Summary and Analysis of Specification 13 Public Comments

by Cyrus Namazi on March 14, 2014

As a result of sincere and constructive discussions and negotiations, a proposed Specification 13 is in our hands. If approved by NGPC, Specification 13 would provide limited accommodations to registry operators of TLDs that qualify as “.Brand TLDs.” As many as one-third of all new gTLD applications might qualify as .Brand TLDs.

On 6 December 2013, we posted a draft of the proposed Specification 13 for public comment. In response to the proposed draft the ICANN community submitted dozens of thoughtful and constructive comments, leading to several modifications and, what I hope to be, the final draft. The summary and analysis of public comments can be viewed here [PDF, 550 KB].

The accommodations proposed in the revised version of Specification 13 Base Agreement [PDF, 244 KB] and Change-Pro Redline [PDF, 265 KB] are as follows:

  • Exemption from the Specification 9 of the Registry Agreement. Specification 9, also referred to as the Code of Conduct, is designed to protect the TLD’s registrants, but in the case of a .Brand there is no need to protect the .Brand operator from itself.
  • Deferral of Sunrise requirements. A .Brand TLD’s requirement to conduct a Sunrise registration period would be deferred for as long as the TLD continues to qualify as a .Brand TLD. If the TLD ever ceases to operate as a .Brand TLD, then the TLD would have to comply with the Sunrise requirements and hold a Sunrise period within 60 days.
  • A 2-year “cooling-off” period prior to re-delegation of the .Brand TLD to a successor registry operator, in most cases. The provision does not prevent ICANN’s appointment of an EBERO.
  • Registry Operator must conduct an annual self-audit and certify that the TLD continues to qualify as a .Brand TLD.
  • Revised definitions of “.Brand TLD” and “Trademark Licensee” to address concerns and adopt several suggestions of the commentators.
  • Removal of the ability of the .Brand registry operator to designate exclusive registrars for the TLD.

Now the ICANN community is able to review this final draft before it is submitted to the New gTLD Program Committee for consideration at ICANN 49 in Singapore.

I would like to thank the Brand Registry Group for their consistently professional and constructive negotiations in defining and drafting the proposed specification.

Please email me with any comments or feedback on the proposed final draft of Specification 13 at cyrus.namazi@icann.org.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Volker Greimann 03.18.14 at 11:12 am

This new draft presents a clearly superior version over the previous proposal. While the need for registrar discrimination are still unexplained, the proposal contains many of the suggestions made by the registrar constituency and others designed to curtail gaming and abuse of this exemption.

However, the documentation is missing one very important piece of the puzzle:

What process will ICANN follow in making a determination whether or not a string qualifies as a dotBrand?

It would be advisable to at least include a public comment phase prior to granting the exemption. If a registrar is subject to a public comment phase in order to receive a waiver that will allow him to remain in compliance with local data protection laws and the RAA at the same time, no less can apply for a registry desiring to circumvent a number of protections and requirements of the RA and be granted special status.

Sanna 03.21.14 at 3:29 am

A constructive discussions and negotiation a proposed specification 13 i sin our hand if it is approved by NGPC . That is fantastic points about TLDS brands . I will follow your best instruction s. keep posting .

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