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Brand Registry Group .brand Brief, ICANN75

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

In advance of the upcoming ICANN75 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

Not surprisingly, the top priority of the BRG remains moving forward in a timely and predicable manner to provide a long-awaited opportunity for brands across the world to participate in the next round, much as it has been for the past decade.

The BRG was initially disappointed to learn during the ICANN74 meeting that ICANN Org was anticipated a six-week slippage in the original target date for its submission of the SubPro ODA to the ICANN Board, fearing that this important milestone would slip until Q1 of 2023. However, the BRG was pleased to hear during the August update that ICANN Org now anticipates submitting the SubPro ODA to the ICANN Board by 12 December 2022 in advance of the ICANN Org annual end of the year shut down.

The BRG was also encouraged that the ODP/ODA appears to be under budget. Therefore, the BRG strongly recommends that the ICANN Board convene a special Board workshop in advance of ICANN76 to specifically discuss the ODA, and how any remaining funds can be reinvested into expediting the opening of the next round of gTLDs.

DNS Abuse

DNS Abuse has been a dominant and recurring topic of discussion over the past several ICANN meetings. In early August, the BRG’s new President, Crews Core, sent a communication to ICANN’s CEO Göran Marby requesting that ICANN’s Office of the CTO (OCTO) make several enhancements to the monthly Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR).

Currently, ICANN only delineates abuse activity by comparing legacy versus new gTLDs. The BRG believes that ICANN should undertake a separate analysis that specifically measures the level of abuse, or lack thereof, that is currently taking place in Specification 13 TLDs. While Specification 13 registries on whole have a smaller volume of registrations that most other new gTLDs, the BRG believes that the lack of abuse is directly correlated with the verification of registrants that all Specification 13 registries must undertake.

In light of various activities underway within ICANN and the European Union regarding NIS 2.0 involving the accuracy of registrant data, the BRG believes that these important data points can constructively contribute to the discussion with ICANN on this important topic.

Alternative Root Top Level Domains

Although there has been a lot of recent discussions within the broader domain name community about alternative root domain names, the issue pre-dates the foundation of ICANN itself. In fact, one of the first new TLDs which ICANN approved in its original proof of concept round in 2000 conflicted with a pre-existing alternative TLD.

Historically, ICANN has carefully engaged on this topic narrowly focusing on technical issues and the potential for consumer confusion. Because of ICANN’s monopoly over which TLD extensions appear in the Internet’s Root Zone, it needs to avoid the appearance of improperly interfering with any competitive Internet name systems.

For those interested in learning more about this topic, an excellent starting point is ICANN’s ICANN Security Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) SAC006 entitled “Alternative TLD Name Systems and Roots.” There are also several sessions being held at ICAN75 where the issue of alternative roots may be raised, i.e. Internet Fragmentation, the DNS and ICANN and Emerging Identifier Technologies.

A number of BRG members attended and participated in the NamesCon convention held in Austin, Texas where there were a number of contentious sessions on the topic. Unlike previous Alternative Root TLD initiatives, the current blockchain Web 3.0 buzz appears different given the growing number of mainstream ICANN accredited registrars that now are providing domain name registration services in these Alternative Root TLDs. This makes it imperative for ICANN Org to move forward expeditiously with the next round of new gTLD applications whilst simultaneously being prepared to manage delay tactics that may be undertaken by certain sectors of the broader community.

BRG Open Session at ICANN75

As we have done traditionally, the BRG will hold an open ‘in-person’ session at ICANN75 where a variety of .brand expert speakers and BRG Board Members will deliver a presentation that demonstrates the success of .brands globally and addresses some of the key topics mentioned above.

This is also a great opportunity for .brand owners to meet with their peers and learn about real life examples of .brands being used for strategic purposes on the web.

The session will be held on Sunday 18 September at 16.30 local time in Malaysia (08.30 UTC) in Conference Hall 1.

All interested parties are invited to attend, and virtual participation or post-event stream download is also available for the session for those that are not able to be there by clicking here. Please note that you will likely need to register for the event here to watch the streams even if you’re not attending in person due to ICANN’s policy.

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

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