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Microsoft, Yahoo and others involved in new dot-brand gTLD group

Kevin Murphy, June 28, 2012, 20:01:03 (UTC), Domain Registries

HSBC, Microsoft, Yahoo and jewelry maker Richemont have told ICANN they plan to form a new GNSO stakeholder group just for single-registrant gTLD registries.

The group would comprise dot-brand registries and — potentially — other types of single-user gTLD manager.

A letter (pdf) to ICANN chair Steve Crocker, signed by executives from the four companies, reads in part:

As a completely new type of contracted party, we do not have a home to represent our unique community. In addition, the existence of conflicts with other contracted parties makes it challenging for us to reside within their stakeholder group.

Combined, the companies have applied for about 30 single-registrant gTLDs, mostly corresponding to brands.

Richemont, which is applying for dot-brands including .cartier, is also applying for the keywords .jewelry and .watches as single-user spaces.

The group plans to discuss formalizing itself at the next ICANN meeting, in Toronto this October.

During the just-concluded Prague meeting, the GNSO’s existing registries stakeholder group accepted several new gTLD applicants — I believe mainly conventional registries — into the fold as observers.

How the influx of new gTLD registries will affect the GNSO’s structure was a hot topic for the Governmental Advisory Committee during the meeting too. I guess now it has some of the answers it was looking for.

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Comments (9)

  1. Volker says:

    A clear power grab. There should be no need for two registries stakeholder groups within the contracted parties house, giving in to this request would shift power towards the IPC, allowing them to influence policies even more than today, to the detriment of all other parties.

  2. ken stubbs says:

    The newly chartered observer group in the registry constituencies includes amazon, Google,etc. Idont believe that
    There is a necessity for duplication. Their presence is already very strong in the business constituency.

    Be very interested in more elaboration from them why new constituency is necessary. So far arguments hold very little water

  3. Jeff says:

    So in a world of vertical integration , one brand would have representation in the IPC, BC, Registry Stakeholder Group and Registrar Stakeholder Group, so please explain why brands would need another voice , since their “unique” community would not be represented?

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      My understanding, Jeff, is that nobody is allowed to sit in more than one stakeholder/constituency group. Am I wrong?

      • John Smith says:

        That would be the ideal case, however since the IPC and BC are already firmly in the hand of lobbyists that can represent the interests of individual brands without them being actually directly represented…

      • Ron Andruff says:

        They can be members of more than one constituency, Kevin, but can only vote in one, as I understand it.

  4. ken stubbs says:

    Your wrong Kevin. Each constituency has its own rules. The registry constituency will not all voting from members who vote in other constituency.

    This is an issue that ICANN & the GNSO needs to both clarify & resolve. Right now it is theoretically possible for some companies (either directly or thru controlled entities) to get more that one bite at controlling policies influencing generic GTLd’s.

    This not at all fair as some constituencies like the business constituency will not even allow many of the registries membership in any capacity (be it voting or non-voting)

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Thanks for the clarification Ken. I must say I’ve not looked closely at each constituency’s rules. I’ll have to brush up on my reading.

  5. Philip Corwin says:

    Microsoft is already a member of the BC, and I would think that other new single registrant gTLD applicants are as well. The BC is reviewing its membership criteria in light of the new gTLD program, but right now I don’t believe there is any qualification criteria that would require any such entity to leave so long as being a registry operator is not its primary business.

    The question is not whether an entity (and subs and affiliates) can belong to more than one iCANN Stakeholder group or constituency, as there are already examples of that — the question is whether ICANN should have two separate Registry SGs.

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