that the GNSO had wanted rid of.
The board rejected a recommendation that would exempt them from the Continued Operations Instrument — a financial bond used to pay an Emergency Back-End Registry Operator should the applicant go out of business.
“[T]he Board is concerned that an exemption from an COI for Spec 9 applications would have financial impact on ICANN since there would be no fund to draw from if such a registry went into EBERO,” the board wrote.
It also rejected a request to exempt dot-brands from rules requiring them to contractually ban and monitor abuse in their TLDs. The GNSO had argued that single-registrant TLDs do not suffer abuse, but the board said this could lead to abuse from compromised domains going unaddressed.
“The Board concludes that Recommendation 9.2, if implemented, could lead to DNS abuse for second-level registrations in a single-registrant TLD going unaddressed, unobserved, and unmitigated,” it said.
Applicants hoping to benefit from the Applicant Support Program — which in 2012 offered heavily discounted application fees to poorer applicants — also got some bad news.
The GNSO wants the support to extend to other costs such as application-writing services and lawyers, which naturally enough put the frighteners on the board, which noted “such expansion of support could raise the possibility of inappropriate use of resources (e.g. inflated expenses, private benefit concerns, and other legal or regulatory concerns)”.
The board also rejected a couple of recommendations that could be seen as weakening its role as ultimate authority over all things gTLD.
It rejected a proposal to remove the controversial covenant not to sue (CNTS) from the application process unless other recommendations related to appeals processes are implemented.
ICANN said that because it has not yet approved these other recommendations, it has rejected this recommendation.
The board also rejected a recommendation that would have limited its ability to reject a gTLD application to only when permitted to do so by the rules set out in the Applicant Guidebook.
The idea was to prevent applications being arbitrarily rejected, but the board said this “may unduly limit ICANN’s discretion to reject an application in yet-to-be-identified future circumstance(s)”.
The rejections invoke part of the ICANN bylaws that now requires the GNSO Council to convene and either affirm or amend its recommendations before discussing them with the board. Presumably this could happen at ICANN 78 next month.
The bylaws process essentially gives the board the ultimately authority to throw out the GNSO recommendations if it can muster up a two-thirds supermajority vote, something it rarely has a problem achieving.
The post ICANN rejects a whole bunch of new gTLD policy stuff first appeared on Domain Incite.