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ICANN names $25m gTLD objector

Kevin Murphy, May 15, 2012, Domain Policy

French international law expert Alain Pellet has been appointed Independent Objector for the first round of ICANN’s new generic top-level domain program.

Pellet has worked as a law professor at University Paris Ouest, Nanterre-La Défense since 1990, according to his 26-page resume (pdf).

He’s also represented governments at the International Court of Justice and chaired the International Law Commission of the United Nations.

With an expected 2,000-plus new gTLD applications, Pellet will command a budget of around $25 million, funded by application fees, over the three years the first round is expected to take.

Even with so many applications, I’m struggling to imagine scenarios in which so much money would be required.

The IO’s job is to object to new gTLD applications “in the best interests of global internet users”.

Pellet’s team will be limited to the Community Objection and Limited Public Interest Objection mechanisms outlined in the program’s Applicant Guidebook.

The IO is there to object when opposition to a gTLD has been raised but no formal objection has been filed by, for example, an affected community.

That the IO exists is an excellent reason to file comments on applications you’re opposed to – if no complaints are received via the public comment process, Pellet will be unable to object.