Domainmonster.com Domain Editorials
ICANN Release Latest Version of Applicant Guidebook
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers have released the eighth version of the New TLD Applicant Guidebook, which firms up some of the rules surrounding the wave of New TLD applications that will begin in January.
Many were left wondering why ICANN were leaving such a large gap between the New TLD program being approved in June, and opening the application window the following January. It seemed that given the long delay, there were perhaps major changes taking place before the application period opened.
Now that the Guidebook has been re-released however, it doesn’t seem like major changes are on the cards after all! The main thing that has been cemented however, is that there is a strict deadline for New TLD applications. If you are interested in applying for your own TLD, then you’ll need to register with the ICANN TLD Application System by the 29th March 2012. Failure to do so will result in your application automatically failing before it’s even assessed.
The guidebook has been updated to include several Governmental Advisory Committee requests that the board agreed on at the Singapore meeting earlier this year, and it is now no longer necessary for the GAC to be as transparent when deliberating, and reaching a consensus about New TLD objectives.
In addition to minor policy changes it has also been announced that there have been a number of additions to the strings that are banned from applications throughout the New TLD program. These strings have been given the official title “Strings Ineligible for Delegation”. These strings include many Olympic and Olympiad derivatives in different languages, as well as strings relating to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
The Guidebook also states that the Applicant Support Program will be handled under a separate document, and will no longer be included in the Guidebook. The ASP is designed to help increase the global diversity within the New TLD program and in turn increase competition by supporting and educating potential applicants. The support will be pro bono, and will help applicants with several areas of their application, including DNS services, Legal and filing considerations and actually writing the application itself.
Considering the ASP is no longer included in the Guidebook it seems that it may have to wait until the next ICANN meeting this October, to be held in Dakar, Senegal for further development.
Although ICANN have not released a “redline” version of the guidebook where exact edits are highlighted, they have released a summary document which outlines the changes that have been made to the Guidebook separately.
As this is the eighth iteration of the Guidebook I would doubt that this will simply be the last and final version, as there are a number of items that have still not been finalised. For example the Singapore meeting led to ICANN agreeing to discuss the US and EU concerns over cross ownership between Registrars and Registries, and this does not seem to be included in this version of the Guidebook.
I guess we’ll just need to wait for the next version of the Guidebook to have the rest of our questions answered…