UPDATED: Reports Say ICANN’s New gTLD TAS System Is Missing Applications

According to tweets from a couple of people at NeuStar, the ICANN TAS system is having problems today.

Jeff Neuman of NeuStart Tweeted today:

“Check your applications in TAS. Reports of missing applications- Our application 4 .Neustar is 1 of them”

“”TAS also lost our “unique” ID which we got upon paying initial 5k. We need ID to pay remainder, fill out app & see all apps.””

Ken Hanson of Neustar also Twitted today:

“Check your applications in TAS this morning. Reports of missing application”

On Tuesday we were on a blogger call with Rod Beckstrom the CEO of ICANN who told the bloggers that everything was “running smoothly” on the new gTLD process.

Looks like today there maybe an issue which apps getting lost during the submission process.

We will keep checking Twitter for other reports of problems and will update you as the day goes on.

UPDATE

 

ICANN has now tweeted:

“A display issue occurred in TAS, it has been corrected. All data is now visible & no information was lost”

 

 

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ICANN’s Beckstrom Update On New gTLD Program

I just listened in to a call with the CEO of ICANN Rod Beckstrom, on an update on the new gTLD program  he gave to some bloggers.

“For us, No news is good news, things are running smoothly we have not encountered any major technical or service issues.”

Beyond that Mr. Beckstrom was unwilling to give any updated numbers in terms of the number of applications submitted or the number of companies that had paid the $5,000 for the spot to file and application.

ICANN has previously stated that 25 companies had paid the $5K fee.

Today Mr. Beckstrom wouldn’t disclose how many application fees of $180K (less the $5K fee for the spot online to file) have been received.

Another uncertainty in the process is the selection of the company(s) that will handle the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) and whether any company will be willing to undertake hearing those for the published goal of $300-$500 per, as we sit today, its not clear that anyone is beating down ICANN door to take this project on.

Beckstrom did indicate that they have received interest from qualified company(s) to operate the Trademark Clearing House and it sounds like ICANN is closer than to making a selection.  Also from the call its clear that there will not be a public comment period on ICANN’s selection of the provider to run the Trademark Clearing House.

Finally as far as publishing the list of applications received, although shooting for two weeks after the closing of the application period Mr. Beckstrom would not commit to the list being published on May 1, 2012.

 

 

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ICANN Publishes Draft Final Report On Whois Policy

ICANN has published a DRAFT of final report of the “Whois Policy Review Team’s”,  whose mission was to  “review the extent to which ICANN’s Whois policy and its implementation are effective, meet the legitimate needs of law enforcement, and promote consumer trust.”

The Final Draft Report [PDF, 1.04 MB] is opened for public comment until 18 March 2012.

“Comprehensive and straightforward, the report lays out systematically what the team found lacking with Whois policy and what they think should be done about it.”

Here are the recommendations from the DRAFT final report:

G. Recommendations

Single WHOIS Policy

1. ICANN’s WHOIS policy is poorly defined and decentralized The ICANN Board should oversee the creation of a single WHOIS policy document, and reference it in subsequent versions of agreements with Contracted Parties. In doing so, ICANN should clearly document the current gTLD WHOIS policy as set out in the gTLD Registry and Registrar contracts and GNSO Consensus Policies and Procedure.

Policy review – WHOIS Data Reminder Policy

2. The ICANN Board should ensure that the Compliance Team develop, in consultation with relevant contracted parties, metrics to track the impact of the annual WHOIS Data Reminder Policy (WDRP) notices to registrants. Such metrics should be used to develop and publish performance targets, to improve data accuracy over time. If this is unfeasible with the current system, the Board should ensure that an alternative, effective policy is developed and implemented in consultation with registrars that achieves the objective of improving data quality, in a measurable way.

Strategic Priority

8

3. ICANN should make WHOIS a strategic priority. This should involve allocating sufficient resources, through the budget process, to ensure that ICANN compliance staff is fully resourced to take a proactive regulatory role and encourage a culture of compliance. The Board should ensure that a senior member of the executive team is responsible for overseeing WHOIS compliance.

Outreach

4. ICANN should ensure that WHOIS policy issues are accompanied by cross-community outreach, including outreach to the communities outside of ICANN with a specific interest in the issues and an ongoing program for consumer awareness.

Data Accuracy

  1. ICANN should take appropriate measures to reduce the number of unreachable WHOIS registrations (as defined by the NORC Data Accuracy Study, 2009/10) by 50% within 12 months and by 50% again over the following 12 months.
  2. ICANN shall produce and publish an accuracy report focused on measured reduction in “unreachable WHOIS registrations”, on an annual basis.

What ICANN is doing wrong

A couple of recent articles have caught my attention because they offer scathing criticism of ICANN.

The first is a long and convoluted article by Kieren McCarthy on the .JOBS debacle. Kieren has basically written a feature that only a seasoned ICANN insider can hope to understand and that’s a pity, because the points he makes appear very valid. Namely that ICANN is incapable of looking at itself in the mirror and admitting when it’s wrong.

The second is an op-ed that makes it clear ICANN often has no-one but itself to blame for the bad press it receives.

Take the long list ICANN directors this article points its finger at as having a stake in the new gTLD game. Anyone not well-versed with the ICANN process would certainly look with some discomfort at the fact that several industry people sit on the Board of the organisation that is approving the Internet’s biggest expansion ever. And, be thankful for small mercies, author David Rowan has apparently not heard of previous ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate-Thrush’s damaging move to a new gTLD firm minutes after he’d led the Board to an approval vote for the program last June. Otherwise he would have surely painted an even starker picture of ICANN…

As it stands, the picture is bleak, and yes it is one-sided. The truth is that the reason the governance model that ICANN embodies is so strong is in part because it involves industry insiders. For that read people who actually understand what they’re voting on! A welcome change from traditional politician-driven governance bodies where the decision makers don’t know the slightest thing about the market they’re looking at.

But ICANN has not been tough enough with itself in the past, and thus left itself wide open to such attacks. Under existing ICANN rules, Dengate-Thrush did nothing wrong. But that doesn’t make it right, because there’s a difference between doing what you’re allowed to do and doing the right thing. ICANN has since beefed up the onus on its directors to disclose potential conflicts of interests and is asking them more clearly not to benefit directly from Board decisions. It should have come sooner.

Up until now, ICANN has also made a very poor job of explaining how it works, and the benefits it brings. Instead, when it doesn’t work, ICANN just gets all upset and sulks, treating critics with at best disdain, at worst outright arrogance.

And that’s a pity, because its public/private sector-led governance model remains better suited to something as fast-evolving as the Internet than some sclerosis-riddled organisation who’s members might sometimes value state control more than individual freedoms or public service.

ICANN New gTLD Registration Site Is Now Live & Open For Business

ICANN New gTLD Registration Site Is Now Live & Open For Business

You want to register for a new gTLD?

The TLD Application System (TAS), the online system for submission of new gTLD applications is now live.

Check out it out here.

Once you fill out that form, you just have to send in your $5K which will allow you to submit your application and the $180,000 balance that goes with.

Applications as of 7PM EST are now being accepted

The deadline to get your application in is April 12, 2012.

Don’t’ forget you have to have your online TAS registration complete and your $5K to reserve your online application spot in by March 28th 2012.

Here is all of the info from ICANN:

“”After more than seven years of planning, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has initiated a process that could trigger a dramatic expansion of the Internet.

Starting today, ICANN begins accepting applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).  The world of .com, .gov, .org and 19 other gTLDs will soon be expanded to include all types of words in many different languages. For the first time generic TLDs can include words in non-Latin languages, such as Cyrillic, Chinese or Arabic.

Applicants will use the TLD Application System (TAS) to submit their application, in which they answer the 50 questions detailed in the Applicant Guidebook.  Links to register in TAS are provided on the ICANN New gTLD page.

12 January:
29 March:
12 April:

ICANN begins accepting applications
The last day to register in TAS
Final day ICANN accepts applications

An updated version of the Applicant Guidebook was posted with the opening of the application window. The updated version incorporates clarifications made through responses previously published by the gTLD customer service center. Main points of clarification are on topics such as batching, background screening, the applicant support program, Continued Operations Instrument, GAC advice processes, and the registry code of conduct. Additional information and answers to previously asked questions can be found in the Program’s Supplemental Notes. These materials are not intended to introduce new requirements or criteria. Links to both the Applicant Guidebook and the Supplemental Notes can be found at the ICANN New gTLD page.

Also available now are changes to the Applicant Support Program: limited financial assistance is offered to qualifying applicants. Through this program, applicants, especially from developing economies, have access to financial assistance in the form of an evaluation fee reduction and other in-kind or community pro bono services. The financial assistance element of the program will allow a limited number of qualifying applicants to pay a US $47,000 evaluation fee instead of the full USD $185,000. This fee reduction has been made possible because ICANN’s Board of Directors has dedicated USD $2,000,000 to the program. This is a seed fund to which other organizations can donate. In response to public comment, the draft program has been updated to increase availability of refunds, make the program available to certain trademark owners, and broaden the scope for those seeking to serve the public interest. More information on the Applicant Support program can be found on the ICANN New gTLD page.

ICANN encourages all interested parties, whether applicants or observers, to refer to the New gTLD section of ICANN’s website for authoritative documents, helpful resources, and latest developments. The New gTLD site is found at http://newgtlds.icann.org.””

ICANN On Threat Of Litigation On New gTLD’s To Applicants:  You Take The Risk

ICANN On Threat Of Litigation On New gTLD’s To Applicants: You Take The Risk

ICANN just held as phone meeting with the press on its new gTLD program today.

Based off a question asked by Andrew Allemann from DomainNameWire.com and a follow up question by myself on the behalf of TheDomains.com it appears ICANN is NOT willing to give any assurance to applicants who put down their $185,000 application fee that any special refund would be available in the event a court ordered ICANN to stopped or delay the program.

“We will only offer refunds that are laid out in the Applicant Guide Book.”

“The Guidebook does not chat about a refund based on court action.

“The only refunds provided under the Guidebook are:

If the Gac issues an early waring and applicant withdraws its application they get 80%back

Applicant withdraws before initial evaluation 70%.

After initial evaluation if the applicant withdraws they get 20% back.”

So ICANN is clearly asking the applicants to take the risk of litigation with them.

Some groups like the ANA have openly threaten to sue ICANN to stop the new gTLD program.

Something that any applicant needs to consider before writing out the check for $185,000 per application