[registration-issues-wg] [CPWG] Subsequent Procedures | Request for feedback on Neustar's proposal for 3-phased New gTLD Application Model

mail@christopherwilkinson.eu CW mail at christopherwilkinson.eu
Sat Jan 5 19:02:30 UTC 2019

Good evening :

Many thanks to Justine and Olivier for taking this up. Allow me a few preliminary comments with regard to the so-called Neustar proposal.

Needless to say what follows relates to my understanding of the Neustar proposal, and not to Justine's presentation of it which is highly instructive for which I am grateful.

This appears to go back to Donna Austin's October (pre-Barcelona) article in Circle ID http://www.circleid.com/posts/20181014_new_tld_subsequent_procedures_a_proposed_model_to_move_forward/ .

On page 3 of the slide deck:

* We have both 'unknown level of demand' and 'issues of pent-up demand'- One or the other, but not both?

* My understanding of the PDP's work to date is that there is NO expectation of an 'open round',_ever_.
Just imagine an open global round, all languages and scripts, all geographies, all national trademarks, all generic terms, etc.
I think that is just not going to happen.

* I rather doubt that the ICANN Board has been so imprudent as to commit to the next round 'as expeditiously as possible'. (I would stand to be corrected!)

* There is nothing new about a 'phased application process' which has been discussed in the PDP since months ago. There are however, indeed, significant differences as to what the phases, sometimes referred to as 'batches', should comprise.

* The primary constraint on the phases is the ability of ICANN staff to undertake the evaluation of applications in a fair, transparent and professionally responsible manner. It has become clear that cannot be done 'concurrently'.

Turning to Page 4 of the Slide Deck:

Phase 1:

- I see no reason to give .brands priority. The companies concerned already hold their well-protected trademarks and domain names. They will loose nothing from waiting their turn. (I also have doubts as to the ICANN community's ability to deal with .brands in IDN scripts, but that it another matter).

- Phase I should be designated for under-served categories from the 2012 Round.

N.B. Acquiring a .brand TLD should never become the basis for application for an ex-post facto Trademark.

Phase 2:

- Geographic TLDs should constitute a dedicated 'phase', not necessarily the highest priority in time, since there are many unresolved issues. However, there is no agreement about this in WT5.
Furthermore, WT5 is also far from an agreement on 'clearly defined eligibility criteria', notably because of the persistent – but politically unsustainable – demand that non-geographical use should not be subject to prior authorisation. Also, future geographical use would be threatened by an 'open round' and eventual FCFS.

Phase 3:

- to subsume community TLDs with generic TLDs is just asking for trouble. Particularly if auctions are allowed for commercial 'generic' applicants to 'buy out' community applicants.

- the slide does however implicitly recognise – perhaps inadvertently - that .brands, .geographicals, and .communities are NOT 'generic'.

Phase N+1: An Open Round?

* As noted above, at present I would discount this possibility. I am sure, whatever happens meanwhile, that option will be revisited nearer the time-

More generally, there is a problem with the method of this GNSO PDP. It is not just a matter of possible individual 'conflict of interest'. There are aspects of this process which defy generally accepted principles of due process, bearing in mind that the process is intended to assign potentially valuable assets to new DNS operators. For instance:

- It should not be possible for the incumbent operators to determine the terms and conditions for new entrants;

- conditions of fair competition in the public interest require that Registries are normally independent of Registrars and that Registrars treat Registries on a non-discriminatory basis.

- policy should prevent undue concentration in this industry.

- even within the narrow confines of an ICANN community bottom-up policy development process, it is quite extraordinary that Donna Austin's original piece, now be elevated into a 'Neustar' proposal and presented by the Co-Chair of the PDP.

Regards to you all,


> El 5 de enero de 2019 a las 9:49 Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com> escribió:
>     Dear Justine,
>     thank you very much for putting together slides with Neustar's proposals. I must admit that these slides made me feel particularly uneasy about the whole process of subsequent procedures. Without prejudice, here we have the Chair of the working group, main driver of the working group moving forward, ex-Neustar and currently working for Valideus, a company that stands to capitalise significantly in the creation of brand TLDs, pushing a calendar that is suggested by his ex-firm, favouring his current firm. I cannot stop seeing a flashing sign telling me "conflict of interest" here.
>     At ICANN Studienkreis and elsewhere, Cherine Chalaby has been asking the community about the need for a fast next round, and the majority of people around the table, whether end users, businesses, registrars and established registries said they were not eager for an immediate next round. It is only companies that stand to benefit directly from new gTLDs, such as the service providers that have flourished to help with TLD applications (and independent consultants), or register brands, or apply a city TLD business model that they have already applied elsewhere, who are pushing for a next round.
>     I am not against a next round, but when I see an illustration on page 4 saying "brand TLDs" with an application window 1st Oct 2919 to 12 Jan 2020 (even though there is an asterisk saying proposed dates are illustrative only), this worries me as a way to circulate potential dates for next round. That is, again, putting the carriage before the horses.
>     That said, on the actual concept of three phase model, and irrespective of the above, I am not against the concept of phases, but I do not agree with the proposed phases themselves. Phase 1, brands, sound okay, except for those brands that are geographic names. I would argue that Community TLDs should not be batched with generic TLDs and should be prioritised before GeoTLDs. So Community TLDs should go to phase 2 and Geo TLDs could go to phase 3. I would also say that I have seen significant pushback on generic TLDs that are based on generic words, so I really wonder how that is going to pan out.
>     Kindest regards,
>     Olivier
>     On 05/01/2019 09:08, Justine Chew wrote:
>         > >         Dear colleagues,
> > 
> >         Greetings for the New Year 2019.
> > 
> >         During one of the SubPro PDP Sub-Group's review of community submissions received for the Public Comment on the Initial Report on the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP (Overarching Issues & Work Tracks 1-4) (which concluded on 26 Sep 2018), that WG's Co-Chair, Jeff Neuman, requested that SO/AC liaisons obtain from their stakeholder groups feedback on a proposal by Neustar for the (next) New gTLD Program applications to be conducted in three phases followed by an open round.
> > 
> >         Details of Neustar's proposal are contained in the attached slide deck. 
> > 
> >         I invite you to provide feedback on the same by:-
> > 
> >         1) Replying to this email (or to me privately, if you prefer);
> >         2) Starting a separate email thread to cpwg at icann.org mailto:cpwg at icann.org if you wish to discuss a specific aspect of the said proposal; and/or
> >         3) Joining the next CPWG call (tentatively on 9 Jan 2019, please look out for a notice from At-Large staff for this call)  
> > 
> >         Thank you.
> > 
> >         Justine Chew 
> >         -----
> > 
> > 
> > 
> >         _______________________________________________
> >         CPWG mailing list
> >         CPWG at icann.org mailto:CPWG at icann.org
> >         https://mm.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/cpwg
> > 
> >     > 
>     -- 
>     Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond, PhD
>     http://www.gih.com/ocl.html


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