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Intellectual Property

Current Problems, Future Needs, and the IANA Transition: ICANN and What To Do About It

  ICANN is responsible for coordinating the Internet's systems of unique identifiers, including the systems of domain names and numeric addresses used to reach computers on the Internet. This article addresses three important topics: (1) abuse of the domain name space and ICANN's role, (2) need for ICANN to become a stable, reliable partner for business, & (3) profound effects of the USG relinquishing its oversight of ICANN.

Excerpt:

Today, ICANN made public the resignation of its President and CEO, effective in March, 2016. This shakeup at the top draws further attention to the current controversies surrounding ICANN and the need for it to become a stable, predictable partner to businesses especially in light of the proposed withdrawal of oversight by the United States Government.


Background:

ICANN is a non-profit organization responsible for coordinating the Internet's systems of unique identifiers, including the systems of domain names and numeric addresses that are used to reach computers on the Internet, including responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root zone management for the root server system. ICANN's mission is to ensure the stable and secure operation of these unique identifier systems, which are vital to the Internet's operation. In addition, ICANN coordinates policy development related to these technical functions through its effective bottom-up consensus model. ICANN consists of its Board of Directors, as well as several support organizations, advisory committees, and stakeholder groups. 1-1 McGrady on Domain Names § 1.14

ICANN is currently headquartered in Los Angeles in the form of a California public benefit corporation. It operates under two agreements with the United States Government (USG), namely, the Affirmation of Commitments and the IANA Contract. The USG is attempting to set ICANN free of oversight and assign the IANA function to it in perpetuity and without competition.

This paper addresses three topics: (1) abuse of the domain name space and ICANN's role, (2) the need for ICANN to become a stable, reliable partner for business, and (3) the profound effects of the USG relinquishing its oversight of ICANN [footnotes omitted].

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