2017-01-08

News Review: New gTLD .AFRICA Plaintiff Files for New TRO vs ICANN

News Review | ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly review of internet domain news:

Feature • New gTLD .AFRICA Plaintiff Files for new TRO vs ICANN: new gTLD .AFRICA |  ©2017 DomainMondo.com
UPDATE 3 Feb 2017: On Feb 3, 2016 ICANN updated its litigation page to indicate that on 4 January 2017, Court Order: Plaintiff's Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order is denied; Plaintiff's papers are deemed to be a new preliminary injunction motion; Parties are to submit supplemental briefs; and Preliminary Injunction hearing set for 31 January 2017 (which the Court later moved to 3 February 2017).  No further update as to the Feb 3rd hearing (as of Feb 4, 2017, 00:00 UTC).

Original post:
According to the website for the California State Superior Court, in the case involving new gTLD .AFRICA, Plaintiff DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA) filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on January 4, 2017, to which responses were filed that same date by Defendant ICANN and Intervenor ZA Central Registry (ZACR):
  • 01/04/2017 Ex-Parte Application (FOR TRO, ETC; ) Filed by Plaintiff DCA
  • 01/04/2017 Declaration (OF SOPHIE BEKELE ESHETE, ETC; ) Filed by Plaintiff DCA
  • 01/04/2017 Declaration (OF ETHAN J. BROWN, ETC; ) Filed by Plaintiff DCA
  • 01/04/2017 Opposition Document (TO PLFF'S EXPARTE APPL, ETC; ) Filed by Intervenor ZA Central Registry (ZACR)
  • 01/04/2017 Declaration (OF DAVID W. KESSELMAN, ETC; ) Filed by Intervenor ZACR
  • 01/04/2017 Opposition Document (TO DCA'S EXPARTE APPL, ETC; ) Filed by Defendant ICANN
According to the California State Superior Court website, Plaintiff's application for TRO has been scheduled for a hearing on January 31, 2017, at 08:30 A.M. in department 53 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

As previously reported in an update to New gTLD AFRICA Redux: DotConnectAfrica Trust v. ICANN and ZACR | DomainMondo.com, the  California State Superior Court denied Plaintiff DCA's motion for preliminary injunction in an Order dated December 22, 2016. As of 11pm UTC, January 7, 2017, ICANN has not published on its litigation web page any of the TRO filings referenced above.

Other Internet Domain News:

•   Another flawed ICANN policy is about to take effect which could adversely impact domain name registrants--Putting your rights on the clock: The IRP supplementary rules | InternetGovernance.org: "... Each IOT [Implementation Oversight Team] member must bear responsibility ... ICANN staff also played a role in the procedural fail. ... The IRP has to protect registrants, not just contracted parties ... Send public comments to this email address: comments-irp-supp-procedures-28nov16 @ icann.org. The deadline is 25 January, 2016." More information at the link above, and here (open comment period) and here (pdf).

•  ICYMI: LogRhythm.com predicts the internet will shut down for 24 hours in 2017 | BusinessInsider.com: "If you can prove that you can take down massive sites and a large chunk of the US internet for a few hours, a 24-hour outage seems pretty easy to do."

•  Riding the ICANN gravy train In 2016, ICANN spent $2.5 million for a select number of people to attend 3 meetings. Details here and here.

ICANN and NTIA on January 6, 2017, formally terminated (pdf) the Affirmation of Commitments entered into by the U.S. government and ICANN on September 30, 2009.

•  Jamie Hedlund to Take on Senior Contractual Compliance and Consumer Safeguards Role at ICANN | ICANN.org"Duncan Burns, SVP, Global Communications, will take on Hedlund's former responsibilities overseeing U.S. government relations and management of ICANN's Washington D.C. office. As part of this change, Hedlund will become a member of the Executive Team and report to [ICANN President & CEO] Göran Marby."

•  Adding up the costs of ICANN's new gTLDsIt's Official: 2016 Was a Record Year for Domain Name Disputes | circleid.com by IP attorney Doug Isenberg.

new gTLD .AFRICA |  ©2017 DomainMondo.com
• The Public Interest and ICANN--CCWG-ACCT WS2 Jurisdiction Subgroup Mail List--"Lets take and decide issues on merit, of public interest, of justice, equality, democracy, and the such. Let issues not get decided by which parties have the most resources, including time, to invest in these so-called 'open processes' . Obviously, the most well-resourced will have the most resources and time. Governance and policy spaces are meant more to side with those who otherwise have less means and resources, not to augment the power of who already are better off in this matter. That is the tragedy of open multistakeholder processes that are not framed within democratic principles and concepts. Public interest is not the sum of private interests that can assemble, and elbow out others, on a designated space/table, it is meant to be  a different, much higher, thing."

•  Warning Domain Name Registrants: Malware Purveyor Serving Up Ransomware Via Bogus ICANN Blacklist Removal Emails | Techdirt.com.

ICANN new gTLDs: next round? |  ©2017 DomainMondo.com
•  ICANN new gTLDs second round: it may be too late to "get it right this time" but some think not:
"... I’d like to think that a second time round, in whatever form the second time takes, we’re going to do a better job than the first time. We learned an awful lot in the first time round. There were a whole host of changes that were introduced really only after we saw what the applications were like. Now presumably we have an idea, you know, the balance may change but we’re not likely to see absolutely brand new types of applications. So I’m sure we’re still going to have some corrections to make along the way because we will be - almost certainly will be introducing a lot of changes, and some of those may have an issue with them as we go forward. I think we’re going to do a lot better than the last time ..."--Alan Greenberg, ALAC member, New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Working Group, Monday, 19 December 2016 transcript (pdf).
•  Internet Freedom | Free Speech Online:
  • Turkey--′Worst country′ for media freedom in 2016 | DW.COM | 27.12.2016--"... According to the Turkish Journalists' Association, 148 journalists are currently imprisoned and many media outlets have been shut down ..."
  • Africa--Govts Adopt Internet Shutdowns to Quell Crises in 2016 | allAfrica.com--"Governments in Africa are becoming increasingly intolerant to freedom of speech, with Internet shutdowns now a common occurrence in many countries, a new report shows."
  • More African governments blocked the internet to silence dissent in 2016 | Quartz | qz.com"For years, the internet has had a transformative effect on the economic and financial progress of the African continent. The availability of mobile broadband and fiber optic cable connections encouraged the growth of innovative industries ranging from e-commerce to education, health, insurance and beyond. But in 2016, the reverse became the reality, as government-directed internet outages became the rule rather than the exception."
  • UK--This threat to Press freedom is so wrong ... | dailymail.co.uk--"... Under Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act [UK], rushed into law after the Leveson Inquiry, any relevant newspapers or news websites - from MailOnline to The Guardian, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed - which refuse to join a regulator approved under the Government's Royal Charter for the Press, and are sued for libel, will be forced to pay the other side's legal costs — even if they win ..."

•  Most popular posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com:
  1. TechReview | Tech Story of the Year: Tay, Microsoft's AI Chatterbot*
  2. News Review: ICANN Busy Proving IANA Transition Was A Terrible Mistake
  3. Predictions for 2017: Amazon $AMZN, Google $GOOG, Facebook $FB
  4. Scott Galloway: 2016 Digital Winners & Losers, 2017 Predictions (video)
  5. MacroView | Market Outlook for 2017: Trump Effect, Optimism, Risks
  6. TechReview | 2017 Will Be The Year Of Amazon $AMZN (video)
*"Tay" post #1 for two weeks in a row!

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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