09 October 2013
In its Beijing Communiqué [PDF, 156 KB], the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) issued advice to the ICANN Board of Directors regarding New gTLD applications. The Safeguards on New gTLDs: Category 2, section 2 of the Communiqué states: "For strings representing generic terms, exclusive registry access should serve a public interest goal" and includes a list of strings that the GAC "considers to be generic terms, where the applicant [was, at the time,] proposing to provide exclusive registry access." The strings listed in Category 2 advice correspond to 186 applications. On 19 August 2013, ICANN inquired as to whether the applicants of these 186 applications plan to operate the applied-for TLDs as exclusive access registries.
- Applicants of 10 applications indicated that the applied-for TLDs will be operated as exclusive access registries.
- Applicants of 35 applications indicated that their applications currently state that the applied-for TLDs will be operated as exclusive access registries, but the applicants will not operate them as exclusive access registries.
- Applicants of 138 applications indicated that they do not intend to operate the applied-for TLDs as exclusive access registries and that their applications are currently consistent with this intent.
- Applicants for 3 applications did not respond to the inquiry.
These responses were provided to the New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) of the ICANN Board to inform its decision-making regarding the GAC Category 2 Advice. On 28 September 2013, the NGPC adopted a Resolution directing staff "to move forward with the contracting process for applicants for strings identified in the Category 2 Safeguard Advice that are prepared to enter into the Registry Agreement as approved." The Registry Agreement provides that registry operators of a "generic string" TLD may not impose eligibility criteria for registering names in the TLD that limit registrations exclusively to a single person or entity and/or that person's or entity's "Affiliates" (as defined in Section 2.9(c) of the Registry Agreement). (See Specification 11, Section 3.d)
Based on this Resolution, applicants of the 138 applications mentioned above will be invited to the Contracting process by priority number, once eligible.
Applicants of the 35 applications mentioned above will be asked to submit a change request to align their applications and intent. Once an application change request has been approved by ICANN and the application becomes eligible, these applicants will be invited to the Contracting process in order of priority number.
For the remaining applications (10 indicating intent to operate as an exclusive access "generic" and 3 wherein the applicant did not provide a response), ICANN will perform an analysis to determine whether the Advice is implementable, then provide the NGPC with this analysis and if applicable, a proposal for how to implement the GAC Category 2 Safeguard Advice per the NGPC's request in the Resolution.