MarkMonitor Asks ICANN to Reconsider Batching and Allow Community to Provide Input

Yesterday, MarkMonitor sent the following letter to ICANN requesting that they 1)reconsider batching, 2) allow the community to provide guidance after the list of applications has been revealed, and 3) unambiguously clarify whether “Digital Archery” technology solutions provided by third-parties are allowed.

June 7, 2012

Attn: New gTLD Program Committee

Re: New gTLD Batching and Digital Archery”

With much at stake for new gTLD Applicants we respectfully request that the ICANN Board considers delaying the application batching process which is scheduled to begin tomorrow June 8th so that the following concerns may be addressed prior to and at the ICANN Meeting in Prague.

Reconsider Whether Batching is Necessary

While it is understandable that not all 1900+ applications cannot be simultaneously processed why not just wait until all applications have completed the Initial Evaluation before announcing results. Why should some TLDs receive the benefit of being delegated before others?

Allow the Community to Provide Guidance on Batching after the “Big Reveal”

If batching is even required allow the Community to see the entire list of applications so that they can provide meaningful feedback. It may become apparent that certain types of strings should be processed together.

Unambiguously Clarify Whether “Digital Archery” Technology Solutions Provided by Third-Parties are Allowed

Finally if ICANN does proceed with “Digital Archery” we would ask that ICANN unambiguously clarify whether or not the use of third-party technology for completing the “Digital Archery” process falls within the terms of service given the following language taken from the “Batching Details” document and the TAS Terms of Use:

“ICANN reserves the right to delay an application to the last batch or to reject an application entirely if ICANN reasonably determines that the applicant abused the batching system or intentionally interfered with the performance of the system or any other applicant’s use of the system.” – “Batching Details” document. 

“3.3       Username and Password.  You agree that your TAS log-in and password must not be shared. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account log-in and password information and for the security of your computer to access the TAS.  In the event of a breach of security You agree to immediately change your password and to promptly (and in any event within one business day) notify ICANN of such breach in writing.” – TAS Terms of Use. 

“3.4       Restrictions.  You must not:  (a) reverse engineer disassemble decompile or otherwise attempt to access or determine TAS source code; (b) re-distribute or sublicense access to the TAS or any part thereof to any third party; (c) engage in any malicious or illegal behavior in connection with access or use of the TAS (including without limitation submitting malicious code or engaging in other activity designed to compromise the availability security or data of the TAS); (d) remove modify or obscure any copyright trademark or other proprietary rights notices that are contained in or on software accessed under this License; or (e) allow assist or permit a third party to do any of the foregoing.” –   TAS Terms of Use.

We appreciate your consideration on this matter.