[ALAC] New gTLD Program Committee resolution on "closed generic" strings

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Wed Feb 6 03:43:03 UTC 2013

Note that the Public Comment closes on March 7 and does not seem to 
have a reply period.  Alan


ICANN is seeking public comment on the subject of "closed generic" 
gTLD applications and whether specific requirements should be adopted 
corresponding to this type of application. Stakeholder views are 
invited to help define and consider this issue. In particular, 
comments would be helpful in regard to proposed objective criteria for:

- classifying certain applications as "closed generic" TLDs, i.e., 
how to determine whether a string is generic, and
- determining the circumstances under which a particular TLD operator 
should be permitted to adopt "open" or "closed" registration policies.

The New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors has 
discussed this issue and has also directed completion of a set of 
focused research and analysis items to inform any possible action to 
be taken. At its 2 February 2013 meeting, the Committee passed the 
following resolution:

Whereas, the New gTLD Program Committee has received correspondence 
from the community addressing "closed generic" TLDs and understands 
that members of the community term a "closed generic" TLD as a TLD 
string that is a generic term and is proposed to be operated by a 
participant exclusively for its own benefit.

Whereas, ICANN implemented the Generic Names Supporting Organization 
(GNSO) policy recommendations on the "Introduction of New Generic 
Top-Level Domains", and within those policy recommendations there is 
no specific policy regarding "closed generic" top-level domains (TLDs).

Whereas, members of the community have expressed concerns regarding 
applications for "closed generic" TLDs.

Whereas, the New gTLD Program Committee considers that it is 
important to understand all views and potential ramifications 
relating to 'closed generic' TLDs.

Resolved (2013.02.02.NG01), the New gTLD Program Committee directs 
the President and CEO to open a 30-day public comment forum on this 
topic, which should include a call for identification of proposed 
objective criteria to classify applied-for TLDs as "closed generic" TLDs.

Resolved (2013.02.02.NG02), the New gTLD Program Committee directs 
the President and CEO to, concurrently with the opening of the public 
comment forum, request the GNSO to provide guidance on the issue of 
"closed generic" TLDs if the GNSO wishes to provide such guidance. 
Guidance on this issue is requested to be provided by the close of 
the public comment forum.

Resolved (2013.02.02.NG03), the New gTLD Program Committee directs 
the President and CEO to:
- Summarize and analyze all comments submitted in the public comment forum.
- Review materials supporting the policy development process 
resulting in the GNSO policy recommendations on the Introduction of 
New Generic Top-Level Domains and provide analysis of any discussions 
relating to the limitations on potential new gTLDs.
- Analyze the feasibility of objectively classifying applied for TLDs 
as "closed generic" TLDs.
- Provide an analysis as to whether the public interest and 
principles of international law are served by adopting a clear 
approach regarding 'closed generic' gTLDs.
- Provide a report to the New gTLD Program Committee informed by the 
comments received and analysis conducted, including alternatives to 
addressing this issue. 

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