ICA and DNA to Share Stage at NamesCon

The Internet Commerce Association and the Domain Name Association will be represented together at a Breakout Panel Session during the NamesCon domain industry conference slated to take place next week in Las Vegas. ICA Counsel Philip Corwin and DNA Executive Director Kurt Pritz will be the two speakers at “Your Voice in the New Marketplace: TheDNA.org and ICA -- Promoting the adoption of domain names and being heard in Domain Name rules, policy, standards and governance” taking place at 11:05 – 11:50 am on Wednesday, January 15th in Room C at the Tropicana Hotel. We congratulate the NamesCon organizers for hosting a sold-out event that has reached full capacity of 450 attendees. And, after seven years as the sole trade association dedicated to DNS issues, we welcome the DNA to the fray – while we expect some overlap in membership, the two organizations are more complimentary than competitive although there may well be issues on which we can work cooperatively.

Brazil Decides that Governments and IGOs will Constitute Half of Total Stakeholders at Sao Paulo MSM Meeting

Details are starting to emerge about the Brazilian meeting on Internet Governance scheduled to take place in Sao Paulo this coming April, and they make it clear that the Brazilian host is in firm control and that governments and UN-affiliated International Governmental organizations will make up half the participants – with all the other business, technical, academic and civil society stakeholders sharing the other half. That seems pretty unbalanced for a meeting that has been characterized by some as focused on reinforcing support for the multistakeholder model (MSM) in general and ICANN in particular.

ICA Supports GNSO Resolution on IGO/INGO Protections – But the UN, NATO, WIPO and Interpol Oppose It

Yesterday ICA filed a letter that generally supported the GNSO Council’s recent and unanimously adopted Resolution on Protections for International Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations (IGOs & INGOs). In particular, while supporting strong protections for exact matches of their full names at the top and second level of the DNS, we were pleased that the Resolution did not grant undue protections to acronyms of their names, and did not put existing acronyms at incumbent gTLDs at unreasonable risk.

But it turns out that ICA was the only organization to file a supportive comment in the initial comment round (the reply period is now open until January 8th) – and that the UN has coordinated a flood of letters (found at http://forum.icann.org/lists/comments-igo-ingo-recommendations-27nov13/), all protesting that the Resolution does not go far enough to protect those acronyms. Besides the UN, such organizations as NATO, WIPO (which is a UN agency), and Interpol say it doesn’t do enough to prevent potential misuse of those acronyms, especially at new gTLDs.

Trademark Clearinghouse Lets Profit Dictate Policy


Deloitte, the ICANN-appointed operator of the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), has unilaterally decided that the complainant services side of the Trademark Claims Service will operate for an indefinite period, rather than the required 90-day period set by the consensus agreement of ICANN stakeholders regarding the implementation of new gTLD rights protection measures (RPMs).

This decision is strikingly wrong and extremely worrisome for multiple reasons:

  1. It was made without community consultation or ICANN public approval and announced in a completely non-transparent manner (in fact, it wasn’t really announced at all, but leaked to a few domain industry publications).

  2. It effectively encourages rights holders to file UDRP or URS actions against innocent and uninformed registrants who received no warning that their new gTLD domain name matched an entry in the TMCH database.

  3. It sets a precedent that the CEO of the TMCH says may be the basis for offering a similar and possibly expanded service covering domain registrations at .Com and other incumbent gTLDs – possibly as early as Spring 2014!



Ninth Circuit says Anticybersquatting Act was Separated at Birth from Lanham Act

On December 4th the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that will reverberate for years to come in cybersquatting cases brought under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). While the Court’s declaration that “the ACPA does not provide a cause of action for contributory cybersquatting” is important in itself, its dicta regarding the history of the ACPA – finding that “Congress did not incorporate the common law of trademark, including contributory infringement, into the ACPA” – will likely have broad future repercussions.

Brazilian Internet Steering Committee sets out Plans for April 2014 “Global Multistakeholder Meeting on Internet Governance”

The Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br) has issued an Announcement (http://www.nic.br/imprensa/releases/2013/rl-2013-62.htm) about planning for the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on Internet Governance that will take place in Sao Paulo on April 23-24, 2014. Extended discussion of the background developments leading up to the request made by ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade to Brazilian President Dilma Roussseff that Brazil host a meeting on Internet Governance, as well as the potential merits and risks of the meeting and the means by which various stakeholders could impact its planning, was a central aspect of last week’s ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires.

ICA on the Record at ICANN Buenos Aires

The following remarks were delivered to ICANN’s Board and senior staff by ICA Counsel Philip Corwin during the Public Forum (http://buenosaires48.icann.org/en/schedule/thu-public-forum) held on the afternoon of Thursday, November 21st at the 48th ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina:

ICANN Internet Governance Initiatives Sanctioned by Secret September Board Resolution

ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade told members of its GNSO Council in Buenos Aires this morning that his recent initiatives resulting in the recent Montevideo Statement on Internet governance and the spring 2014 meeting on this subject to be held in Brazil were sanctioned by a September 15th ICANN Board resolution that has been withheld from the public, but will published shortly.

ICANN Needs to Distinguish Exact Matches from Acronyms in IGO/INGO Protections

Did you have any idea that registering idea.gifts might be a prohibited activity because some people think it’s more likely to be acquired by those seeking to mimic the International Development Association than by a new business start-up serving those Internet users searching for birthday gift ideas? Do you believe someone is more likely to register eco.shop as a website for ecologically beneficial products or to cybersquat  the Economic Cooperation Organization? Does imo.cars have more value as an “In My Opinion” blog website about automobile industry developments or as a spoof site targeting the International Maritime Organization? And if you saw an online ad for iso.love would you surmise that it’s a dating website for those “In Search Of” romance rather than for the very small group that is sweet on the International Sugar Organization? Finally, when you see “AU” do you think of Australia, the African Union, or American University?

ICANN Adopts Flawed Trademark Notice

The ICANN Public Comment process can be severely frustrating and unsatisfying, as proven once again by ICANN’s September 30th  publication of final Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) for new gTLD registries[1], just twelve days after the September 18th deadline for submitting written comments. The final RPMs include a completely unchanged Trademark Notice that fails to meet ICANN’s stated goal that The Claims Notice is intended to provide clear notice to the prospective domain name registrant of the scope of the Trademark Holder’s rights.” (emphasis added) Even worse, ICANN’s rationale for refusing to adopt a single modification calls the entire usefulness of the public comment process into question.