Updated 4 March 2013
Additional FAQs Posted on 4 March 2013:
What is schedule for the Public Interest Commitments (PIC) Specification Proposal?
Applicants are requested to submit PIC Specifications by 23:59 UTC on 5 March 2013. The applicant-specific PIC Specifications will be available for public review on 6 March 2013, and the review period ends on 5 April 2013.
What are the drivers for the PIC Specification schedule?
The schedule is expected to allow for PIC Specifications to be submitted prior to the close of the objection period (13 March 2013). The schedule also allows for public review of the PIC Specifications, including review by the GAC, as soon as possible in advance of the Beijing meeting (7-11 April 2013). This expedited timeline is required in order to ensure that ICANN is delivering the program within the timeframes previously identified.
What if an applicant wants to submit a PIC Specification after 5 March 2013? How does the applicant do that?
If an applicant chooses to submit an applicant-specific PIC Specification after 5 March 2013, that late submission may result in delays in processing the application, including delays in posting the PIC Specification for review and submission to the GAC. No matter when the PIC Specification is submitted, the applicant-specific PIC Specification should be submitted in accordance with the instructions previously provided.
What happens if the applicant selects Section 2 of the PIC Specification and then adds additional commitments in Section 3 of the PIC Specifications that are in conflict with the commitments set in the application?
Applicants will be held to the commitments made within their PIC Specifications. Applicants are encouraged to carefully consider the commitments set out in the PIC Specifications for internal consistency as well as consistency with the commitments within their applications.
Any commitments set out in a PIC Specifications that result in a change to the application must be accompanied by a change request to change the corresponding portions of the application.
What are the expected outcomes of the PIC Dispute Resolution Process – will it always result in termination if the registry operator loses in the PIC DRP?
No, it will not. The PIC Dispute Resolution Process (PICDRP) is intended to provide a mechanism for consideration of complaints regarding the Registry Operator's compliance with the commitments made in the PIC Specification. The PIC DRP will align with the Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Processes set out in the Applicant Guidebook. It is anticipated that, in the event the Registry Operator does not prevail in the PIC DRP, the dispute resolution provider could recommend a variety of remedies, such as specific performance of certain commitments. ICANN will review any recommendation for reasonableness prior to continuing with enforcement, and the Registry Operator will have an opportunity to contest the reasonableness of the remedy as well.
How can applicants be expected to sign onto the PICDRP if they haven't seen it yet?
No applicant is bound by the PICDRP until it signs a Registry Agreement. The submission of a PIC Specification at this time only indicates a willingness to be bound by the PICDRP upon the signing of the Registry Agreement.
How will the change process work if an applicant changes its PIC Spec?
Prior to signing the Registry Agreement, ICANN will accept a change request that is directed solely to a change to the PIC Specification unless there are indications that the change is being requested to manipulate the process. An example of a change that could be viewed as a manipulation of process is the change of a PIC Specification after the close of the objection period to remove commitments that appeared to be included to avoid the filing of an objection.
If the change to a PIC Specification would also result in a change to the application, a change request to reflect the requested change in the application will also be required.
Changes to PIC Specifications will be subject to a further 30-day public review period.
FAQs as posted 22 February 2013:
What is the purpose of Specification 11 of the Revised New gTLD Registry Agreement?
The purpose of Specification 11 is to ensure new gTLD registry operators use only registrars that have signed the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (which is under negotiation), and to allow applicants the opportunity to make specific public interest commitments. These commitments can be certain statements made in their applications and/or additional public interest commitments that were not included in their applications but to which the applicants intend to commit. These commitments will become part of the applicant's new gTLD registry agreement.
What are the different sections of the Specification 11?
There are 3 sections to Specification 11:
Section 1 states that the new registry operator will only use registrars that have signed the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (currently under negotiation).
Section 2 is for applicants to indicate which parts of their applications they will incorporate into their registry agreements as binding commitments.
Section 3 is for applicants to identify additional commitments that are not part of their applications but which the applicants intend to incorporate as binding commitment into their registry agreements.
Who is required to submit an applicant-specific Public Interest Commitment Specific?
Any applicant that wishes to incorporate binding commitments into its registry agreement through Section 2 or Section 3 of the PIC Specification must submit a PIC Specification by 05 March 2013.
Applicants are not required to submit a PIC Specification by 05 March 2013 if they do not wish to incorporate binding commitment into the registry agreements. Note: Applicants who do not submit a PIC Specification by 05 March 2013 will still be expected to enter into a registry agreement with a Specification 11 that includes only section 1.
Is Specification 11 a required part of the Registry Agreement?
Yes. Section 1 of Specification 11 is a required commitment for all new gTLD registry operators. Sections 2 and 3 of the Specification are optional. All applicants are asked to submit their PIC Specification by 05 March 2013 if they wish to incorporate binding commitments into their registry agreements through Section 2 or Section 3 of the PIC Specification.
Must community applicants submit a PIC Specification for the community restrictions proposed in their application?
No. Community applicants are not required to submit a PIC Specification to incorporate the community restrictions proposed in their applications into Section 2. (Note: any community applicant that does not submit a PIC Specification by 05 March 2013 will still be expected to enter into a registry agreement incorporating the community registration restrictions proposed in the application, along with a Specification 11 that includes only section 1.)
Should an applicant submit a PIC Specification even if it decides not to include commitments for sections 2 or 3?
Applicants are not required to submit a PIC Specification by 05 March 2013 if they do not wish to incorporate binding commitment through Section 2 or Section 3 of the PIC Specification into the registry agreements. (Note: Applicants who do not submit a PIC Specification by 05 March 2013 will still be expected to enter into a registry agreement with a Specification 11 that includes only section 1.)
When is the deadline to submit the PIC Specification?
05 March 2013 at 23:59 UTC. All PIC Specifications will be posted for public review on 06 March 2013.
What happens if an applicant fails to submit a PIC Specification by the 05 March 2013?
The applicant will still be expected to enter into a registry agreement with a Specification 11 that includes only section 1.
How do applicants submit a PIC Specification to ICANN?
Applicants may submit their PIC Specifications to ICANN via the Global Support Center (email@example.com or via the Customer Portal at https://myicann.secure.force.com/). If submitting via email, please ensure that the email is from the primary contact. Submissions from anyone other than the primary contact will not be accepted.
In what format should the PIC Specification be submitted?
PIC Specifications should be submitted in PDF format.
You can download Specification 11 in one of three formats listed below:
Note: These documents are provided for your convenience. This is not an opportunity for revisions to the text of the registry agreement. ICANN will disregard any changes made to the original text of Specification 11.
Include your responses to section 2 and 3 in your submission. Section 1 is a requirement and requires no response.
Please include the following information on your submission:
- Application ID number,
- Applicant name, and;
- Applied for string.
Remember to submit your document in PDF format. File size limit is 5MB.
Please submit any questions about the form or format of the PIC Specification to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Should PIC Specifications be limited to statements in the application?
Not necessarily. Section 2 of the PIC Specification may be completed by referencing part(s) of the application. Section 3 allows applicants to list additional Public Interest Commitments not currently included in the application.
What will ICANN do with the PIC Specifications once they are submitted?
Once the applicants' PIC Specifications have been submitted, they will be posted on the ICANN website for public review (including review by members of ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee) for at least 30 days.
Will the submitted PIC specification be part of the signed Registry Agreement?
Yes. The commitments identified in the PIC Specifications will be incorporated into Specification 11 of the registry agreement that the applicant executes with ICANN.
What if an applicant has to amend the application in order to fulfill the PIC Specification?
If the submission of the PIC specification results in previously submitted application information becoming untrue or inaccurate, then according to section 1.2.7 of the Applicant Guidebook the applicant would be required to submit a Change Request via the change request process posted at http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/global-support/change-requests. Depending on where an application is in the evaluation process, a change request may delay the processing of an application or require re-evaluation and additional fees. Note that all change requests are subject to approval by ICANN.
Is there an opportunity for the applicant to amend its PIC Specification?
Yes, Applicants will have the ability to request changes to their submitted PIC Specification via the Change Request process posted at http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/global-support/change-requests. All changes will be subject to a further 30-day public review period.
Will the objection filing period deadline be extended if all PIC Specifications are not received by 05 March 2013?
No. ICANN intends to maintain the objection period filing date of 13 March 2013 in order to meet overall program milestones. (Note: Applicants who do not submit a PIC Specification by 05 March 2013 will still be expected to enter into a registry agreement with a Specification 11 that includes only section 1.)
Where can I find more information about the PIC Specification?
The original announcement about the Public Interest Commitments Specification can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/base-agreement-05feb13-en.htm.
Can I comment on the PIC Specification Proposal?
Yes. The proposal for Specification 11 is currently open for public comment as part of the public comment period on the changes to the New gTLD Registry Agreement. To submit a comment, or view additional information on the updated New gTLD Registry Agreement, please go to http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/base-agreement-05feb13-en.htm.