.Jobs Manager Gets Extension in Contract Breach Case; Poised to Seek To Change the .Jobs Charter

Apr 22, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

The company managing .jobs addresses is preparing to ask for amendments to its Charter, apparently so it can continue to permit the broadening of the use of the extension.

That development came in correspondence between attorneys for .JOBS registrar Employ Media, and the Internet’s addressing authority, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

In the recently released correspondence, ICANN agreed to an extension to May 6 for Employ Media to fix alleged breaches of its contract. (ICANN notified Employ Media it was in breach on Feb. 27  and gave it 30 days to address certain issues relating to who could get a .jobs address and what names could be used. A first extension to April 15 was previously granted.)

In the latest extension, approved last week, two conditions were set. The first is for Employ Media to submit amendments to ICANN by May 2nd. The second is that it stop issuing new addresses.

The letter notes that Employ Media is working with its partner, SHRM, to develop the amendments. The Society for Human Resource Management is the sponsor of the .jobs domain, and partnered with Employ Media in the early part of the last decade to convince ICANN to create the extension. That was done in 2005.

Emails to Employ Media and SHRM asking for comment have had not yet gotten a response, so it’s not possible to say exactly what the amendments might be. However, as there are specific requirements as to whom a .jobs address can be issued, as well as references to the use of company names in conjunction with the extension, the amendments will almost certainly address some of those issues.

Opponents of the expansion of the .JOBS addresses issued a sharply worded statement saying it “strongly disapproves” of the extension. The .JOBS Charter Compliance Coalition, calling the matter “a test of ICANN’s credibility in the run-up to the launch of the new generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) initiative,” said ICANN should “compel Employ Media and its collaborators to cease their non-compliant conduct that breaches the .JOBS Charter.”

The statement says:

“Employ Media has already taken advantage of ICANN’s reluctance to take disciplinary action in response to what ICANN itself has identified as clear violations of the .JOBS Charter by maintaining — and expanding — the non-compliant “Dot Jobs Universe” program, which it operates with its alliance partner DirectEmployers Association at the website.”

The expansion the Coalition refers to is DirectEmployer’s addition of some 5,800 new job boards — added to the 30,000 or so it previously launched. These are focused at veterans and transitioning military and their families. They were launched in just the last few weeks, even as ICANN was saying the earlier issuance to DirectEmployers of non-company name addresses was a violation.

Says John Bell, chair of the Coalition: “ICANN’s reluctance to enforce Charter compliance despite the clear language of its own breach notice is reason for grave concern in light of the anticipated launch of the gTLD initiative.”

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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