ICANN wraps up meeting in Nairobi, delays decision on .xxx

NAIROBI, Kenya -- The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers wrapped up its meeting in Nairobi today, but delayed a vote on the creation of the .xxx domain, which was the board's most anticipated decision.

Members of the ICANN community were looking forward to a decision because many say that it tests ICANN's transparency and accountability mechanisms. However, the board chose to delay the vote until its June meeting in Brussels.

The board directed ICANN's general counsel and CEO to develop a document within 14 days outlining the various options available and to give it to the community for comments within 45 days, before the meeting in June.

The dispute on .xxx arose after ICANN declined an application made by ICM registry to run the .xxx domain for adult content. The registry challenged the decision and filed a dispute with the Independent Review Panel in June 2008.

The review panel, which is an independent entity but recognized under ICANN bylaws, heard the dispute and ruled that ICANN was unfair and discriminatory to ICM in the application process.

"The board has considered the Independent Review Panel's declaration in conformity with the ICANN bylaw requirements during its meeting in Nairobi and explored possible paths regarding ICM's application for dot xxx; the board directs ICANN's CEO and general counsel to finalize a report of possible process options for consideration," said Rita Johnston, ICANN board member.

In a separate resolution, the board withdrew the Expression of Interest document for the new generic Top Level Domains, published last December for public consideration. The EOI document required organizations interested in new gTLDs to submit basic information. However, the lack of certainty about the date when the overarching issues such as trademark protection would be resolved forced the board to withdraw the document and focus resources to resolving the issues.

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