Absence of Rationale in ICANN's decision on Nameshop Change Request to change the string to .Internet

The letter from ICANN that arbitrarily and unfairly denied the Change Request is at page http://www.scribd.com/doc/147940803/Change-Request-Decision-37809

The origin of the Change request was the communication initiated by the applicant on July 11,
2013 requesting the new gTLD staff to allow a change of string as a solution to a problem
concerning .IDN, the applied for string, which largely occurred due (a) a certain ambiguity in the
applicant guide book (b) complete absence of electronic safeguards within the form to refuse
prohibited/reserved strings during the process of filling up the e­form or by what might be called
'window oversight systems' (manual) not­to­accept an application if the string is 'prohibited' or
'reserved' or 'will not be approved' as in the case of .IDN.

The applicant submitted the application for the original string .IDN which was accepted, the
application was not 'returned­across­the­counter' in time for the applicant to become aware of
the inadvertent omission as also to make the necessary correction, which the applicant would
have made possibly swiftly almost across­the­counter without time delays, in which case the
present issue would have been rendered non­existent then and there.

Soon after submission new gTLD actually noticed the string applied for, asked the applicant to
reconfirm the string applied for (reconfirm the answer to question 13 a) by a communication
through the CRM portal, in the process of taking the application on record. The applicant
responded by repeating that the applied for string is “.IDN as an ascii string” and this reply was
also received without further observations. Despite this specific attention to the applied for string
during the process of submission, it was not pointed out that the applied for string 'will not be
approved' and the application was retained without comments or further pointers.

There were no problems reported on the string applied for through the CRM or any other means
and not even while the applicant was present for a week at the ICANN meeting that followed
(Prague). The applicant informally heard from fellow members of the Community about a
possible problem and chose to write proactively to draw the attention of new gTLD on this
problem with a view to propose a solution.

Against this background the Change request was submitted on September 30, 2012.
New gTLD sent a letter explaining difficulties in allowing .IDN but acknowledged the Change
Request on November 1 as a request to be processed.

The decision on the Change Request was communicated after about five months from the date
of request.


ICANN letter denying the Change Request

 

The change request is in order, and the requested new string .Internet meaningfully fits the

overall mission of this application, it is not a geographical string, it is not a reserved or prohibitted

string, it is not a contended string, so fully qualifies to be approved as the new string, the same

way a few other change requests might have been approved.


The requested change to string “INTERNET” suits Nameshop's new gTLD mission of connecting Internationalized Domain Name users to the Global Internet space and of contribution to the community's efforts to keep the Internet as One Internet. The changed string is not reserved, not a country or territory name, uncontentious, represents the purpose of this TLD. The Change Request was in conformity with the criteria specified for allowing changes:

1. Explanation – Is a reasonable explanation provided?

The Change Request explained the grounds, and has explained that the requested change is fair.

2. Evidence that original submission was in error – Are there indiciations to support an assertion that the change merely corrects an error?

. IDN is an alpha3 country code, but the Applicant Guide Book mentioned that alpha3 codes will not be approved only under a section titled 'Geographic Names Review' which appeared to be a section that was not pertinent to this string which is not a geographical name. So this error occurred. The applied for change is in order as it corrects the error in the choice of the string.

3. Other third parties affected – Does the change affect other third parties materially?

No other parties are affected, because .INTERNET is NOT a string applied for by any other applicant, the string is uncontested and it is not a Geographic name, so the requested change does not affect any other third party materially.

4. Precedents – Is the change similar to others that have already been approved? Could the change lead others to request similar changes that could affect third parties or result in undesirable effects on the program?

Nameshop is possibly the only applicant who in need of such an alpha3 code to be changed. Any other applicant who originally applied for alpha3 codes did not choose to apply for a change. As Nameshop is the only applicant making a request to change the alpha3 code to an alternate generic string that is not reserved. So there no other applicant in a similar situation under compulsion to change the string, so there would not be any undesirable effects on the program by allowing this alpha3 code to be changed to .INTERNET.

5. Fairness to applicants – Would allowing the change be construed as fair to the general community? Would disallowing the change be construed as unfair?

The requested change is fair to the general community because Nameshop seeks to replace a string that would otherwise affect a country's privileges with a generic string that represents the purpose of the TLD application. The requested change is fair as it enables the implementation of an ASCII TLD that would bridge IDN communities with other communities and contribute to the community's efforts to preserve the Internet as One Internet.

On the contrary, disallowing the change would indeed be construed as unfair, as it amounts to a breach of process of the change request process as also amounts to subjective judgement by the evaluation team, prejudicial to the overall ICANN process.

6. Materiality – Would the change affect the evaluation score or require re-evaluation of some or all of the application? Would the change affect string contention or community priority consideration?

The requested change does not materially affect the evaluation score or require a reevaluation of any other application. The changed string is uncontested and does not in any way affect community priority consideration.

7. Timing – Does the timing interfere with the evaluation process in some way? ICANN reserves the right to require a re-evaluation of the application in the event of a material change. This could involve additional fees or evaluation in a subsequent application round. (AGB §1.2.7)

Despite the request confirming to the evaluation criteria as listed above, ICANN has made this unexplainable decision.

The decision communicated on the nameshop string change request is arbitrary, discriminatory
and surprisingly prejudicial to ICANN's high standards of Governance and Nameshop has requested
this unexplained decision reconsidered without time delays, and to allow the application to progress in tune with the priority of 150 awarded.