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Fadi Chehadé's Report on New gTLD Milestones and Deadlines | 20 Mar 2013

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Hello, this is Fadi.

As many of you know, I just returned from a tour of many countries, met many people in our communities in Africa, in Asia, in Europe. And I come back with an incredible enthusiasm. An enthusiasm for the New gTLD Program that I had not sensed personally, by visiting with these communities around the world. Entrepreneurs waiting for the expansion of the DNS in order to build their new ideas and their new dreams, communities that want to find ways to express themselves in new ways, using maybe their scripts in Chinese, or Arabic, and also governments, who are looking for ways to expand their economies around the planet. Today, Kenya, for example, in Africa, has focused on the Internet as a key element of its economy. Over 20% of its GDP comes from ICT. That is remarkable. Even South Africa. Many of us think of South Africa as a place for mining, but the ICT sector is now larger than mining in South Africa.

So, as countries, communities and entrepreneurs, come together and share with me this incredible excitement for what we have launched here: the New gTLD Program. I come back humbled, but very energized to get this show on the road. Throughout my trip, I was regularly briefed on the New gTLD Program operations.

I am very pleased to share with you that we are on track, we’re on target with our dates and the program is under firm control. As you know, we have completed the drawing, the URS, the contention sets. All of this is behind us now. And this week we have the important first batch of the initial evaluations. Again, we are on track. This Friday we’ll release the first batch in the order of the Prioritization Draw of last December. And my team confirms to me that we are completely on track to have all these initial evaluations completed, as originally announced in Toronto, by the August time frame.

So, all in all, what we have prepared today is working very well. When we look forward, beyond this Friday, we have the Trademark Clearinghouse. Now, let me dwell on this for a minute, because this is a very important program. First, it’s on track to start taking new registrations for trademarks on March 26. That’s very important and I encourage our community to get engaged and get on the program to register their trademarks. Secondly, we have had, as you know, since Toronto, a series of meetings that we call the Strawman Solution Meetings. The result of these meetings was posted, we received many public comments, in fact, it was astounding how many we did, and that’s good, because we received a lot of input that helped us analyze all of this and today we will be releasing the results and analysis of our team of all these comments based on the solution we had put together with many of you. And I’m happy to share with you that we have come to the conclusion that some of the fundamental protections that we felt are truly, purely, implementation decisions, we are going to move forward with. So, for example, we are going to implement a 30-day notice period before each Sunrise. We are also going to extend the Trademark Claim Period from 60 to 90 days. The Claims 2 Period, which was discussed, frankly, did not receive a lot of support from many of you, so we’re going to let that go for now.

And then finally, there was a lot of discussion about extending the Trademark Claims Protection to abuse names, and after much debate on whether this is a new program or an extension of what we’re doing, we came to the conclusion it is an implementation extension and we will move forward with that. As many of you know, also as part of the Strawman discussions on the Trademark Clearinghouse, there was a concept proposed by the community called Limited Preventative Registrations, or LPR. Now, the LPR did not make it into our Strawman Solution, but we had agreed and followed through to put the LPR proposal also for public comment. And based on many of the comments we received, it is clear that this is a substantial program that in our opinion, we came to the conclusion, will require some policy discussion by all the stakeholders, and therefore we will refer that back to the community for additional policy work.

With this we will have all the milestones in place, leaving us down to the very important legal framework for the registrars and the registries. A framework that will enable us to be ready for the massive expansion of the DNS that’s upon us. I sincerely believe that the work that has been done today is superb and the community discussions that have been going on about the new RAA and the RAA are good, they’re actually a great testament to how the multi-stakeholder model works. So, I encourage us to continue working so that we can achieve our goals and find common agreement on how we can manage this industry that is about to grow quite significantly.

Now, I want to make a few comments on that. I believe that the Registrar's Negotiating Team has done a remarkable job in explaining their points and in working with me and my team to advance this agreement. This agreement, right now as we posted it, includes some very important changes that I believe are extremely positive. To name a few, we, for the first time, have an actual document called the R3, for short, and it’s the Registrant's Rights and Responsibilities document. This is a document we reached firm agreement on together with the registrars, and I think it’s a document that, frankly, for years, will point to as a point when we came together and agreed on how to respect and protect the registrant’s rights and responsibilities around the world. Secondly, we also reached agreement on a very smoothed and streamlined compliance regime that ensures that there are compliance steps that are built into the process before registrars are surprised by any compliance decisions. Thirdly, we also have implemented all the law enforcement requirements that enable us to truly and finally say that the agreement represents a solid ground for the expansion of the DNS globally. These are some of the things that we have achieved in the registrar agreement.

Similarly, on the registry agreement, I believe that, while there were changes, the debate and discussion around that agreement is positive and is good, and it’s continuing. I want to emphasize that I am here and very engaged. I’m meeting with the registrars regularly, I’m meeting with many registries as well, to ensure that I’m listening and understanding the concerns so that we can translate them into a common understanding. But let me be clear. If we do not come together towards an agreement on these things, we might experience a delay in the Program which I have committed to you that we will be ready for on April 23rd. So, from an ICANN staff standpoint and operation standpoint, we remain ready to request New gTLDs for delegation on April 23rd, but without these agreements we might experience a delay. So I urge all of you, the community, to come together and work with me, and if there are concerns about the board approved amendment process that I've heard from many of you, let’s work together towards a solution, a workable solution that makes us all understand each other’s points and find common ground. I am here for that and I will be very engaged in that process for the next few weeks.

I leave you with where I started. The excitement about the New gTLDs is global. It’s upon us and I urge all of us to keep that focus in mind and to work together without cutting corners, but rather with collegiality, with genuine common interest, always from the bottom-up, always involving everyone, with the public interest and the growth in the DNS balanced properly so that we can be proud of what we achieved in these weeks.

Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 17 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 38
Posted by: icann on Apr 24, 2013

Fadi Chehadé's Report on New gTLD Milestones and Deadlines | 20 Mar 2013

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