By Trevor Little
June 28 2012
ICANN has announced that its digital archery batching proposal has been effectively terminated – leaving applicants unsure as to how delegation will be approached.
The batching of gTLD applications has been the subject of some debate – for every new service provider promising to get applicants to the top of the queue (for a fee), there were loud complaints about the fairness of the timestamp process, with a rising number of calls to scrap the current system. For instance, research by ARI Registry Services alleged that geographical proximity to the ICANN Digital Archery server had an impact on likely success – seemingly contradicting the assertion that digital archery was a game of skill (ICANN, bound by Californian law, was compelled to ensure that random selection did not occur, as it would likely result in lawsuits based upon California law, which makes operation of a lottery illegal in most cases).
The rising waves of protest led to last week’s suspension of the digital archery batching system due to “technical concerns”. Today the final nail in the coffin was hammered down, with ICANN announcing that the new gTLD programme committee had directed the President and CEO to terminate the digital archery process as approved in Resolutions 2011.12.08.04-2011.12.08.07. As a rationale it stated: “To remain accountable to the ICANN community, after careful consideration of the objections raised to the digital archery process, and following the suspension of the process after identification of a technical issue, the new gTLD programme committee's decision provides finality to the community on the status of the digital archery process. This decision will not have any impact on the security, stability or resiliency of the DNS as a result of this decision.”
While the announcement will not be welcomed by those who have invested in new product offerings for gTLD applicants, it will please those – including trademark associations – who opposed digital archery. As to whether the alternative will be a positive step forward, for now it is a case of ‘wait and see’.
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