ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee has issued the kiss of death to two new gTLD applications and sweeping advice that will delay many, many more.
First, the GAC said that the .africa bid filed by DotConnectAfrica and the .gcc bid filed by GCCIX WLL should be rejected. Those were full consensus objections.
Two gTLDs related to Islam: .islam and .halal, have non-consensus objections, and will now have to be considered by the ICANN board of directors directly.
The GAC also said it needed more time, until ICANN’s meeting in Durban this July, to consider delivering specific advice against 14 more:
the GAC advises the ICANN Board to: not proceed beyond Initial Evaluation with the following strings: .shenzhen (IDN in Chinese), .persiangulf, .guangzhou (IDN in Chinese), .amazon (and IDNs in Japanese and Chinese), .patagonia, .date, .spa, .yun, .thai, .zulu, .wine, .vin
On the issue of plurals versus singulars, the GAC said ICANN should “Reconsider its decision to allow singular and plural versions of the same strings.” This affects about 60 applications.
But it doesn’t end there.
As predicted, the GAC has also issued swathes of advice against scores of proposed gTLDs in 12 categories: children, environmental, health and fitness, financial, gambling, charity, education, intellectual property, professional services, corporate identifiers, generic geographical terms and inherently governmental functions.
A “non-exhaustive” list of applications has been provided for each category, covering well over 100, setting the stage for a fight over inclusion for any application that the GAC forgot about.
If the GAC gets its way, any application that falls into one of these categories will have to have enhanced regulations governing Whois, abuse mitigation, and security.
The GAC also has its say on “closed generics”, which it calls “exclusive registry access” strings. They should only be awarded if they serve a public interest purpose, the GAC said.
In short, the advice is extraordinarily broad and seems to delegate the considerable work of picking through the mess to ICANN.
More analysis later…