ICANN has published a set of seven criteria for judging whether new top-level domain applicants should be allowed to change the details of their applications.
The test is designed to enable applicants to correct stupid errors in — or make more substantial changes to — the original applications.
ICANN had received 49 such requests at the last count.
It is believed that at least three applicants — Verisign, DotConnectAfrica and Kerry Logistics — have requested changes to typos in the applied-for string itself.
Others are thought to have asked for permission to correct copy-paste errors, when they’ve applied for multiple gTLDs.
These are the factors ICANN will use to determine whether a change will be allowed:
Explanation – Is a reasonable explanation provided?
Evidence that original submission was in error – Are there indicia to support an assertion that the change merely corrects an error?
Other third parties affected – Does the change affect other third parties materially?
Precedents – Is the change similar to others that have already been approved? Could the change lead others to request similar changes that could affect third parties or result in undesirable effects on the program?
Fairness to applicants – Would allowing the change be construed as fair to the general community? Would disallowing the change be construed as unfair?
Materiality – Would the change affect the evaluation score or require re-evaluation of some or all of the application? Would the change affect string contention or community priority consideration?
Timing – Does the timing interfere with the evaluation process in some way? ICANN reserves the right to require a re-evaluation of the application in the event of a material change. This could involve additional fees or evaluation in a subsequent application round. (AGB §1.2.7.)
It’s not yet clear who makes the decision — whether it’s ICANN staff or its board of directors. I’ve asked ICANN for clarification and will update this post when I find out.
All changes will be published in a public change log and subject to 30 days of public comment, according to ICANN’s announcement this morning.