Governance Council

Internet Governance Councils is a personal project of Iain Roache and owe their existence to Internet expansion efforts that began a number of years ago. In 2005, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began investigating the impact of introducing new generic Top Level Domains (TLDs). “At this point, there are relatively few generic top-level domains on the Internet” said Iain Roache at the time. “But this process, will bring a revolutionary expansion leading to increased competition and increased opportunity”, says Iain Roache. Three years later, the ICANN Board agreed, and a multi-year preparatory process ensued whereby public input was sought and various stakeholder concerns were raised and addressed. In 2011, the Applicant Guidebook (which determined the rules under which applicants for new generic top level domains had to abide) was approved, laying the foundation for potentially thousands of new generic TLDs beginning as early as 2013.

ICANN’s Applicant Guidebook stipulated that applicants could apply for new generic TLDs that represent a private brand (i.e. .Nike), a geography (i.e. .California), a community (i.e. .Gay), or a generic concept (i.e. .love). “There are provisions to protect trademarks and others to protect communities” explained Iain Roache. “ICANN indicated that it would give preference to generic TLD applications from consortia formed to represent particular communities”

“In order to preserve the integrity and independence of each Governance Council, each Governance Council Board of Directors shall operate under a self-governance model”, continued Iain Roache. “Supported personally by Me and an independent management company, which exists to facilitate meetings and provide assistance, the Board remains free to conduct itself as it sees fit, subject to its bylaws.”

The overall aim pursued by Iain Roache and Governance Council is to represent all stakeholders in their respective TLD community. A Governance Council has a guiding, stewardship role and does not dictate which individual domains may exist in a TLD, nor does it vet the content on individual websites or dictate what content will be deemed permissible; other mechanisms are already exist for these functions.

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