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ICANN Releases Report On Process Options for Dot XXX

Report outlines three possible ways to proceed, none of which include an immediate finalization of the ICM contract following the public comment period, which begins March 26 and ends May 10

ICANN Releases Report On Process Options for Dot XXX

MARINA DEL REY—Pursuant to a resolution approved by the ICANN Board of Directors two weeks ago in Nairobi, a report prepared by CEO and president Rod Beckstrom and general counsel John Jeffrey on possible process options regarding ICM Registry’s application for a .XXX sTLD was posted to the ICANN website late Friday afternoon.

“This report describes the most plausible process options ICANN has following the issuance of the IRP (Independent Review Panel) Declaration with respect to ICM Registry’s application,” reads a statement on the ICANN website. “A graphical ‘decision tree’ describing ICANN’s options is being posted on the ICANN website along with this report.”

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The IRP had voted 2-1 in February that the ICANN board violated its own charter when it rejected ICM's application in 2007, and recommended that the Board proceed quickly to finalize a contract with ICM based on the 2004 agreement. The Board, however, voted instead to revisit the application process by way of Friday’s report and the subsequent process that is ultimately decided upon.

The report basically outlines three possible ways to proceed:

  1. Accept the findings of the IRP majority in full;
  2. Accept the findings of the IRP majority in part; or
  3. Disagree with the majority and accept the findings of the dissenting IRP member.

Each course contains either expedited or complex provisions for reevaluating the application. What the report rejects outright is the call by ICM in a letter dated March 21 to pursue an immediate execution of the 2007 negotiated agreement.

“The Board has considered this option,” the report reads, “but the general sense is that if the Board determines to move forward on ICM’s Application for the .XXX sTLD, using either the 2004 criteria or the criteria established for the new gTLD Program, minimally, it is appropriate to conduct some due diligence to ensure that the applicant would meet (or still meet[s]) the requisite financial and technical criteria, in a manner sufficient to operate the proposed top- level domain.  It is also important from an ICANN Bylaws standpoint to consider compliance with the provisions relating to GAC (Government Advisory Council) advice.”

In other words, no matter which course ICANN ultimately takes, if the decision is made to move forward with the ICM application, “the ICANN Board would still need to evaluate whether entering into a registry agreement with ICM is against GAC advice, and if so, ‘try in good faith and in a timely and efficient manner, to find a mutually acceptable solution' with the GAC."

The report, along with the “decision tree” chart outlining the possible ways forward, has been posted to the ICANN site, commencing a 45 day public comment period, which ends May 10, 2010.

Comments may be submitted using icm-options-report@icann.org.

Comments may be viewed here.

A link to the Evaluation Decision Process map is here.

A link to the ICANN "decision Tree" map is here.

A more detailed evaluation of the proposed process options will be provided by AVN in the coming days.  






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