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GAC Advice

The GAC provides advice to the ICANN Board on policy matters where there may be an interaction between ICANN’s policies and various laws, international agreements and public policy objectives. GAC Advice is communicated to the ICANN Board through either a Communique or a formal piece of Correspondence.


GAC Advice

Reference No. :


First Delivered via :



Consensus met



Category 2

Restricted Registration Policies

The GAC advises the ICANN Board:

1. Restricted Access

As an exception to the general rule that the gTLD domain name space is operated in an open manner registration may be restricted, in particular for strings mentioned under category 1 above. In these cases, the registration restrictions should be appropriate for the types of risks associated with the TLD. The registry operator should administer access in these kinds of registries in a transparent way that does not give an undue preference to any registrars or registrants, including itself, and shall not subject registrars or registrants to an undue disadvantage.

2. Exclusive Access

  • For strings representing generic terms, exclusive registry access should serve a public interest goal.
    • In the current round, the GAC has identified the following non-exhaustive list of strings that it considers to be generic terms, where the applicant is currently proposing to provide exclusive registry access

      • .antivirus, .app, .autoinsurance, .baby, .beauty, .blog, .book, .broker, .carinsurance, .cars, .cloud, .courses, .cpa, .cruise, .data, .dvr, .financialaid, .flowers, .food, .game, .grocery, .hair, .hotel, .hotels .insurance, .jewelry, .mail, .makeup, .map, .mobile, .motorcycles, .movie, .music, .news, .phone, .salon, .search, .shop, .show, .skin, .song, .store, .tennis, .theater, .theatre, .tires, .tunes, .video, .watches, .weather, .yachts, .???? [cloud], .??? [store], .??? [sale], .?????? [fashion], .?? [consumer electronics], .?? [watches], .?? [book], .?? [jewelry], .?? [online shopping], .?? [food]

GAC Acknowledgement of Register Entry

GAC: 2 May 2013

Board: 9 May 2013

Next Steps/Required Action

Board Action:

Publish GAC Communique and notify applicants of 21-day GAC Advice Response Period Staff 18 April Complete
Applicants 21-day response period to GAC Advice Applicants 19 April 10 May Complete
Publish GAC Communique to solicit input on how the New gTLD Board Committee should address GAC advice regarding safeguards applicable to broad categories of New gTLD Strings Staff 23 April Complete

Public Comment period on how Board should address GAC Advice re: Safeguards


Public 23 April


14 May


4 June

Collect and summarize applicant responses to GAC Advice Staff 11 May 31 May Complete
Summarize and analyze public comments on how Board should address GAC Advice re: Safeguards Staff 5 June 12 June Complete
Review and Consider Applicant responses to GAC Advice and Public Comments on how Board should respond to GAC Advice re: Safeguards New gTLD Program Committee 13 June 20 June Not Started

The NGPC is also developing a GAC Scorecard similar to the one used during the GAC and the Board meetings in Brussels on 28 February and 1 March 2011.

Each scorecard item will be noted with a '1A' '1B' or '2'

1A: Indicates that the NGPC's proposed position is consistent with GAC Advice as described in the Scorecard.

1B: Indicates that the NGPC's proposed position is consistent with GAC Advice as described in the Scorecard in principle, with some revisions to be made.

2: Indicates that the NGPC's current position is not consistent with GAC advice as described in the Scorecard and further discussion with the GAC is required following the relevant procedures in the ICANN Bylaws.

Updates: http://www.icann.org/en/news/announcements/announcement-14jun13-en.htm

Responsible Party


Current Status/Communications Log

10 May 2013 - Letter from the ICANN Board re: Progress in Addressing GAC Beijing Advice

6 June 2013: NGPC Scorecard

10 February 2014 - Updated NGPC Scorecard

8 September 2013: NGPC Scorecard

The NGPC continues to deliberate on how to implement the GAC’s advice concerning exclusive registry access for strings representing generic terms. As previously noted, twelve applicants responded that the TLD would be operated as an exclusive access registry. These 12 applicants have applied for the following strings: .BROKER, .CRUISE, .DATA, .DVR, .GROCERY, .MOBILE, .PHONE, .STORE, .THEATER, .THEATRE and .TIRES.
In response to ICANN’s request, each of the 12applicants have provided an explanation of how exclusive access registry for the applied-for TLD
would serve a public interest goal. At its 21 June 2014 meeting, the NGPC discussed possible next steps to consider the GAC’s advice, and considered whether it would be appropriate and beneficial to initiate a public comment period concerning the responses from the 12 applicants.
The NGPC directed staff to prepare potential questions that could be used to frame a possible public comment forum, and agreed to consider this matter further at a subsequent meeting. The NGPC is actively working on this matter and anticipates further considering this matter during its meeting at ICANN 51 in Los Angeles.

Board Action (Accept/Disagree)

Dialogue - Accepted - in Implementation

NGPC Consideration of GAC Beijing Advice 07-03-13[2].docx

  • As noted above, the requested dialogue with the GAC on Category 1 will also include discussion of GAC's Category 2.1 Safeguard Advice regarding 'Restricted Access' since that advice applies to the strings listed under Category 1.

See http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/documents/resolutions-new-gtld-02july13-en.htm.

Exclusive Access:

Accepted in part, dialogue on remainder

  • For applicants seeking to impose exclusive registry access for 'generic strings', the NGPC directed staff to defer moving forward with the contracting process for these applicants, pending a dialogue with the GAC.
  • The term 'generic string' is defined to mean 'a string consisting of a word or term that denominates or describes a general class of goods, services, groups, organizations or things, as opposed to distinguishing a specific brand of goods, services, groups, organizations or things from those of others.'
  • Exclusive registry access is defined as limiting registration of a generic string exclusively to a single person or entity and their affiliates.
  • For applicants not seeking to impose exclusive registry access, a provision in the in the New gTLD Registry Agreement requires TLDs to operate in a transparent manner consistent with general principles of openness and non-discrimination.
  • A PIC Specification also includes a provision to preclude registry operators from imposing eligibility criteria that limit registration of a generic string exclusively to a single person or entity and their 'affiliates.'
  • All applicants will be required to respond by a specified date indicating whether (a) the applicant is prepared to accept the proposed PIC Specification that precludes exclusive registry access or (b) the applicant is unwilling to accept the proposed PIC Specification because the applicant intends to implement exclusive registry access.
  • The NGPC will enter into a dialogue with the GAC to seek clarification on their advice with respect to exclusive registry access.

See http://www.icann.org/en/groups/board/documents/resolutions-new-gtld-25jun13-en.htm#2.c.

10 February 2014 Updated Scorecard:

The NGPC accepted the GAC’s Beijing advice regarding Category 2 (Restricted Access). To implement the advice, the NGPC revised Specification 11 – Public Interest Commitments in the New gTLD Registry Agreement. The PIC Spec requires that “Registry Operator will operate the TLD in a transparent manner consistent with general principles of openness and non-discrimination by establishing, publishing and adhering to clear registration policies.”