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Brand Registry Group .brand Brief, ICANN74

The Brand Registry Group (BRG) is the global association of companies and organisations working together to champion the use of .brand top-level domains and includes some of the world’s most recognised consumer and B2B brands.

In advance of the upcoming ICANN74 meeting, the BRG has been actively discussing a wide range of topics that we consider are a priority for our members. As always, we will be sharing these positions across a variety of sessions within the schedule and look forward to ongoing discussions and collaboration with the community throughout the meeting.

Next Round ODP/ODA

This is a key topic for BRG members, many of whom have publicly shared their intent to participate in the next round. The BRG will be seeking to ensure accountability and predictability for the next round of TLD applications.

While there has been some concern in the community about the inability of ICANN to implement the next round, the BRG was encouraged by the recent briefing given by ICANN Staff and believes that timely implementation of the Sub Pro policy recommendations can reaffirm to the broader internet community that the ICANN multi-stakeholder model is alive and well.

In the BRG’s view, there is no reason to add further delay to the next round of new gTLDs, given the substantial resources ICANN has at its disposal.

It is the BRG’s position that if there is any potential slippage in the publication of the Sub Pro ODA., the ICANN Board should commit to scheduling a special Board workshop in advance of ICANN76 to ensure that approval/implementation is not delayed until ICANN77.

DNS Abuse

DNS Abuse has been a dominant and recurring topic of discussion over the past several ICANN meetings, and the need for the BRG to proactively engage in the resolution of this problem was highlighted by the following GAC statement:

As the GAC has emphasized to the GNSO Council, curbing DNS Abuse is a long-standing issue of interest to the GAC, and the GAC is interested in advancing community discussions, driving progress and convergence of views prior to the launch of future New gTLDs.1

Simply put, the BRG is concerned that the topic of DNS Abuse will be used by the GAC and others to delay the next round of new gTLDs. Further, it is obvious to the BRG that many different types of TLDs are being viewed as ‘one issue,’ whereas our research highlights that .brands (amongst other notable segments) contribute little to no abuse, and similarly, the perception that DNS Abuse is a new gTLD issue is vastly incorrect.

For the purposes of clarity, the BRG is in alignment with the concerns and objectives of the GAC in minimizing DNS Abuse and protecting individuals online. The majority of BRG members benefit directly from a safe and secure internet to provide goods and services to their customers.

However, we note that DNS Abuse has the potential to distract from the objective of launching the next round. The BRG will continue to request these issues are worked through in parallel and remain cognisant of benefits of Specification 13 TLDs in achieving a long-term benefit for the community.

SSAD

The System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) has been a hotly debated topic since most registrant data became inaccessible after GDPR went into full force back in 2018.

While the GNSO Phase 2 recommendations regarding the design criteria of an SSAD were approved by the GNSO Council and ICANN Board, there was substantial opposition to these recommendations by the BC, IPC, ALAC, and GAC.

The BRG supports the concept that ICANN moves forward with an SSAD Pilot/Proof-of-Concept that will address the concerns of all ICANN stakeholders, including the GAC.

Many of our BRG members will be attending ICANN74 in The Hague next week. We’re all looking forward to productive discussions and seeing progress across these and other important topics.

By Brand Registry Group, The Association for Brands at the Top Level

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