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The duties of the new ICANN (NOVAM)

The duties of the new ICANN (NOVAM)

Here is the minimal set of duties the new ICANN (called NOVAM here) would perform, as overseer of the DNS root.

Approve new TLDs based on simple rules

The board would, by vote, approve a new TLD, certifying that:

  1. The TLD can pay the basic fees needed to run NOVAM and the root servers, these fees to match real costs, market salaries and fees and a basic stipend for board members.
  2. That the TLD is not generic, and the TLD owner pledges to not grant interior domains which, when combined with the TLD, have a generic meaning.
  3. That the TLD is for resale, and that the TLD owner pledges that almost all domains defined under the TLD will not be for the benefit or use of the TLD owner.
  4. That the TLD owner is open with the public about its policies, in particular its privacy policy, its dispute resolution policy, and its failure policy (ie. what happens should the TLD fail -- escrow, transfer etc.)
  5. Provide indemnification of NOVAM and board members for any dispute arising within the TLD, along with proof of the strength of this indemnification (insurance, assets, bond.)

Review complaints about TLD policy violations

Board members, with the assistance of staff, would review complaints that a TLD is violating the covenants it made. If it were decided that a TLD has broken the covenants and the situation can't be rectified after a period of notice, the board could vote to remove the TLD or transfer it to the highest bidder.

Provide funds for maintenance of root servers

The board would accept long-term bids for the operation of root servers, and maintain relationships with the operators of those servers and control over their TLD lists. It would provide funding for the operation as per the negotiated price.

Defend itself and its board members from attack

NOVAM would aggressively defend its status as independent from TLD owners, and argue it should not be a party to any legal actions arising from the actions of TLD owners or relating to domains within those TLDs.

Recognize the national TLDs

For legacy reasons, NOVAM would recognize the proper national authorities which should control a national TLD, and allow them control of it. In the event of a dispute which can't be resolved in the courts of the nation involved, the national TLD would be delisted, in favour of branded TLDs with a focus on the nation in question. No new national TLDS shall be created.

Deal with the legacy TLDs

How this is done is still a matter to be resolved. Ideally they should be deprecated and slowly vanish.