[ALAC] Correction: Fwd: Letter from ICANN Board to GAC on Enforcing new gTLD applicant commitments

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Wed Feb 13 03:19:47 UTC 2013

The 2nd URL is missing a character. The correct one is:


At 12/02/2013 10:11 PM, Alan Greenberg wrote:
>>Dear Heather,
>>On behalf of the Board, I write to follow up on 
>>our commitment in our letter of 16 January 2013, to provide
>>a report on our efforts to address one item of 
>>advice contained in the GAC Toronto Communiqué.
>>In its Toronto Communiqué, the GAC requested a 
>>written briefing from the ICANN Board on "how
>>ICANN will ensure that any commitments made by 
>>[New gTLD] applicants, in their applications or as a
>>result of any subsequent changes, will be 
>>overseen and enforced by ICANN." The GAC advised the Board
>>that, "it is necessary for all of these 
>>statements of commitment and objectives to be transformed into
>>binding contractual commitments, subject to compliance oversight by ICANN."
>>In our letter of 16 January 2013, we indicated 
>>that there was no existing mechanism in the New gTLD
>>program to address the GAC's concerns. To 
>>respond to the GAC's advice and the concerns raised by
>>others in the community, staff was asked to 
>>develop possible mechanisms to transform applicant
>>commitments (either as set forth within their 
>>applications or arising from early warning discussions
>>between applicants and governments) into 
>>contractually binding and enforceable obligations.  The Board
>>considered the staff proposals at the Board 
>>Workshop in Los Angeles on 31 January 2013 - 2 February
>>I am happy to report that ICANN has undertaken 
>>specific steps to address this item of GAC advice.  On 1
>>February 2013, the New gTLD Program Committee 
>>adopted a resolution directing ICANN's President and
>>CEO to seek public comment on a proposed 
>>"Public Interest Commitments" specification ("PIC Spec") to
>>be added to each new gTLD registry agreement.
>>On 5 February 2013, ICANN opened a public 
>>comment forum seeking comment on a revised draft of the
>>New gTLD Registry Agreement that includes the new PIC Spec.
>>  (http://www.icann.org/en/news/publiccomment/base-agreement-05feb13-en.htm )
>>"Public Interest Commitments"
>>The proposed PIC Spec is a mechanism by which 
>>applicants may incorporate additional commitments into
>>their Registry Agreements.  As proposed, the 
>>PIC Spec has one mandatory provision and two optional
>>provisions.  It would require the Registry 
>>Operator to use only those registrars that sign onto the 2013
>>Registrar Accreditation Agreement.  It would 
>>also allow the Registry Operator to contractually agree to
>>follow the commitments made in certain sections 
>>of its application for the gTLD (the specific sections to be
>>selected by the Registry Operator).  Finally, 
>>it would allow the Registry Operator to identify specific
>>additional commitments - which could be even 
>>broader than those undertaken in the application - that it
>>will follow in the operation of the registry.
>>Each PIC Spec completed by an applicant would 
>>be posted for public review in advance of the Beijing
>>meeting.   Once finalized, the relevant PIC 
>>Spec would be attached to the relevant Registry Agreement. The
>>Registry Agreement would not be signed until the PIC Spec is completed.
>>The commitment to use only Registrars that have 
>>signed the new RAA will be enforceable through the
>>regular contractual compliance process within 
>>ICANN.  The additional commitments would primarily be
>>enforceable by third parties through a revised 
>>Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Process.
>>Once the Registry Agreement is in operation, 
>>third parties who suffer actual harm as a result of the Registry
>>Operator's alleged noncompliance with the 
>>additional commitments or restrictions contained in the PIC
>>Spec would have standing to proceed to dispute 
>>resolution.  This dispute resolution procedure would be
>>made part of the existing Registry Restriction 
>>Post Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure (PDDRP) and
>>Trademark PDDRP  http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb .
>>First, there would be a mandatory conciliation 
>>phase during which the third party and the Registry Operator
>>are expected to try to informally resolve the 
>>issue.  If the issue cannot be resolved, the third party
>>complainant will then proceed to a Public 
>>Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution Procedure (PIC-DRP)
>>operated by a dispute resolution provider.
>>If the provider issues findings and 
>>recommendations that the Registry Operator is violating the PIC Spec,
>>the matter would then proceed to ICANN's 
>>Contractual Compliance for enforcement.
>>As noted above, the PIC Spec and other proposed 
>>revisions to the Registry Agreement were posted for
>>public comment on 5 February 2013.  Applicants 
>>were also invited to optionally designate which parts of
>>their application and which additional promises 
>>they will agree to have included in their registry agreement.
>>Applicants' PICs are due on 5 March 2013, and 
>>will be publicly posted for public and GAC review.
>>I hope that you find the above responsive to 
>>the GAC's request for a written briefing on enforcing applicant
>>commitments and that it addresses the GAC's advice on this subject.
>>Best regards,
>>Stephen D. Crocker,
>>Chair, ICANN Board

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