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.africa frozen by panel after ICANN screwup

Kevin Murphy, May 12, 2014, 23:52:22 (UTC), Domain Policy

ZA Central Registry’s bid for the .africa new gTLD has been put on ice by an arbitration panel which admonished ICANN for failing to follow its own bylaws.

An Independent Review Panel ruled yesterday that ICANN should not carry on processing .africa until it has ruled on a complaint filed by failed .africa applicant DotConnectAfrica.

If .africa were to be delegated, which could have happened as early as Thursday — ZACR and ICANN have already signed a Registry Agreement — it would render the IRP’s decision moot, the panel found.

This ruling doesn’t mean ICANN has lost the case, just that it’s temporarily enjoined from delegating .africa until the final decision has been made by the IRP panel.

However, the panel had some stern words for ICANN, saying that the matter could have been settled months ago had ICANN only followed its own bylaws.

In the Panel’s unanimous view, it would be unfair and unjust to deny DCA Trust’s request for interim relief when the need for such a relief by DCA Trust arises out of ICANN’s failure to follow its own bylaws.

ICANN’s board of directors passed a resolution in April 2013 calling for the creation of a “standing committee” of nine potential IRP panelists, from which each three-person IRP panel could be drawn.

But, over a year later, it has not created this committee, the current IRP panel said. This led to the delay that forced DCA to request the emergency injunction.

ICANN’s basically been told by one of its own accountability mechanisms that that accountability mechanism is inadequate, at a time when its accountability mechanisms are under the world’s spotlight.

Just last week, the organization launched an accountability review that it said it “interdependent and interrelated” to the process of transitioning IANA away from US government stewardship.

Yeah, it’s embarrassing for ICANN. Doubly so because it’s been beaten by a company so incompetent it accidentally applied for the wrong gTLD.

For ZACR, the panel reckons the delay in getting .africa delegated will likely last “a few months”.

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Comments (10)

  1. Yassin Mshana says:

    Thank you for keeping the global community especially the Africa Region of such developments. This process has take unnecessarily long to conclude and opportunities may have been lost….?
    Thank you again.

  2. Mimi Kivuva says:

    Actually Mr Kuhl, your aptitude is so low that a proper response to you might prove inept for the responder, so here you go…

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      So it seems that the DCA crowd thinks I’m part of the conspiracy as well…

      … I’ll make them more confused by stating that I think that
      – ICANN was wrong in letting ZACR’s .africa move on while an accountability process was ongoing. For all other accountability mechanisms like reconsideration and ombudsman ICANN is waiting for its outcome before making a determination.
      – ICANN was right in making DCA application not proceed, since it has a consensus GAC objection against it
      – DCA application would fail geographic panel anyway due to recanted AU support
      – Ms. Bekele knows all this and is simply trying to make ZACR pay DCA or include DCA in the .africa operation

  3. Amara Johnson says:

    …Yeah, it’s embarrassing for ICANN. Doubly so because it’s been beaten by a company so incompetent it accidentally applied for the wrong gTLD…

    The .dotafrica issues are neither an incompetency as you want it to look more of DCA’s fault. There were many IDN applicants affected on this same matter but ICANN did fix it before publishing. ICANN should have done the same for DCA. ICANN should have had the proper fixes within their system to edit such or done due diligence on applicants before publishing by asking a simple question, unless of course they wanted it to come up that way for DCA, since they are in favor of the AU/ZACR deal already which we all know about.

    You can read these two blogs to acquaint yourself with ICANN’s incompetence’s and screw-up’s on their New gTLD matters amongst hundred other things including the TAS applicant system glitches that they could not fix for months…. and

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      Allowing applicants to edit the string at will would be incompetency, since lots of processes in contention resolution are based on the string. ICANN was totally right in requiring manual changes for strings, even for incompetent applicants.

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