The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) just issued its Buenos Aires Communiqué from the ICANN Meeting and “requests a briefing on the public policy implications of holding auctions to resolve string contention (including community applications)”.
The GAC considers that new gTLD registry operators should be made aware of the importance of protecting children and their rights consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The GAC advises the ICANN Board:
To re-categorize the string .doctor as falling within Category 1 safeguard advice addressing highly regulated sectors, therefore ascribing these domains exclusively to legitimate medical practitioners. The GAC notes the strong implications for consumer protection and consumer trust, and the need for proper medical ethical standards, demanded by the medical field online to be fully respected.
The GAC welcomes the Board’s communication with applicants with regard to open and closed gTLDs, but seeks written clarification of how strings are identified as being generic.
GAC Objections to Specific Applications (ref. Beijing Communiqué 1.c.)
.guangzhou (IDN in Chinese), .shenzhen (IDN in Chinese), and .spa
The GAC advises the ICANN Board:
Not to proceed beyond initial evaluation until the agreements between the relevant parties are reached
The application for .guangzhou (IDN in Chinese – application number 1-1121-22691)
The application for .shenzhen (IDN in Chinese – 1- 1121-82863)
The applications for .spa (application number 1- 1309-12524 and 1-1619-92115)
The GAC notes that the application for .yun (application number 1-1318- 12524) has been withdrawn.
The GAC welcomes the Board’s acceptance of its advice in the Durban Communiqué on the application for .thai.
.wine and .vinThe GAC took note of the developments on the two strings .wine and .vin from its previous meetings in Beijing and Durban.
GAC members have undertaken extensive discussions to examine a diversity of views on these applications, and the protections associated with Geographical Indications (GIs).
GAC considers that appropriate safeguards against possible abuse of these new gTLDs are needed.
Some members are of the view, after prolonged and careful consideration, that the existing safeguards outlined in the GAC’s Beijing Communiqué and implemented by the ICANN Board are appropriate and sufficient to deal with the potential for misuse of the .wine and .vin new gTLDs. These members welcome the Board’s response to these safeguards, which prohibit fraudulent or deceptive use of domain names. They consider that it would be inappropriate and a serious concern if the agreed international settings on GIs were to be redesigned by ICANN. The current protections for geographical indications are the outcome of carefully balanced negotiations. Any changes to those protections are more appropriately negotiated among intellectual property experts in the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization.
Other members consider that delegation of .wine and.vin strings should remain on hold until either sufficient additional safeguards to protect GIs are put into place in these strings to protect the consumers and businesses that rely on such GIs; or common ground has been reached for the worldwide protection of GIs via international fora and wide array of major trade agreements. Given this changing context, they welcome the current face-to-face talks between the applicants for .wine and .vin. and wine producers, aiming to protect their assets and consumers’ interests whilst taking into account governments’ public policy concerns.
The Board may wish to seek a clear understanding of the legally complex and politically sensitive background on this matter in order to consider the appropriate next steps in the process of delegating the two strings. GAC members may wish to write to the Board to further elaborate their views.
Protection of Inter-Governmental Organisations (IGOs) a. The GAC Advises the ICANN Board that:
i. The GAC, together with IGOs, remains committed to continuing the dialogue with NGPC on finalising the modalities for permanent protection of IGO acronyms at the second level, by putting in place a mechanism which would:
- provide for a permanent system of notifications to both the potential registrant and the relevant IGO as to a possible conflict if a potential registrant seeks to register a domain name matching the acronym of that IGO;
- allow the IGO a timely opportunity to effectively prevent potential misuse and confusion;
- allow for a final and binding determination by
an independent third party in order to resolve any disagreement between an IGO and a potential registrant; and
- be at no cost or of a nominal cost only to the IGO.
The GAC looks forward to receiving the alternative NGPC proposal adequately addressing this advice. The initial protections for IGO acronyms should remain in place until the dialogue between the NGPC, the IGOs and the GAC ensuring the implementation of this protection is completed.
Special Launch Program for Geographic and Community TLDs
The GAC recognizes the importance of the priority inclusion of government and locally relevant name strings for the successful launch and continued administration of community and geographic TLDs.
The GAC appreciates that the Trademark Clearing House (TMCH) is an important rights protection mechanism applicable across all the new gTLDs and has an invaluable role to fulfill across the new gTLD spectrum as a basic safety net for the protection of trademark rights.
The GAC Advises the ICANN Board:
that ICANN provide clarity on the proposed launch program for special cases as a matter of urgency.
Protection of Red Cross/Red Crescent Names
The GAC advises the ICANN Board:
i. that it is giving further consideration to the way in which existing protections should apply to the words “Red Cross”, “Red Crescent” and related designations at the top and second levels with specific regard to national Red Cross and Red Crescent entities; and that it will provide further advice to the Board on this.
.islam and .halal
The GAC took note of letters sent by the OIC and the ICANN Chairman in relation to the strings .islam and .halal. The GAC has previously provided advice in its Beijing Communiqué, when it concluded its discussions on these strings. The GAC Chair will respond to the OIC correspondence accordingly, noting the OIC’s plans to hold a meeting in early December. The GAC chair will also respond to the ICANN Chair’s correspondence in similar terms.6.
The GAC will meet during the period of the 49th ICANN meeting in Singapore.
A high level meeting of governments will be held in London in June 2014 in conjunction with the ICANN and GAC meetings. The agenda for the meeting should be finalized in Singapore.