Dot Registry backs DCA Trust in dotAfrica case against ICANN

DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA Trust) has received backing in its ongoing dotAfrica case against ICANN from Dot Registry, a US-based firm which applied for .llc, .llp, and .inc gTLDs as a “Community.”

In late August this year, Dot Registry applied to be included in the ongoing case as an Amicus Curiae in support of DCA Trust.

“Dot Registry, LLC submits this amicus curiae brief in support of Appellee DotConnectAfrica Trust (“DCA Trust”), pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 29. Like DCA Trust, Dot Registry is an applicant to operate Internet registries maintained by Appellant Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”). Dot Registry therefore has significant familiarity in how ICANN manages its application processes and a significant interest in this Court’s interpretation of ICANN’s guidelines,” stated Dot Registry in its application.

Dot Registry further stated that it wants to be enjoined in the DCA vs ICANN case “because it has substantial interest in the outcome of this appeal,” as the the “appeal presents questions concerning the enforceability of the broad release of liability that ICANN imposes upon applicants seeking to operate registries for generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”)”

DotRegistry lost its Community Priority Evaluations following ICANN’s decision to refuse “community” status for three applications.

In 2012, Dot Registry applied to ICANN for rights to operate the registries for four gTLDs  – that is .CORP, .INC, .LLC, and .LLP. Although ICANN determined that Dot Registry was qualified to be the registry operator for each of these gTLDs, it didn’t award Dot Registry the registry rights for .INC, .LLC, and .LLP.

“Because ICANN’s decision violated its own procedures and guidelines, Dot Registry sought to challenge these determinations pursuant to ICANN’s internal accountability mechanisms. After ICANN declined to remedy its actions, Dot Registry commenced an Independent Review Process (“IRP”). The IRP was administered by the American Arbitration Association’s International Centre for Case: 16-55693, 08/26/2016, ID: 10103326, DktEntry: 42, Page 2 of 45 2 Dispute Resolution and heard before a panel of three independent arbitrators. The majority panel concluded that ICANN’s denial of Dot Registry’s reconsideration request breached ICANN’s own rules. 1 Although ICANN purported to accept the decision by the review panel, it has not taken any action to date to remedy the harm and injury that the Panel found it had caused to Dot Registry,” the appeal stated.


“Dot Registry’s amicus brief reflects the experience of a gTLD applicant with significant familiarity concerning how ICANN manages the Guidebook’s application and evaluation process, and with the rights and remedies that ICANN’s alternative dispute resolution mechanisms actually provide to new gTLD applicants. Dot Registry can provide an important perspective to the Court based upon this experience…”


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