Last Contractual Hurdle Cleared in New gTLDs Introduction With Board Approving Registry Agreement

ICANN new generic Top Level Domains logoThe ICANN New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors has approved the 2013 Registry Agreement (RA) meaning the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains have moved a step closer.

“New gTLDs are now on the home stretch,” said Chris Disspain, a member of ICANN’s New gTLD Program Committee, in a statement. “This new Registry Agreement means we’ve cleared one of the last hurdles for those gTLD applicants who are approved and eagerly nearing that point where their names will go online.”

Among the key points in the new Registry Agreement:

  • Includes a Trademark Clearinghouse that will serve as a one-stop shop where trademark holders can protect their rights.
  • Provides for a process for a rapid, efficient way to take down infringing domain names.
  • Provides a procedure where trademark rights holders can assert claims directly against a registry operator for domain name abuse if that operator has played an active role in the abuse.
  • Requires registry operators to have a single point of contact responsible for handling abuse complaints.

“We’re getting to the point now where new gTLD applicants can see the finish line,” said Akram Atallah, President of the ICANN’s Generic Domains Division. “Much like the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement approved by the Board last week, this new Registry Agreement is the culmination of input from a wide range of stakeholders and marks a dramatic improvement over the previous baseline agreement.”

The New gTLD Registry Agreement is intended to enhance the security and stability of the Domain Name System while bolstering competition in domain name industry. The security provisions include:

  • A requirement that registry operators implement Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), reducing so-called “man-in-the-middle” attacks and spoofed DNS records.
  • A requirement of enhanced WHOIS service at the registry level with a common interface, and more rapid search capabilities, facilitating efficient resolution of malicious activities.

“This isn’t just a gradual step forward,” said Atallah. “This is a major move that translates to far greater security protections.”