‘NO SCHEDULED VOTE’ BY ICANN ON .COM DEAL UNTIL 2006 LEADS COURT TO SET HEARING DATE ON LONGER-TERM INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

‘NO SCHEDULED VOTE’ BY ICANN ON .COM DEAL UNTIL 2006 LEADS COURT TO SET HEARING DATE ON LONGER-TERM INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

Preliminary Injunction Hearing Set for February 10, 2006 in San Jose, Calif.

San Jose, Calif – Nov. 30, 2005 – The request for temporary relief from the proposed .com deal between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and VeriSign sought by the Coalition for ICANN Transparency (CFIT) has been transformed by the court into a request for a preliminary injunction.  A hearing date of February 10, 2006 in San Jose has been set.

The move came after lawyers for ICANN filed papers with the court stating that the board will not vote on the matter at its meeting this week in Vancouver and that no meeting is scheduled for the rest of the year.

“We sincerely hope that ICANN and VeriSign will take the opportunity here in Vancouver and in the period leading to the hearing on February 10 to listen to the concerns of the Internet community and resolve this matter within ICANN’s own policy-making and oversight mechanisms,” said John Berard, spokesperson for CFIT.

In its filings, ICANN states:

“The agenda (at the ICANN meeting in Vancouver now underway) does not, however, state that the ICANN Board will take action on the settlement or the .com Registry Agreement this week.  There are no other Board meetings scheduled this year.”

According to Jesse Markham of the San Francisco law firm Morrison and Foerster and lead attorney for CFIT, “It seems that the court is accepting as true ICANN’s suggestion that no action will be taken on the .com deal until next year eliminating the urgent need to act.”

The suit, brought by the Coalition for ICANN Transparency (CFIT) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, was filed on Nov. 28, 2005.  It asserts that the .com deal would:

  • Continue to erode the Internet community’s role in determining policy,
  • Lock in price increases without economic justification,
  • Allow a monopoly to annex competitive segments of the market
  • Grant permanent control of the .com database to VeriSign, and
  • Reduce the traditional role of U.S. government oversight.

In a declaration filed yesterday with the court, Markham confirmed the ICANN lawyer’s commitment.  He stated in a letter filed with the court that based on discussion he has had with counsel for ICANN, that ICANN’s counsel said there will not be a vote of the ICANN board on the .com proposal this week and there are no other Board meetings scheduled for this year.

About The Coalition for ICANN Transparency

The Coalition for ICANN Transparency Inc. – CFIT – is a not for profit Delaware corporation based in Washington, D.C. CFIT’s supporters include individuals, organizations, institutions and companies who are committed to the core principles on which ICANN, the Internet governing body is founded.  More information on CFIT is located at www.cfit.info.