United States: Seven Key Topics To Track During ICANN 54 In Dublin

Keywords: ICANN, IANA Transition, accountability

The 54th international meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) commences in earnest on Saturday, October 17, 2015, in Dublin, Ireland, with some sessions beginning on Friday, October 16, 2015.

As always, several high-profile topics have emerged amidst community discussions leading up to this meeting, all of which are relevant to registry operators and new generic top-level domain (gTLD) applicants, including for .BRAND TLDs, and brand owners alike.

IANA Transition & ICANN Accountability Issues

IANA TRANSITION

Since ICANN 53 in Buenos Aires, the ICANN community has prepared a Final IANA Transition Proposal1 comprising the three proposals submitted to the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) by the Internet protocols, numbers, and names communities respectively. A public comment period was held on the final proposal from July 31, 2015, until September 8, 2015, during which time the ICG received more than 150 comments.

The ICG held a face-to-face meeting in Los Angeles, California, on September 18 and 19, 2015, where it discussed and analyzed the comments received on such key topics as: jurisdiction; the Post-Transition IANA (PTI) entity; root zone maintenance and administration; dependency on the Cross- Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability); the IANA trademark and domain name; country code TLD (ccTLD)-related issues; and measuring the final proposal against the ICG and National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) criteria.

The ICG expects to integrate any changes or clarifications to the proposal by the time of the Dublin ICANN meeting. As a result, we expect a further-refined final proposal to emerge just ahead of, or during, the Dublin meeting, which will likely stimulate community discussion during ICANN 54. That said, given the generally high level of support within the community for the final proposal as a whole, we expect minimal controversy with respect to a further refined proposal.

In parallel, the US Congress has been considering the Domain Openness Through Continued Oversight Matters (DOTCOM) Act of 2015,2 which prohibits the termination of the NTIA's oversight of the IANA functions until 30 legislative days after the NTIA submits to Congress a report that contains: (i) the proposal relating to the transition of the NTIA's stewardship of the IANA functions that was developed in a process convened by ICANN at the request of the NTIA, and (ii) the following certifications required by the Assistant Secretary (i.e., the Head of the NTIA):

  • Such proposal supports and enhances the multistakeholder model of Internet governance, maintains the security, stability and resiliency of the Internet domain name system, meets the needs of global customers and partners of the IANA services, maintains the openness of the Internet and does not replace the role of the NTIA with a government-led or intergovernmental organization solution; and
  • The required changes to ICANN's bylaws contained in the final report of ICANN's Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability and the changes to ICANN's bylaws required by ICANN's IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group have been adopted.

The US House of Representatives passed the DOTCOM Act on June 23, 2015, but the Act remains in the Senate committee with no indication of further movement since late June 2015. However, in a related effort, a group of Senators led by Ted Cruz recently submitted a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting a legal analysis as to whether the termination of NTIA oversight of the IANA Functions, and delegation of the root zone file to a private, multistakeholder entity (i.e., ICANN and the Post-Transition IANA), by the Executive Branch, comports with the US Constitution.

ICANN ACCOUNTABILITY

The CCWG-Accountability undertook extensive work during ICANN 53 in Buenos Aires. It published its Second Draft Proposal3 on August 3, 2015, after an additional face-to-face meeting in Paris in late July 2015. The public comment period on the Second Draft Proposal closed on September 12, 2015, although comments continued to be submitted through September 24, 2015.

Although there is generally a high level of support for the proposed accountability mechanisms and enhancements within the community as a whole, there are a number of aspects of the proposal that remain problematic and are likely to draw additional attention during ICANN 54, including:

  • Concerns from certain segments of the intellectual property community, primarily copyright industries, regarding the proposed bylaws change to ensure that ICANN "shall not engage in or use its powers to attempt the regulation of services that use the Internet's unique identifiers, or the content that they carry or provide" and, more specifically, whether this proposed provision could undermine ICANN's ability to enforce its contracts with registries and registrars;
  • Concerns from stakeholders regarding certain limitations to the proposed Independent Review Process (IRP), including the costs, the scope of review being constrained to ICANN action that exceeds the scope of its mission, articles and bylaws and, thus, the inability to challenge other irrational ICANN decisions, and the proposed de novo standard of review rather than a more favorable abuse of discretion standard;
  • Concerns from stakeholders that the current proposal for enhanced IRP and Request for Reconsideration processes do not require parties to have previously participated in community policy development mechanisms (e.g., public comment processes) before pursuing either of these accountability mechanisms, distorting incentives to participate in the bottom-up processes before seeking redress for ICANN decisions at a late stage;
  • Concerns from stakeholders regarding the currently unlimited ability for the community to veto ICANN strategic plans and budgets over multiple iterations;
  • Concerns from stakeholders regarding the potential destabilizing effects of the proposed community power to recall the entire ICANN board, and regarding the proposed minority view that any of the three Supporting Organizations could exercise the power, individually, to recall the entire ICANN board;
  • Concerns from stakeholders regarding the lack of clear guidance on several aspects of the voting processes for community powers, including how voting thresholds will be determined and on what basis Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees will be allowed to split votes;
  • Concerns from the intellectual property community and other stakeholders that the requirement that ICANN, including a Post- Transition IANA entity, remain subject to jurisdiction in the United States be incorporated as a "fundamental bylaw"; and
  • Concerns from stakeholders regarding attempts to selectively incorporate certain human rights principles into ICANN's articles or mission at the potential exclusion of others.

In addition, the board response (through its legal counsel) to the Second Draft Proposal demonstrated significant resistance to a number of the proposed accountability enhancements, including the Single Member Model, community powers (unsurprisingly the board raised concerns over the ability to remove board members or recall the entire board), and enhanced IRP and Request for Reconsideration processes. However, independent legal counsel for the CCWG has advised that the CCWG has previously considered the majority of the concerns raised by the board, and has taken into account the potential impact of its proposals on the board's ability to comport with its fiduciary and other legal duties.

The CCWG and board met face to face in Los Angeles on September 25 and 26, 2015 to discuss the Second Draft Proposal and the board's reaction thereto, although leaders of the CCWG were careful to highlight that the meeting was not intended as a "negotiation" between the community and the board regarding the community's accountability recommendations. Nonetheless, we anticipate that the CCWG will incorporate this feedback from the board in preparing a further revised Draft Proposal. The CCWG originally hoped to publish an updated Draft Proposal by ICANN 54, although this timeline has since been delayed given the scope of additional work that remains to be done.

Nonetheless, additional advocacy on the ground in Dublin may be necessary to address these outstanding issues and ensure that appropriate changes or refinements are made to the CCWG proposals going forward.

Use of Two‐Letter, Country and Territory, and Other Geographic Names at the Second and Top Level

Although these issues ultimately garnered less attention during ICANN 53 than expected, we believe they will resurface as key issues during ICANN 54 in view of several recent developments.

TWO‐LETTER NAMES AT THE SECOND LEVEL

On August 11, 2015, ICANN published an update outlining how it will resolve requests to release two-letter names at the second level that were previously contested by governmental representatives. Their efforts will include:

  • Outreach to governmental representatives to clarify comments;
  • Outreach to registry operators to provide plans to mitigate possible confusion between two-letter names at the second level and corresponding two-letter country codes;
  • Development by ICANN of approval criteria based on these governmental and registry responses;
  • Publication of those criteria for community comment; and
  • Finalization of the criteria for resolving current and future release requests.

Although ICANN indicated that it was planning to launch the updates to this process later in August 2015, ICANN has not yet provided any further public status reports. Regardless, ICANN 54 will likely present a key opportunity to continue advocacy efforts aimed at maximizing the release of all remaining two-letter names, and undermining government arguments that such names will cause user confusion.

FULL COUNTRY AND TERRITORY NAMES AT THE SECOND LEVEL

On August 14, 2015, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) published an updated table indicating which countries require notification of all requests to release full country and territory names at the second level (comprising the vast majority), which countries would only require notification for requests from non- .BRAND TLDs, and which would not require any notification.

To date, ICANN has received more than 30 requests for the release of full country and territory names in new gTLDs, from .BRAND, geographic and unrestricted TLDs alike. Of these, the vast majority remain in the "public comment" phase, even though the public comment periods for many such requests have closed and ICANN staff reports of public comments have been delivered.4

Thus, ICANN 54 presents a key opportunity to continue to pressure ICANN to fairly and timely evaluate these requests, and to advocate with governmental representatives to approve (or at least not object) to the use of their country or territory name at the second level in all new gTLDs, but especially .BRAND TLDs where there is very minimal likelihood of user confusion.

GEOGRAPHIC NAMES AT THE TOP LEVEL

Argentina Proposal

Despite substantial community opposition, including within the GAC itself, the GAC Working Group on Geographic Names, spearheaded by Argentina representative Olga Cavalli, continues to push forward with the Argentina Proposal. For obvious political reasons, the Argentina Proposal was unlikely to die during ICANN 53 in Buenos Aires; however, there have been no meaningful updates to the community or further reactions from the GAC Working Group since the public comment period on the original Proposal closed on December 31, 2014, with the exception of a single GAC-led "community session" during ICANN 52 in Singapore in February 2015.

We expect the Argentina Proposal to resurface at ICANN 54, with a strong possibility that a second draft proposal will be published just ahead of the meeting, or during the meeting itself, and that another ad hoc session regarding the proposal will be held. Thus, we anticipate that ICANN 54 will present a critical opportunity to reinvigorate community efforts to oppose the Proposal, including through additional pressure on the GAC, and in particular the GAC Chair, to sunset the Geographic Names Working Group for lack of support. Given the persistence of Ms. Cavalli in continuing to pursue the Proposal, it will be critical to push other members of the GAC to strongly and publicly reject continued efforts.

CrossCommunity Working Group on Use of Country and Territory Names as TLDs

Despite repeated clashes with the GAC Working Group on Geographic Names, the Cross- Community Working Group on Use of Country and Territory Names as TLDs (CWG-UCTN) continues its efforts to develop a policy framework for the use of two-letter, three-letter and full country and territory names at the top level, in view of current ICANN policy prohibiting the use of such names as TLDs (as reflected in the Applicant Guidebook).

The CWG-UCTN has collected initial input regarding the use of two-letter names and, just after ICANN 53 in Buenos Aires, began discussions around the use of three-letter names. Although many are familiar with two-letter country code TLDs (ccTLDs), each country and territory has also been assigned a three-letter country code, although these codes have never been activated in the DNS. Nonetheless, ICANN prohibited applications in the 2012 new gTLD round that conflicted with any of these three-letter codes. Because this issue could have implications for future applicants, including three-letter brand owners interested in securing their own .BRAND TLD, such stakeholders may wish to provide input to the CWG-UCTN in favor of a policy whereby all three-letter names are eligible to serve as new gTLDs, subject to any string similarity rules to prevent end-user confusion.

We expect the CWG-UCTN to hold a meeting during ICANN 54, and it will be important to track developments of the group and support less restrictive gTLD eligibility policy options where appropriate.

Planning for Subsequent New gTLD Rounds

During ICANN 53, the GNSO Council directed ICANN staff to prepare an issue report on new gTLD subsequent rounds, as a preliminary step to launching a PDP Working Group to fully examine every aspect of the 2012 round and to change, tweak, or refine policy and implementation for subsequent rounds of new gTLD applications. On August 31, 2015 ICANN published the Preliminary Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures5 for public comment.

The Report explicitly addresses a large number of issues involved in the new gTLD process, mainly drawn from the work of the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Discussion Group, but also indicates that a subsequent rounds PDP Working Group would be free to consider any additional issues pertaining to any aspect of the new gTLD process. The issues specifically addressed in the Report include:

  • Cancelling subsequent procedures
  • Application submission period
  • IGO/INGO protections
  • Predictability
  • Support for applicants from developing countries
  • Closed generics
  • Competition, Consumer Choice and Consumer Trust
  • Different TLD types
  • New gTLD applicant freedom of expression
  • Community engagement
  • Reserved names lists
  • String similarity
  • Applicant Guidebook
  • Base contract
  • Objections
  • Clarity of application process
  • Registrant protections
  • Accountability mechanisms
  • Applications assessed in rounds
  • Compliance
  • Community applications
  • Accreditation programs
  • Registrar non-discrimination
  • Internationalized Domain Names and universal acceptance
  • Systems
  • TLD rollout
  • Security and stability
  • Application fees
  • Second-level rights protection mechanisms
  • Applicant reviews of technical, operation, and financial capabilities
  • Communications
  • Registry/registrar standardization
  • Name collisions
  • Application queuing
  • Global public interest

Although the public comment period on the Report was initially set to end on October 10, 2015, just prior to ICANN 54, the GNSO Council voted to extend the public comment period until October 30, 2015, providing the community with an opportunity to further discuss the issues in the Report during the Dublin meeting before comments are due. Although the Report and Charter will scope the issues for the PDP Working Group and it will therefore be important to ensure all appropriate issues are included for consideration, it will be of greater importance to participate actively in the PDP Working Group, once constituted, to shape discussions in preparation for a future round of new gTLDs.

The IPC is currently in the process of drafting its public comment on the Preliminary Issue Report, having identified a handful of areas requiring additional information, clarification, or other improvement, or, on the other hand, garnering explicit support, including:

  • The PDP should be fluid in view of numerous dependencies of issues on other issues and on ongoing review and other data-gathering processes;
  • The Report may require reorganization to minimize confusion, and improve clarity, particularly to ensure all pertinent subjects are included, and to highlight interdependencies;
  • The PDP should refer back to "first principles" to consider whether any fundamental policy changes are needed, including an examination of the question "What makes for a good steward of a gTLD?";
  • Application evaluation criteria should examine more than mere technical and financial health;
  • A number of issues are missing, inadequately addressed, or are so distributed across the Report that they are not readily apparent to the community, including:

    • Root zone stability;
    • Premium names and pricing; and
    • ICANN compliance.
  • Enforceability of obligations at various stages of the application, contracting, and post-contracting phases is ambiguous and should be an issue examined and clarified by the PDP;
  • Differentiating policy versus implementation is premature at this stage, but the PDP should take into consideration the procedures devised by the Policy & Implementation Working Group to guide designation of issues as "policy" or "implementation" at the appropriate stage; and
  • The PDP should consider "chunking" issues if appropriate discrete categories are developed. Once the public comment period on the Preliminary Issue Report closes, staff will review the comments and prepare a Final Issue Report and a final charter for the PDP Working Group. We expect the Working Group to be formed by the end of the year.

Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues

Since the publication of its Initial Report6 in early May 2015, the Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues PDP Working Group has attracted a significant amount of attention both within the ICANN community and beyond, with reactions to the Initial Report coming in overwhelmingly in support of robust privacy protection for domain name registrants and Internet users more broadly. Since the public comment period closed in early July 2015, the Working Group has been expending significant effort in reviewing and analyzing well over 10,000 public comments, and working to incorporate public feedback into a Final Report.

We expect this momentum to continue into ICANN 54, as substantial ideological debates continue to rage within the group on basic principles such as a registrant's right to privacy and principles of applicable law and due process. While intellectual property owners—and, in particular, representatives of copyright industries—continue to push hard for a robust accreditation scheme that would require or enable disclosures of registrant contact details on grounds of intellectual property infringement, substantial opposition remains at a fundamental level among contracted parties (including service providers themselves), as well as privacy and free speech advocates.

Although the Working Group initially planned to submit a Final Report prior to ICANN 54, this has been delayed until after ICANN 54— potentially beyond the end of the year—in view of the ongoing lack of consensus within the group on fundamental issues. As such, we expect ICANN 54, including a second facilitated face-to-face meeting of the PPSAI Working Group, to present a key opportunity to weigh in.

Next‐Generation gTLD Registration Directory Services to Replace WHOIS

Although WHOIS-related issues have commanded attention within ICANN for many years, the piecemeal approach to WHOIS improvements and reform that has been employed to date has generally proven inadequate to address key issues. As a result, in recent years, the community has pushed for a "clean slate" approach in the hopes of developing a possible "next-generation" registration directory service (RDS) to replace WHOIS. After some discussion at ICANN 53 around this issue, ICANN published a Preliminary Issue Report on Next-Generation gTLD Registration Directory Services to Replace WHOIS7 on July 13, 2015. The comment period closed on September 6, 2015, and the staff report of the comments submitted was expected to be published on September 27, 2015 although it is currently overdue.

Given the importance of this undertaking for all stakeholders, we expect substantial discussion of this issue to take place during ICANN 54, with a Final Issue Report expected just after ICANN 54 and the PDP Working Group likely to be formed by the end of the year. Clearly, this PDP Working Group presents a critical forum and opportunity for the community to take a tabula rasa approach to WHOIS reform, for the first time since the original WHOIS system was developed, with the potential to correct a number of deficiencies in the current system and provide a more balanced registration directory system for all stakeholders.

ICANN Contractual Compliance Issues

Intellectual property stakeholders continue to raise ICANN contractual compliance as a major issue, having already flagged it as a possible topic for discussion with the ICANN board during ICANN 54. The IPC appears to be growing more frustrated with the ICANN compliance department's continuous dismissal of its concerns regarding non-transparent and lax contractual enforcement, particularly with respect to the Public Interest Commitments under the new gTLD registry agreement8 and Section 3.18 of the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement9 (RAA) (obligating registrars to investigate and respond appropriately to reports of intellectual property infringement and other abuse).

In discussions in and since Buenos Aires, ICANN Compliance Head Allen Grogan has repeatedly suggested that ICANN lacks the ability to take action to enforce these provisions, and that it is up to aggrieved community members to pursue dispute resolution options such as the Public Interest Commitment Dispute Resolution Procedure (PICDRP) directly against registry operators. This has raised the ire of the IPC considerably and exacerbates fears that the community is attempting to denigrate ICANN's contractual enforcement capabilities in other fora, particularly the CCWG-Accountability.

More specifically, as noted above, the IPC and other stakeholders have flagged the proposed bylaws change to ensure that ICANN "shall not engage in or use its powers to attempt the regulation of services that use the Internet's unique identifiers, or the content that they carry or provide" as potentially undermining ICANN's ability to enforce its contracts with registries and registrars, insofar as such activity could be viewed as "regulating" these service providers' "content." While we believe this is not the intent of this proposed Bylaw language, we expect the CCWG to provide additional clarification during ICANN 54.

In view of these concerns, we expect contractual compliance to continue to be a banner issue for the IPC during ICANN 54, although ICANN appears to remain relatively unsympathetic to non-contracted party views on this subject.

GNSO Elections

In addition to these substantive topics, ICANN 54 will involve various changes in leadership both within the GNSO Council and within the various stakeholder groups and constituencies of the GNSO. These changes may very well affect the overall working dynamics of both the Council and the broader GNSO. Therefore, we thought it prudent to include a preliminary analysis of these upcoming changes in GNSO officers.

GNSO COUNCIL CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR ELECTIONS

The current Chair of the GNSO Council, Jonathan Robinson from the Registry Stakeholder Group (RySG), will see his term come to an end during ICANN 54. The Council recently approved a timeline for electing its new Chair, in alignment with the requirements GNSO Operating Procedures. Under this timeline:

  • Each GNSO House choosing to submit a nominee must do so by September 25, 2015;
  • Candidacy statements must be submitted by October 2, 2015;
  • Each candidate must thereafter undergo a formal interview or similar interaction with Council; and
  • Chair elections to be held on Thursday, October 22, 2015, during the Dublin ICANN meeting, after new GNSO Councilors have taken their seats (the final day of current GNSO Councilor terms is Wednesday, October 21, 2015).

Current IPC Councilor Heather Forrest has been put forward as a nominee for Council Chair from the Non-Contracted Parties House (NCPH), with informal support having been noted both within the IPC, as well as within other groups in the NCPH. Meanwhile, Registrar Stakeholders Group (RrSG) representative James Bladel from GoDaddy Inc. has been formally nominated by the Contracted Parties House.

Although the selection is sure to have some affect on the Council's working dynamics, the Chair is required to refrain from imparting any biased constituency/stakeholder group views into his or her management of the Council. Nonetheless, the Chair certainly could subtly affect stakeholder empowerment, although the community would be quick to reprimand such behavior. A member of the IPC has never held the GNSO Council Chair position.

In addition, should any current GNSO Council Vice Chair be elected Chair, an additional election would be held to replace that Vice Chair. Few additional details have emerged as to this aspect of the Chair election, although it does not appear that either of the current Vice Chairs (Volker Greimann from the RrSG and David Cake from the NCSG) are likely to run for Chair.

Originally published October 13, 2015

Footnotes

1. ICANN, Final IANA Transition Proposal (July 2015), available at https://www.ianacg.org/icg-files/documents/IANA-stewardship-transition-proposal-EN.pdf.

2. U.S. Congress, Domain Openness Through Continued Oversight Matters (DOTCOM) Act of 2015 (June 24, 2015), available at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/805/text.

3. ICANN, CCWG-Accountability Second Draft Proposal (Aug. 3, 2015), available at https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/ccwg-draft-2-proposal-work-stream-1-recs-03aug15-en.pdf.

4. See ICANN, Registry Service Evaluation Process (last visited Sept. 28, 2015).

5. ICANN, Preliminary Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures (Aug. 31, 2015), available at http://gnso.icann.org/en/issues/new-gtlds/subsequent-procedures-prelim-issue-31aug15-en.pdf

6. ICANN, Privacy & Proxy Services Accreditation Issues PDP Working Group Initial Report (May 4, 2015), available at http://gnso.icann.org/en/issues/raa/ppsai-initial-05may15-en.pdf.

7. ICANN, Preliminary Issue Report on Next-Generation Registration Directory Services to Replace WHOIS (July 13, 2015), available at http://whois.icann.org/sites/default/files/files/rds-prelim-issue-13jul15-en.pdf.

8. ICANN, New gTLD Registry Agreement (Jan. 9, 2014), available at http://newgtlds.icann.org/sites/default/files/agreements/agreement-approved-09jan14-en.htm.

9. ICANN, 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (Sept. 17, 2013), available at https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/approved-with-specs-2013-09-17-en#raa.

Visit us at mayerbrown.com

Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the "Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe – Brussels LLP, both limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.

© Copyright 2015. The Mayer Brown Practices. All rights reserved.

This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.