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ICANN 36 Preview: What’s ‘On Sale’ in Seoul

Last time the ICANN faithful gathered in Sydney, there was a fair bit of unrest and some big unknowns. The Implementation Recommendation Taskforce (IRT) report on how Intellectual Property (IP) could be protected in the era of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) stirred the pot (making for a great public comment session!) as did, to a lesser extent, the issue of Registry-Registrar separation in new TLDs. Additionally, everyone had big questions on their minds—when the root would be signed (and DNSSEC fully implemented), which of the IRT’s recommendations would be incorporated into the new Draft Applicant Guidebook (DAG), would IP issues (or any other issue for that matter) further delay the launch of the new generic Top-Level Domian (gTLD) application process, and would ICANN and the US Department of Commerce renew the Joint Project Agreement (the document that had shaped ICANN’s existence from its very beginnings).

Four months later and five thousand miles almost due north, the netizens gathering at ICANN 36 in Seoul know the answers to some of those very important questions. Seoul participants know that the root zone will be signed starting July 1, 2010, DAG 3 includes (arguably) at least two of the IRT’s recommendations (‘thick’ WHOIS and a Post Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure), and ICANN has entered a brave new world with the expiration of the JPA and the execution of the Affirmation of Commitments. However, don’t fret if you already bought your ticket, there are still plenty of very interesting, very compelling questions left on the table and, for the next week, the Lotte Seoul will be the best place in the world to get the best information on how they will be answered.

The questions on my mind (and, I’d wager, many other ICANN 36 attendees) for the next week will be:

  • Will the January (or is it now early February?) 2010 estimate for the opening of the application process for new TLDs hold?
  • What will the community’s reaction be to the announced signing of the root (and the new mandate that new TLDs be DNSSEC compliant)?
  • What will the ‘new normal’ of less formal US government oversight mean for ICANN operations and the way the ICANN community functions?
  • Will there be a DAG 4 (and what new twists, turns or IRT recommendations will new TLD market entrants have to confront)?
  • What will become of Registry-Registrar Separation?
  • How much faster is the track for IDNs than it is for new TLDs?
  • What impact will Generic Name Supporting Organization structural reform and its new policy development process have on policy and day-to-day operations?
  • What is going on with policy development concerning Post-Expiration Domain Name Recovery, Inter-Registrar Transfers and the new policy development process?
  • As this list makes clear, the ICANN plate remains very full, which is why I am excited to be heading to Incheon.

Lastly, like we did in Mexico City and Sydney, some of us from Dyn Inc. will be over in Seoul with a video camera in tow to be the eyes, ears and mouths of people that can’t make it. Also like last time, we’ll be working with CircleID to make all the videos easily accessible. If you are interested in finding out more about answers to any of the questions listed above, shoot me an email at [email protected] and we’ll see if we can get it answered. And, if you will be there next week, grab me in the hall—we are always looking for a good video blog entry.

By Jeremy Hitchcock, DNS and networking engineer, CEO at Dyn Inc

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