ICANN Meeting San Francisco: New gTLD Program Status

Representatives from CADNA are attending the ICANN meeting in San Francisco and will be blogging about their observations. Check back here for updates, and follow our tweets @CADNA.

The New gTLD Program Status session here in San Francisco was, in a nutshell, a study in appreciating small steps forward. Although he had little to report, given that there has been no new version of the Applicant Guidebook for New gTLDs or any updates to the “timeline,” Kurt Pritz maintained a positive attitude that progress was being made. 

For one, Pritz promised that the next version of the Applicant Guidebook would include amendments in the areas of trademark and malicious conduct protections and community dispute resolution procedures, as well as improvements to the Registry agreements and a clarification of the ICANN Board’s role in the evaluation process. 

He also discussed the recent meeting between the ICANN Board and the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) in a mater-of-fact but hopeful tone. He acknowledged that there remain areas of disagreement between the two groups, but also seemed to anticipate that the sessions scheduled for the two groups during this meeting in San Francisco would lead to the necessary consensus.

To close, he urged the Board and the GAC to settle on areas of agreement and disagreement, and to close discussions so that the program can continue to move forward. While many among the ICANN community are eager for the program to continue to move forward, it is important that the Board and the GAC are diligent in working out their areas of disagreement so that the program proceeds in a manner that provides maximum benefits and minimal detriments to Internet users and stakeholders.

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